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budgeting, fitness, get strong on the cheap

Finding Stability: At-Home Yoga/Strength Fusion Workout

This was just one of those weeks for me where everything felt like it was in upheaval. I’ve been apartment hunting, job hunting (I love what I do but am searching for something more permanent and stable), spring cleaning and even re-evaluating friendships. My family members, though loving and endlessly supportive, are each facing their own set of transitions right now, which leaves me without that “home base” feeling that others rely on in times of change. In other words life, as of late, has lacked any semblance of stability.

Oh and then I cut off all my hair…. 

Ignore my pouty expression, I actually love it. 🙂

In times like these, developing my physical strength, flexibility and balance reminds me that these are qualities I inherently possess and I can trust that (with a little patience) my life will manifest them as well.

So today I am sharing a stability-promoting, at-home, equipment-free, totally empowering and energizing Yoga/Strength Circuit Workout. It takes around 20 minutes and is structured in a pyramid, “superset” format.

  • Pyramid because you work your muscles hardest in the middle but begin and end with lower impact yoga postures
  • Supersets because you complete two excersizes in the same muscle group back to back with no rest between.
  • Fusion because each superset is made up of one yoga-inspired move and 1 strength-inspired move

If you require instruction on any of the exercises I mention here are some useful links:

Basic Sun Salutation
PlankBicycle Crunches
Side Plank
Warrior 2
Lunges
Donkey Kicks
Bridge 

Do you find comfort in physical activity when life leaves you reeling?
What are some of the most “empowering” yoga poses or strength training exercises you do? 

fitness, get strong on the cheap

Get Strong on the Cheap: Friday Fit Test!

 

Wanna check out how you’re progressing with your workouts this summer? Here’s a quick & easy way to test yo’self before you…err…get frustrated and quit? Moving on.

LETS GET DOWN to my BURPEE CHALLENGE

First things first: Why the burpee? 

While burpees may get a bad rap cause of their popularity amongst drill sargeants and sadistic gym teachers, they are actually a really great way to work a wide range of muscles groups in just a few short moves. Arms, core & legs are all workin harrrrd, PLUS you’re getting some serious cardio in there as well.  And with my variation you also get some plyometric (jump) training. Though you could exclude this for a lower impact version and it would work just as well!

What’s a Burpee Look Like? Its as easy as…

ONE: Start off with a standard OR modified pushup.

 

TWO: Jump from pushup position into a tucked up crouch. Or what I like to think of as my Terminator position.
THREE: Jump! Stand from the crouch, hands straight in the air and give er. 

Fit Test Instructions:

Repeat this burpee set & count how many you complete before you tire yourself out, have reached muscle fatigue and can no longer complete a full set. BE HONEST. You should be tired but not at death’s door. Write down your results.

ALTERNATE OPTION: Time how many burpees you can complete in 1 minute. Either way will give you a good sense of where you’re at, but I tend to be a stickler for form and rushing through the sets makes me totally freaked about injuries.

Complete this fit test every other Friday chart how your progressing! Trust me. It’s wicked satisfying to watch your numbers go up. PLUS its an opportunity to do PUSHUPS! (I <3 the GUNZZZZ)

fitness, get strong on the cheap

get strong on the cheap: part 3 (lower bod)

Okay so you’ve been workin hard and your arms & core are getting WAY STRONG but you’re looking for a little lower body action? Get ready. This workout is mainly plyometric meaning it uses bigger, more powerful movements to strengthen your muscles fast while adding a bit of extra cardio to your routine as well.

Modifications: Any moves that involve jumping can be difficult for beginners or those with knee injuries/strain. If you fall into either of these categories pleeease start by doing low-impact (jump-free) versions of these moves. Then I won’t have to worry, mmkay?

Reps: I usually attempt about 30 reps of each of these moves and try to run the circuit through 2-3 times. This set is shorter than the previous two but trust me you will definitely feel the burn. So take it easy. Ease your way in by starting out doing just the basic moves without any jumping and then gradually add intensity when you get a little more comfortable. Continue Reading

budgeting, fitness, get strong on the cheap

GET STRONG ON THE CHEAP: Part 2 (Core)

Welcome to Part 2 of get strong on the cheap! As promised, today’s focus is on core strength and flexibility.

Whether you’re playing a game of softball, lugging around your laptop or moving a particularly large stack of student papers from your office to the classroom, your body works hard for you. And building a strong and flexible core helps reduce the risk of injury in everything that you do by supporting your spine and keeping everything where it should be, no matter what kind of antics you get up to.

This circuit workout is great for stretching out and working all of your core musclez: upper abs, lower abs and obliques. Complete each move for about a minute and cycle through 2-3 times for a 10-15 minute core killaahhhh. Once you get a lil stronger, you can start to combine COMBINE this circuit with PART 1 of GSOTC. OMG. Exciting. 😉 Continue Reading

fitness, get strong on the cheap

GET STRONG ON THE CHEAP: Part 1 (Upper Bod)

Here is part 1 of my get strong on the cheap series. In this series I’ll be focusing on using el cheapo Canadian Tire weights ($12 for both) for strength training. NO GYM REQUIRED. In fact I highly recommend doing it as far away from the gym as possible…like the PARK!

I am using 5 lb weights in this series but make sure you choose a weight that works for you! If you’re a beginner go with 2 or 3 lb weights, or if you’re super strong go with bigger ones.

As for reps I usually end up doing each move for about 1 minute which I find is usually around 20-30 reps. Then I switch it up and go to the next exercise. When you’re all done take a short break and then complete the whole circuit again 1-2 more times. Its great to do while you’re watching TV, pre/post cardio or in addition to whatever other activity you love!

Another way to do this is the  more traditional 20 reps-15 reps-10 reps method (ie. keep doing the same excersize with short breaks in between, sometimes upping the weight after each set) Do whatever works for you!

**Additional note. I’m not a doctor or a personal trainer. So BE SAFE PLZ. And listen to your own bod when you feel strained or need a break!

Part 1: UPPER BOD…. Continue Reading