Workouts

My Weekly Body Maintenance

Post-Yoga Practice

Seems like once I say it out loud or write it down, IT changes.

The IT I’m referring to in this case, is my Body Maintenance schedule. I have taken to calling it My Body Maintenance because that is how I see it now. It’s not so much my workout anymore. The physical activity that I engage in everyday has more to do with the methodical maintenance of my overall physical health and functional alignment.

I find it interesting that most people I run into assume that I am training for something. Are you a triathlete? You must workout a lot! Nothing could be further from the truth, which is why I am posting this schedule. This entire website is about how to maintain our overall health with a healthy dose of moderate daily body maintenance. SOME focused daily body maintenance, not an extreme amount, EVER. Focus on precision of movement in every waking moment and lead an Active Lifestyle. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? I believe that it is, it just takes a little bit of practice and perhaps a whole lot of belief shifting to make it happen; more on the belief part another day.

Do something everyday.

Learn > Practice > Refine > Repeat.

A year ago my weekly schedule looked very different compared with the current one (below). At the bottom of this post I will write out what last years schedule looked like and what it looked like a year before that. Change is good. I choose to change and move forward towards better health. Doing more was not the answer for me.

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

–Will Rogers

Since June 2012 this is what my current weekly Body Maintenance schedule has been:

Monday       Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Rest &Recovery Stairs Warm Up+1-mile Track Run(aim for 7min. Mile)+Max. Push Ups in 1 Minute

+Ashtanga Yoga

(~80 min. Total time)

30 Min.Swim drills Stairs Warm Up+4 Minute Burpees Tabata+400x Skipping+Ashtanga Yoga(~70 min. Total Time)
ACTIVE LIVING

ACTIVE LIVING

 ACTIVE LIVING  ACTIVE LIVING
Friday Saturday Sunday
30 Min.Swim drills Rest &RecoveryOrAshtanga Yoga(30 – 60 min. Total time) 30 Min.Swim drills
ACTIVE LIVING ACTIVE LIVING

ACTIVE LIVING

 

Current Ashtanga Yoga Practice (~60 minutes):

  • 5x Surya Namaskara A
  • 3-5 x Surya Namaskara B
  • Standing Series
  • First 12 seated postures (Lift between each posture with the occasional vinyasa)
  • Working on Navasana up to Handstand (I will post a video of this progression, it is quite amusing)
  • 2 Backbends + counter pose
  • The Finishing Sequence (when not menstruating)
  • Closing Sequence
  • Savasana
  • No practice on full moon days.

25 – 30 minutes Swim Drills (20 meter pool):

  • 4 lengths flutter kick w/board
  • 8 lengths front crawl w/flip turn
  • 2 lengths flutter kick on back with arms overhead
  • 8 lengths back stroke
  • 2 lengths flutter kick on back with arms overhead
  • 8 lengths breast stroke
  • 4 lengths dolphin kick w/board
  • 4 lengths arms only front crawl w/pull buoy
  • 4 lengths flutter kick w/ board
  • 8 lengths front crawl w/flip turn
  • 4 min. Vertical Treading Water Tabata
  • 4 lengths easy front crawl cool down
  • 10 – 15 minute stretch in whirlpool

Pool Lap Lane

Of course Active Living varies from day to day and season to season. My biggest House Maintenance Day tends to be on my Rest & Recovery Days but that is not set in stone – stuff comes up! Some house maintenance is done everyday, regardless. Rest & Recovery days vary too.

It also looks like my Playground Pit-Stops will be dwindling over the winter months, as they usually do – monkey bars and D-Rings need to be dry (and Vancouver is pretty wet), but with cold muscles my hands just can’t hold a grip. There is also the dog walk duty, which is shared between my husband and me; we don’t have a set schedule.

If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions.

If you want to know your future, look into your present actions.

