Archive for March, 2011

If you have not started adding Yoga to your weekly routine…its time to get on board.  The benefits of becoming more comfortable in your own skin, performing better when you ask your body to do so, and remaining injury free are worth it!

It will take time to really understand all of the benefits of adding Yoga to your routine.  I recommend at least 3 months of 1x per week or more to gain this understanding.

Common questions I get about Yoga:

  1. Is yoga a work out? YES.  If you take a Power Yoga class or a “Flow” class, you will get a great upper/lower/core strength session along with lengthening muscles and stretching.
  2. Will I burn enough calories? Depends.  If you choose to do Yoga and ONLY Yoga, probably not.  But if you are working out 4-6 times per week, replacing one day with Yoga will only help you on the other work out days.
  3. What do I wear? Tight fitting clothing is best- pants, tank top/long sleeve shirt that hugs the body so you aren’t pulling at your clothing the entire class.
  4. What’s with all the breathing?! Yoga is all about the “breath”.  Make that an eventual goal, to link your breath with movement.  It doesn’t have to be perfect to become a lifelong injury preventing habit!
  5. Should I workout after Yoga? If you want to do something before, that is the best. I recommend no more than 40 minutes of cardio so you do not enter the class already depleted.  Treat Yoga like you would a massage, take 24 hours before you work out again so your body can really soak in the benefits!

5 Yoga Poses You Can’t Live Without

if you don’t buy into weekly classes….at least add these to your daily stretching!)  Hold each for 30-60 seconds and repeat 3-4x!

Bow Pose:

Goals? Open the front of the body, strengthen the Erector spinae and spine.

Counterbalance this post with child’s pose, rounding out the back, and repeat!

Hare Pose (Sometimes called Rabbit):

Goals? Stretch the upper back and spine, bring fresh supply of blood to the upper body and brain.

Counterbalance this pose with child’s pose as well, walking the hands away from the body once your glute is touching your heels.

Downward Facing Dog Pose:

Goals? align the spine, release tension in the shoulders, stretch through the back of the leg– most importantly the hamstrings, Achilles and calf. (More advanced? start from plank.  That way you guarantee correct distance from hands to feet during the pose!)

Counterbalance this pose with upward facing dog, if you don’t know this post, go back to child’s pose!

Modified Crescent Lunge:

Goals? Begin to open the hips, hip flexors, relieve low back pain (modified because the back knee is dropped. If you chose to keep the knee up, both toes face forward and drop down low)

Counterbalance this pose by sitting back and stretching the hamstring

**notice the knee over ankle positioning in this pose. as you shift your weight forward to stretch, make sure knee stays over ankle!

 

Reverse Pigeon: (half pigeon can be done lying on floor with knee under body)

Goals? open hips and lubricate hip joints

Counterbalance by bringing both knees in to chest, or sit up and stretch hamstrings

ENJOY!  Tell me about your YOGA experiences as you have them :)

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Debone’s Sunday Diddy

Posted: March 20, 2011 in Weights

If you ever create a workout based on what you have learned on this site….please email me and share!  I love reading what you all have potentially been inspired to come up with.

This workout is inspired by Iron Mama Stephanie Debone- who created this as her Sunday afternoon booty kicking :)

Warm up: 1 mile easy

4x

5 man makers (with perfect push ups)
10 weighted squats (weights on shoulders)
15 bicep curls, 15 tricep dips
20 overhead presses
25 full sit ups
.25 sprint

Cool down: 1 mile easy

THANKS STEPH!

Sorry Iron Men….a “weights only” work out is coming your way soon, this one is for the ladies! (Here is why.  Men, yes, you have different body types, but unlike women….if you do the correct balance of cardio, weight training, and cross training, you will fall into your perfect shape.  Our bodies are a bit more complex!)

Iron Mamas, are you working out for your body type?

Most women fall into one of these categories:

  • Apple – top-heavy; 14% of women; bust three or more inches bigger than hips, also can carry weight in mid section- but mostly from the hips up
  • Straight- 46% of women; high waist is about the same as hips and waist, shaped like a cylinder (this is also the person who “gains weight all over”)
  • Pear – bottom-heavy; 20% of women; hips significantly larger than bust
  • Hourglass – 8% of women; equal hip and bust measurements with a narrow waist

Unfortunately- not all workouts are created equal.  You can easily figure out where you fall by classifying yourself in one of these categories.  ALL shapes are beautiful in their own ways and we can emphasize their beauty by focusing on certain parts of our workout!

Before I go further: here is what most major fitness organizations recommend for how a workout “week” should look.

  • 3-5x per week of 30-60 minutes cardiovascular
  • 1-3x per week of strength training involving all major muscle groups
  • 1-3x flexibility training (including yoga)

How your week will look depends on your priorities, your body type, your fitness/weight goals, etc.  Many people choose to do things they “enjoy” over occasionally doing what needs to be done– in my opinion if you feel good about yourself…I am happy you are exercising!

Here are some general guidelines and focus points for each body type, although this could go into much greater detail!

