Workout Wednesday: Plyo-what-rics? and last week’s giveaway winner!

Hi and Happy Wednesday!

Today’s post is going to be about a word that I first learned in my strength and conditioning programming class in college – plyometrics! Plyometrics often get a bad boy reputation, because so many people think that in order to do plyometrics, one must jump 30 feet off the ground…That is not the only way to do  plyo… the term “plyometrics” simply means, “an explosive movement, or a powerful movement” Technically, One could simply jump rope and receive an excellent plyometric workout. Jumping lunges and jump squats are popular plyometric exercises, but one needs to learn and practice proper form with regular lunges and jump squats before moving on to the plyometric versions of these exercises. You see, the body  has golgi tendon organs which have the job of gauging how far your muscles can stretch. In order to get more out of a high-impact plyometric workout, the nervous system must be wide awake first – think of a short low-impact warm-up as a cup of coffee for your nervous system. You’ll be taxing out your fast-twitch muscle fibers, which spikes your metabolism. So warm-up with some knee lifts or marching in place for a couple of minutes before starting any plyometric workout, the same goes for shoulders. If you’re doing plyometric push-ups, the you could start with some regular push-ups and arm circles as a warm up. Don’t forget to land with your knees slightly bent. The more spring-like your legs, the safer your landing.

Do plyo moves earlier in a strength workout, when your muscles feel strongest. This will save you from sacrificing form, and thus, injuring yourself. Short plyo workouts are best. I would not do a plyo workout longer than 30 minutes. If you need some fresh moves, and modifications, I like the following 2 dvd’s: “Plyo Fix” from 21 Day Fix.(You can win an autographed copy from Autumn Calabrese this week too!) I love how Autumn clearly explains how your muscles should be engaged, and Mash-Up Conditioning’s “Tempo” dvd has plyo and and modified exercises. If you want to practice the moves without the whole gym watching, this is a great way to go! Quality is better than quantity. Remember that when you’re tempted to show off.

If you want to see a funny video of some sports-based plyo drill s check this out!

These are actually similar to the soccer conditioning drills I used to do!

Last week we had a fun giveaway on the blog, and the winner is…. the lovely Diatta Harris of http://femmefitalefitclub.com/ Check out the awesome link-up she and several other amazing ladies host:

Tabata Turkey Blaster

Happy Thanksgiving!
With a full tummy and thankful heart, I write to tell you I successfully got in a workout on Black Friday, and you can too! I was at my parent’s house for Thanksgiving, and they don’t have a lot of room, but I brought my resistance bands, and I tell you, I was breaking a sweat!!! And I was breathing like I had just finished a round of sprints! I felt accomplished! But, the magic was I accomplished all this in 8 minutes! I used the Tabata format, and will probably use it for years to come! It works for me, and I can get on with my day. Here’s the Turkey blaster I did on Friday!
Exercise Tips
Bent Row: hinge at the hips without rounding the back. Keep your abs in tight as you pull the band toward your abdomen and exhale. Squeeze those shoulder blades.
Runner’s Toe Taps: Get into Runner’s Lunge Pose, hands on the floor. Keeping weight in the front foot, quickly tap back foot forward and back, bottom down.

Push-Ups: Whether modified or full, keep your abs in tight, work on  a controlled motion, quality over quantity.
Jumping Jacks: NO pidgeon toes, and keep your knees slightly bent at all times. You’ll need to tie the band tight enough to keep tension on it throughout the entire exercise.

Enjoy this workout, and tell me of your progress!

Good morning!

First of all, Happy Veterans Day! I’m so thankful that there are brave men and women who risk their lives everyday for us all here in the US!

Today being Monday, I’m back in my workout and food routine full steam. Today is lower body day on my personal calendar, but it’s also a day on which I have to teach a really challenging group fitness class! Not that I mind the challenge, but it can be tough discerning how much I need to push myself when I have a challenging class to teach later. So I said to myself, “Self, you should just put 3 exercises together and do the whole circuit 3-5x…” So there you have it. I took two of the most effective lower body exercises, the squat, and the bridge, and paired them with an easy-to-do ploymetric (explosive) move, the jumping jack and got a great workout! This workout is a quickie toner for your thighs, glutes, and calves! The key here is adding the pulses, squeezes, and presses at the end of each set. pulses really involve the gluteus maximus, while squeezes target the inner thighs, and presses target the outer thighs. I hope you enjoy the workout. Warm-up by marching in place and perfoming 15 kick backs for each leg.Here’s the tutorial:

Squats:
Put your arms out in front to help keep your balance, put your weight in your heels as you sit back. Newbies, put a chair behind you. Pro’s, add some weights or a resistance band. Oh, and keep your gaze up. Squeeze your glutes to stand up.

Split Squats:
Keep your weight in your front heel, then lower straight down as low as possible. Squeeze muscles and stand. Repeat.

Glute Bridge:
Put your weight in your heels.Squeeze your bum before lifting, this makes sure the glutes are doing the work.

Jumping Jacks:
Keep your knees and toes the same way…and absolutely no pidgeon toes. This will hurt your knees.

Here’s the workout:


 ENJOY and keep perservering! You will reach your goals!