New fitness training plan! Because in my heart of hearts I want to be a ninja like Jessie Graff. I mean, how can you beat a real-life superhero? You can’t. End of story. My son and I both love her and think she’s beyond everything. My husband thinks her physical prowess is amazing. Every time we see her doing something (it’s always a physical thing like scaling a wall or leaping around like gravity is meaningless), we’re motivated to do an impromptu workout right then and there. Why fight it? So we do some pull-ups (or assisted in my case) and push-ups. Not much. Just enough to get our arms warm and a sense of productivity to make us feel good.
With my bad joints, there’s no way I can throw myself into ninja training though. I’ll most likely never be able to do that. And that’s okay. That doesn’t mean I can’t aspire to be stronger though.
“Be Your Own Superhero”
I read that on signs and shirts people had at American Ninja Warrior lately. Jessie Graff fans. I love that idea. It makes me want to work harder at my goals.
So! I may not be ninja quality, but I’m currently satisfied with becoming a Warrior. I saw there was a Warrior Dash race here in Nebraska just outside of Omaha. July 15th. HA! That is NOT happening! However, I can start training now for 2018. With that in mind, I took a look at their training plan and am trying to incorporate it into my weekly plan.
I have to modify nearly everything but you have to start somewhere and this gives me something to work toward while I wait. My goal is to not modify anything by the time the Nebraska Warrior Dash race comes around in 2018. And, yes, it’ll take me that long to safely train because my shoulders, having been injured in the past, are my weakest point.
Here’s what I did today:
Cardio & Strength Circuit 1
Warm-Up: 30s each, 1-2x (I did 1x)
- Jumping Jacks
- Squat to Reach
- High Knees (walked for low impact)
- Reverse Lunge Rotation (realize now I did wrong – only a reverse lunge with a twist)
- Butt Kickers (walked for low impact)
Obstacle 1 – Crawling 10r each, 90s
- Army Crawl (on my knees)
- Frog Squat Thrust (walked through instead of jumping)
Rest 30s // RUN! 90s
Obstacle 2 – Pushing 10r each, 90s
- Tricep Dips
- Med Ball Slam (no med balls available and I didn’t want to slam anything down, switched to Kettlebell Swing…which I realized afterwards was not a good substitute because it worked my legs rather than my arms. I’ll find a new substitute later.)
REST 30s // RUN! 90s
Obstacle 3 – Jumping 10r each, 90s
- Bench Lunge Step Ups
- Tuck Jumps (modified to squat with calf raise)
Rest 30s // RUN! 90s
Obstacle 4 – Pulling 10r each, 90s
- Pull-Ups (equipment not available, substituted with shoulder presses…a pull-down machine would’ve been better but I was in the wrong room and didn’t feel like running all over the building trying to find it again)
- Squat Thrust to High Pull
Rest 30s /// RUN! 90s
Obstacle 5 – Agility 10r each, 90s
- Jump Rope (did without a jump rope)
- Over the Bench
Rest 30s // RUN! 90s
Obstacle 6 – Balance 10r each, 90s
- Squat on Toes (used a bar for balance)
- Plank with Ankle Touch
Rest 30s // RUN! 90s
I desperately needed some stretching after this so I added in the Core & Flexibility Workout as well.
Core & Flexibility Workout
45s each, Rest 15s between each
- Squat Chop (I messed up and did a squat with a twist)
- One Leg Front Bridge (alternated between on my toes in plank and on my knees in modified plank)
- Twist (no tubing available, used a 10lb BodyPUMP weight)
- Dead Bug
- Glutes Stretch
- Side Bridge Crunch (on one knee)
- Alternating Superman
- Scorpion Stretch
- Lower Back Stretch
- Hamstrings Stretch
- Hip Flexors Stretch
- Quadriceps Stretch
- IT Band Stretch
Felt good up till the end with the IT Band Stretch. I remember that move from physical therapy. OUCH!! My legs desperately needed it though. I haven’t used the foam roller in forever! It made me feel professional. Feel free to laugh at me, I am.
That core workout wasn’t really big for core moves but wow! That stretching felt good. I’m definitely going to be incorporating that a lot more from now on.
If you’re interested in this training plan, click on the picture below:
Lately I’ve been trying to increase my flexibility. One of my IG friends posted the above picture on her feed and it made me curious. I knew about @actionjacquelyn – I follow her on IG – but I hadn’t seen any posts about Get Stretchy. Turns out I just missed it. Big surprise.
