Saturday, May 28, 2016

30-30-30 Push-Up and Squat Challenge

We are all busy moms, we all have way too much on our plates with kids schools, end of year programs and now with summer starting camps and various activities to entertain the kids at home.  But if you're like me, you still want to think of ways to get fit and get your body back.  It is summer, but so what.  It is not too late to start getting in shape, it never is.  Are you doing this for yourself or for other moms to be jealous of your bikini body? Well, it can be both, but you gotta get to work right now.

I was talking to my bestie at the gym yesterday and she was telling that she used to do 30 push-ups and 30 squats a day before having kids.  So I thought why not do a 30 Day, 30 Push-Ups and 30 Squats Challenge? I have seen challenges out there where you increase the number of sets each day and you end up doing 3000 push-ups and 10000 squats.  That's not my goal here; I couldn't take the time to do 100 push-ups a day at the end of 30 days.  No way!!! I have kids, they need to eat dinner, they need to be bathed and my house needs daily picking up.  I am a mom! So ideally, I would start small and end with a whopping number of push-ups and squats and win a medal for my hard work.  Realistically, I am busy, you are busy, we are all busy, so I thought my friend’s number of 30 push-ups and 30 squats was pretty reasonable.  

HOW TO DO THE CHALLENGE

Start today or wait until the beginning of the month, it doesn't matter when you start it, the important is to start.  

Start small if you want, do 10 of each in the morning, then 10 in the afternoon and 10 at night. Cannot do push-ups on your toes yet? Do them on your knees at first and try a couple on your toes, increase the number as you go.  Be honest with yourself.  I started mine today and I couldn't do more than 10 push-ups at the time.  I'm up to 20 as I write this.  I need 10 more to finish for today. Easy? Not like a piece a cake or anything like that, but doable, for sure!! Then you can increase to 15 each twice a day and by the end of the month you should be able to knock out 30 each in one sitting.  Notice I don't have fancy charts to show you how many to do a day because it is simple.  Do 30 push-ups and 30 squats a day for 30 days, period!!

Why push-ups and squats? Because you can do them anywhere, wearing whatever clothes, with just your body weight.




I wanna see your pictures! Share it on Instagram and tag @wheresamommy with hashtag #30DayPushUpSquat 

Just so you know, by the time I finished posting this (you know I got up 1000 times to tend to my kids while writing this) I had also finished by last 10 push-ups and squats.  All done of today!!






Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Want It Wednesday - Mother's Day Edition



1. Athleta Skorts, because every mom I know loves to wear comfy clothes, even when not at the gym // 2. Hard Tail Leggings, loving the tie dye and the cute cut out on the sides // 3. L Spade Bikini Top, I love the sporty look of these.  The bottoms are just as cute // 4. Level 3 Active Give More Live More Slouchy Tee, I've been looking for a lose fitting top to wear over my workout clothes.  What I also love about this one is that portion of the proceeds from the sale of the top goes to Breast Cancer Awareness in honor of the brand founder's mother // 5. SiDI Cycling Shoes, I've been spinning more lately and I've been hearing I need to invest in cycling shoes so I can get more out of the workout.  These ones are cute and on sale! // 6. Madewell Holepunch Transport Tote, like any good mom, I carry a bunch of stuff around.  This big tote is light, durable and so stylish!!

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.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Vacuum For Moms

I vacuum when I bend over to pick up a toy on the floor, I vacuum when I drive, I even vacuum when I vacuum.  As silly as this may sound, I really do it.  And you should too. Vacuum exercise is a tried and tested method many body builders use to use back in the day (think Arnold Schwarzenegger when he use to be one) to get those really skinny waists despite the massive muscles they displayed elsewhere in their bodies.  It is not as popular nowadays but it is a very powerful tool for us moms to cinch our waists back down after carrying our babies in the womb for 9 months and overstretching our abdominal muscles to the point you think you are going to pop.


If you Google vacuum exercises for body builders you will see some scary stuff. This exercise for body builders was made famous by a guy named Frank Zane and it looks like this:

Wheresamommy Vacuum Pose Body Builders


Cool, right? I'm telling you right now, there's no way I can get my stomach to look sucked in like this yet.  I've tried, but it is SO HARD to do.  However, I will tell you that you will benefit from practicing the beginners pose (and then adding the challenge as you get more confident) from the start. If you practice and are able to properly do it (like the picture above) let me know.  My version is adapted for everyday life and on the go practice.  You will notice your midsection whittle down within a few weeks.  The caveat here, you have to practice it.  You can't expect to have a tiny waist by doing this once.  Remember, you have to be consistent. 

The science here is that you will work two parts of your body that had to give out in order to support your growing bun in the oven.  One is the TVA (transverse abdomini muscle) and the membrane that connects all the muscles together (it has a very complicated name - thorocobular fascia - you just need to know what it does).  When you do the vacuum exercise properly you attack these two problems from the inside and end up with a skinny mini waist.

How to Get Your Flat Belly 

In all 3 moves below, breathe with your diaphragm.  Expand your belly and rib cage with an inhale, on the exhale, bring your belly button to your spine and contract your abdomen muscles. To start, hold the exhale (or belly button to spine) for 20 seconds.  Increase to as you go along.  After you get a hang of it, you don't have to hold your breath anymore.  You can keep muscles contracted but breathe through it. 


Beginner

Hold exhale for 20 seconds to start


Intermediate (the known and loved Cat/Cow from your yoga class) 

Hold exhale for 20 seconds to start

Vacuum on the Go
You can do this last move anywhere you are.  Sitting in the car at pick up, folding laundry, making dinner, anywhere! You certainly don't have to be sitting on your feet for this last move to work.  I just needed to be sitting like this to fit in the picture.

Hold exhale for 20 seconds to start


Vacuuming for moms - Take your vacuum to go

As you already know because you read my first post (wink, wink), my mom used to tell me when I was a teenager to engage my ab muscles and "suck my belly in" all the time. I heard her. I do that frequently and it has become a habit of mine.  Now I don't think about it.
I'm always working on something. Be it kegels when I'm driving, or vacuuming when I'm vacuuming.  I'm always trying to improve myself.
I know your life is busy, I get it, I'm a mom too.  I know it is hard to try to remember to do kegels (those your OBGYN has told you to do every time you are at a red light), and now I'm telling you should be constantly pulling your belly button towards your spine?  Do you want a flat belly? Do you wish there was something simple you could do to solve the protruding belly? You know where I'm going, right? You have to do the work to see the results.  Sticking with it is the best way to see results. Just reading about it will not improve the appearance of your six-pack.  You can do it right now! I am doing it...
Set a reminder on your phone, try to make a habit of doing the vacuum exercise it in the car.  A few seconds to start with, increase it as you go along.  True story, I have an app for kegels that counts 10 seconds to squeeze and 10 seconds to relax and every time I get in the car I set it, as soon as the timer beeps, my son wants to know what the exercises I'm doing are for (he had asked me before what that noise was and I said I was just doing some exercises). I don't need a timer for the vacuum exercises and I do it right after kegels are done.  It doesn't matter if you are a new mom or has had your kids a while back. Anyone can benefit from doing it.
Do it consistently for a month and let me know if you feel the difference.  Take a picture before you start and another a month later.  Show the results on Instagram and tag @wheresamommy with the hashtag #vacuumexercise.  Are you ready for the challenge?


Disclaimer: I'm not saying you will lose weight by doing these exercises.  You will notice change in your abdominal muscles! I just want to be clear because to lose fat you will have change diet and exercise. This exercise is to compliment the program you are already doing.  Just saying!