Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Strong Legs

Everyone wants to spend more time outside during the spring and summer. Gradually, we start to take our indoor exercising outside. Whether you are running, playing tennis, or simply going for long walks, having strong legs can improve your performance. And of course, it's always nice for the legs to look good in shorts! Here's a routine that will help you increase your leg strength.

Squats (20 reps)
Plie Squats with Calf Raise (20 reps)
Single Leg Squats (2 sets of 15 reps each side)
Alternating Forward/Side/Reverse Lunges (5 times through each side)
Single Leg Dead Lifts (2 sets of 15 reps each side)
Lateral Jumps balancing touching cones (2 sets of 20 reps)
Prone One Leg Hip Extension (2 sets of 15 reps each side)
Side Lying Leg Lifts-neutral position and internal hip rotation (2 sets of 15 reps each side)
Bridges (2 sets of 30 reps)
Bridges with Legs together (2 sets of 15 reps)

These exercises can be done without weights to start. As they become easier, start to use weights for the squats, lunges, and dead lifts.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sexy Arms

Are we ready to go sleeveless for summer? This week I am focusing on getting those arms firm and sexy for the swimsuits and sundresses! Before I give you the workout, I want to stress that you should do this with lighter weights than normal. You are going to repeat 3 sets for each muscle group. Yes, that means light weights and super high reps...burn baby burn!

Lateral Raise with One Arm Holding Front Raise (12 reps each side)
Alternating Shoulder Press (15 reps)
Top 1/3 Lateral Raise (raising to shoulder height and down a few inches making a smaller range of motion-10 reps)

Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extension on Bench or Ball (15 reps)
Rope Push down (15 reps)
Standing Alternating Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks (30 reps)

Bicep Hammer Curl with Rope on Cables (15 reps)
Resistance Band Curl at elbow height keeping elbows up (15 reps)
Alternating Dumbbell Bicep Curl (30 reps)

Remember, it's going to be challenging, so keep the weights light. You may have to half the amount of weight you normally do. I know I did!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March Lululemon Class

Mark you calendars! I will be teaching a "Booty/Abs" class at Lululemon Rush Street on Monday, March 29th from 7-8pm. It should be a great spring kickoff to getting that summer bikini body! Great music, rock hard abs and a burning booty...can you ask for more? Hope to see you all there!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Something New

I am not much of a group exercise type person, and yes, I know that's funny considering I am a personal trainer, but I fully admit it to be true. I have been contemplating taking a few different group fitness classes for the past few months because I really think that in order to do the best I can do, I have to follow the trends and see what else is out there. Many trainers get stagnant because they are not open to trying new things, but my philosphy is that trying them makes me better and more creative with what I can offer my clents.

So my first stop this past weekend was taking a class at the Dailey Method in Bucktown. It's a combination of the barre method, ballet, pilates, and yoga. I registered myself and a friend for a "mixed" class on Sunday morning. Upon arrival, the people at the front desk were very welcoming and gave us a tour of the studio...always a good sign because that set the tone for my whole experience. Our class was at capacity with about 30 people. The instructor quickly introduced herself and asked who was new and if we had any injuries (another good sign of a well run studio). Throughout the class, she continued to walk around correcting people's form and making sure everyone understood what we were doing. Most of the exercises were isolated smaller moves in sequences that cover one body part for ultimate fatigue. The moves are purposely done that way so that you don't have to use a lot of weight, but you perform high repetitions instead. Overall effective, but sometimes a little boring. However, when you are taking the class for the first time, you are definitely not bored because you don't know what's coming next!

So what's the verdict? I had a great time, a good workout, and will definitely go back. I am not sure if I could do the workout multiple times a week because I hear that the exercises are typically the same in most of the classes, but I would do it once a week for some variation to my normal routine (which consists of running, weights 3-4 times a week, and tennis). Am I sore? Yes, actually, my lower abs and shoulders are a little sore. In fact, my legs were shaking like crazy during the class and I thought for sure my quads would be sore, but they're not...all that leg strengthening definitely pays off!