Showing posts with label glutes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label glutes. Show all posts

Monday, April 18, 2016

That's How I Roll!

You have probably seen tons of people rolling on them at the gym.  You have probably seen tons of those rollers for sale at department stores.  Have you ever considered adding it to your workout routine?  I really think you should. 
And yes, it might hurt a little bit when you go over some knots, but you will love the changes you will notice on your body with consistent practice of foam rolling.  No matter if you choose to add it to the beginning, as part of the warm up, or at the end as part of the cooling down. The important thing is to keep doing it.  Mix it up, try before and after and see which you prefer.    

Before hitting the gym for your next workout session check out the 5 benefits of using a foam roller:

Rolling quads - you can do them both or separately

1. Reduces cellulite/firmer skin: When you consistently use the foam roller in conjunction with your exercise, you might start noticing that the skin on the areas you are rolling feels more youthful and with cottage cheese appearance.  That’s because when you apply pressure to your body parts thru rolling, you increase the blood circulation.  When your tissues get more blood they are happy.  This is a big one, and I know that your body changed in many ways after having kids, and even if cellulite wasn't a problem before, it is very likely you have them too.

Rolling glutes*

2. Helps reduce lactic acid: sore from yesterday’s workout? Can’t even sit on the toilet without letting out some major cuss words? That’s lactic acid that got trapped between your muscles. It is a good thing because that means you worked out right and fibers of the muscles got tiny tears in them.  Now they are rebuilding stronger.  But does it have to hurt so bad? Actually not.  You can use the roller after your workout and help your muscles flush some of that out by massaging your body with the roller.

Rolling side glutes

3. Increases mobility and flexibility: flexible muscles are strong muscles, so by using the roller, you increase your chances of doing better and harder workouts.  In addition, your mobility might be better because your muscles feel rejuvenated and not as achy. How many times have you gotten discouraged during a workout because you feel limited to what you can do. 

Even calf rolling is good!

4. Helps prevent new injury: this one goes along with the previous benefit.  Using the foam roller as maintenance of your good physical condition will help you prevent future injuries.   My chiropractor said once that muscles like pressure, so if you apply pressure on your muscles you will release the tension and therefore be less likely to injure that muscle.

Rolling lats - you can also roll your arms (not shown)

5.  Helps break up scar tissue: you may be able to break up some scar tissue you didn’t even know you had that was formed from a healed injury. Because your body is essentially being massaged, it will move and break away those adhesions. 

Rolling upper back*

Ready to try it as part of your next workout sesh?  You will find yourself looking forward to the massage.  It does hurt good once get used to it.  Just keep in mind these 4 tips to get the most out of it:

1.  Don’t roll directly on a sore spot: When you find a really sore spot try shifting the position to one side or the other slightly and hit that area from the side.  Rolling directly on it is no better and it might hurt you more than help you.

2.  Go slow: Really take your time.  Each movement should be very controlled.

3.  Spend only a few seconds on each area: Huh!? You just said go slow!? Yes, go slow but don’t spend hours in the same spot.  I usually just do 10 reps on each area and move on. 

4.  Don’t roll your lower back and abdomen: That’s where important vital organs are housed, including your spine.  You don’t want to mess with that!

Now you’re all excited about trying the foam roller and the question is: should I use the smooth or the bumpy one? Think of it this way, the smooth one is a light Swedish massage, the bumpy one is a deep tissue massage.  Many days I use the bumpy one, I personally like how it feels.  Only sometimes when I want to take it easy I use the smooth one, especially if I’m using it on my upper back.

If you'd like to have a foam roller at home check out the links below.  Those are the ones I use at home and love them.

* Notice that even though the roll goes on the lower back in the picture, I'm not going over the kidneys (close to the love handles).  Just be careful and not roll there because you don't want to injure any part of it.  You'll know when to stop if it feels funny.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Lower abs exercises - little bit more challenge

I wanted to share with you some lower ab exercises that are a little bit more challenging and are a great way to add progress to the first and second routines I have previously posted for closing your diastasis recti gap.
Feel free to add these to your exercises and mix and match with any of my past posts.  Just be mindful that if this is your first time visiting my blog and you are trying to lose the mommy pouch you need to evaluate your DR gap first

Lower/Side Abs - Knee Punch

getmybodyback getyourbodyback wheresamommy
Knee Punch

You can use either the bench at the gym for this exercise or a mat at home.  Just make sure you have something to hold on to behind your head (I've used the bottom of my couch before, you just need something to put your hands under to support your body when you bring your legs up).  While lying flat on your back, hold on to the chosen support and with feet crossed and knees bent at a 90 degree angle, raise your bottom from the mat/bench by punching up with your knees and twisting to one side.  When lowering to starting position let your knees go past down the 90 degree stage towards your feet just a little bit.  Alternate sides.  Start with 10 reps on each side and add more when you need challenge.

