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Dirty dog

The dirty dog involves your abs, butt, and hips. It´s a great exercise to prepare the body for activity.

Come to a hands and knees position. Engage your abs. Keep your spine in a neutral position; avoid any excessive sagging or arching. Pull the shoulder blades toward your hips.
Exhale. Keeping the knee bent, slowly lift the knee outwards and upwards toward the side. Try to move the leg without causing movement in your torso. Hold this position briefly, while keeping a stable torso and head level with your spine.
Inhale and slowly lower your knee back to the floor.
Repeat and switch legs.


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Swiss ball dumbbell chest press

Changing the bench for a stability (Swiss) ball turns any exercise into a more challenging one because we have to stabilize the body. This requires focus and involves your core muscles.

Performing the dumbbell chest press on a Swiss ball will not only work your chest but your full core.

Sit on the ball holding one dumbbell in each hand and your feet flat on the floor. Slowly begin walking your feet forward as you tuck your tail under, lowering your spine onto the ball as you walk your feet away from the ball until your head, shoulders and upper back are resting on the ball. Knees are bent to about 90 degrees with your thighs and torso parallel to the floor. Brace your abs to stabilize your spine.

Pull your shoulders down and back until you feel your shoulder blades hugging the ball. With the dumbbells near your chest and palms facing forward, keep the wrist straight, not bent.

Exhale, focus on your chest, and press the dumbbells upward with your elbows straight but not locked. Keep your feet pressed into the floor and your hips pushed up towards the ceiling to maintain stability and control during the exercise.

Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position. Repeat.Imagine that a bar connects the dumbbells. Try to keep the dumbbells parallel with each other and wrists in neutral position. Your head,

Imagine that a bar connects the dumbbells. Try to keep the dumbbells parallel with each other and wrists in neutral position.


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Cobra pose

The Cobra pose sStretches muscles in the shoulders, chest, and abdominals. Also, decreases the stiffness of the lower back.

Lie on your stomach on a mat/floor with your hands under your shoulders and fingers facing forward. Legs should be straight and toes pointed.

Engage your abs to support the spine. Gently exhale. Press your hips into the mat. Lengthen the torso and curl your chest away from the ground while keeping your hips stable. Keep the shoulders rolling down and back. Hold this position and take 3-4 deep breathes.

Inhale one more time and gently lower your upper body back to the mat, lengthening the spine as you descend.

As the length of arms differs, individuals may often lift their hips off the mat as they fully extend their arms. In this case, limit the extension of your arms to keep the hips on the mat.

If you experience any pain in the low back with this movement, stop the exercise immediately.


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Single leg V-up

The single leg v up will help you build up the strength and coordination for a clean full V up. We all want a strong core, right?

Lay on the ground with your back flat to the ground and your arms and legs pointing straight up. At the same time, slowly lower your legs towards the ground.

Raise your arms above your head so that you end up in a banana-like position.

Exhale and raise both arms and one leg at the same time.

Don’t go too fast on these, you want to make sure you’re really using your core strength and not just relying on momentum to get your legs up and down.

Inhale on you way down and repeat, switching legs.


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Resistance bands Push Throughs

A cool exercise for your core!

Anchor your resistance band at the bottom of the door.

Lie on your back with your knees bent, in a crunch position and grab the handles and keep them just above your stomach. Make sure that you’re in a position where the resistance band is straightened out.

Exhale and push the band towards the center of your thighs. As you do that, lift your shoulders and head off the ground. This step is all done in one motion.

Inhale as you return to the original position. Repeat.


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Exercise after pregnancy

Hello, dears!

Along with tons of joy, pregnancy comes with lots of questions. After pregnancy,  how to get back in shape and all kind of questions related are very common. I´ve seen many women go to the gym for the first time after pregnancy. Although exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do as a new mom, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, it does have benefits:

  • It helps strengthen and tone abdominal muscles.
  • It boosts energy.
  • It may be useful in preventing postpartum depression, by increasing the levels of feel-good chemicals (endorphins) in your brain.
  • It promotes better sleep.
  • It relieves stress.

The most important exercises in the first few days after birth are your pelvic floor exercises. Start doing them as soon as you can.

The pelvic floor is a broad sling of muscles, ligaments and sheet-like tissues that stretch from your pubic bone at the front of your body, to the base of your spine at the back. Your pelvic floor supports your bladder, bowel, and uterus, and gives you control over when you empty your bladder or bowel.

