Archive | December, 2011

Cold Weather Running

31 Dec

I love it–most of the time.  And I am sure many of you runners out there do also.  The key, for me at least, was finding the right clothing.  Once I had clothing that, although not so attractive, kept my body heat in and the sweat off of me I was able to truly enjoy cold weather running.  I definitely have days when I look outside into the freezing cold and I have to convince myself that I gotta do it.  Often this includes talking aloud to myself, “it’s no big deal, it’s just 30something degrees…there are people who run marathons in colder weather”.  I usually put the running gear on before I am even committed to going for the run.  Then once the gear is on, I figure I may as well warm up. Then, before I know it I am running. Often (not always), once I am running I feel great.

I am visiting family in Canada and my winter running experience here is a quite different from what I am accustomed to–different weather conditions, unfamiliar route, no music because I forgot my iPod, etc– so it has been hard for me to get into the runs in the beginning but after about a mile, I have been able to get into the rhythm of it.

Overall, my cold weather runs this winter have been pretty successful.  I know that not all of them will be that way, but for now, I say don’t let the cold weather deter you from your outdoor runs or workouts.  Just put your gear on and go for it.

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6 lb Medicine Ball- 35 min

25 Dec

There is so much fun to be had with a med ball!  One can have a full upper body, lower body, core, and cardio workout with nothing but a medicine ball.  Of course med balls are much more fun to throw against the ground or walls (a GREAT workout) but finding such space in NYC is not always easy.  Also more fun is having a partner to throw around the ball with.  But we must make do with what we have!  I hope to show you some med ball partner work and outdoor med ball work in future videos.

*Please be advised that some med ball exercises displayed here are more advanced and should not be attempted unless alongside a certified trainer or if you have advanced experience with the med ball.  The following are a list of the advanced exercises and how you can modify them to be safe:

Instead of doing push ups off the med ball, do push ups off the floor or an elevated surface if needed. 

Instead of doing planks off the medicine ball, do them with your hands on the floor instead.

Instead of medicine ball jumps (jumping over the ball), just jump in place. 

In exercises where I have one foot on the med ball doing squats, be sure to have a surface to hold onto to ensure balance or just have both feet on the floor.

MOST IMPORTANT–DO NOT attempt the med ball stands or squats (standing on the med ball or squatting on it).  Just skip that entirely and do regular squats where your feet are on the floor.  It took me a lot of training to even attempt that and it is still super challenging.  It is not a necessary exercise for most. 

Happy Holidays!

Hardstyle and Kettlebell Sport workout-40 min

15 Dec

Here I am working with my 12kg/26lbs ‘hardstyle’/general fitness kettlebell (the black one) and my 16kg/35lbs sport kettlebell (the yellow one).

The hardstyle kettlebells are the ones that you will find most frequently at the gym.  These kettlebells are for high intensity workouts that build strength and endurance (muscular and cardio endurance).  Before using these kettlebells it is important to be instructed or supervised by a certified instructor.  Many people attempt the KB movements on their own, which is dangerous.  There is a lot involved with the movements–it is NOT just swinging it around.  One you have the basic movements down (which takes time), you can progress to some of the more advanced exercises that you see here.

The yellow kb that you see is used for Girevoy sport (kettlebell sport), which is used for competitive kettlebell lifting.  The shape, size and weight of sport kettlebells are quite different than the hardstyle kbs.  Therefore, the form/body movements used are completely different.  DO NOT attempt using the Girevoy kettlebells without instruction from a certified kettlebell sport instructor. These are NOT your regular fitness or workout bells.  Those who use these are often involved in the competitive arena.  Using these kb’s is even more technically challenging and ‘labor intensive’ than using the hardstyle ones and it’s not for everyone.

I like to use both kinds of kettlebells as they challenge me in different ways.  I used to be more competitive with the sport kettlebell, however now I just prefer to keep up my skills in a much less intense manner. I encourage those of you who are interested to seek out a KB instructor to see what it is all about.  When you are using a kettlebell, I guarantee that you are not thinking of anything else but your kettlebell and your form.  So it is a great way to ‘get away’ from the outside world and get an intense workout at the same time.

One great KB instructor is Steve Cotter.  Here is his site:

http://www.fullkontact.com

To find ‘RKC’ certified instructors near you and to learn about Pavel, who made KB’s popular in the US, check out:

http://www.dragondoor.com/

15 LB Dumbells and Step 40min

11 Dec

I have been back to my outdoor workouts at the park and my runs.  It feels good.  But by the time I got home it was dark and rainy and I just did not want to deal with the elements.  So, here is the workout.  Looking at this video I realize I need to work on my deep squats…my posture when I come up is looking a bit shaky.  Additionally, I need to STOP flailing my arms when I jump.  I do a lot of plyometric exercises/jumping at the park and now I am wondering how much flailing I do there.  I must get that on tape to assess:)  Anyhow, I could go on and on, but here it is.