~Chinese Proverb

This is an example of a week schedule from 2011:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Stairs Warm Up+ light stretches+My 12 minute Workout+1×100 skipping+5 Forward GripPull Ups

Ashtanga Yoga

 

Rest& RecoveryDay 30 Min.Swim Drills Rest &Recovery DayOrMy 12 minute Workout+1×100 skipping

+Ashtanga Yoga

 

Active Living Active Living Active Living Active Living
Friday Saturday Sunday
30 Min.Swim Drills Rest &Recovery DayOrMy 12 minute Workout+4 x 100 skipping

+5 Forward Grip

Pull-Ups

+Ashtanga Yoga

 

30 Min.Swim Drills
Active Living Active Living Active Living

2011 – June 2012

Ashtanga Yoga Practice (~40 minutes):

  • 3 – 4x Surya Namaskara A
  • 3x Surya Namaskara B
  • Standing series
  • first 12 seated postures (no vinyasa)
  • 3 backbends
  • Closing Sequence
  • Savasana

Swim Drills (30 minutes):

  • Same as above except only difference
  • Egg Beater Treading Water Tabata

In the years before the examples above, my workouts were much longer, over 30 minutes and up to 45 minutes in duration for BodyRock style workouts. I used to take a Masters Swim Group Class (not “masters” by definition meaning experts, rather all of us gained entry because we were over 35). And I used to go out for an hour of intense soccer with the ladies once or twice a week. When I think back on it now I can’t believe I used to do that!  I was trained to believe that we had to get our heart rate up to a certain number for a certain amount of time to reap any benefits. I used to believe a lot of “facts” backed up by scientific research written in esteemed text books and journals. Now I see that it is much, much more complex than all that. Everything is. For me, this says a lot about our belief systems and what we do because of them.

In a nutshell?

Do less at one time. But do it well; with precision. Be active throughout the day.

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10 for 10 Workout

This was my workout for today.

Ten different exercises in 10 minutes.

After I designed this workout and re-read it, I actually said out loud, “this is going to be tough.” And it was, but in a good way. But funny how now that I’m sitting here writing it out for my blog, it seems like a distant memory. Get the workout done and move on – my body maintenance isn’t an event anymore, it’s required, just part of being here.

Warm up 

  • roll out ITB with Travel Roller
  • 10x flights of stairs by two’s going up and single steps going down
  • light stretches.

Set timer for:

10 Rounds of two intervals to equal 10 minutes

  1. 10 seconds Rest interval
  2. 50 seconds Maximum Effort interval

Each exercise will be performed only once through, which is one of my favourite styles…do it right the first time because there’s no second chances. Which, in my opinion is good training for life!

1. Dynamic Squat: 34

2. Chin Ups (reverse grip – palms face body): 11

3. Sandbag Tap Down (alternating legs): 32

    • I used a household step stool
    • I turn it around so the little step is out of the way
    • Start standing with both feet on top
    • Hugging sandbag above chest – parallel to floor
    • Step down w/Right leg- tap right foot to floor – return right foot to top of step
    • Step down Left leg – tap left foot to floor – return left foot to top of step
    • Each tap down counts as 1 rep

4. Feet Elevated Push Ups: 25                                               (my feet were elevated on a 24″ plyo box)

5. Straight Arm Hanging Leg Raises: 12

6. Prisoner Jump Squats: 25

7. Bicycle Abs: 60

8. Santana Push Ups: 12  (each push up counts as 1 Rep)

9. High Knees: 133

10. Burpees: 10

Cool down w/ 4 x 100 reps skipping w/rope

+ 45 minutes Ashtanga Yoga

  • approx. 20 minutes Standing Series
  • approx. 20 minutes Seated Series (first 12 seated postures including 3 backbends)
  • approx. 5 minutes closing sequence – no inversions + Savassana

Post workout meal:

  • Water
  • Real unprocessed Turkey slices
  • Fresh steamed curly green Kale (re-heated from last night)
  • Roasted Butternut squash + sweet potato w/ginger – chili peppers – cilantro – green onion – lime juice (re-heated)
I think anyone can try this workout, but at their own level.
  • If Chin Ups are just not happening you can simply practice hanging with straight arms from the bar – that alone will start to develop the strength needed to build up to the actual chin up.
  • No chin up bar? Leave it out and make it a 8 for 8 Workout.
  • Modified Push ups instead of feet elevated…maybe even just doing the wall press.

