Tag Archives: At home workout

Between Us Girls (And Boys): ‘That Time Of The Month’ & Fitness

Sorry, guys, it seems like you were excluded from my post today! Wait… Wait a second!!! Actually, this post might be for you after all. How  come? Well, as the saying goes, happy wife happy life… Haha! So yeah, this could be a great help for you when your significant other is not at her… um… best behavior because of a tremendous pain she is experiencing.

how i feel

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*That’s me last morning… TRUE STORY!*

why periods

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*Like, really!*

We know really well that crappy feeling of waking up from bad cramps with no energy, in a horrible mood, and probably craving all the wrong things. Going to the gym is definitely the LAST thing on my mind!

However, it seems I got it all wrong! According to Women’s Health,

When you have your period (and the week after), your body is more like a man’s. During this part of your cycle, your levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest, making you a little more dudelike—at least metabolically, says Stacy Sims, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at Stanford University and a leading researcher on the impact of menstruation on athletic performance. […] Her research shows that during this low-hormone phase, women also recover faster and have a higher pain tolerance. Why? “A probable theory is that your body isn’t preoccupied with preparing for a possible pregnancy,” she says. “Your baseline is reset into a more relaxed mode, so these other systems operate optimally.”

*One second girls, gotta keep boys entertained!*

pmsing-club-funny-rules-for-men-when-their-wife-or-girlfriend-is-on-their-period1

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Back to the subject, there are 7 workouts that She Knows suggests to do during your period:

  1. Walking: Active rest is definitely better than nothing. If you’re in a lot of pain, the walk should definitely help you unwind.
  2. Running: As mentioned previously, your body recovers faster during this period *no pun intended lol!* of time. So if you feel up to the challenge, increase your incline!
  3. Yoga: Relaxing seems like a great option! Go for a nice stretch routine and don’t forget to meditate.
  4. Aerobics: I personally love Tabata, so much fun too!
  5. Dancing: Why not make yourself feel sexy? Have you tried dance workouts from Fitnessista?
  6. Planking: Definitely, one of those things that could be done between commercials. If you’d like to diversify your planks, read this post.
  7. Working out from home: Not up for the challenge, take it easy and do this 7-Minute Workout.

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Girls, what are your thoughts? Any specific workouts you give preference to?
Guys, share this with your significant others, it could be a life savior for her and for YOU! Haha!

xoxo
Olena

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How I Jinxed Spring, Stability Ball Training 101 & 11 Super Effective Exercises For Your Core

So… um… I jinxed the weather! It went from nice and warm to a snow storm and 15 cm of snow. Winter, I am so over you!

I'm tired of winter

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Therefore, when it came to asking a question: gym or no gym? My answer was a strong: I don’t think so!

I don't think so

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Especially, that I’ve got a great alternative! How about a workout with a stability ball that I purchased about a month ago for situations just like this one?! BINGO!

First of all, benefits:

  • Inexpensive
  • Effective and low-impact core workout
  • Improve posture & stability
  • Muscle balance
  • Increase flexibility
  • Must-have if you have back or spine problems
  • Great rehabilitation from back, hip and knee injuries
  • Strengthen abdominal muscles

Second, I wasn’t aware *most likely beacause I am a dum-dum*, but there are actually guidelines as to how to choose the right ball! According to ACE Fit, when you’re sitting on the ball, your knees and hips should align at a 90-degree angle. You can find the following guide extremely helpful:

correct ball sizing

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Here is my take on 11 FANTABULUOUS stability ball exercises:

2 Push Up variations

Ball Pass

Standing Side-Splits with a Ball

Standing Side-Splits with a Ball

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Frog Jump

2 types of Roll-Outs

Plank Shoulder Taps

plank shoulder taps

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Back Extensions

Standing Plank

Hamstring Curls

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

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Do you like trying out new exercises? What was the last time you tried something new? What’s your favorite stability ball exercise?

xoxo
Olena

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Spring It On: Jump Like A Champ!