Side Abs - Bosu X Scisors

Lean your back against a Bosu ball with your bottom almost touching the floor but not quite, position your feet on the floor with your knees bent and a little bit wider than hip width apart (you'll have to find the most comfortable position for best balance).  Position your hands on the floor with arms extended to your side.  This is the neutral position.  To start, extend your right leg out to the side just a little wider than original position and lift it to meet your left hand up on top (the leg is straight for this move). The leg does not go up and down towards the middle, but towards the side.  The secret here is to think of your body as an X and extend your leg to the side and your arm back as you complete the movement.  I'll try to get a better shot of this exercise to show you how it flows.  Start with 10 on each side and add reps as they start to feel too easy.

Different angle so you can see the proper let position:

Lower Abs - Jackknife

My friend Amy showed me this one and it has become one of my favorites because I really feel my abs working.  This is a tricky one to set up and thank goodness for videos, but I'll try to tell you what I'm doing here.  You basically start on a plank position with your shins on a stability ball.  As if you had a magic string pulling your hips up, use your core to bring your feet close to your chest while your legs are straight and lift your hips all the way up, almost to a handstand.  You will need to adjust your feet a few times until you are comfortable for this exercise.  That's one rep.  Do as many as you can, this one is a toughie! The stronger your core the better balance you will have.  It is hard in the beginning, but practice makes perfect, right!?


Hamstrings/Core - Stability Ball Bridge

If you see me at the gym you probably have seen me doing this exercise many times.  I love to combine this exercise with my must do leg workout.  Lay on the mat with your feet on the side of the stability ball and your knees on a 90 degree angle and your hands resting by your side next to your hips.  Without moving the ball (this part is the balance challenge of this exercise) raise your hips while squeezing your glutes to where you are on a high bridge position.  Lower back down and repeat 12 times.  As always, add more reps as needed. 

Feel free to ask questions.  Hope the videos help you find the proper form, which is very important!!

Equipment used 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My must-do leg and butt routine

I LOVE these butt workouts.  I do this circuit at least once a week. Let me warn you though, you will feel the burn a couple of days later.  In the beginning I would fall off the swiss ball and lost my balance a lot.  You will get used to it.  The stronger you get the more you will be able to control your movements.  Add weights as you get more used to them but start little.  You need to master the movement first and then add challenge.  I hope you love these as much as I do.  Like Sofia Vergara says: No pain, no cake!

Single-Leg Split Squat

Stand with your right foot flat on the floor and place the top of your left foot on the ball.  The trick here is to find the sweet spot to rest your left foot so when you lower your body the left leg will go back smoothly and comfortably.  I found that the best position for me is placing the tip of shoes in the middle of the ball.  
Squat your right leg down lowering your body as far as possible.  Press with your right leg to lift your body back up.  Repeat 15 times, then switch sides to work the left leg.
Tip: if in the beginning you cannot find your balance, use a Smith machine or a ballet bar to hold on to something so you create muscle memory for the future.  It also helps to focus on one spot on a wall or floor to keep your balance.

Ball Wall Squat

With your feet hip width apart stand in front of a wall and place a swiss ball behind your back.  Squat down while arranging the ball to hit your mid back while you are in the lower part of the squat.  After arrangin the ball properly, squat down while pressing your booty back towards the wall.  This part is important to target those glutes I know you want to target.  Press back up and repeat 15 times.  You can start with no weights first.  Get the movement right and when you feel like you need the challenge add dumbell weights. 

Kettlebell Swinging Squat

Stand with your feet wider than hip width apart.  Using a 10lb kettlebell, squat down swinging the kettlebell between your legs with straight arms.  Push your hips back during this movement. Let the momentum of swinging the kettlebell carry your exercise.  You do not need to control the movement as if you were doing a shoulder exercise.  The kettlebell will swing back up.  You should stop at about shoulder height (I'm going to far on my video, correct that!!) and while in the upright position push your hips forward while squeezing the glutes.  Repeat 12-15 times. Change to a heavier kettlebell when you feel this has become too easy.

These moves are very effective when combined in a circuit.  Go from one exercise to the other with no breaks in between sets.  Only rest after each circuit of 3 exercises for them to be more effective.  Do a total of 3 circuits for a total of 3 sets of each exercise.

Equipment used