Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Single-Leg Glute and Quad Burner #workoutwednesday

So we're halfway through the week. Anything crazy happening? Things are pretty standard in my neck of the woods, except for the slight furry of snow we got this morning. It wasn't anything truly significant, but still. It happened and I hated it. I also kind of hated my Barre Fit class today...except not really. I loved it. The crowd is always awesome, totally willing to work, and usually up for anything. So by "hated it," I mean that we burned out some muscle and it felt so good in the worst way. (You know the feeling.)

Since we're marking that halfway point in our week, that means it's officially Workout Wednesday. Last week, we focused on the upper body with some of my favorite pushup variations. Today, I'm coming at you with one of the leg exercises we did in class this morning.

Oh, my quad! #burn

lower body exercise, glutes, hamstrings, leg exercise, barre exercise
Although we did them in my Barre Fit class, you can really do them in any style of workout. Literally anywhere since you don't need equipment. Shoes? No shoes? Up to you. I don't wear shoes in my barre class, so I left them off in these pictures. I'll take you through the exercise step-by-step, but first, you know the drill: Listen to your body, modify as needed and check in with your physician if there's any question as to whether or not you should be doing these things.

Let's get to it. Here's your single-leg glute and quad burner:

Lift your left knee up until your quad is parallel to the floor.

Engage your core and drop down into a runner's lunge

If balance is an issue, you can hold onto a chair, keep your left toes on the ground and/or turn this move into a reverse lunge.

Regardless, go back to that high knee at the start of every repetition. We did 15 repetitions in class today. You, of course, can change that to 12, maybe even 10 if that works better.

When you hit your last repetition, transition to a flat back. Keep your weight over your right leg while maintaining a soft bend at the knee.

Hold on to a chair if you need to, but either way, engage your core to help with balance. Then lift and lower your left leg ten (10) times.

At the top your tenth repetition, pulse ten (10) times, then do five (5) more full-range repetitions.

You'll want to pull that standing leg up into a stretch when you're done.

That's one full set, after which you'll repeat  everything while standing on your left leg.

We did three sets per leg in class today, but you can adjust that as well. And even though you stretch in between each set, you'll want to make sure you take time at the end of your workout to re-stretch your glutes. And, of course, your quads (and hamstrings), too.

Never forget to stretch!

Question: What did your workout look like today?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

#LinkLove: Good Reads from Around the Internet, Vol. 5

A few months ago, I put Pocket on my iPhone. If you're not familiar with this app, it's essentially a place to save links for later. I use it all the time. Well, for the most part anyway. I currently have 17 links open in Safari. Yes, on my phone. Why I haven't saved said links to Pocket is beyond me. Seriously, my phone is a hot mess right now. It needs to be cleaned and cleared and updated and all that. I don't do it often enough.

Anyway.
About those links.

1) I made another batch of crockpot yogurt—you're supposed to leave it out overnight, which I did, and then I forgot about it when I left for work. Turns out, it's my best batch yet. It's not exactly "Greek" yogurt, but I'm thinking it'll work in these Greek yogurt recipes.

2) I think I'm going to make my barre class do inverted flyers this week.

3) I got some cold brew from Starbucks the other day and OMG. You know me and my iced coffee. I brew my own at home, but with hot water—however, I just learned how (and why) to make cold-brew coffee. So we'll give it a shot.

4) I miss the smell of sunscreen. I lathered it on pretty good in Mexico. Do we think homemade sunscreen is just as good? So curious.

5) Hannah is pretty curious about running. She sneaks out onto the track at my gym whenever she gets the opportunity and runs her little heart out. She calls herself a runner girl, so maybe I should get her a runner girl doll.

6) Life with three year old. Man, oh man. I fear these 10 things.

7) I am woman, and I am 34. Yes, there is something to be said about running in your thirties.

8) I've had a mad craving for some chocolate chip cookies. I might just have to make this chocolate chip oatmeal cookie smoothie instead.

9) Now that I've mastered crow pose, I want to give the one-legged arm balance a shot. Hamstrings, don't object. (They'll probably object.)

10) And finally, I'll just leave this right here: S'Mores Cheesecake. #thatisall

Question: Is there a yoga post that you are currently working on? Can you do one-legged arm balance? Any tips?

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