As I was doing the 100 rep squat challenge from Fitness Blender yesterday, more specifically the squat jumps, I realized something. My jumping powers have disappeared!!!

I’d love to feel like this:

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But I feel more like this:

funny_sumo_ski_jumping

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Anyhow, you get the idea!

There are many benefits to jumping:

  • Strengthen muscles in the lower legs;
  • Get a great cardio workout in;
  • Can be done anywhere;
  • Improve endurance.

When I think about jumps, I have jumping rope, jumping jacks, mountain climbers and burpees that come to my mind. And that is soooo exciting!

i'm so excited

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Back in my rhythmic gymnastics days, I remember those sweaty killer summer workouts with no air conditioning inside when we had to jump for 30 minutes or so. They were super intense and so EFFECTIVE! Definitely, one of the best ways to shed some extra pounds! That being said, I found the following workout that seems like fun.

I also came across another at home circuit workout which incorporates  a variety of jumps *YAY* and I am super excited to complete it sometime this week.

at home circuit workout

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However, please, remember the safety measures in order to avoid the injury. According to Female Athletes First, these are the things you have to be aware of when jumping:

Take-off:

1. Use your arms when you jump, meaning, take your arms back behind your body for balance and to prepare for the jump. Jumping is a coordinated movement involving many muscle groups in the body. The muscles in the shoulders, back, chest, arms, core, hips, legs and feet all work together to put you in the proper position for take-off and to propel you up into the air. Strengthen these muscle groups for increased stability and power.

2. Use the thumbs-up rule, which is driving or punching your arms and hands with thumbs upward on the jump. This arm and hand motion can account for approximately 10 percent of the height jumped.

3. Knees should be bent at least 60 degrees or greater and hips flexed 30 degrees or greater before the take-off. In other words, bend your knees more and squat down farther before you jump. Your ankles will be flexed 25 degrees or greater if you do this.

4. Keep a neutral spine before take-off and not a rounded back or sunken chest position. You also don’t want to be bent over too much at the waist. To learn more about Neutral Posture, see our article in the Get In Condition section.

5. Keep knees over your feet. We don’t want to see “knocked knees” while in the squat prior to the jump.

6. Jump straight as an arrow. Maintain a tall hips posture and project them upward (and at times forward) for height and distance.

Landing:

1. Try to land softly, light as a feather, we don’t want to hear a loud landing.
2. Land on the ball of the foot and sink into your heel.
3. Land with flexed hip, knees and ankles to absorb the landing forces.
4. Maintain a straight back, neutral spine position.
5. Land with chest over knees and knees over the feet. Again, don’t land “knock kneed.”
6. With multiple plyometric movements, try to be like a super ball. Be as quick and elastic off the floor, the idea being to spend the least amount of time in contact with the floor.
7. Land on two feet if at all possible to help absorb the landing forces.

jumping

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What are your thoughts on jumping workouts? How do you incorporate them in your routine?

xoxo
Olena

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The New Spartan Challenge + The Most Effective Squat Workout From Fitness Blender – Drop It Like A Squat!

Good morning darlings!

I apologize for not checking in with you for a few days. As I mentioned last week, I am really preoccupied with what’s been happening in Ukraine, especially with my trip there only a bit over a month away *my hubby is not excited about me having to go there without him at all*. Plus, I was not in my top physical shape, that’s for sure. Anyhow, let’s forget all about it, it’s a new week.

take what you need

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Obviously, there are many updates. Come on, don’t underestimate me!

First of all, in my quest to lower sugar intake, I decided to give up all chocolate and cookies for Lent. *There, in your face, sugar!*

I love chocolate but it makes my clothes shrink

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Our 4-month old German Shepherd puppy is a big girl now. She had her first training class… and she lost her first 2 teeth! Aweeee! *Just in case, these 2 events were NOT related! Haha! Imagine!*

Toothless Bella - German Shepherd comic

Oh, and I made poached eggs for the first time in my life! *I know, what a shame. But then, it’ better later than never, right?!* Sorry, there is no picture. I was too hungry, plus my hubby made some delicious hash potatoes. Yum!

