Tag Archives: bodyweight workout

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.

Squats funnySource 

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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Don’t Get Left Behind—Strengthen Your Glutes: A 30-Minute Glute-Building Bodyweight Workout

My first ever Super Spartan Race is only 5 months away!WOOP WOOP! For those of you who don’t know what exactly it is, the Super Spartan obstacle mud race is 13+ km (8+ miles) long and provides 20+ obstacles. If you can’t successfully complete any given obstacle you have to do 30 burpees. In other words, if you’re really bad you can and up doing 600+ burpees along the way! And we all know that burpees aren’t fun, like, not at all!!!

Spartan Race

As someone who started running barely 6 months ago, I am excited and terrified at the same time. Wait! How dare you think that I’m scared of the distance?! *Pfffff! Haha!* I feel very comfortable running it. However, I’ve always been a very competitive person and simply want to have a better time than the middle of a pack. So I’ve got quite a challenge cut out for me! What do you think?

Currently, my training involves a lot of strength training *which I still have to bump up a notch or TWO!* and quite a bit of running, in order to improve my endurance. But in order to have a better time, I have to run FASTER. *OKAY! It didn’t take me THAT long to figure it out! Haha!* 

While doing a little research, I found out that a ‘secret recipe’ could be in my BUTT. *That didn’t sound right!* No, you are not hallucinating! Apparently, Gluteus Maximus muscles can make a huge difference when it comes to speed and, therefore, time. *I’m telling you, I always knew that my behind was a powerhouse! Haha!*

running-funny-pictures

According to Nikki Kimball from Runner’s World, “When we run, the glutes hold our pelvis level and steady, extend our hip, propel us forward, and keep our legs, pelvis, and torso aligned. So when our glutes are faulty, our entire kinetic chain gets disrupted. Studies link glute weakness to Achilles tendinitis, shinsplints, runner’s knee, and iliotibial-band syndrome. Indeed, many injured runners I treat come to physical therapy with strong abdominals and backs but weak glutes.” 

Some quite serious stuff, if you ask me! *By the way, in case you missed it, you can check out my previous post to learn more about common running injuries and how to prevent them.*

Got Glutes

I came across this 30-minute glute-building bodyweight workout, which means that it could be easily done at home without any equipment required!!! *a definite BONUS in my books!*

Running and Glutes: The 30-minute glute-building bodyweight workout

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What are your thoughts? What are your favorite ways to strengthen your glutes? How do you improve your speed?

xoxo
Olena

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