Welcome to the December Squat Challenge!
Squats challenge the entire lower body by working the muscles around the hip, knee, and ankle joints. They make us aware of our core and posture by aligning the spine. And they fire up our body’s largest metabolic engines – the quads and glutes.
First, a few tips. If you have tightness in any of the lower body joints or muscles, stretch and/or foam roll before starting. So, standing calf and ankle stretch, thigh foam roller, or ankle over knee stretches are good starting points.
Ready? You’ll do a new body weight squat each week, and repeat it two more times that week.
I’ve included a brief video for each week. Having a recovery day between is preferable, but do what suits you best. For each exercise, do the recommended number of reps with 30-60 seconds of rest in between.
WEEK ONE: Basic Squat plus Pulse
With feet wider than knees and toes and knees pointing forward, squat by sitting back. Lead with hips, not knees. For pulse, lower into 1/2 squat and do 10 pulses, staying low. Do 10 squats followed by 10 pulses for 3 sets.
WEEK TWO: Sumo Squat plus heel raise
Step feet wide with knees and toes aligned, out about 45 degrees. Squat down so knees remain above heels at the low point, pressing hips back. For heel raise, lower to 1/2 sumo position and hold while raising and lowering heels. Do 10 squats followed by 10 heel raises for 3 sets.
WEEK THREE: Hungarian Squat
Place one toe or foot on bench or step behind you and step other (working) leg forward. Align front knee over your heel. Bend both legs to lower into split squat. Maintain tall spine. Do 10 reps per leg for 2 sets.
WEEK FOUR: Reach Squat
Perform Basic Squat with arms elevated as straight as possible alongside your ears. Maintain a long spine and sit back with hips leading (not knees). Do 10 reps for 3 sets.
WEEK FIVE: In and Out Squat
Start with feet and knees parallel and forward. Squat in parallel, then step one foot out and squat wide. Step back to center, squat, then step the other foot out and squat wide. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps for 2 sets.
Body Positive Studio is still here, providing the same individualized, fun and functional exercise options as ever. I didn’t promise I got any better at selfies.
I have great Zoom workouts and single or double personal training, as long as we are allowed to continue doing those. The Zoom schedule follows. I just want you all to know that I take nothing for granted, especially not your and my health and safety, so I am following our state’s health orders. That means, most importantly, masks while together in the studio, lots of hand washing, cleaning between individual clients, and deep cleaning the studio regularly.
Zooming has it’s upsides – you’re at home, you can barely be seen, and these classes are true to the Body Positive principles of variety, challenge, and modifications when needed.
Here’s the deal – if you’re interested in any of these , message me and we’ll work out the details: 917-9913, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon & Weds 5:30-6:15 pm – Various Strength Circuits (weights needed) in a brisk format.
Tues & Thur 12:00-12:45 pm MIIT (Medium Intensity Interval Training) Body weight. A medium challenge class with an aerobic component.
Sat 9:00-9:45 am Core Combo – Body weight with a 50/50 emphasis on core training and cardio plus body weight.
Classes are 45 minutes long, and $10 each plus tax. I can take payment via Paypal, Venmo, checks, Square.
Meanwhile, peace everyone, and be well.
Thought I’d share some info on bone density this month. Low bone density (LBD) affects women and men and can become a significant quality of life issue if it leads to fractures. While it’s true that active people can get LBD, it’s more common in sedentary (non-exercising) folks. If your work involves a lot of standing, you’re better off even if you do not exercise. The key – weight bearing and resistance training exercise. Research says impact activities (plyometrics like jumping, skipping & hopping) trigger increases in bone mineral density. We can’t all jump, can we? Heel drops are a good option and here’s a link to a demo: http://tinyurl.com/yyn8wsun.
For more overall fitness,there’s “high velocity resistance training.” Done more quickly with less weight, this triggers bones to become denser with less risk and targets the aerobic and balance systems too. This style of resistance training can be subbed in on any training day. Click here for an excellent discussion on velocity training from the good folks at Johnson Fitness.
