Saturday, May 31, 2014

20 Minute Arm Workout

Happy Weekend!

Here’s a pretty quick arm workout to get you going for the weekend. I’ve always had super scrawny arms and have just recently started arm workouts using weights. I’ve already noticed a decent amount of definition to my arms and I love it! Not that I want to get bulked up or anything, but it would be nice to have some upper body strength, am I right?? 

Over the past few months I’ve done various arm exercises, but these are the few that I’ve grown the fondest of. This workout has 3 groups with 2 different moves and an added set of walkout pushups in between each group. I like to throw these in to break up the routine a little bit, plus they're an easy and effective move. It’s pretty quick just going through once, so I’ve been doing the whole routine three times through. 

As far as weights go, I keep it pretty light. I use 8lb. dumbbells for all of the moves, except for the lateral raises when I use 5lbs (sometimes even 3lbs by the last round).

Note: To perform the walkouts begin standing up with feet shoulder width apart. Bend forward and walk your hands forward to the front of your mat until you are in a pushup position. Perform one pushup, then walk yourself back with your hands until you are in your starting position.

What is your favorite arm workout? Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo, Michelle

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hey there! - Squats 101

So I figured my first post should be about... SQUATS, duh. I just love a good leg workout. Let's get started with the basics..

Benefits of squats:
  • Focuses on legs and glutes
  • Can tone entire body
  • Improves balance
  • Builds muscle
I love incorporating different squat variations into my workout, instead of your basic squat over and over. There are three types of muscles in your butt - minimus, medius, and maximus. By using different squat variations, you can target all three muscles!

Here's my favorite squat routine:

Ski Squat: Keep your feet close together, maybe only a few inches apart, while performing the squat.
Squat + Leg Raise: Perform a basic, bodyweight squat with feet about hip-width apart. After one squat, raise your right leg to the side. Perform another squat, then raise your left leg to the side.
Plie Squat: Perform this squat with your feet about hip-width apart and your toes pointed out.
Squat + Calf Raise: Perform a basic, bodyweight squat with feet about hip-width apart. Before raising from your squat, perform a calf raise, then rise from your squat. (It helps to hold onto a chair or railing for balance when doing these!)
Sumo Squat: Spread your feet out as far as comfortable to perform these squats.

If you really want a challenge, hold some weights while you perform these.

Remember these tips for proper form:

  • Stand with your shoulders back, chest out, and back straight
  • Place your hands in front of you, on your hips, behind your head, or wherever is most comfortable
  • Lower your butt like you are going to sit in a chair to transition to the squat
  • As you lower, try to make sure your knees do not extend past your feet
  • Keep the rest of your body tight as you perform the squat - this will help tone the rest of your body
I usually do some sort of leg/butt routine every other time I work out, but I only will do this every few times I work those areas so my body doesn't get too used to the moves.

Hope you enjoy this workout! 

xoxo, Michelle 

What is your favorite squat variation?  Let me know in the comments! :)