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Fitness Friday: Anywhere Leg Workout

While I love a great weight training session, sometimes you just don’t have the time or access to a fully stocked gym. This is a simple leg workout that you can do anywhere – When you’re on the road for work, taking a vacation, or just can’t get to the gym.

These are basic bodyweight movements that you can adjust as needed – Simply add weights or resistance bands to increase difficulty.

Squats:

Squats are a great movement that work a number of muscle groups – If you have bad knees you can modify the move by not squatting as deeply.

Leg Workout Fitness Friday San Francisco Fitness Blogger Nike Workout Gear Lunges Squats Side Lunge

Top – Nike c/o JD Sports

Capri Pants – Nike c/o JD Sports

Shoes – Brooks

Fitness Tracker – Misfit Shine {post coming up on this soon!}

Tips for the perfect squat:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart
  2. Keep your chest & head up
  3. Squat as low as your body easily permits
  4. Repeat for 3 sets of 10

Interested in adding a barbell? Check out Base Body Babe’s Top Squat Tips.

Front Lunge:

Front and walking lunges are a great way to tone your legs – You can easily increase the difficulty by carrying dumbbells or a weighted medicine ball.

Leg Workout Fitness Friday San Francisco Fitness Blogger Nike Workout Gear Lunges Squats Side Lunge

Tips for the perfect lunge:

  1. Stand comfortably with legs hip width apart giving you a good base
  2. Step forward with one leg, ensuring that your knee doesn’t cross in front of your toes
  3. Sink your back leg down to hover directly above the ground
  4. Bring your back leg forward and repeat the movement on the other side
  5. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 on each leg

Most important thing to keep in mind – If it hurts, don’t do it. If you have sensitive knees don’t go for a full lunge!

Want to add a little cardiovascular work to your lunges? Try jumping lunges!

Side Lunge:

Want to strengthen your inner legs? Moves like lunges and squats are just the ticket. Mix up your lunge workout with some side lunges.

Leg Workout Fitness Friday San Francisco Fitness Blogger Nike Workout Gear Lunges Squats Side Lunge

Tips for the perfect side lunge:

  1. Start in a standing position and bend at the waist as you extend your leg to the side
  2. Keep your knee in line with your toes
  3. Push yourself back to a standing position using the extended leg and repeat on the other side
  4. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 on each side

If you want to brush up on your basics, check out – How To Do Lunges.

{Photos by Mr. Bethanimalprint}

What’s YOUR go-to leg workout?

Leg Workout Fitness Friday San Francisco Fitness Blogger Nike Workout Gear Lunges Squats Side Lunge

Thank you to UK-based activewear retailer JD Sports for sponsoring this post. They have a great online selection including all your favorite brands, even the Rita Ora for Adidas line!

After JD Sports reached out, Bethann of Bethanimalprint and I decided to head to Mountain View for an afterhours workout in the park. Be sure to check out Bethanimalprint to see how you can get her killer abs!

Disclaimer: Prior to making any dramatic changes to your fitness routine or diet you should consult a physician.

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Links You’ll Love

Health & Nutrition:

Treadmill

Sometimes going to the gym sounds like the worst thing in the world. Sometimes the weather is awful when you were dying to go for a run. Well if you have a set of dumbbells (or you could easily use a kettlebell or weighted bosu ball) you can tackle this rainy day workout!

I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting smoothie recipes so when I was browsing Organice Your Life and saw this Raw Green Coconut Shake recipe I was thrilled.

Don’t think you have time for a full workout? Why not try this Women’s Health Get Fit In Only 15 Minutes: Skinny Jeans Workout which includes the very important squats & lunges or FitSugar’s BOSU Circuit Workout.

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In the mood for something sweet? Or do you want a treat for family or friends that’s healthy as well as tasty? Check out the super healthy and oh-so-simple Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies over at Peas And Thank You or

I always get excited when I can add a fun new recipe to my rotation of favorites. Something quick, easy, and delicious. Well, if you’re like me, you’ll want to try Choosing Raw’s Curried Quinoa & Aduki Bean Patties – They’re savory and filling, and easily adapted based on the ingredients you have on hand, a home run in my book.

Fashion:

Whenever I want a dose of inspiration one of my go-to websites is WhoWhatWear – From Style Stalker posts to reviews of new collections to street style breakdowns, they’ve always got you covered – Styling Tips For September.

Street style is a fun and evolving part of fashion and fashion blogging and I’ve been enjoying the pictures online for ages – From bloggers to fashion insiders to models to celebrities. It’s a great way to get inspired or to see what’s trendy and hot right now. And with four Fashion Weeks coming up, it’s time to give it a closer look – A Street-Style Primer For The September Shows. Or check out one of my favorite model street style blogs out there for up to date shots from the shows – Altamira: Models Off Duty.

