Outdoor Workouts Are Finally Back

 

Hey everyone! I’m back from my vacation in Florida and feeling nice and refreshed from the daily dose of sunshine and warm air as well as from the amazing time I had with my family. I am so happy I took the time out of my busy lifestyle here at home to just relax, have no agenda and not set an alarm for a week. I actually should’ve done it sooner. I always forget the importance of getting away and taking some time for myself. I get caught up in the go go go and forget to slow it down.  At the end of vacation, work is always going to be there and everyone will survive without me and I get to recharge my body. Let’s face it, a lot of us end up running on fumes and never stop for countless reasons. My new goal is to stop and relax and give myself the time I deserve from working so hard.

 

I knew on vacation that the one form of exercise I could count on would be going for a run. Other than that I wasn’t sure what else I would have access to. We went swimming and played some pickleball, but there was no weight room and no boxing gym. Well, that right there put me out of my workout comfort zone. I was happy to get outside and just get to run in the sun, even if it was a bit of a struggle at times as I need to get back into working on my long distance endurance. I would’ve enjoyed going to the weight room with my mom, but since that wasn’t an option I had to make do with what I had… my body and my ipod.

 

This workout is a good one to get yourself back into some outdoor workouts. It requires nothing but yourself and watch if you have one. Find a good path and go for it. I want to incorporate some intervals with body weight exercises to give you a well rounded 30-40 minute full body workout.

 

There will be four sets of intervals and five exercises to complete. Make sure you start off with a couple minutes of just warming up your body whether that entails walking or a slow jog.

 

Run:

30 second run followed by 30 second jog or walk. The run should be faster than your normal pace and the jog/walk is just a quick recovery before you have to run again. Repeat these one minute intervals of 30 second run and 30 second jog five times.

 

Exercises:

Push Ups

Squats

Bicycle Abs

Burpees

Lunge Walks

 

Each exercise you will perform 50 repetitions at your own pace except for burpees which will be 25 repetitions.  Since you are only doing one set of each exercise, the rep count can be a little higher. Listen to your body and do the best you can.  Breaks are okay as long as you jump back into the exercise as soon as you can. I have explained all these exercises in previous posts so if you’re questioning proper form, click on each of the exercises above for a refresher. It is extremely important to use the proper form when performing these exercises.

 

Once you are done with your exercise, you will have a one minute break before you begin your second set of running intervals. After you’re done running your second set, jump into the next exercise on the list. Repeat this until you end with the last set of exercises.

 

The pace in which you complete your exercises will determine the length of your workout. Since you will be running for 20 minutes, you will have enough time to finish all the exercises in a timely manner. If you’re in a time crunch, eliminate a set and get as much done as you can. Since you’re outside, find a fun safe place to run where you will have room to stop and complete your exercise before continuing on. If the weather is crummy, you can always complete it on the treadmill too.

 

Next week I will diving into what I was talking about at the beginning of this post… the power of recharging and taking some time off.

 

Happy workouts everyone!

Pull Up Time

 

I can’t tell you how many women have told me they want to be able to do a pull up.  Listen up ladies, they are tough but they can be done… just have to be consistent and know that there are many different ways to train your body to get stronger to be able to do one.

The main muscle group used to perform a pull up is the latissimus dorsi or commonly called the lats. There are many upper body muscles that aid the lats during the exercise as well. I won’t get all anatomy class on you but if you do want more detailed information on an exercise exrx.net is a great resource for fitness enthusiasts and curious exercisers.

So let’s get into it and start at the beginning.  I have five different pull up variations so that any fitness level can perform one at some degree. 

Jump Pull Up – I use an underhand grip but you can also use an overhand grip if you’d like.  Start with your feet on a box or bench and hands placed on the bar shoulder width apart.  The exercise is performed exactly how it’s named.  Jump up and try to use as much upper body strength as possible.  Your chin should be above the bar at the height of your exercise.  Control your body back down and repeat.

Negative Pull Up – This type of pull up is performed by exerting the most energy on the way down rather than on the way up.  Jump yourself up so your chin is above the bar and then fight the resistance as much as possible on the way back down to the box.  I always give a goal of five to six seconds on the down phase.  As your muscles fatigue, your hang time might decrease but try to do five really good ones rather than 10 mediocre reps.

Seated Pull Up – I perform this type of modified pull up on suspended rings but you can use a straight bar or a TRX if you have one handy. Sit with your legs crossed and the TRX or bar should be high enough that your arms are almost fully extended before you begin. Using as much upper body strength as possible, pull yourself up while pushing through the outsides of your feet as much as necessary to perform the repetition.  Control your body as much as you can on the way back down to the ground.

Band Pull Ups – More than likely you will need assistance getting your foot in the band.  Most gyms have thicker resistance bands you can use, you just may have to ask a trainer or the front desk.  Place the band on the ball of one foot and straight up your leg so the band is nice and tight. The band is going to be your assistance for the exercise.  The thicker the band, the less work you have to do. The motion will be the same as the last examples, pull up until your chin is above the bar and control your body back down. Have someone help you place your foot in the band and take it out just so it doesn’t snap up at you.

It’s important to know that you won’t become hulk overnight and baby steps towards success are important to note. I would rather do less great reps than more not so great reps. You want to get the most out of your workouts so make sure you’re focusing on form and being consistent. Variety is also a great way to change it up for your body and keep it guessing.

Have a happy sweaty day and get those lat muscles burning.

 

Have a question or comment for Ashley? Feel free to e-mail her at ashleyferguson22@gmail.com