The only workout you regret is the one you did not do

I was teaching a fitness class this morning and I was looking at the girls as they were super setting bench presses with pushups until they were shaking and thought to myself; “I wish I could have worked out with them”. The energy that they had was great and in a way the results and more often greater when you do workout in a group. Maybe not everyone will agree with me on this one but the benefits from a wellness, socially and for some the fitness results makes you feel better, you will more likely to feel accountable to work a little harder while you are having a good laugh at the same time.

So here I am now sitting and waiting for the rest of the family to get home from the soccer games the kids had this morning and hopefully I will have time to make a run in the forest before we hitting the streets in Chicago for a good night out with friends.

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Do I need a title?

Without any ulterior motive of inspiring and getting people moving and feeling better I want to write again, write just as it is, as a journal.

The winter has been way to long but finally it has come to an end and the spring is almost in full bloom. Another thing that is coming to an end is my yoga teaching training and to be perfectly honest I am glad it is. This morning I took Gary for a long walk through the forest and when I came home I continued meditating outside on the patio and I realized what is wrong. I have learned so much this past 8-9 months during the teacher training not only about yoga but also about myself but a lot of things that I do to make me feel balanced and good I have had to put on hold.

So starting in May it is time to bring balance back into my life and I do know that I get results when I put it out there in the universe.

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There is nothing wrong with quirky!

It’s been a while since I did spinning but now when the “half” is over and done with I thought I’m going to change it up a bit to make it a bit easier on my body. So I with all this ambition that I was going to do great in this spinning class I entered into the room which was cold and dark and all of sudden all my motivation went out the window and all I wanted to do was to get out in the sun and lie by the pool.spinning

But I pulled myself together and adjusted the bike to my liking as the instructor started with some light stretches before we got going. And as the first song was playing out load in the speakers this woman, slightly in front of me started cheering and clapping her hands and saying “I am Stephanie and I can do this, yay”. It was the most quirky moment I have ever experience in a dark room filled with strangers, that together was going the sweat their guts out for an hour. But you know what I used her energy and cranked the speed and resistance and gave everything I had as she kept on doing her “yays” throughout the class…so I guess there is nothing wrong with quirky 😉

The core is everything

Being strong is one of the most wonderful feeling that I know and even if the journey can be painful there is few things that beats the feeling when you realize you can push your body to new limits. And as a house needs a strong foundation so does your body and therefore is he core one of the most important areas to strengthen (not only because you will look good in a bikini).

This is a few moves I did yesterday to strengthen my abs so I can do even more fun things at my yoga practice 😉

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I started out doing a slow pull in followed by as equal slow hip adductor and then finish off with a pushup. I did not have to do a crazy amount before I started feeling the nice familiar burn 😉

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I kept on working my abs but did a different variation to get deeper into my shoulders and upper back. This was a pike from a shoulder stand…

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From there I popped up to my hands and did another 10 pikes from the hands

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To finish the series off I oblique crunches…from a push up position you swing your knees to the outside of your triceps alternating the sides.

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I can be your fairy godmother!

The person who knows your body the best will always be yourself and therefore I think it is important to communicate with my clients to meet their requests. So this sunny Wednesday morning with me as their fairy godmother their wish was about to come true…

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…but not until I had tried the intensity of the workout myself 😉

The first circuit was just for warming up and making the heart pound a few extra beats before getting into the fun part. We did it twice through with 30 sec plank to push up and 30 sec plank followed by 10 push ups.

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With that done we did a variation between a wood chop and russian twist apparently called “crazy Ivan”. Sitting down with the feet either on the floor or off the floor depending on the desired intensity lifting a medicine ball from one hip up through to the opposite side. This should be a challenging move and it may not be the core that gives in first as the shoulder has to do a fair bit of work as well.

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To finish this series off we did another variation of burpees but instead of a push up we twisted both knee to the opposite elbow before we jumped back up into a squat jump. And I can promise after two sets the warm up was completed.

icon Giving the abs a small rest we got into the lats. I have a few goals of my own in mind this spring and being able to do pull ups is one of them. For some reason I am really weak or my body is to heavy for my arms, you choose which one you think it is…haha

So first out was cable pulldown, this is not a favorite move of mind but like I always say you will seldom like anything you’re not good at so you just hang in there and keep pushing.

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Next up was TRX “lateral trunk twist”, this move will not only work the lats but also the shoulders and biceps. Hold on to one strap, reach for the floor behind you and pull yourself up and reach along the strap.

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At this point I had a nice burn going and with one more exercise before the grand finale it had to be single arm rows.

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And here they were, the pull ups! I am not ready to do it without assistance and the first couple of reps felt so easy but coming into the last few I had the shiver!

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I did said I was the fairy godmother today and I didn’t want to disappoint nobody so we went back to the old TRX to hit the core. The first exercise was really two in one, almost like a bargain, right! Put the feet through the straps in a push up position, pull your knees in to your chest and out again. From there you will pike your hips up into the air as high as your can using your abs…that is one rep. Normally your abs should be burning by 10 but if not by all means keep on going to 15 or 20, it’s your choice and it’s your workout 😉

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With the rectus abdominis out of the way next up was to hit the obliques. This move can be done from the floor as a regular “spiderman” or with one foot through the strap and the other one reaching for the shoulder and back into a plank position without the foot touching the floor. Again it is not only the core that is working, it is a lot of tension on the shoulders as well.

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Someone recently told me the summer is around the corner although I have a hard time believing them but one thing I know is that few of us likes that “muffin top” sticking out. This is a great move to work on the love handles. Again, you can make it easier by keeping your feet on the floor but using the TRX, creating an unstable environment will make you recruit more muscles to stabilize the entire exercise. You can stay here or you can shoot the hip up in the air pretending you are rolling a ball underneath you to take it to the next level…

icon…and that is how you make dreams come true for some 😉

That is how a recovery run should go down!

Oh gosh, this weekend has been really busy with one thing after another. The premier of “The Ghost Pirates”  was at seven o’clock friday evening, all the kids had practice really hard and did an amazing job and Mira was really buzzing when she got off stage. She though it was so much fun so the next morning I found her totally dressed up with bright red lipstick and a pair of my highest heels on ready to bring on the world.

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But in-between all the birthday parties, hockey and theater I managed to get my 7 miler in and it is amazing how your mind works. I mentioned my 4 mile recovery last Wednesday and it was sooo hard and I was disappointed because half way through it felt like it was never coming to an end.

This time around, I knew I was “turning” around at 3.5 mile and was running “home”. The only thing that gets me is the “sprint session” in the middle of the run, they are truly killers for the legs so for the rest of the afternoon it looked like I had **** in my pants…haha.

So when Sunday morning came around I had a choice to make…the 3 optional miles. The thing is optional is not really optional unless you hanging on by thread so I decided I was not going crazy. I took it nice and easy and I really enjoyed the brisk sunny morning not meeting a single soul on my first run of the season through the forest preserve! My legs were a bit stiff as expected but I went straight to a well deserved hot yoga session and what can be better for both the soul and the muscles to reach for your fullest potential to complete the workout week…this is truly how a recovery run should be like!

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