Having a weak pelvic floor makes it harder for you to squeeze the muscles and sphincters at the bottom of your bladder. You may find that you accidentally leak a little wee when you cough, sneeze or exercise. It affects up to a third of all new moms.

Your pelvic floor affects your vaginal muscles, too. You may find sex less satisfying if you have a weak pelvic floor.

Doing just a few pelvic floor exercises every day will help to treat symptoms, and will help to prevent problems later on so, include pelvic tilts, belly breathing, and abdominal bracing in your daily routine as soon as you comfortably can.

More details on pelvic floor exercises at Pelvic Floor First, an amazing Aussie website!

It is recommended at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity (this means: you are moving enough to raise your heart rate and start sweating) aerobic activity every week. But this is imprecise because it´s also recommended a warm-up and a cool down (10 minutes each). At the end, doing it properly means 40-45 minutes a day. Good news is walking count as exercise! Walking is a great way to get back in shape. Walking outside has an added bonus because you can push your baby in a stroller.

Last, but not least, muscle-strengthening activities like yoga, Pilates, and lifting weights should be done in addition to your aerobic activity on at least 2 days a week. All these disciplines have not only a few exercises or routines but specialties adapted to your needs.

Start by strengthening your core with this easy exercises, when you feel ready:

Belly breathing: Belly breathing simply involves allowing your stomach to expand and contract as much as possible while you actively inhale and exhale as deeply as possible.

Abdominal Bracing: Begin by lying face-up on the floor. Brace your abdomen by contracting your entire abdomen as if you were preparing to get hit in the stomach. From here, perform different movements with your arms and legs (such as raising one or both arms overhead or extending your legs while keeping your back flat against the floor).

Pelvic Tilt: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor or propped on a ball. Brace your abdomen and tilt your pelvis back by pressing your lower back into the floor. Hold this position for five seconds then repeat.

Happy training, Moms!

 

 

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Bicycle crunch

The bicycle crunch is an excellent exercise for building core strength and toning your thighs. It’s an easy move to complete, and when you feel that burn you’ll know you’re doing it right!

Lie flat on your back on the floor or mat with bent knees, feet placed firmly on the floor and your hands behind your head. Engage your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Pull the shoulder blades back and down. Slowly lift both feet off the floor until your thighs are vertical to the floor (90-degree angle at the hips) and your knees are at a 90-degree bend. Your feet may be relaxed with toes pointing away from your body.

Gently exhale and begin your movement by simultaneously:

  1. Contracting the abdominals to curl your head and shoulders off the mat.
  2. Straightening one leg toward the wall in front of you while keeping it elevated off the floor, higher than your hip.
  3. Bringing your other knee close to your chest.
  4. Rotating your torso slowly to bring your opposite elbow toward your bend knee.

Repeat the movement to the opposite side. Complete a set of quality reps until your movement quality (technique) declines.


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Assisted Sit Ups With Resistance Bands

Do you need help with your sit-ups? Assist your abs with resistance bands.

Anchor the band at the bottom of the door. Grip the handles, or the band itself, and lie on your back, with your feet 3 to 4 feet away from the door. Your feet should be flat on the floor and knees bent. Also bend your arms, with your hands together, above your hips.

Start with your shoulder blades a couple of inches off the floor.

Exhale and contract your abs, raising your upper body until it´s perpendicular to the floor while keeping your head and back aligned.

Inhale and return to the starting position. Repeat.


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Alternating Elbow Tap Plank

A plank is an isometric exercise that strengthens and tones the abdominal muscles and lower back. It requires no equipment and little space, making it one of the easiest ab exercises to squeeze into your day.

This is one of many variations you should try.

From a standard plank position, reach your right hand to touch your left elbow. Put it back down and repeat with your left hand tapping your right elbow. Do not let your hips sway side to side as you move.


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Single leg plank

Another plank variation, great for hips and glutes.

Lay down on the floor with your belly to the ground. Align your elbows directly below the shoulders and ground the toes into the floor. Lift your body up and align your butt, upper back, and head in a straight line. Keep a neutral neck and spine.

With your legs hip-width apart, lift your right leg to hip height and hold as much as you can.

Switch legs.


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