Also, do you remember my recent post on squats? The timing was perfect. Why? Because, there is a new 30-day challenge from the Spartan Race!!! Woop woop, I looooove love love those!!! (you can see previous challenges here and here).

So this time around is… DRUM ROLL… 30 squats for 30 days!!!

30FOR30_SQUAT

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Even though the challenge started on March 5, don’t hesitate to take it on. All you have to do is to do at least 30 squats per day for 30 consecutive days. EASY PEASY!

If in doubt, here is how to perform a correct bodyweight squat:

That being said, you are not limited to a particular type of a squat. Therefore, you can change it up every day and work different muscles.

What else is important to remember is that “Many people find that they cannot perform this movement until they increase their mobility. A quick warmup and gentle stretch can help to you feel ready to attempt a bodyweight squat. The full squat requires sufficient core stability and glute activation, so be patient and focus on quality not quantity.”, according to the challenge organizers.

Feel like challenging yourself even more? Try this 100 squat workout from Fitness Blender one of these days, or maybe even to conclude the Spartan challenge. Why not?!

How was your weekend? Will you join in on the Spartan squat challenge? What are the ways you like to challenge yourself from time to time?

xoxo
Olena

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Get Low: The King Of Exercises, The Squat

As you already know, I LOVE high impact exercises that could be done anywhere. I have long declared my love for burpeesplanks, push ups and pull ups. However, there is yet another exercise out there that constantly challenges me and gets my heart pumping. THE SQUAT.

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It’s really a full body exercise, even if you don’t see it as such. Why? Because it strengthens your legs, butt, lower back and upper body at the same time. What I personally tend to forget, though, is that there are many variations of this workout. Not only that, but the squats can be done with or without weights. The following squat variations where found at Women’s Health Magazine.

Body-Weight Squat

Body-weight Squat

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Body-Weight Jump Squat

Body-Weight Jump Squat

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Pistol Squat

Pistol Squat

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Wide-Stance Barbell Squat

Wide-Stance Barbell Squat

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Barbell Stiff Squat

Barbell Stiff Squat

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Braced Squat

Braced Squat

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Dumbbell Split Squat

Dumbell Split Squat

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It is crucial to keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity not only for your overall fitness, but also for your health. According to Built Lean, the proper squat must be done following the next techniques:

  • Hip hinge: “Each time you squat you should hinge your hips so that your butt moves backwards during the downward phase of the squat, your knees will no longer protrude well over your toes (if you are tall, this may happen, but make sure it does not put pressure on your knees). Finally, the pressure of the squat will be on your heels instead of your toes and you will be able to get more depth to your squat.”
  • Straight head position: Do not round your neck.
  • Chest out, shoulders back: Make sure your spine is in proper alignment.
  • Slightly arched lower back: You should keep your lower back flat, to slightly arched as you squat.
  • Athletic stance, toes pointed out
  • Exhale up, inhale down
  • Depth of the squat: “In general, try to shoot for your hamstrings about parallel with the floor, which deeply engages your thighs, hips, and glutes.”

Do squats

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What is your favorite type of squats?

xoxo
Olena

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Push Ups 101: A Cheater’s Guide To Lousy Push Ups, 35+ Push Up Variations, And Fast & Effective Bodyweight Upper Body Workout

If you read yesterday’s post, then you’re already aware that I have a big challenge ahead of me. Over the next 4 months I have to master my ability to do pull ups and push ups. *Panic mode!*

panic mode

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According to the plan, I have to be able to do 30+ push ups and 15 pull ups at the beginning of summer. Well… I’ve got quite a bit of work cut out for me because… *Okay, it’s really embarrassing*… right now, I can do a grand total of… DRUM ROLL… *please, don’t judge me!!!*… 2 pull ups and 10 *big girl and not girly!* push ups in a row. There!