I discovered Jacquelyn when she modeled for Cassey Ho’s POPFlex activewear line.
I read Jacquelyn’s bio when the Peony Collection (the 1st POPFlex collection) came out and almost cried (yeah, I got all teary-eyed) because it was so touching. When she was growing up, she studied and practiced to be a dancer – a ballerina I think? Correct me if I’m wrong on that. When posed with the question of how she dealt with body image issues from that line of study, she said,
“This is a tricky question, because in the beginning dance made me very self-conscious about my body. Going to ballet class meant dancing and staring at yourself in front of the mirror for 2.5 hours in a leotard and pink tights, and your hair in a bun. There’s no hiding your body underneath baggy sweaters or sweats, or even behind your hair. Your body is out there for everyone to see and judge.
In the beginning part of my ballet career in high school I obsessed with my body. I had to have every part of it perfect. Or, in my mind, I felt like I wouldn’t get the good roles or the attention I wanted from my teachers, or the respect from my peers. I would go to ballet summer camps and eat just enough to get me through the day, and nothing more. I lost my period, and became anemic. I was beginning to go down a dangerous body dysmorphia path.
I went to college, and gained some weight naturally from eating fast-food with my peers and just being a regular college girl. I was still dancing as a cheerleader for USC, but not having to wear a tiny leotard everyday made eating a burger every now and then seem ok, but I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin anymore. I thought that since I wasn’t a rail anymore that I wasn’t as attractive as I could be.
Then I went on to be a Clipper Girl and Laker Girl, and I knew that just eating minimally to get by wasn’t going to cut it. When I would diet (and by diet I mean just cut calories), I would be exhausted. I remember thinking maybe I’ll just eat less and not workout – because I was just too tired from “dieting”. Your body just doesn’t work like it does when you’re 16, and I knew something had to change.
Fast forward to today, where I drink Bulletproof butter coffee everyday, and I’ve never loved my body more. I started to eat healthy fats, grass-fed butter, oils, and realized that I wasn’t giving my body the basic nutrients I needed in order to feel my best. And now that ‘s what I’m after – performing at the peak of my mental capacity and physical potential. I was so afraid that eating too much meant gaining weight – and not being able to do what I love most – dance – but I was so wrong. Eating healthy fats didn’t make me gain weight, and I think my body is stronger than it ever has been. It’s a mental paradigm shift, and I’m so grateful that I went through it because you can’t live the rest of your life by starving yourself to stay thin. It’s not how life was meant to be lived. I’m a super healthy eater, but I definitely let myself eat pizza and Cinnabon rolls – I mean, how could I not?!”
She goes on to say how there are times she still struggles with how she sees herself but how she also loves herself and everything her body is capable of. Sooo…she’s human! Nobody’s perfect. Even someone as strong, flexible, fit, and graceful as Jacqueline Umof can have body image issues from time to time. It’s natural, something everyone experiences and we just have to learn to deal with it and move on rather than let it control us.
“I give my body loving thoughts everyday, and I respect it and honor it, and it shows me respect in return.” – Jacqueline Umof
But this isn’t supposed to be a post about body issues. I just wanted to share a bit from her bio. To read the rest, go check out her bio over here…
Anyway, time goes on (not much time as original POPFlex collection only came out last fall or so) and I’m in another IG yoga challenge posting my daily yoga pictures when I see this @actionjacquelyn liking my photos. Who is she? I check her out and she’s one of the models from the collection! “Holy cow!” I thought. “How cool!” So I started following her and the rest is unimportant.
The Get Stretchy program sounded interesting so I clicked on it and it brought me over to her website where the program was on sale for Mother’s Day. $9.99 instead of $49.99. Go mothers! Woo! I figure for that price it wouldn’t make much difference if I decided later on that I didn’t like it so I bought it.
I’m glad I got it when I did because it’s no longer on sale and there are good stretches in the videos.
What’s Included in Get Stretchy:
- 30 days of videos
- Flexibility assessment
- Daily morning/evening stretch and meditation videos
- Downloadable guide: 14 Stretching Tips
- BONUS 1 – 25 minute Yoga session for the splits
- BONUS 2 – 30 minute Feet & Calf stretch session
- Downloadable calendar to track daily progress
There are 14 different daily videos, 7 for the morning to warm up the body and another 7 for the evening to stretch out your muscles. You do them every day when you wake up and then 30 minutes to an hour before you go to sleep. When you finish the first week, you go through it all again for a total of 30 days. Simple.
