Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday Ramblings...and an exercise of the week.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!! 
I hope your parties, food fests, and naps have been remarkable.
I love the weekend. I really do.

Yesterday morning's boot camp class was awesome.
The girls really pushed themselves. and we were all reaaalll schweaty. A great sign :) I mentioned before that once a week I am going to bring all of the campers a healthy recipe. Well, one of the girls went and bought DARLING binders for everyone to create healthy recipe books from. The sense of community that has come in this class is so fun to be a part of. It reminded me the benefit that come from having a positive support group. It can make all the difference.

Post boot camp and training I went to the gym by my house to get some more cardio in. I needed to burn a few more calories, and I wanted a change in location. (Truth be told I knew there was going to be a Glee Marathon on Oxygen today...what a great way to take my mind of doing cardio.) I wasn't STOKED about being at the gym, but I ran into JANAE, one of my favorite people in this world. We started talking while elipticizing, and she got me through my first 15 minutes before she was on her way out the door. For whatever reason the first 15 are usually the worst, and if I can get that out of my system I'm golden. I ended up with

- 30 minute intervals on the elliptical
- 10 minute intervals on the stairs
- 10 minute sprint back and forth at a 7:30-8:00 pace
Then I did about 10 minutes of core work.

I am a HUGE believer in core work. I had a back injury for about a year that was aggravated by my running, and I couldn't seem to shake it. I went to a chiropractor, sought doctors opinions, and read just about everything I could to try and figure out what in the world I could do to stop the pain I was having. We came to the conclusion that I had a bulging disk and unless I wanted to do some surgery I was going to have to figure out my own remedies.

So...I started getting into core work. I began very basic with planks, stability exercises, balance work, and lots of focus on the trunk and lower body. I have since continued to get creative with exercises that work the core and aren't super boring...Sometimes I get exercise ADD. That, and I'm all about muscle confusion, so I really like to mix it up. The core work made ALL the difference. I have since seen the same phenomenon with many of my clients. It makes sense...your core is your powerhouse. If your core is strong everything else will become easier. Think of a runner with a weak lower back/trunk/abs vs a runner with a tight strong core, or even a mom lifting kids or groceries. A Strong Core = Powerful.

Some of my favorites core exercises are:
Plank Push Ups
Crazy Plank AKA (Up Up Down Downs)
Plank Kickbacks
Weighted Burpees These Are HARD but SO great.
Oblique Plank Twists
Single Leg Squats
Focus on the lower back and abs while doing an upright row with a dead lift
Use a Ball instead of a bench for your exercises like this Chest Press on Physio Ball
And if you are real crazy...and I know you are...try out some Physio Ball Balancing

I have had a few people ask for some video tutorials to show my favorite exercises...maybe...
I, A) hate the sound of my own voice and B) would rather keep the super cool image of what you portray me as in your head untarnished ;) Jk...I'll think about it.

Side Note: Last night we watched the movie, The Boy In The Striped Pajamas...My heart still hurts. It was the SADDEST movie I've ever seen. Has anyone else seen it!?!? 

Did you have a good Super Bowl Sunday? I did :) I watched like 15 minutes of the game and the half time show. That was about all I could muster. I did make some yummy black bean salsa and salsa chicken. (I'll share that recipe tomorrow.) Are you a believer in working your core, and if so what is your favorite core exercise? have until 11:59 PM tonight to enter the February Favorites Mix Giveaway if you haven't yet. The winner will be announced tomorrow!


Sarah said...

All I managed to see of the game was the half-time show and that's it!.

I love core work! I have a special core section in my yoga class. Fav core move...side plank and I always add some to element to it to keep it interesting.

Amanda@runninghood said...

This is such a useful blog to come back to. I thinking the core workouts are essential to strong running! I don't know that I have a favorite. I didn't see a bit of the fact, I don't think I could tell you what teams played. I know, but I'm so serious. I don't give two hoots about football. :) I so hope I win your giveaway!

Katy said...

I HATE core work. But I am getting better about doing it. I know it's super's just not fun. Lol. I think I'm going to check out some abs classes when I get back to the states, just to force myself. Haha!

I would love to see some videos! Please, please, please!! :)

Katie said...

I hate hearing my own voice too! haha I haven't even talked in any of my demo videos yet, I'm working my way up to it :)

I love all variations of planks and push-ups for core work :D

Lindsay and James Cotter said...

Core is CRUCIAL! Love those weighted burpees. I think i am the only one that likes the burn.. haha.

Heather said...

I had a good Super Bowl Sunday relaxing with the family. I only watched the very end of the game.
I like doing core work because I know that it is beneficial. I think I need to add some more excercises to what I'm already doing.

Kiley said...

I'm definitely a fan of the planks. I love the variations of the plank you suggested. I will be adding those to my core sessions! Thanks

Jen said...

I like core work and know I could do more of it. I think it's really important and I'm glad you posted some more options for me! I like the side plank with a leg lift because it's hard.
Videos would be great. You should reconsider!

Cheryl said...

OMG so glad I stumbled upon your blog! Will follow!
I'm training for my first figure comp, LOVE everything fitness related!!
come follow me to the stage!

Jenn said...

Oh, I didnt even turn the TV on yesterday cause I was trying to write my paper...trying the key word!

I love all your ideas, I dont do a ton of core work, but I want to do more and your totally inspiring me to!

I hope your monday is fabulous!!

marathonmaiden said...

i like planks even though i've been such a slacker lately in corework. i've been getting better though and can already feel a difference!

Mara... said...

I used to hate core work but that's because I had a weak core and sucked at it. Since starting a boot camp, we do lots of core. Plank, t-stands, up up down down plank, stability ball stuff. I love that alot of the arms and legs stuff we do requires a tight core and I get alot of core work in.

We had a great superbowl yesterday!! Shared with the day with close friends, peach bellinis, and way too much food!

Heather -Momma Running Amok said...

I love working my core, and usually I get into the groove for a while and then it becomes the thing that I say i am going to do after my card...but then I just grab my bag and go and skip it. I want to start doing more core stuff at night while I am watching my nightly dose of TV. Your blog is always so great..just wish I lived closer to join the bootcamp and elliptical with you and Janae

Stephanie said...

I adore core work. Dancing really makes you understand the importance of a strong core. My problem is motivation. I can read these lists of moves to do but what I really need is someone right next to me do THIS. Now do THIS. LOl.

The Hungry Runner Girl said...

Seriously, that was so so fun to workout together. I LOVE talking to you!! I need to start paying you! I am so happy you are no longer having back issues and you have a core of steel. Remember the crazy workouts you put Benita and I through....we should do that again because I suck at doing it on my own. You really are my inspiration! Thanks for all the suggestions! You are absolutely amazing gorgeous girl. I am going to miss you while you are in AZ but YOU NEED A BREAK!! And yay for the last day of crazy weigh in stuff:) Let's go get chocolate!

MegSmith said...

I love that we have the same name too! It is very cool :-) Here is my quinoa chili recipe, I recently made it in the crock pot which was awesome. i am rather new to quinoa and I once made the mistake of not rinsing was surprising how bitter it was! I hope you get to try this and think it's as good as I do :-)

Rene said...

I LOVE core work. I try to do an extreme pilates class twice a week. It is a killer core workout and still kicks my trash every time. Those burpees look crazy.