Workout of the Week | Alternating DB Chest Press

Adding this alternating dynamic into a classic dumbbell chest press kicked up this exercise quite a bit. You have to do more stabilizing in the core. You will also feel the flexion in each arm a bit more because you have to deal with balancing the motion.

Tips

  • Check your elbows and do not dip them below your shoulder height or the top of the bench (if you’re using a bench)
  • You can do this exercise lying on the floor — that assures that your elbows do not dip down too low!
  • Go heavy! Make sure that your weight amount is appropriate for your actual strength. After a set, you should feel the burn

Free Class @Meta: Brainiac Step | Monday September 13 | 5pm EST

At Meta I offer one free fitness or yoga class per month, available streaming live. Free access to fitness and wellness classes encourages stronger community and also helps members of that community to feel braver in their bodies. That’s what Meta/Physical Studio is all about!

Join me on September 13, 2021 for 45 minutes of Brainiac Step: a high-energy choreographed aerobics class with inspiring music and memorable moves. The class is beginner-friendly — so feel free to come as you are! — and also good for experienced steppers.

What can I expect in the class?

Step aerobics is a group exercise class that utilizes an elevated platorm (a “step”). The movements mimic walking up and down stairs but with a dance-inspired twist for a high-intensity cardio workout. In Brainiac Step I build choreography with “blocking” so that each class has usually 4 blocks. I teach each block slowly and with clear instruction. The “grand finale” of class is putting the blocks together as a routine.

What do I need to take the class?

A step is recommended, although you can do the class without a step. Some participants use a yoga mat to indicate the area to “step” on and others just use the floor. All movements can be done on the floor. Also, feel free to use one or two risers under your step if you want an extra challenge.

You will also need:

  • a device to access the class (a PC, Mac, phone, tablet, etc.)
  • access to Zoom (it’s free)
  • a webcam so I can see you!
  • speakers that pair with the device you’ll use to take class
  • access to Moxie so you can sign up (it’s easy! just click on the class you want)

What does the choreography look like?

This particular session will be choreography for “Ground Control,” a Level 1 routine. Here is the “grand finale.”

But don’t get overwhelmed! You CAN learn step! Here is a break-down of the some of the moves that make up the blocks:

Three-Knee Repeater
Turn Step

Looking forward to seeing you on Zoom LIVE for this fun class!

Workout of the Day | Incline Push Ups with Side Plank

I love doing push ups on the incline, like using a step. I feel like I can go deeper into the chest and also sustain my movements more slowly. The incline makes the exercise a little bit more accessible for those who often go onto their knees for a push up. It also targets the chest differently, slightly. Adding the side plank at the top of the movement allowed for deeper engagement of the core.

Tips

  • Keep the elbows pointed towards the back/side of the room at about a 45 degree angle rather than straight out at the shoulder. This protects the elbow and shoulder and also targets the chest better.
  • Leverage your upper body weight toward the front of the motion rather than the back so that your weight is distributed over the work of the exercise.
  • Knit the shoulder blades together.
  • Keep a straight line from the crown of the head to the ankles.
  • Don’t overextend on the plank when you open your arm to the ceiling (like I did in the first execution).

Workout of the Day | Back Lunge Sequence

Lunges are wonderful when they’re done with good form! Anyone who has done a lunge with poor form knows the pain that can burst through the knee joint.

Today’s WOD is a lunge sequence using only body weight. It’s great to balancing and so the core is engaged, as well. The exercise targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glute muscles, of course.

Move with grace

Step back into a lunge. Be sure that your front knee aligns with your front toes and does not reach beyond your toes. Aim to keep your knee back, tracking with your ankle.

Propel forward toward Warrior III posture, maintaining balance.

Drive your back knee up and forward.

Step back and gently place the leg into position for a back lunge.

Workout of the Day | Goddess Squat with DB Goalpost Side Bends

This morning’s Core Commitment class went well! It was my first virtual fitness class since I was sick yesterday for the grand opening — I know, right?!

There were a few tech problems during the class, which were frustrating. But after that was fixed, the class was smooth. I can still feel the burn in my abs and thighs and glutes as I type this post!

Standing Focus on the core

Today’s WOD is a Goddess Squat with DB Goalpost Side Bends. This standing core exercise primarily targets the transverse abdominus and the internal and external obliques. You need to engage your pelvic floor as well. The quadriceps and glutes and shoulders get a little pick-me-up with this exercise as they stabilize your body in the correct position.

Do the Exercise
  • Get deep into a wide-legged goddess squat. Be sure that your knees and toes face the same direction. Hold this posture throughout the exercise!
  • Lift arms into a “goalpost” position with elbows bent and palms facing forward. Try to keep elbows raised to shoulder height!
  • Keeping your hips still, bend to one side aiming one bent elbow toward the hip bone. Use the core muscles to stabilize the upper body.
  • For added intensity, reach the top arm overhead as you bend.

Enjoy the burn, my friends!

Workout of the Day | Core with Weighted Medicine Ball

My 12lb medicine ball has been one of my favorite purhchases for the home gym. It is so versatile! Today I used it for a thorough core workout that also targeted glutes, quadiceps, and triceps. Here are four exercises from the session.

Triceps push-up on medicine ball

Be sure to squeeze your elbows in toward your ribcage to full flexion and also back up to extension. Balancing on the ball made this super sweet!

