It’s been a slow recovery with my low back injury. But after some great progress, I decided it was time to make it back to Sonjia’s CrossFit class (after nearly 4 months). I almost didn’t want to write about this because what I actually did was VERY different than her prescribed workout (enter my pride). But since I LOVE this kind of full body, compound workout, I thought I would share it. The other really great lesson about today is the reminder that ALL exercise is scalable and can be modified for every individual. I loved being able to go through the class, modify the CrossFit routine for my situation, and feel proud about my progress. Continue reading
Well it’s been a few months since I’ve had my groove on. Hurting my low back in January definitely put a damper on my exercise routine – and that’s an understatement! Let me put it this way, it was one month before I could get out of bed without helping myself with my arms. Unloading the dishwasher was painful. Getting in and out of the car hurt. I could not bend over at the waist unsupported. My core was SHOT! I will NEVER take my low back for granted again! Recovering from this low back injury was a slow process requiring a lot of patience and perseverance, and I still am not 100%. Continue reading
I love my full body, functional routines. I love my gadgets. I love training my heart and muscles at the same time with high reps of compound moves. I love doing pull ups and being strong enough to do a 2 minute plank. And I love how I’ve dropped a size and several inches around my waist & arse. 😉
I love them so much that I have neglected other types of exercise like straight strength training. And while I am strong, there’s a lot to be said about old school weight lifting (which I used to do about 10 years ago).
That’s how the Workout Swap began…. Continue reading
This is very exciting because Suzanne (@workoutnirvana) are swapping workouts! She’s a weight lifter (www.workoutnirvana.com) & I’m a light weight, high rep girl. Suzanne and I hit it off immediately in the twitterverse — I was totally drawn to her because she’s strong, confident, smart, and passionate about fitness. (Seriously, her site is filled with great pieces about workouts, health, and motivation.) And the more I read, the more I see how connected our stories are…. Continue reading
Chop, Twist, Curl, Press, Extension…. I do it all with my medicine ball. I typically mix it in with leg exercises to make it harder, more interesting, raise the intensity, and raise my hear trate. Since my medicine ball isn’t heavy (6 – 10 lbs), I typically do these for reps (20) or time (1 – 2 minutes).
For me, compound and functional exercises have produced defined muscles (without traditional “lifting”), a stronger core (without countless crunches), my endurance has improved, and I definitely fit into my clothes differently.
So I am a convert – I love my medicine ball.
- Walking lunge with chop (keep ball straight up, chop ball down on same side as the leading leg during lunge motion)
- Walking lunge with shoulder press
- Walking lunge with ball held straight up (keeps the posture upright – my weakness) (Can you tell I like my walking lunges?)
- Stationery lunge w 1, 2, 3 above 😉
- Stationary lunge (with rear leg on step) with shoulder press (the higher the step, the more isolated the front leg) – This is one of my new favorites
- Lateral lunge with chop (legs wider than shoulders, shift weight from center to right and extend arms & ball up to 1/2 OClock , shift weight and lunge to left while lowering medicine ball to 7/8 oclock) – note the lunge/lowering move is only on one side – whatever, tweet to me and I’ll try to explain LOL
- Lateral lunge with medicine ball reaching to 5 OClock (right side) and 7 OClock (left side) – note the lunge/lowering move is on both sides
- Rotating lunge with torso twist (On the right side, foot/lunge travels to 3 O’Clock and torso rotates in the same direction with the ball held straight in front of the body. The left side is the opposite with the foot, lunge, torso, arms going to 9 O’Clock.)
- Curtsey lunge with chop, chest press, or shoulder press (see 1 minute demo by Sonjia)
- Round the World Lunges – ball held with straight arms in front of torso (1st lunge forward, 2nd lunge to 3 O’Clock, 3rd lunge to 5 O’Clock, 4th lunge to 3 O’Clock… Repeat)
- Squat with shoulder press, curl, chest press or tricep press
- Squat with combos of above – curl, shoulder & tricep press (my personal fav – why not work out everything, eh?)
