at-home workout

Be FFAB! Resistance Band Moves

Hi guys! I hope you're having a great week, and I hope you've enjoyed the posts from my contributors: Fit Mom, Karlye, who just graduated CrossFit Elements - yea!!! And Cherie, our new bride blogger! Isn't her proposal story the sweetest? All these guest posts have created a bit of a backup on the blog this week but I couldn't resist posting this resist-ance band workout today! :) The number one excuse I hear from women as to why they can't workout is because they can't afford a personal trainer or CrossFit, which I totally understand, but there are things you can do on your own, at home for little to no money that are workouts, too!

RESISTANCE-BAND-WORKOUT-1
RESISTANCE-BAND-WORKOUT-1

For example, these super simple resistance band moves can be done with just one piece of equipment, which I picked up for $12.99! Even though this is just one device, it came with three bands of varying resistance: light, medium, and heavy - tripling my workout potential!

SONY DSC
SONY DSC

The yellow band (pictured here) is very stretchy and great for beginners, but it's easy to switch to the black or grey to make the moves more challenging. (Truth be told: I should have been using the black band for this photoshoot!)

SONY DSC
SONY DSC

Resistance bands help to tone and strengthen your entire body and you can do a lot with them! I'm demonstrating just seven moves here, but there's a multitude more. You'll notice I always have a point of resistance for the band, whether I'm holding it under my foot or it's hooked around a doorknob. Once you've done that, the workout possibilities are endless: three rounds of sets of 12 of each move or, if you prefer, an AMRAP, such as 20 minutes, of 10 of each move. Or, another option is not doing these moves together! Just take 30 seconds during commercial breaks and get in as many chest presses or rows as you can! I promise it won't take long to feel the burn; and if you don't, it's time to switch bands! Happy sweating!! (The moves are below the jump!)

Resistance-Band-Workout
Resistance-Band-Workout

Of course, I'm not a fitness model or a certified fitness professional so I advise that if you have any concern whatsoever about performing these or other exercises, you seek the opinion of your medical doctor and/or a certified fitness professional,

Do you have resistance bands at home? 

What are your favorite resistance band moves?

Be FFAB! Stability Ball Workout

Raise your hand if you ever gotten enthusiastic about your fitness and bought a stability ball! *Raises hand* Raise your hand if you ever used your stability ball. *Crickets*

Yep, I'm guilty of it too! I bought a pink stability ball back in the day, and never, ever used it. I mostly just rolled it around my apartment to move it out of the way, until I finally gave it to my little sister -- she was 7 at the time, and loved it!

Recently, though, I noticed my in-laws had a stabiity ball, hiding off in the corner of their guest bedroom, and I got inspired! I pulled it out, did some research and found tons of really challenging exercises to do with it!

A few things to note before diving in:

+ Stability exercises add a new element to fitness! They make a simple movement, such as a push-up more difficult because you have to move and balance your body at the same time. This requires you to activiate your core and squeeze your butt -- all good things! In fact, when you have to *stabilize* you engage more muscles and burn more calories! That's a win!

+ Stability exercises also improve coordination! They force you to be aware of your entire body, down to the tips of your feet! (One reason why the booty lunges I tried to do with the ball aren't pictured -- balancing was nearly impossible!)

+ Not all of these movements are as easy as they look and sometimes, it took 2 or 3 tries to get it right! I would suggest shutting off the TV and going someplace private (if possible) to do these, so that you can concentrate! Music may help too!

+ Take your time. This isn't a race. Most of these movements are better done slow. I usually like to plow through workouts, going as fast as I can, but with this, it's better to go slow and really contract your muscles.

+ I am not a fitness model. #thatisall

Stability-Ball-Workout
Stability-Ball-Workout

Three rounds: 

  • 10 Pikes
  • 10 Push-ups
  • 10 Tucks
  • 5 Around-the-World Circles
  • 10 V-Passes

Pikes: Great for the core! Lock out your arms and then, using your abs and legs, bring the ball toward your midsection, while hoisting yourself into a v-position. Hold the v-up for a single count and then lower slowly.

