I don’t want to be skinny, I want to be STRONG. I want my body to feel powerful and my mind to feel like it can accomplish anything!
Skinny is all about losing, but strong is about gaining empowerment.
I am going to talk about the three key components to an amazing workout. All are necessary for every workout and by incorporating these, you will sleep better, feel better, and train better.
Stretching is so important, yet the funny part is I have always had to force myself to stretch even though I preach it to others. I tend to forget the most important part because I want to start my workout but if you can think of it as part of your workout then this will help you make it apart of your fitness regime. It’s like have your morning cup of joe before starting the day! You will have a rough start to your day if you don’t have your coffee, just like if you don’t stretch before a workout. It is also just as important to stretch after your finished the workout.
These are six of my favorite stretches to do regularly. Some are more dynamic than others, and this is good to get blood flowing throughout your whole body. Stretching re-energizes your body and gets blood flowing to all of your muscles. This is why it feels great to stretch in the morning and before bed to get your metabolism moving!
After a little stretch, your muscles are warmed up for some good cardio. Strength building is great for you, but when it comes to your overall health, getting your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day can wildly increase your overall body health and results. By challenging your lungs and your heart on a regular basis, they are getting stronger and can with stand more opposition. It helps with overall immune system function and sleep cycles as well. If you know me, then you know I sleep hard because I workout hard.
Okay enough about the benefits, let’s get into my favorite forms of cardio. As many of you know, running is my passion. I love to run so much that I was a cross country coach! But, I do not think running is the truest form of fitness (my next post is all about why I crosstrain). I know that all people may not feel how I feel about running, and that’s okay! God designed me with a passion for running. What did he design you for? I also enjoy kickboxing and circuit training. What I like about circuits is that you can do them in a very small area and you do not need any equipment.
Try this circuit today (repeat 3 times for 12 minute HIIT session):
- 45 seconds jumping jacks
- 45 seconds of push-ups
- 45 seconds of burpees
- 45 seconds of squats
- 60 second rest and hydrate!
- Also incorporate exercises like: lunges, wall sits, planks, running in place
Strength training is where the toning and fat burning comes in. I love to lift weights and feel strong. Building muscles allow you to burn more calories during the day. (read here for more benefits) I love what they said in the first benefit from this article about keeping the weight off for good.
“A recent study revealed that women who followed a weight-training routine 3 times a week increased the amount of calories burned in normal daily activity (in addition to those burned during exercise), helping them to maintain their current weight.”
Knowledge is power! Research all about why strength building is important and you will quickly see the impact that it can make on your life. Strength training is not just important for your muscles, but for your overall health. It keeps you feeling great and fights depression!
Now let’s talk about some key moves that I love to do.
- Bicep Curl: This may seem so simple but a lot of people do not perform this movement in the correct way. You want to make sure that you are going just about all the way down and bringing your hands slowly up to your shoulders. You should feel the contraction all the way through the biceps. If you need to lower the weight to get the right form, lower it!
- Tricep Extension: I love these for the contraction that I feel in my tricep. I normally like to do it with one heavier dumbbell, but you can do it with two smaller ones. Take the weight back behind your head and keep your biceps right next to your ears. Then let the weight slowly go to the ground and raise it back up. Make sure you only use your elbows as the hinge to move your forearm.
- Exercise Ball Crunches: By crunching slowly, you will feel the total contraction. Core strength building is so important to any type of exercise that you do. So keep it tight and get your crunches in!
Remember, strong is the new skinny, and you can make any workout a knockout. What will you do today to get moving?!
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All of these photos were shot by Janine at Jae Studios.
Contact the photographer Janine: www.jaestudios.com