My point is, that there is always a way to modify any workout to suit your individual level. You can cut out exercises and make a it a 5 for 5 Workout…etc.

When I get some time I will add some links and hopefully more pictures to make the workout more clear.

You’ve Got 8 Minutes Workout

My son was home sick from school today, which changes a mothers’ schedule somewhat – actually quite a lot.

We all have to adapt to the fluctuations in our schedules, so adapt I did. I converted the 14 Minute Workout I had planned for today into an 8 Minute Workout. Not only do we need a repertoire of different workout combinations but ones of varying duration, for days like these.

8 Minute Workout 

Part 1: 4 Minute Countdown

Complete as many sets of this combo as possible with precision:

Funny, I put this combo together, then noticed it was very similar, (not exact) from Bodyrock’s so you can click here to view the combo to get a feel for it. In my version there is one push up and important to note the complete squat movements between each transition. This combo can be done without a sandbag, bodyweight only.

Start holding Sandbag with parallel grip throughout combo.

Squat down place sandbag on floor & Jump to Plank

+ 10 Mountain Climbers

+ 1 Tricep Push Up (flex arms parallel to body)

+ Jump Forward to Squat

+ Clean Sandbag to chest (finish clean in a squat) [here is a link which shows how to do a clean – just ignore the Bent Over Row part in the link]

+ Sandbag Overhead Press simultaneously Lunge Right Leg Back

+ Lower Sandbag to Chest simultaneously returning Right Leg to centre Squat

+ Sandbag Overhead Press simultaneously Lunge Left Leg Back

+ Lower Sandbag to Chest simultaneously returning Left Leg to centre Squat

From Squat Lower Sandbag to Floor

This equals ONE set. Repeat from the beginning until the beeper sounds.

I completed 14 Sets in 4 Minutes.

 

Part 2: 4 Minute Mixed Tabata

6 Rounds of two intervals: 10 seconds Rest + 30 Maximum Effort

Repeat this sequence three times.

1. Skipping High Knees: 81 – 80 – 78

2. Lying 6-Inch Leg Raises: 16 – 17 – 16

(Lying on your back, legs outstretched, hands under pelvis -palms down, to round the lower back into the floor by tipping the pelvis – pubic bone pops up. Upper body sustains quarter crunch throughout. Raise legs about 18 inches off the floor – using the abdominals – the lower back should not pop off the floor. Lower the legs by 6 inches then back up to the original start position. Repeat lower legs by 6 inches, raise legs up to original start position etc.) If this is easy then you’re probably not doing it properly. Ensure not to distend your abdominals -draw them inward and do not use psoas.English: At sea aboard USS Bataan (LHD 5) Sept...

Beginners should do crunches instead. Or just practice the upper body crunch with hands under pelvis as described keeping feet on the floor – practicing to press the lower back into the ground without distending the abdomen. We can all benefit from practicing this.

Cool down with 4 x 100 skips w/ rope (legs parallel & glued together).

45 minutes Ashtanga Yoga Standing series [always including A&B] and first 12 seated postures – a few vinyasa + 3 Backbends + close).

 

 

12 Minute Full Body Workout

chili peppers

This is Today’s 12 Minute Full Body Workout.

Ate breakfast a little later than usual because the kids were both feeling under the weather, which changed the morning schedule somewhat. Got the kids to school, cleaned up the kitchen, changed bed sheets and put in a load of laundry so that I could do my workout without falling behind on chores AND before I would need to eat again!