On Day 1 you’ll do a flexibility assessment to see where you’re starting and then again on Day 30 to see how far you’ve progressed. There’s also a closed group on Facebook that you can join after you get the program. People there are pretty active and friendly.
I’m currently on Day 6. Do the math. I bought it just before Mother’s Day (May 8) and today is June 7. I should be done or nearly done, but I’m still on my 1st week. That’s because I started Day 1 and then forgot about it for well over a week. Then I started again…and again…and again. The 4th start after I moved to Hastings, NE seemed to be my clicking point and I’ve been very good about doing my AM and PM stretches.
Last night and this morning were super difficult, especially last night. I’ve noticed I’m much more flexible on one side than the other…which is totally normal. It’s too soon to say I’m getting more flexible though I do notice my flexibility comes more easily in the mornings now. My body doesn’t dislike the early morning movements as much as it did in the beginning though my neck still protests…big time. But, then, that’s nothing new for me. I take it a little more easy on the neck movements in the morning so I don’t hurt myself.
Anyway, I’ll wait until the end of my month to make a real judgement about the program but so far it’s enjoyable. Check out Jacquelyn’s site if you’re interested in any of her programs. She’s got a lot more there than just the Get Stretchy program.
I’ve recently been asked for some advice on working with specific body parts.
- Inner thighs
- Hamstrings (back of thigh)
Normally I would not advise anyone to work one set of muscles because then those muscles will get strong while others that are just as important will not thereby causing imbalances.
When you have a muscle that’s strong but the ones next to it are weak, the stronger one tends to pull the weaker and cause pain and injury. Obviously this is not good.
So why would I go along with her in working these specific areas? Because she has already seen her chiropractor and he has told her that these areas need work in order to fix some of her existing physical problems.
Will I ignore her other leg muscles while focusing on these weaker ones? No, definitely not.
The next several posts will focus on finding ways to work these areas of her body.
Right now I’m going to stick with stretching. It’s amazing how helpful stretching can be when you’re building muscle and trying to alleviate muscle pain. Sometimes it fixes everything.
Here are my favorites for stretching my hamstrings, inner thighs, and quads (front thighs). The 2nd and 4th are awesome hip flexor stretches too. That last move takes a bit of flexibility so be careful.
If you have a chair then you can try these stretches.
Don’t force your muscles to stretch farther than they want to. It doesn’t matter if you’re not all that flexible. Stretch as far as is comfortable preferably on a daily basis – healthy flexibility will develop as you progress. You don’t need to be able to touch your toes in order to stretch your hamstrings. In fact, there are plenty of people who can get a great hamstring stretch with bent knees!
What are you favorite lower body stretches?
*DISCLAIMER: I’m not responsible for any injuries that occur while trying things found on my blog. Always consult your doctor before trying new exercises and always listen to your body. If you feel pain, stop. Injuries should not be taken lightly and are no fun to live through.*
Ever taken a road trip before and you stop at a rest stop or something, get out of the car and discover you’re all kinky and stiff (not in a sexual sense) from sitting for so long?
I’ve taken loads of road trips in my lifetime (much to my eternal boredom because I get car sick and can only listen to music or sleep to pass the time…or drive now actually except my husband prefers to do the driving because he thinks I get bad gas mileage) and every time I get out of the car, I have to stretch. I look at everyone else coming out of their various vehicles – stretching, yawning, etc.
What happens to me physically when I sit in the car too long?
- my knees and ankles start to lock up
- my back gets sore
- whole body gets stiff
What happens when I get out of the car?
- Snap, Crackle, Pop, Rice Crispies!
Most yoga stretches I found seemed to rely on lying on the ground but I found that super nasty. But this video gave bunches of poses/stretches to do that keep you from getting dirty.
This guy is super flexible – way more than I am. But while I may not be able to bring my legs straight up like he does in the beginning, I can do it outside the car on a bench or something.
And some more of the same if you have a sturdy pole/fence around…
How do you keep limber during a trip?
I didn’t have anything prepared for today because I was in a car accident yesterday and didn’t feel up to sitting and thinking much less sitting at a desk and preparing a new blog post.
