Jump Rope and Kettlebell – 30 minutes

19 Jan

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Cardio is anything that gets your heart rate up and into your target zone.  There are generalized target zones that you can find on equipment or online.  However, finding your individualized target zone can be much more effective and allow for better use of your work-out time.  Using age and resting heart rate to determine target zones enables for more accuracy.  Zones may also be altered by current physical health and medications, so it is important to take that information into account.

Once your target zone is determined, you can do whatever it is that you love to do in order to get your heart rate into your zone for at least 20 minutes (not including warm up and cool down).  To reduce boredom and to prevent overuse injuries, it is recommended to cross train, or change activities now and then (or even every time).  I love kettlebelling, kickboxing, running, plyometrics, rebounding, step, and doing compound movements (full body movements) with various pieces of equipment in order to do cardio.  Whatever it is I chose to do, I simply monitor my heart rate to ensure it stays within my individualized zone.  It is that simple.

So with all that in mind, I decided to try something new…jump roping! It never was my thing before, but I just went for it.  When my son is napping, I can just go down into our dungeon-looking basement and jump away.

Whether it is hoola-hooping, unicycling, pole-dancing, or parkour…go for it.  No judgement (so long as your heart rate is in your zone:)!

*The 12kg blue kettlebell that you see here is typically used for Girevoy sport or competitive kettlebell lifting.  The shape, size and weight of sport kettlebells are quite different than the ‘hardstyle’ kbs that are often found in gyms.  Therefore, the form and body movements used are completely different.  I do not recommend using the Girevoy kettlebells without instruction from a certified kettlebell sport instructor. These are NOT your regular fitness or workout bells.  

Body Bar and Hurdles – 20 minutes

29 Nov

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Frequently changing your workout routine is important.  It prevents overuse injuries, muscle imbalances and boredom.  You can change your workout routine by alternating between various pieces of equipment, by varying the movement of your body (try to do more lateral movements and rotations) and by changing the amount of resistance (which will mean changing set and repetition amount).  If you only have a few pieces of equipment to choose from, do research or talk to a trainer and find out different movements/exercises that you can execute with what you have.  And do not underestimate bodyweight training and calisthenics.  It requires no equipment at all and can be even more challenging than using equipment. In this video I am using my new hurdles.  They were just what I needed to get re-motivated.

Note: I do have a co-star in this video.  He is watching my form very carefully.

Body Weight and Calisthenics – 20 Minutes

20 Sep

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My son is 10 months old and I can’t believe soon enough he will be one year old!  He is truly amazing and he has recently started sleeping through the night.  I am finally able to sleep more than a 3 hour stretch and I feel like a new woman! He also has started napping.  It took a while for us to get into the rhythm of napping, but it is finally happening.  Sometimes only for 20 minutes and sometimes (when I am truly lucky) it can be nearly 2 hours.

Because he was never much of a napper, I had to make very good use of my time.  When he would fall asleep, I would run around like a mad woman trying to determine what I could complete in the next 20 minutes.  By the time I started something he would be awake. Up until now my fitness routine was running with him in the jogging stroller, doing exercise drills at the park while he was in the jogging stroller, or working out in my fitness studio after I had clients (when I had a sitter).  This was great but there were some days that I was unable to take him out in the weather and that I had no sitter.  Now that he is napping I have the option of using a portion of his morning nap time to workout.  I figure 20-30 minute workout, then shower, then get done whatever I can before he wakes up (laundry, cooking, etc).  In order for this to work I will have to push aside some toys and workout in my living room…

Postpartum weight update: I am still a few pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight and my core is still not as tight/strong as it was (which is why I am still not in the pre-pregnancy pants size yet).  It ain’t easy….but we gotta keep focused.

Plyo Box and Pull Ups-25 minutes

14 Aug

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9 months postpartum and still focused.  Back in NY there was a park I would run to that had an adult workout area. The park included pull up bars, monkey bars, benches for plyometrics, parallel bars, and various other equipment that one could push, pull, and swing upon.  I would run about 1.5 miles to the park, do various drills for 20-40 minutes then run home.  I loved that routine.  It was there that I mastered my pull-ups and also my plyometric jumps.  I stopped much of this routine by the time I was about 4 months pregnant.  Since then I have moved, had my baby, and set up my own fitness studio.

Two of the first pieces of equipment that I purchased for my new studio space included the plyometric box and the pull-up bar.  Soon after I got the plyo box I started back into my plyo routines.  But I am just now getting back into doing pull-ups.  I had not done them for over a year (pregnancy plus postpartum).  I was sad to find that I no longer could do full pulls-ups.  Pre-pregnancy I was able to do 3-5 sets of 6-8 pull-ups at a time.  And now I can do NONE!  So I am back to the beginning again.  I am now back to doing assisted pull-ups (using resistance bands) and jump pull-ups.  In this video you will see me jumping off the bosu in order to get momentum to complete my pull-ups.