  • Apple: goals? develop a strong core, and build muscle in the lower body to create balance throughout.  Lighter weights/higher repetitions for upper body, and heavy weight/low repetitions for lower body.  Doing these exercises in an interval/cross training format where you alternate cardio and strength is also ideal!
  • Straight: goals? add shape and curves by building muscle and strength.  Use heavier weights and lower repetitions to build muscle.  These people can do less cardio- more strength training, but be sure to take off at least a day between working the same muscle group!
  • Pear: goals? balance your lower half by building a strong upper body.  Heavier weights/lower repetitions for upper body, lighter weights or body weight/high reps for lower body.  This body type will also benefit from doing exercises in an interval/cross training format where cardio and strength is alternated.  Running and swimming are great toners for these body types since they use the large muscle groups of the legs while performing exercise with no weight.
  • Hourglass: goals? well, we hate you because you are only 8% of the population and we ALL WANT your body.  So there.  Kidding, kind of, but seriously, these people are the lucky sons of guns who were born with a great figure.  Best workout for this body type is interval/cross training where strength and cardio are combined.  Too much cardio alone could take away those beautiful curves, so although its important to keep up cardio help…training for a marathon may rid you of them.

**Some of you may not be able to easily identify yourselves in one of these 4 categories.  If there is a place you “gain weight first” think about that and it may help you narrow it down.  Many of you also may have a combination of more than one body type.  Good thing you belong to this blog….the workouts posted here are generally great for all types because I have this in mind!

Questions on working out for your body type? Email me at schwartz.kelly@gmail.com!

 

Use Your Body!

Posted: March 14, 2011 in No Equipment Needed

Welcome New Subscribers :)  Thanks for joining us and hope you enjoy an “Iron Mamas” workout very soon!

Body weight training (using only the weight of your body) is a great way to build core strength, learn to do full range of motion in some exercises- and a great way to work out at home, outside, or on vacation!  Here is a “No Equipment Needed” workout to add to the archive :)

Goal?  Try to perform full range of motion as described below for as many of the exercises as possible, as quickly as possible!  Use the cardio intervals to bring heart rate back up if it falls during strength portions.

1 mile jog (need a challenge here? alternate 1 min easy 1 min sprint for 10 min!)

4x

  • 10 push ups (lead with chest, chin up- knees down is fine but get chest to ground even if you have to fall there!)
  • 20 squat thrust (burpee w/o push up– literally…hands down, feet out to plank, jump in, jump up!)
  • 10 deep squats (drop to 90 degrees or below looking forward the entire time)
  • 20 mountain climbers (2=1…make them big!)
  • 10/10 deep lunges ea side (back knee gets near ground)
  • 20 lunge jump switch (lunge one side, jump up and switch to other side 2=1)
  • 10 full sit ups
  • 20 double knees to elbows (jump both feet in to elbows, back out to plank, hold for 1 second and repeat!)

1 mile easy jog warm down

**Exercising with only body weight is a great way to cross train and should be part of every ones weekly routine.  It’s important to also be sure you are doing some strength training with weight, resistance band, etc- to build strength with weight heavier than just using your own body weight!

As always….ENJOY :)

Just Weights

Posted: March 8, 2011 in Exercise Tips, Weights

All you need is a set of weights!  Grab a challenging set- if you normally grab 10’s, get 12’s and try to stick with it throughout!

Warm up: 2 mile jog outdoors (or equivalent on indoor machine)

4x

  • 15 weighted squats (weights on shoulders- get to 90 degrees or below!)
  • 45 seconds jumping jacks
  • 15 perfect push ups (take your time and drop down to the ground! knees WHEN needed)
  • 45 seconds high knee run
  • 15/15 weighted lunges (weights on shoulders, ea side)
  • 45 seconds jump rope
  • 15 side bicep curls (palms face sides)
  • 45 seconds mountain climbers

Warm down: 3x, 15 russian twists, 15 full sit ups (both with weight), 15 hip dips each side SLOW!

**New research is showing that squats below 90 degrees have no significant influence on knee damage/injury IF DONE PROPERLY.  Actually, squatting low can do quite the opposite.  It increases strength in the hamstrings, glutes, inner thighs, stabilizer muscles surrounding larger lower body muscles, lower back and abs.

Watch yourself in the mirror.  Are you bending more with your legs or your back? (Legs is correct!)  Does your chest stay up, or curve forward? (Chest should stay up!)  Can you see yourself throughout the entire motion? (You should be able to!)  Good luck!

As the weather warms up, take your workout outside!  This workout can be done on a field, driveway, track- any space you can find- with NO EQUIPMENT!

Warm up:

  • 4x
  • 30 sec plank front, 30 sec ea side, 15 sec rest

Main Set:  (you will need a straight sprint area- you choose the length- make sure its enough time to really move and get your heart rate up!)

Repeat 2-4x, depending on how much time  you have :)

  • 10-8-6-4-2-10: Push Ups, sprint down and back
  • Walking lunges down and back
  • 10-8-6-4-2-10: Squats, side shuffle down and back
  • Walking lunges down and back
  • 10-8-6-4-2-10: Burpees, backwards run down and back
  • Walking lunges down and back
  • 10-8-6-4-2-10: Hip dips each side, sprint down and back

Repeat warm up at the end!

Enjoy :)

(Stella is below demonstrating what NOT to do as the weather gets nice :)