Warmed up with 10 x flights of stairs (up by two’s – down by single steps). Each flight up and down equals 1 x + light stretches.

18 Rounds of two intervals:

10 seconds Rest + 30 seconds Maximum Effort

Complete the six exercises in order then repeat the sequence two more times to equal three times through.     (Hover over the exercise name to open a window to view the exercise description. I’m working on adding photos of the others.)

1.Dynamic Squat : 22 – 20 – 19

2.Reverse Push Up (w/ Dip Stand): 18 – 17 – 16 

3. Ninja Jump + Jump Tuck: 7 – 7 – 7

4. Feet Elevated Push Ups: 16 – 16 – 16

5. Sandbag- Alternating Leg Tap down                                     (start from top of step stool): 19 – 21 – 19

6. Straight Arm Hanging Leg Raises                                          (toes touch top of door frame): 9 – 9 – 9

A)  Incorrect  Do NOT Do This (left)

B) Correct End Position (below)

It is important to keep the knees slightly bent and initiate the movement from the abdominals. Tip the upper part of the pelvis backward causing the pubis to curl up towards your face, which in turn will cause the legs to move up toward the top of the door frame. This requires a lot of strength and practice. Initially, start by just hanging with straight arms from the pull up bar. Gradually, over days or weeks try to tip the pelvis as described without even attempting to lift the legs. Trying to achieve too much too soon can result in using the Psoas muscle to lift the legs as is seen in the first diagram (above left: A) – this is incorrect – Do NOT do this.

As seen in B) the correct movement shows a rounded lower back. Think ‘angry cat’ back except you are also curling your tail bone under in the direction of the pubis. Tail bone chases pubis -not sure how else to describe it at the moment. 🙂

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Cool down 4 x 100 skips w/ jump rope (legs parallel)

+45 Minutes Ashtanga Yoga Standing Series (including first 12 seated postures -a few vinyasa + 3 Backbends + close).

Transfered laundry and by 11 am, had my post workout meal (thankful for leftovers):

Fresh panfried Halibut with homemade caramelized onions on a bed of brown rice noodles. A side of roasted Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash w/ Lime Juice, Olive Oil, Cilantro, Ginger and Chili peppers. And Steamed curly Green Kale. Glass of Water. One Square of chocolate.

I haven’t stepped out of the kitchen since!

I’ve been preparing a different recipe for Lamb Stew, adapted from Beef a la Provencal from Lucy Waverman at the Globe and Mail…It is so amazing. I made it two weeks ago and it was delicious. Only draw back is that it takes so long to make. I will post the recipe another time.

However, during this food prep, I had my third meal – LUNCH at around 1pm…homemade turkey soup, except I had twice the amount shown in this picture below. I’ll share that recipe another time too, only, first I have to show you how to make your own Turkey Stock, which makes ALL the difference.

Today’s Time Challenge

When I first mentioned to friends and family what I wanted to accomplish with this site, I got a mix of reviews. I said that my goal was to help people to better understand how to exercise properly. Some told me that it wouldn’t work because “people” don’t want to know how to do things – they don’t want to spend time learning how, they just want the quick fix…show them what to do but forget about teaching them anything.

This hurt.

I didn’t want to believe this. And I don’t. I do realize that for many this may be true, but now, since having started this site I know that there are many who do want to know how and are willing to spend the time on learning. Even if this were to reach only one person, I will keep sharing.

Today I did Zuzka Light’s ZWOD II workout but made a modification to suit me. I find that a lot of the workouts I follow incorporate too many plank type exercises for me. You will understand what I’m talking about if you’ve read my post on how doing too many push ups can have a negative effect, click here.

In any case, the main thing is to find a way to get motivated to move and stretch our body daily, but equally important not to throw caution to the wind and do things mindlessly, just because someone says so.

Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you should.

We need to practice mindfulness and choose wisely.

Yes, I can do a lot of push ups, but that doesn’t mean I should do an excessive amount in one workout. I show my modification in grey (what I did in place of the 10 twisted push ups).