The accessories are probably my favorite part about dressing for Fall and Winter. Scarves, gloves, hats, outerwear… Swoon! FabSugar agrees – Best Fall Scarves 2012: It’s a Wrap — Shop the Best Layering Scarves For Early Fall.

I love vintage-inspired styles and loved this post on finding some great pieces that are perfect for Fall and fabulously retro – Finding the perfect 1970s shoulder bag.

I’m a bun girl through and through so I was excited by all of the buns on the runways for Fall. If you’re of a similar mind, check out Harper’s Bazaar’s The Return Of The Bun or Best Celebrity Top Knots: The Fun Bun Hall of Fame.

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Links You’ll Love

Let’s start this Sunday off with some INSPIRATION – Wise Words: 24 Inspiring Prints to Start Your Day

Fashion:

I’d hate to label myself as lazy, but even I have to admit that I definitely get into fashion ruts so… Stop Being Lazy: 7 Chic AND Easy Switch-Outs from Refinery 29 with fun new options like trading your old, torn cut-offs for some adorable printed shorts or trying cropped trousers so you can give up your legging habit. Definitely some great ideas!

If you’re looking for some new products to add to your skin care routine why not take some Kiehl’s suggestions from Italian blogger and fashion It Girl Eleonora Carisi – I Can’t Live Without.

Need some fabulous fashion inspiration for your next tropical vacation? Unstoppable Style: Poppy Delevingne Shares Her Ultimate Summer Wish List.

Want to create the perfect pair of jean shorts this Summer? Follow The Glamourai’s step by step instructions and enjoy the fabulous results! { DIY } Denim Cut-Offs.

If you’re in the market for updating your accessories stash or just looking for some advice on styling, why not turn to a professional? Anna Dello Russo – 10 TOP Rules for ACCESSORIES.

Health & Fitness:

A major part of finding internal motivation to hit the gym or trails is feeling comfortable and confident in your workout clothes. A great pair of pants that highlight your assets are going to get you out the door much faster than a tattered, stretched out pair of yoga pants. Trust me. Check out The Fitnessista’s recommendations – Summer Workout Gear.

Who better to give health & fitness tips than someone whose livelihood is based on their body? Top model Izabel Goulart shares her Five Minute Brazilian Butt Workout with Modelinia. What else does she mention? Walking! I just can’t recommend it enough – Low Intensity Fasted Cardio!

If you need to amp up the healthy fats in your diet avocados are the perfect choice during Summer, so pick some up next time you’re at the store and take of these recipes for a spin – 5 New Ways to Use Avocado.

Finding the right snack to give you energy and satisfy you before a workout without causing a sugar crash or an upset or overly filled stomach is a balancing act. See what Fit Bottomed Girls suggest – 4 New Healthy Snacks to Put in Your Gym Bag.

In the mood to get a little creative in the kitchen? Why not whip up some healthy desserts in the form of vegan ice cream? I made Choosing Raw’s Blueberry Ginger Ice Cream and it was divine, so follow my lead and give one of these tasty recipes a try – Veg Out: Dairy-Free and Delish Ice Cream Recipes.

No matter what your diet is, putting together a good grocery list is a Must. Check out FitSugar’s 7 Grocery Shopping Tips For a Plant-Based Approach or Caveman Strong’s Grocery List Paleo Style.

I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend and has a great Sunday! I’ll be back tomorrow to share with you all weekend in sunny, secluded Fallen Leaf Lake.

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Gym Goddess – Part IV

Welcome to the next installment of the How to Become a Gym Goddess series (if you’d like to catch up, here are Week 1, Week 2 & Week 3).

Week IV ended up being particularly busy so it was the perfect example of how to squeeze workouts in whenever and wherever you can. Whether you’re trying to get in shape, working on changes in your life to make yourself healthier or trying to maintain your existing fitness regime, you need to make a committment to your health. You need to prioritize yourself – your body, your health, your sanity – over other things in your life. I’m not saying that you should miss deadlines to log a little gym time, but you need to make an effort to put yourself first. There will always be something that comes up, a work assignment, a dentist appointment, an illness in the family… But you’re better equipped to handle what life throws at you if you’re healthy & well nourished.

Note: Check with a doctor before you begin a new fitness routine.