My husband was driving and my son and I were in the back. We stopped at a stop sign before merging into traffic and the guy behind us stopped as well. The hubby started to go but stopped again to let a speeding car whoosh past so we wouldn’t end up as creamed pancakes.
The guy behind us saw us start and immediately looked to his left at the oncoming traffic to find his own opening for merging. Took about 2 seconds for him to be satisfied with the lane’s availability. He stepped on the gas and…
We were still sitting there because the speeding car had just passed us. The bark was worse than the bite though as there was minimal damage done to either car. The other driver had scuff marks on the top of his bumper near his hood and we had a crack on the underside of our bumper. Yes, his car was so small that it almost fit under ours.
My family is fine. I was the only one who felt any kind of discomfort – my back and neck started hurting. Saw the doctor though and she said I was fine, no injuries. Just some normal muscle spasms that are going to potentially cause a lot of pain.
I have muscle relaxants and was directed to take ibuprofen if the pills didn’t take care of the pain. I’m doing fine though. I expected a super amount of pain today but I’m mostly just stiff. Sitting hurts more than walking so my back is hurting a bit more now from sitting here writing this. Nothing I haven’t felt before though.
Unfortunately, this means I’ll have to skip out on the Circuit Fusion class tomorrow. Sucky! But I really need to take it easy. I don’t want this to become an injury because I’m too stupid to take a break to heal.
Am I worried about losing muscle or gaining weight or getting out of the habit of exercise while I recuperate? Nah, not in the least. I’ll take it easy for a little while then gradually get back into everything. I’ll probably end up even stronger than I was before due to really paying attention to my body and taking care of myself.
Remember the saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Considering my back is what’s hurting, I’m going to delve into the world of Yoga for moves that will help strengthen one’s back.
Here’s something to help you with lower back pain. They can be really helpful in gradually strengthening your back.
These moves will help stretch out the muscles in your back. Yay for yoga! I love doing these after a back-extensive workout.
These are great stretches to help improve the flexibility in your back. Don’t force your back to stretch too far though or you’ll end up injuring yourself. You’ll be back to square one with the first that first set of moves for back pain if that happens. No fun.
Have you ever injured your back in any way? What do you do to help heal yourself and gain back the strength and flexibility?
After finishing Kelly’s Circuit Fusion class yesterday, she asked if she’d be seeing me the next day (today) at the gym. I happily said that, yeah, I had planned on going. I knew I couldn’t do strength training because she had already kicked my full-body butt in her class. But my gym recently got some new cardio equipment and I was eager to try it out. Besides, if you power through the soreness, your body adjusts and it goes away sooner than expected.
Well I woke up this morning, pushed back the covers, and my whole body began screaming at me.
Oh. My. Holy. Cow!
Every inch of me is SO SORE! I had finally deemed it time to up some of my weights back to their higher poundage in the class but didn’t think about the consequences that would show themselves the next day. Yesterday’s class was SO hard!! But I made a promise and if I want to keep my weight loss and increase it, then I’d better get my butt back in gear with my daily exercise. I keep telling myself that I just have to slog through this soreness today and tomorrow and Thursday it will miraculously disappear like always.
My legs have been mysteriously weak when it comes to cardio these last several weeks and I’d like to nip that in the bud too.
There are always various kinds of messages on the white board in the fitness center at my gym. Today’s gave an idea for cardio to work off those holiday calories. It was simple and would keep things interesting because it incorporated short periods of time on different cardio equipment. Fun! So I decided to try it.
- 10min warm-up (your choice)
- 15min treadmill
- 15min bike/elliptical
- 5min cooldown (your choice)
All done! Sounds easy, right? I like short time periods on different machines. It makes it seem like my workout is moving faster. Well, mine WASN’T EASY!! The new ellipiticals add incline rather than resistance (on the program I chose anyway) so I was literally working my butt off! Here’s what I did:
- 10min warm-up: Treadmill – hill program 3.5-4mph, .64mi
- 15min treadmill: jogging, 1% incline, 1.23mi
- 15min elliptical: intervals lvl 10, .78mi
- 5min cooldown: Treadmill – 0% incline, 2.5-3mph, .22mi
- Stretch: 10min
I’m tired. But I feel good. Except my back hurts from yesterday because I worked it too hard with the Stairmaster before class. New Stairmasters rock!!! I climbed higher than Big Ben it said! Woo! 38 floors.