I had been doing house cleaning prior to my workout, while digesting my lunch – got to make the most of my time! So my official warm up was only 5x flights of stairs by two’s going up + single steps going down + light active stretching.

ZWOD II  – My modification in grey.

Complete three rounds for time. I finished in 15:54.

1. 5 Man Makers (I used pair of 10 lb. dumbells)

2. 20 Low Burpee Hops

3. 10 Twisted Push Ups

3. 5x [10 Reps Kick Ups + 1 Pull Up] (forward grip)

4. 25 Competition Sit-Ups

click here to see the video and how to do the exercises.

Exercises #1, 2 & 3 all involve a plank position. Recruiting the same muscle groups. For me this would have been excessive to have repeated three rounds.

Exercise #4 is a great choice because by dropping the knees out to the side with soles of the feet together (butterfly), the effect helps to cancel out the Psoas muscle. When we do a classic full sit-up, once we pass the crunch phase (the first quarter of the movement) the Psoas then engages and does the work to haul the torso up to sitting; this is not ideal since most people have chronically tight Psoas. In order to do this Competition Sit-Up exercise properly and effectively, it is important that the spine (especially at the lumbar region) be flexible enough to round into the ground as the body curls up to sitting. If the lower back (lumbar region) flattens out then I would advise the individual to stick with 1/4 crunches and work on increasing the flexibility of the lower back and psoas.

4 x 100 skips w/ rope to cool down.

40 Minutes Ashtanga Yoga Standing Series (including first 12 seated postures – no vinyasa – +3 Back bends + closing sequence)

People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner or later to find time for illness.

John Wanamaker

My 12 Minute ‘Kitchen Sink’ Workout

English: Kitchen sink drain Deutsch: Abfluss i...

Today’s 12 Minute ‘Kitchen Sink’ Workout

Today I practice Yoga, but before I start, I like to warm up. And because my workouts are so short I figure that they make for a great warm up! Because I’ve got a lot of things to get done around the house (which I tend to fall behind on regardless) I find that these SHORT workouts help to energize as opposed to deplete. As a result, I find that I have more energy and TIME to do the things that are important to me and my family.

My workouts aren’t an EVENT anymore, they are simply the required set of exercises to maintain my physical body so that I can BE and DO and LIVE.

I felt like doing a 12 Minute workout today but didn’t want to repeat exercises so I decided to follow the Keep It Hard for 12 Minutes template from BodyRock Tv. I wanted to use my sandbag and medicine ball to change things up a bit. Below is what I put together.

I warmed up with 10x flights of stairs. Up by two’s down by single steps. Up + down = 1 x. Followed by some light active stretching.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Set Timer for: 12 Rounds of 10 seconds Rest + 50 seconds Maximum Effort

Do as many reps in each 50 second interval as possible with precision. One exercise for each round, which means you don’t have to revisit that exercise – so go for maximum effort.

1. Chin Ups (Reverse Grip – palms face towards body)    My score: 12

2. Start w/Sandbag on floor between legs. Squat down to lift SB to Right Shoulder + Squat as SB lands on R Shoulder + Straighten up + Squat to Lower SB to floor between legs + Straighten up = 1 Rep – Repeat to Left Shoulder – Alternating shoulders. (Therefore, you do three squats per side to equal 1 Rep) My score: 14

3. Mountain Climbers, My score: 128

4. Straight Arm Hanging Leg Raises (rounding lower back to raise legs up – toes touch top of door frame),               My score: 12

5. Alternating Side Jump Lunges w/ 8lb. Medicine Ball tap down, My score: 37

6. Lying 6 inch Leg Raises, My score: 21    

7. Santana Push UpsMy score: 12

8. Bicycle Abs, My score: 64

9. Dips (using Dip Stand), My score: 10 + 5 assisted

10. Jump Lunges , My score: 35

11. Prisoner Get Up , My score: 9

12. Burpees (includes push up and squat jump),              My score: 12.5

Cool down with 4 x 100 skips w/ rope

+40 Minutes Ashtanga Yoga Standing Series (includes first 12 seated postures –a few vinyasa scattered in today– + 3 Backbends + closing sequence).