Check out this one-month healthy jump start package. I cooked this up with my dietitian pal, Jennifer Bryant, to help you find your healthy focus. Personal training and a personalized nutrition plan for whatever you need right now. You get tons of one on one guidance, training and support for all your wellness needs: physical fitness, nutrition and the daily behaviors that help make those things a part of life. Of course the program doesn’t end after one month. Our services are always available, whether you’re looking for personal training, health coaching, or group fitness, or addressing your nutritional needs with Jennifer See more here: Personal Training and Nutrition Package
Dietitian Lynn Umbreit presented an idea-packed class on prepping quick and healthy meals to a full house last Saturday. Participants gave top reviews to the course for the rich and practical information it provided. Lynn also shared lots of product ideas, to put together tasty and healthful meals in less than 20 minutes.
This particular course was more demonstration, discussion and sampling than hands-on, due to space constraints. New topics coming up include hands on playing with spices and seasonings, healthy holiday foods, and meal/menu planning. If Lynn’s doing it, you can count on practical tips, tasty recipes and ideas you can put to use in your own kitchen.
Great News! I’m teaming up with dietitian Lynn Umbreit to broaden the services at Body Positive. Lynn and I have been colleagues for almost ten years. She is an expert in sports nutrition and weight management and is also a Certified Diabetes Educator. It makes sense to bring fitness and nutrition under one roof, if only figuratively for now. Lynn does one on one consulting, grocery store tours (way more eye opening than you might imagine!) in-home “kitchen makeovers,” and many wonderful classes. The first one is coming up Saturday August 19th: “Grab and Go: Healthy Meals in 20 Minutes or Less”. More.
Here’s a colorful tidbit from Lynn
8 medium strawberries (5 oz; 1 cup) contain only 50 calories and provide 110% of daily Vitamin C
There are 600+ different varieties of strawberries
It is best to eat strawberries at room temperature, and within 2 days of purchase to maximize nutrition and taste.
Super Simple Dessert: Strawberries in Balsamic Vinegar
A gourmet way to serve this fantastic summer fruit! The balsamic vinegar brings out the berries’ beautiful color and makes their flavor “pop”. The strawberries are great simply served by themselves in a parfait glass (6 servings; 50 calories per serving).
16 ounces fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, & halved
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2-4 tablespoons white sugar (or SPLENDA to taste)
Place strawberries in a bowl. Drizzle vinegar over strawberries, and sprinkle with sugar. Stir gently to combine. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.
This impressive woman (yes, she is my client) just completed three races in Roswell, NM on Saturday and earned a third, second and first place. She now holds the state record for the 800 meter run for women in the 65-69 age category. The beauty of it is just a couple of years ago she was mostly sedentary and about 50 pounds heavier.
She started her return to exercise in one of my simple yoga classes and then added some personal training and really hit her stride with weight lifting.
A powerful goal that emerged was to feel comfortable running as she had done many years ago. After building up some aerobic capacity and confidence by attending small group circuit training she joined a local running club. The rest is history, sort of. Her success is kind of a study in determination, goal setting, consistency and why we need support systems. It takes a certain amount of grit combined with an urgency for action and opportunity – when they come together, the results can be very cool.
The Body Positive Spring Challenge Starts Saturday, May 14th. Your fitness level is NOT important, just your readiness to give it your best! Get stronger, better and faster on 8 measures over 7 weeks.
- 1 mile walk/run event
- Pushups in one minute (pushup option will be determined at your baseline test)
- Medicine ball slams in one minute
- Rope waves (maximum time)
- Bicycle crunch (maximum number)
- Shoulder flexibility (behind the back reach)
- Water intake (track and improve starting week 1)
- Veggie intake (track and improve starting week 1)
The one mile event will be scheduled depending on sign ups. On Sat., 5/14 (or possibly earlier), we’ll get a baseline for the other items. Over the next seven weeks we work on those and also track and improve water and veggie intake.
The price to participate is only $30 and includes baseline and final measures, one free class (two if you are new to Body Positive), resources and support for your success and prizes in all categories plus an overall champion.
Contact me to register and for more information.