- Squat with one arm shoulder press
- Squat with big circles (holding the ball with 2 hands, straight arms, and making a big circle in front of you)
- Squat with figure 8’s (like above, but make a figure 8 motion with arms/ball)
- Wall ball (See 90 second demo with Sonjia)
- Roman twist
- Sit up with pull over and chest press
- Sit up holding medicine ball with arms near ears (no pull over)
- V- Up passing the ball between the legs and the hands
- Crunches… many, many, many…. with legs and arms/ball up straight towards the ceiling
- Push up with one or both hands on the ball 😉
Note: I’m not a pro…. talk to a trainer to make sure your form is good 😉
Did I mention I love my medicine ball? What have I left out?
It was strange, because I had learned about “300’s” through Darryl at The Fitness Explorer. They are basically workouts that somehow get to 300 reps (sigh…). Coincidentally, I walked into the studio and Sonjia was planning on doing a 300 workout today. My chest and back are fairly tired from Cindy, so we quickly devised a lower-body heavy workout.
This was hard for me, in terms of intensity and endurance (those leg exercises always ramp things up for me). This challenging but doable 300 circuit took me 30 minutes to complete.
Workout – Kris’ 300’s *wink*
Do 5 sets of 10 reps each (for lunges, that’s 10 per side) – that works out to 50 reps per exercise and 300 total reps for the workout.
- Squats holding the kettle bell “goblet” style (25 lb kettle bell)
- Sit ups with pull over and chest press (10 lb plate)
- Curtsey lunges with shoulder press (8 lb medicine ball) (View Demo)
- Back extensions on swiss ball
- Kettle bell swings (20 lb kettle bell)
- Lunges with chop (8 lb medicine ball)
We also threw in some tabata jump rope (I’m not very good, so I don’t sprint well LOL), bird dog with oblique crunch & 5 lb weight, oblique crunches on the ball, and shoulder roll outs on the ball.
Give the 300’s a try and let me know what you think!
Lunges are a great exercise, but sometimes I get bored. This lunge variation can be done with different upper body moves to raise the intensity and involve additional body parts. I did the curtsey lunge with the shoulder press today for my Special 300 Workout.
What do you think of the curtsey?
For those that know me, you know that Sonjia (prounounced Sone-Yah – not Sone-Jye-Ah) has been a big part of incorporating exercise into a healthy lifestyle. I’ve had trainers before – blah blah blah. I’ve even gone through periods of fairly regular exercise.
But Sonjia is different. She has opened my world to big, functional, compound exercises that combine strength and cardio into challenging but doable workouts. These efficient circuits have produced results – my clothes fit differently, my endurance is better, and I am definitely stronger.
So here she is – in her video DEBUT – showing off one of our favorite exercises – the Wall Ball. Sometimes we do it for reps (about 20 per set), tabata (20 seconds hard, 10 seconds rest, repeat for 4 minutes), or time (1 or 2 minutes) as part of a larger circuit training.
In her words, “You’re going to LOVE this!” Note: That’s code for this is harder than it looks (which is good, because I need to be tricked into working hard).
Do you have any favorite “harder than they look” exercises?
I’m not a cardio fan. I’m a wimp both mentally and physically and have a ridiculously short attention span. I like weights, gadgets and toys though. To me, they are much more interesting and less tedious. I love this type of workout because it tricks me into working harder than I normally would. Plus it requires very little counting.
In 20 minutes, I was dripping sweat – so in my book, that totally counts.
Warm Up (3 sets, 10 reps each)
- Push ups
- Old school sit ups
- No weight squats
Workout (3 sets, 1 min each, no rest between exercises, 1 min rest between sets – and don’t be fooled my friends, a minute is a long time)
- Kettlebell swings
- Lunges with medicine ball/chop
- Plank (sigh….)
- Single leg squats (on my back porch step) with shoulder press (switch sides after 30 seconds)
- Speed skaters (with medicine ball)
Final Interval – Tabata (20 seconds SPRINT, 10 seconds rest, repeat for 4 minutes total)
- Mountain climbers on ground
If you’ve got 20 minutes to work out, what is your favorite?