 

Day 1:

10 minute cardio warm up – moderate speed on stationary

3 Rounds

  • Plank arm raises – lift each arm 10 times
  • Bench step ups – 10 each leg, knee up
  • Back lunge w/ medicine ball twist – step back into a lunge & twist holding a weighted medicine ball out w/ straight arms, twist to each side 10 times

15 minute cardio warm down

Stretching

Day 2: Medicine ball workout! Grab a 4, 6 or 8 pound ball and let’s go! This is inspired by the workouts featured in the November Women’s Health – Body By Anna (in the magazine only) & Get Fit in Only 15 Minutes. And if you’d like a little more motivation check out model Julie Henderson w/ fitness guru David Kirsch using medicine balls over at Modelinia. Even models aren’t perfect!

10 minute cardio warm up

3 Rounds:

  • 20 Wall sits w/ rotation
  • 20 High-Low chop
  • 20 squats w/ overhead ball raise
  • 20 Russian twists
  • 20 bicycles

10 minute cardio warm down

Day 3: A quickie inspired by The Fitnessista. Even if your schedule is as crazy as Liz’s has been there’s no excuse for slacking off, in the long run you’ll be glad you took a few minutes for yourself.

  • 5 minutes cardio of choice
  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds of high knees
  • 30 seconds of plie squats (plie low, jump & bring legs together and arms straight up)
  • 30 seconds mountain climbers
  • 30 seconds push ups
  • 30 seconds burpees

Day 4: HIIT

5 minute warm up

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

Repeat for 15 minutes of intervals

5 minute cool down (i.e. walking on a treadmill etc)

Results: This fourth week was really a testament to Liz’s dedication, with work and family issues popping up all almost daily she put forth a lot of effort to make sure that her workouts came together. Once you get into a routine and start to reap the benefits of regular exercise, it’s a great motivator to keep things going. So don’t let yourself get led off course by your busy life – if you make the time, you’ll see the results.

Joining a fitness program or hiring a trainer can be a great way to go if you’re interested in changing your fitness regime and aren’t quite sure where to start. Finding the right program or trainer is important though, not all gyms and trainers are created equal. Check out these suggestions from some of the experts for how to find the perfect fit: PrecisionNutrition, FitSugar, The Fitnessista and The Huffington Post. Also, when to break up with your personal trainer, something else you should definitely keep in mind if you decide to go for one-on-one sessions.

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Gym Goddess – Part II

Welcome to Week II of How to Become a Gym Goddess (you can check out Week 1 here). To recap, this is the journey of an individual who has taken some time off from the gym, is in the process of making some big changes to her diet and would like to start getting back into shape.

Week I was primarily about measuring her abilities and testing her boundaries in a safe, controlled manner. In week two we increased the amount of cardio and worked on her core so that she has a good base to start doing weight in another few weeks.

 Source

*Note: Please talk to your physician prior to attempting a new fitness routine.

 

Day 1:

10 minute cardio warm up – moderate intensity

5 rounds – As quickly as possible w/out sacrificing form

  • 15 box jumps
  • 10 push-ups (on knees if necessary)
  • 20 sit-ups (chin up to the ceiling) 
  • 20 squats

10 minute cardio warm down

Day 2: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) – Pick a machine and go-go-go

5 minute warm up – moderate intensity, you want to get your heart rate up

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

Repeat for 15 minutes of intervals

5 minute cool down

Stretching

Day 3: Stability ball play time! (See The Fitnessista’s Focus On Medicine Balls for inspiration & safety tips)

10 minute cardio warm up – moderate intensity

Using a medicine/bosu ball, complete the following as quickly as possible:

  • 30 push ups  w/ feet on ball
  • 30 crunchies (chin to the ceiling)
  • 30 hamstring curls (laying on back)
  • 30 seconds plank w/ feet on the ball

10 minute cardio warm down

Stretching

Weekend Mini Workout: To be completed at any point Saturday or Sunday (***Bonus points if you get a workout buddy to join you and race!)

Sprint the length of the street, walk back to your starting point, 5 burpees (how to) – Repeat 10x

Starting w/ your feet together, jump as far as you can & repeat for the length of the street. To the end of the street and back to your starting point = 1, complete 5x

Results: After finishing her second week of regular workouts Liz was even more motivated and enthusiastic than before. The number one thing that she noticed? Even if she was dreading a workout and was exhausted by the time the last rep finished, she ended every workout more excited to start the next. Endorphins at their best!

* Trick To Try: Set an alarm on your cell or an Outlook calendar reminder for multiple times a day and spend a few minutes thinking about your core and your posture – especially important if you’re sitting in front of a computer or in class room for hours a day. Flex your stomach muscles and concentrate on your abdominal wall for 30 seconds, take a few deep breaths and repeat a handful of times, until you begin to feel fatigued. By staying in touch with your body over the course of the day you’ll be less likely to hunch or maintain harmful posture for extended period of time.

 

And in a fortuitous turn of events, The Fitnessista also recently did a post on getting back into shape, if you want to check out her expert advice here it is!

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