Push-ups: With these, be careful not to drop your midsection - try to keep everything tight and locked, coming up from your push-up in one fluid motion.

Tucks: If pikes are impossible, do tucks instead - they're easier! Rather than hoisting your midsection into the air, simply tuck your knees into your chest and then slowly straighten your legs back out.

Around-the-World Circles: These are tough! Rest your forearms on the stability ball and clasp your hands together. Tighten your core and lock your body in an incline plank position with feet hip-width apart. Then, using your forearms roll the ball into a "circle," going right, forward, and left, while keeping your body as stable as possible.

V-Passes: These are actually really fun and beat boring ole' crunches! Lie flat on the ground and place the stability ball between the grip of your feet. While keeping your legs straight, raise the ball into the air, situp, grab it with your hands, and then lay back flat. Now pass the ball hands to feet mid-air and lower back down.

Other stability ball exercises to try:

+ Single-Leg Bridge Lifts: This is a great movement for strengthening your quads and hamstrings, and stretching your hip flexors. You'll want to keep both legs straight as possible and do 10-15 reps on each side. (Remember to try to keep the ball in place during these!)

+ Shoulder Taps: OMG - the burn! These are hard! You're going to feel the burn throughout your abs, obliques, and shoulders! Do them slow, keeping your hips square to the floor (which is easier said than done), and alternate right hand to left shoulder, left hand to right shoulder. Get in as many as you can stand!

+ Just Plank It: Planks are great and when you add a stability ball, and that balance factor, they're even better. If you can't get pikes or tucks, or just want to keep things simple, get horizontal and hold a plank!

Leg-Lifts
Leg-Lifts
Shoulder-Taps
Shoulder-Taps
Plank-Hold
Plank-Hold

Most importantly, have fun! Whatever you do, don't get frustrated if you can't hold the position, just try, try again! I fell off the stability ball more times than I can count and "holding" for shots was nearly impossible, but I definitely got in a workout, and that's what counts... And, no judging here if by the end, you're just hugging and rolling around on the ball! Weeeeee!

Blooper_Take2
Blooper_Take2

Do you have a stability ball at home? 

Do you use it? What are your favorite stability ball exercises? 

New Year, New You Workout

Wanna jumpstart your year in a sweat-filled way?? How about with 365 reps? So I finally did my first workout of the year last night and guess what? I did it at home - with Aaron! Go figure! (So unlike us!) He got held up at work and we couldn't make it to CrossFit as planned, but we knew we needed to do something as we haven't workout out since before Christmas!! (Embarrassing but true!) I wrote up this workout earlier that day and figured it was the perfect opportunity to take it for a test drive! We did it and felt great afterwards! I think you'll like it too!

One of my resolutions is to post one workout per week, whether it's in the form photo demonstrations, video, or a graphic like this one!

365-Reps
365-Reps

As you can see, you don't need any equipment to do this workout, which is the beauty of it! This workout also packs a punch in a short period of time - it took me about 22 minutes to complete the entire thing.

Don't let the number of reps scare you -- there's a lot of variety to keep you preoccupied! And, it could have been worse... at my CrossFit box, the new year workout was 2,014 reps!!

Also, side note: the sit-ups take awhile! They get a little boring, and if you don't have a soft surface to sit on, you may rub your butt the wrong way! Consider swapping the sit-ups for crunches or some other abdominal exercise.

With the stairs, try to push yourself! I definitely didn't full-out sprint the entire time (I had to walk a few flights) but I tried to keep it moving! (I also found the stairs somewhat challenging coming off the air squats!)

And finally, make sure you remember to warmup! Our warmup was quick - we did some jumping jacks, high knees, air squats and stretching and I don't think we were fully ready when we started -- at least my body didn't feel ready! Don't make the same mistake!

As always, remember to be safe, too, please! Consult your physician if you're unsure whether you are able to perform these exercises.

Happy sweating!