Archives for posts with tag: strength

Today is Wednesday. If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I love to participate in Wundachair Wednesday. Who doesn’t absolutely adore ample alliteration? See what I did there?

Today’s video comes to you from my wonderful wundachair. The twist. It is an essential part of my Pilates practice. It just feels so lovely on the whole body. Twisting is especially good for your internal parts. Imagine wringing out your organs, that is what a good twist can help you do. Twisting brings an energy to your workout and follows you throughout your entire day.

My set up is one black spring on the 3rd claw. You can alter your resistance based on your strength and needs. I find this to be the sweet spot of spring loads.

I aimed to keep my hips as level and square as possible for this video. I really focused on twisting from the torso and not from the lower half. Keep the ribs closed and the core engaged. Inhale on the way down and exhale to lift. I think of lifting from my chest. Long beautiful lines. I think imagery is important for this move (as it is for many) You need to keep that mind-body connection. The toes are reaching away and the legs are trying to stay as still as possible (this is a challenge without a teacher holding your feet) Engage the low belly and the obliques.

This is going to work the obliques, very deeply. The shoulders, arms, pecs a bit, lower belly, and even the glutes a bit if they are active while keeping the legs still. The major focus here, though, is the obliques.

Move within your safe range of motion. This is a move where you can over-do it, without even realizing it is about to happen. I would urge you to move with purpose and caution if you have never done this before. Meaning, the twist does not have to be very dramatic the first time and you do not have to go all the way to the floor as you lower the pedal. You must make sure you can get back up! It is awesome to get that pedal all the way down, but now you’re there and cannot get it back to the start, AH what happens then? A fancy ninja backwards roll over/flip into a roll up? Because I cannot pull that off, if you can, please share a video! The focus then should be the movement and strength building. Building blocks to get the pedal as far down as you can press it with a strong and aligned lift back up.

One little note, make sure you are not right next to a wall so when you turn in the opposite direction you don’t have to move your arm in a weird way. My mistake! Ha!

I have started and failed to finish several posts this week. It has been difficult for me to get into a good writing flow. They were all very long posts but they just didn’t seem right to me. They all were incomplete as well. I have had a lot on my mind but the words just won’t form correctly. Today, though, I am going to try a bit harder.

Yesterday evening I was thinking to myself that I would really enjoy it if I had a rainy day tomorrow. A day to just slow me down a little bit. A reason to stay inside, cuddled up with my sweetheart. A day where I could use the bad weather as an excuse to not run errands, go somewhere fun, walk to the park, or whatever ever else came up. 

For over a week I haven’t slept through the night. Last night was no exception. As I lay in bed I considered a walk to the park with Jackson today. No workout, take a rest day because I haven’t taken a rest day in over a week either. But a nice 1.5 mile walk and maybe some swimming. My brain was active as I lay in bed considering all the things I could do today. I finally decided to get myself up for the day, having stayed in bed a bit later knowing I didn’t plan on fitting in a workout. Alexander started slowing moving around, then kicking. It was time to start my day. 

Imagine my surprise as I waddled into my kitchen, not greeted by the usual beaming sunlight that radiates through the massive set of windows we have. I was greeted by grey sky, rain, clouds, and utter wetness outside. My heart skipped a beat. My rainy day! I hadn’t even checked the weather forecast yesterday. I had no idea rain was coming. I just wished it would, to force me to slow down a touch. As I sit here and write I am accompanied by the sounds of rain falling on my skylights. Heavy raindrops writing their own song. Jackson is still asleep. He likes to sleep late on rainy mornings. There is no sun radiating around the small space around his blackout blinds. 

I am not sure what we will do today. My dishes could be washed. I was too tired last night to wash the ones from dinner. Legos are already spread across my kitchen table. Except for the small area I am afforded for my meals and well my laptop I am typing on now. We have a ton of books we could read. I have a new big Ninja Turtles coloring/activity book we could make our marks on. Maybe we will do all of them. If he keeps sleeping much longer, there won’t be a nap today. Especially on a day where we don’t wear ourselves out playing outside or going on an adventure. 

As I sipped my coffee earlier, watching the rainy day, I couldn’t help but thank my Gma (that is what I called her a lot). I can’t help but feel like she may have had a hand in providing me with exactly what I needed this week. Forcing me to slow down a little, her girl who is always on the go. Thanks Gma, you did me a solid. 

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View from my kitchen

I have been wanting to share some of my favorite moves. I have just been so busy with the holiday season already. We are hosting every holiday this year. We did Thanksgiving, we are doing both Christmas Eve and day! While I am being strict with my workouts I have been lax in blogging about them. I guess you only have so much time for things in life and if I have to choose, workouts will always win haha

I am currently obsessed with this core work move! It actually tones the shoulders, triceps, and core. I even squeeze my buttocks a bit in an effort to get some toning in for that.

I found this on Women’s Health.

The instructions can be found at that link. I also pasted them below!

Lie facedown on a fitness ball, with both hands on the floor. Walk your hands out, allowing the ball to roll beneath your body until it is under your shins. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders, so it looks like you’re ready to do a pushup. Keeping your torso straight and your abs contracted, bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the floor. Stop when your upper arms are parallel to the floor. (A) Return to start, and immediately contract your glutes as you lift your right leg off the ball. (B) Lower your right leg to the ball, then lift the left leg. That’s one rep. 8 to 12 reps

Make the move harder by placing the ball under the tops of your feet. Make it easier by keeping the ball under your knees.

 

I have gotten to the point where the knees feel way too easy. The shins are still difficult enough though. I am looking forward to when I can move the ball to the tops of my feet.

There are a few other moves in that article that are also great. I just found this one particularly challenging and I have really been pushing myself lately. I have been focusing on toning a lot more than I was immediately after I had him. I try to do toning and cardio at least 6 days a week. It has been closer to every day though, I must admit. I have lost a bit more weight. Not even pregnancy weight at this point. I weighed in today at 122.8lbs.

I have also noticed a huge change in my muscle tone. Um, it is back! Finally. Even my quads. I am loving how my legs look like their old selves. My arms are looking nice and toned again. Hello biceps, I missed you lovely lady guns. I am also beginning to feel happy with my abs.

This is from today. Jack will be 10 months in a week. So post baby 9 months 3 weeks! I was reflecting today about how hard losing the baby weight was. I even browsed the last few photos taken of me preggo! YIKES! Nothing like a little refresher to remind you of how far you have come. I am enjoying feeling like my old strong self again. That is the most important part. That I feel toned and strong. I missed lifting weights. I was told I couldn’t. Advice I don’t believe I will adhere to as strictly if I were to ever get pregnant again. Now having gone through this one time, if we ever for some reason decide to have another I will already know what I am capable of. Although, I have no plans to have another. A big reason is because it took so much work to get back to where I was. I don’t feel like doing it all over again. It is exhausting. I enjoy being here, focusing on toning and maintaining.