Kneeling Lean-Back with twist

Adding the twist and the weight made this simple move fiery! Keep the chin slightly tucked and engage those abs!

Plank Roll Out

The dynamic movement of this exercise targets the entire abdominal region. Pull slowly all the way to back to kneeling and then roll out again.

Mountain climbers on medicine ball

Drive the knees forward (and also, perhaps, laterally toward the elbow) and keep a straight line from shoulder to ankle. Don’t let your butt creep up.

Which exercise did you like best?

Workout of the Day | Step Aerobics

Today I did a high-energy cardio workout! Step aerobics is light and fun, and I did my own routine to some excellent music. It lifted my spirits and got me primed for a great day.

I used sections of my routine to make quick how-to videos for my Step 101 YouTube Series, which I created today, I’m excited to say!

Today I did my routine “Ground Control,” which was a lot of fun. Here are some of the additions to my series:

It’s a lot, right!? The workout was stellar and the videos came out OK, too!

Workout of the Day | Biceps & Triceps

In this sweltering heat, I had to get in some movement early in the day. Rolling out of bed, I grabbed some equipment and hit my fitness space as soon as I could once my mom duties were in place and my child was into a morning project.

Biceps and triceps today! Here are just a couple of the exercises that I did:

Single-arm biceps curl with resistance band attached to kettlebell

2 sets of 20 on each side

I wrapped a resistance band around a 15lb kettelbell and did some traditional biceps curls, just doing one side at a time.

overhead Kettlebell Triceps extension

3 sets of 15

Using said kettlebell, I sat down for some overhead triceps extensions. Remember to keep your elbows in!

Concentration curl

2 sets of 20 on each side

This variation on the preacher curl was convenient! Sitting, legs wide, I took my elbow to the inside knee and used that as leverage.

Prone Triceps press and extension

3 sets of 15

I took my extension in a straight-arm variation here, and I took it sloooow!

Hammer Curl with side Variation

Here is your usual hammer-style biceps curl but I added in little joint rotation with a side curl variation.

Workout of the Day | Core on the Floor

I hit the floor today for some core exercises and while not all of my work is featured here, it was a luscious 30-minute burn!

Glute Kick-backs with resistance band

I kept my spine neutral as I performed some bent-leg glute kickbacks, engaging my core and flexing my feet.

Straight-Leg Glute lift and fire hydrant raise with resistance band

Using the resistance band on the fire hydrant raise was exceptionally wonderful, targetting my oblique muscles. Moving slowly through the motion brought some extra burn!

Cross-Body bar lift sit-up

The 20lb bodybar added a challenging dynamic as I sat all the way up and pushed the bar across my body.

Bridge with pilates ring thigh squeeze

My entire carriage was electric as I pressed up into bridge and squeezed the pilates ring.

Double Leg drop with reach-through

Squeezing the pilates ring while doing the double leg drop for the lower abdominals was a fantastic sensation, but the reach through the ring was what really drove this exercise home!

Side-lying double leg lift with knees to chest

I used the pilates ring for extra resistance as I squeezed it while lifting my legs in a side lying position and then driving my knees toward my chest.

Double leg drop with pilates ring squeeze

Adding those squeezes in the extended position of the leg drop was dynamic and tough!

Workout of the Day | Chest & Back

Chest and back workout in the books today as I continue my fitness journey from #mombody to #fitmom! I love lifting weights, and these sessions are so pleasurable for me. Take a peek at my routine today (some pics are missing, such as chest press with barbell and a few others).

Kettlebell romanian deadlift with single-side row

3 sets of 15

I did some asymmetrical strength work today, starting with this one. Rather than doing a single leg, which I did later, I just concentrated on the one-sided upper body workout. The row was not wide or narrow, but somewhere in between, targetting the lats and upper and middle back. Got some hamstrings, too, with the deadlift.

Single-Side Kettlebell Chest Press with Single knee lift

2 sets of 15 on each side

Keeping with the asymmetrical work I took the 15 lb kettlebell in one hand and did my chest press with a crunch from the lower abdominals. This compound exercise was dramatic. I loved it!

starbird with single-side kettlebell row

2 sets of 15 on each side

Speaking of compound movements, I followed up with a single-side row with the kettlebell tight to my ribcage while I lifted the opposite leg in a leg lift: good for glutes and lats!

Weigted Ball toss

3 sets of 50

I did not know that this exercise was going to be the toughest — that may be because I did 3 sets of 50!!!!! I know, right?! My chest was on fire…and my shoulders, too. It was a total win.

upright weighted bicycle with ball

3 sets of 20 between lifting sets

So, I snuck in a couple abdominal workouts while I gave my chest and back a rest. Here is an upright bicycle exercise I did with the weighted ball.

Pilates ring chest press and twist

2 sets of 10

I did these really slow and I wasn’t able to do a third set because the time under pressure in my chest was just absurd. Squeezing that ring while extending my arms turned out to be very challenging! It was fantastic.

3 Direction bent over raises

I loved the burn that this exercise brought! I moved very slowly as I lifted a 5lb dumbbell parallel with my head meridian, brought it back to center, lifted out in a traditional bent over raise, and then brought it back, and then extended toward the back of the room. My back was burning up.

standing starbird single-side row and lift

To round out my back work and improve my balance I finished with this move that really made me use a firm drishti. Success!