It is frustrating to not be able to do what I once was able to do.  But as I have said before, instead of dwelling on what we can’t do, we have to focus on what we can do and our new goals.  I hope to be sharing videos of me doing my full pull-ups one day in the near future.  But for now, here is what I CAN do…

Kettlebell – 30 minutes

4 Aug

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Vamping back up into my pre-pregnancy KB routines.  My son is almost 9 months now. My body is not as lean as it was pre-pregnancy and therefore I am still a few sizes larger.  However I feel good and strong and I am focused on re-gaining muscle.  It truly is a challenge to attain ones fitness level postpartum.  I now understand this more than ever and I want to tell the moms out there I understand and it is completely normal.  Instead of being frustrated about it, remember that although you may have some extra pounds now, you also have an amazing little human.  Love the body that gave you this gift and that will lead you the right direction.

To those who wish to improve their fitness level this message applies to you as well.  Perhaps you are just setting out on your road to fitness, or maybe you are post-surgery or injury, or maybe you are trying to re-gain the health and fitness you once had–STAY FOCUSED and BE PATIENT.  Your goal is a great one and it will be reached in time.  There are no quick fixes, only lifestyle changes over time that will lead you there.

Best,

Shana

Postpartum Workout – Kickboxing – 35 minutes

22 Jul

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Over the past year my entire life has changed.  Almost one year ago I moved from New York City to Kansas City.  I left my job, my friends, and my home of 16 years.  Soon after I moved, I gave birth to my son.  He is 8 months old now and he is truly amazing.

I left an entire identity in New York. My new identity is still evolving as I have yet to find my place is in this new world of mine.   Yes, clearly I’m a mom.  That is most important.  So finding the ‘me’ somewhere in that mom-hood is taking some time.  This includes finding outlets for me to focus on my personal passions that will, in turn, make me a better mom.    One of my passions is working out-pushing things, pulling things, and swinging things.  So I continue to make every effort to take anywhere from 20- 40 minutes on most days of the week to get my workouts in.  It clears my mind and hopefully this clarity will enable me to find…well…me!

I encourage you to find what it is that makes you feel great.  Make time to do it, even if it is a few minutes per day.  It makes a world of difference.  I’ll be here to support you!

5 Months Postpartum Workout – Kickboxing – 35 Minutes

20 Apr

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Yes, I realize it has been quite a while!  Generally, I have been able to workout 3 to 5 times per week.  I was doing intense 20 minute workouts for a while as they were all I could fit in.  I am now able to fit in up to 40 minute workouts at times.  As I have stated before working out post-partum is a challenge.  This is not only because of time constraints, but also because of the changes that the body goes through including (but not limited to:) extra ‘baby weight’ and joint instability.  So it is quite important to ease back into your routine.  I am just now beginning to get my pre-pregnancy strength and endurance back.  I am still working on losing the last 8 pounds and I am just now finally beginning to feel a bit like myself again.

Here is my first attempt back to kickboxing.  It had been at least a year since I had kick boxed (pregnancy plus 5 months).  I felt ready to do it and I went for it.  It felt great and I am so glad to be back at it.

Regards!

Postpartum Workout – Plyometric Box – 20 minutes

15 Jan

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The plyometric box (plyo box) is a great piece of equipment.  It’s intended use is for plyometric exercises.  Plyometric exercises or plyometrics uses explosive movements such as jumping  intended to increase speed, agility, and power.  In addition to improving muscle tone and the cardiovascular system, plyometrics also has shown to improve bone density. In my workout here, I am using the plyo box to do high stepping exercises, upper body exercises, and core exercises.  I am not ready to do my full plyometric routine yet as I stopped doing plyometrics when I was pregnant. I am working my way back into it.  Therefore, in this video you will see I am doing minimal jumping/plyometric exercises.

*Please be advised that plyometric exercises such as box jumping is advanced.  Do not attempt box jumps without supervision and instruction by a certified instructor.  If these movements are preformed incorrectly, it WILL cause injury.

 

Postpartum Workout – Dumbells – 20 Minutes

5 Jan

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Getting back into shape postpartum is a challenge for sure!  The obvious is the time constraint.  Once you find the time, then you have to ease back into your workout routine because the body is all ‘out of sorts’.  The muscles are not as strong as before, the joints are not yet stable, your body moves differently/body mechanics are off and endurance is limited.  I can see how many mothers just get frustrated and want to give up.  But don’t give up!  It is all worth it.  It is a worthwhile challenge and I am here to support you.

*Please ignore the mess in this video…we were *still* having housework done.

Postpartum Workout – Step – 20 minutes

24 Dec

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I love my newborn.  He is truly amazing.  But, wow having a newborn is way more challenging than I had imagined!  I knew it would be hard, but I guess it is something I couldn’t truly understand until I was in it.  So here I am!  Exhausted, nursing my baby for what seems to be 20 hours of the day, amid the postpartum hormonal shifts, and dealing with house renovations (please pardon the mess in this video).  It is all getting to me! The one thing that always kept me calm was working out and now there is limited to no time to do it.  Fortunately I have worked out a schedule with my husband where I can get a 20 minute workout in on most days. On days that I have missed a workout, I am, well, a mess.  I wanted to be real for you mothers out there…I now better understand what you have often expressed to me.

On the upside, I am getting stronger and stronger with each workout and I have been able to slowly increase my intensity and the amount of resistance I use.  Weight loss is and will be slow.  This is expected.  I am not going to stress that as I am feeling stronger each day and I am feeling quite healthy.  It is important not to focus on the weightloss and rather focus on maintaining a balanced lifestyle of fitness and health. The rest will fall together in time.

Again, please pardon the appearance of my space!