After my workout, Stella was up and walking around.

What you have to know, is Stella is an ageing Rhodesian Ridgeback. Come March, she’ll be 15 years old. (That’s ancient for a Ridgeback, who’s lifespan on average is ten years). Her walks, however, aren’t much of a walk anymore – they’re more of a sniff. See picture – notice the snow covered snout. She has become very arthritic and she moves very slowly and cautiously. Her walks take a long time and don’t really cover much ground. She sleeps more during the day than she used to. I send her out throughout the day, just in the backyard to sniff around and to exercise her legs. She’s got to keep moving, just like us. Once she stops practicing getting up and taking the stairs…exactly, she won’t be able to. Same as us.

Her eyesight is going as is her hearing…however, it is remarkable how she can still hear the sound of the treat bag open – selective hearing I think! And some days her walks are just a few meters long, after, which she turns to come home. Luckily, we’re next to the forest so that makes for a lot of interesting smells- if you’re a dog. But in no way are her walks exercise for me anymore. I’m glad that I don’t count on walking the dogs as my exercise. In my view, the dog walks are just a chore – part of our household obligations and Active Living. The dogs’ walk is their daily maintenance – physical, mental and emotional. It’s a big responsibility taking care of another being, which makes it even more important to master the skills of taking care of oneself first!

What did you do today for your body maintenance?

Let me know if you give this workout a try. Because each exercise is done only once, I think that just about anyone can try it – providing necessary modifications are made to suit your level, of course!

Today’s 10 Minute Workout

A straight flight of stairs, somewhere in the ...

Image via Wikipedia

I couldn’t find a link for this workout at Mark Lauren‘s website so I’m posting it here.

It’s a time challenge.

Only three exercises:

  1. Burpees +
  2. Mountain Climbers +
  3. Jump Lunges (A.K.A: Iron Mikes)
Instructions: 
Complete 7 Rounds as fast as possible.
Round 1: Complete 5 Reps of each exercise (i.e. 5 Burpees + 5 MC + 5 Jump Lunges)
Round 2: Complete 10 Reps of each exercise (i.e. 10 Burpees + 10 MC +10 JL etc.)
Round 3: Complete 15 Reps of each exercise
Round 4: Complete 20 Reps of each exercise
Round 5: Complete 15 Reps of each exercise
Round 6: Complete 10 Reps of each exercise
Round 7: Complete 5 Reps of each exercise
My times:
2 August, 2010 –   Time  13 min :53 seconds
5 September, 2011 –  Time  10 min :31 seconds
—————————————————————————————————
For my warm-up:
Ran up + down my basement staircase 10 x (12 stairs).  (Up + Down = 1x)
Odd numbers I took the stairs by two’s.  Even numbers I took single steps.
I.e.
1. by two’s
2. singles
3. by two’s
4. singles etc….up to 10.
Lunge style Hip flexor stretches, side bends, quads etc.
Did Mark Lauren’s workout, as I’ve come to call it.
Once finished it took a long time to get my breath back.  This was a super hard workout.  Walked around for quite some time breathing.
  • Cool down with 4 x 100 skips, still trying to bring my heart rate down gradually.
  • Cool down with 5 minutes on the stationary bike.
  • 5 Forward Grip Pull Ups
  • Full body stretches including rolling out ITB & TFL with foam roll.
Post-workout meal & lunch combined:
Romaine Salad with cherry tomatoes/ red peppers/ broccoli / my salad dressing
4 Slices of Roast Turkey (ingredients: roast turkey, salt –NOT processed)
1 leftover BBQ Sweet potato (fresh from last night) with a pat of unsalted butter.
12 oz. Water.