Anyhow, I’m hopeful, because as they say, it can only get better from here on! *TA DA!* 

push ups for babies

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So what are the benefits of push ups?

  • Improve posture
  • Upper body conditioning
  • Strengthen core
  • Increase metabolism = shed some extra weight
  • Can be done anywhere!
  • Oh, and a nice SEXY back & shoulders!!! *My top selling point! Haha!*

By the way, this is how you do a push up correctly!

how to do a push up

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According to CrossFit Smyrna, here is “A Cheater’s Guide To Lousy Push Ups”:

‘Avoid each of these and you are nearly guaranteed an honest push-up.

1. Sagging: Dropping the belly in an attempt to hit, or reach bottom early
2. Piking: Sticking the butt up in the air. This is usually accompanying a rest (see resting, below).
3. Resting: Coming to a stop. This is usually tried at the top, often while piking, but may manifest as a collapse at the bottom.
4. Bouncing: This cheat is, exactly as the name implies, bouncing off the floor to rise to top again without effort. This is a big hit with fat guys.
5. Yogaing: With this cheat, the head and neck lead up followed by the chest then belly. It is a dynamic variant of sagging, but often performed as though it were a plus or artistic.
6. Reaching: Reaching’s most common form is with the head and neck. Some cheaters can extend their head and neck an extra six inches in an attempt to find bottom early and avoid the pain of a real push-up. Look for the nose a foot below the chest.
7. Speeding: The count should be a slow “one-two” up and “one-two” down unless doing timed efforts like the Tabata Interval. For reps, they have to be slow and controlled.
8. Shorting: This is the worst and most common cheat where the cheater typically doesn’t go all the way down. Not rising to the top is less common but still cheating.’

We can do it

My plan to success is to incorporate plank workouts in my routine and also Fast & Effective Bodyweight Upper Body workouts like this one:

Also I found a great Ultimate Push Up Guide: 35+ Push Up Exercises from The Art of Manliness. You should definitely check it out!

How many push ups can you do? How do you incorporate them in your workout?

xoxo
Olena

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29 Ways To Stay Creative & 40-Minute Fat Burning Yoga Workout

The truth for us bloggers is that it is difficult to stay creative at all times; especially, for someone who is new to writing like me. Today is definitely one of those days: I find it super duper hard to find any inspiration. *Bella could be one of the reasons I can’t concentrate though! Puppies! I don’t know what I’ll do with my future babies! Haha!*

Writer's block

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As always, I like to be proactive and look for solutions, and therefore decided to look for some tips on how to keep creativity in tact.

29 ways to stay creative-A1_Final

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Some of other ways are the following:

  1. Change your surroundings: I always write my posts at home; however, I think that a change of the scenery could help my concentration. *Plus, I love Starbucks! It’s a win win situation!* 
  2. Always have a notebook and pen on you *and next to your bed… SERIOUSLY!*: Sometimes I get ideas in the weirdest of places… I swear!
  3. Use Pinterest for inspiration: I’m pretty sure that you know this already *but just in case*, you can have a ‘secret’ board on Pinterest. When I see something interesting, I always pin it there. When I lack ideas, this is the first place I go to look for motivation. I call my secret board a VISION BOARD *which is kind of true*.
  4. Surround yourself with creative people: Read other blogs, magazines, books; get yourself involved in various ambassador programs; attend conferences.
  5. Travel: as much as your wallet permits you to!
  6. Take a walk or exercise: I find that running and yoga helps a lot!
  7. Start new hobbies: Why not??? Haha!

idea

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*Hold on a second, I can’t stop laughing! Ahahahaha! I am such a MEAN person!*

Today’s Workout

I miss doing yoga. Thus my choice for today is this 40-minute fat burning yoga workout.

Your turn, how do you stay creative? What do you do on the days when you have writer’s block?

xoxo
Olena

22 Comments

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