Good morning friends!
Happy Friday! Who’s pumped for the weekend? I sure am. I did a pretty tough workout on Wednesday morning and as of last night, my legs have been feeling like lead! This morning’s weights were focused on my upper bod, and thank goodness, because I don’t think the legs can take any more. Thank goodness my rest day is near! Speaking of workouts, let’s cut straight to the chase shall we? Here’s your weekly dose of Fit Bit Friday!!
Work It Out
As I mentioned yesterday, one of my goals for September was to improve my posture. I did pretty well with this one, and I mentioned that I’d share some of my posture-improving exercises with you. This workout consists of a handful of them, and targets many of the muscles that are key to good posture – the core, upper and lower back muscles, and shoulders.
The Better Posture Workout
***Disclaimer: As with all workouts posted on Eat Spin Run Repeat, please check with a medical professional before beginning any exercise program. I am not a certified personal trainer and all workouts found on my blog are based only on my own experience.***
You’ll notice that I haven’t provided specific for sets and reps for this routine. This is because I like to pick and choose several of the moves and their variations in the same workout. This helps to ensure that I’m working the same muscles, but from different angles. This is more of a build-your-own workout, so you can pick from the main moves in purple, as well as the variations listed for each one. I typically superset in pairs, and do 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise.
1. Rear Delt Fly – This is one of my favourites, but you’ll notice that your rear delts tire fairly quickly so you probably won’t be able to use too much weight for too long. The idea is to try to relax your neck and traps while letting the rear delts do the work. (If you’re not sure where your deltoids are, check out the diagrams here. Rear delts = posterior delts.) To do this move on a machine, begin facing the weight stack with hands grasping the handles in front of you. Keeping your spine straight, bring the handles out as you extend your arms out to your sides. (As shown below). Pause for a few seconds, then return to the starting position and continue for remaining reps.
Variations: You can also do this using 2 cables, facing the cable weight stack. Alternatively, you could use dumbells instead of the machine’s weight, and stand with a slight bend at the hips. Other options include using dumbells while sitting on a bench or stability ball (shown below), or lying face-down on an inclined bench.
2. Seated cable rows – There are tons of ways to do rows, and each is beneficial because it targets the active muscles from a different angle. For the seated cable row, place your feet on the pads as shown below, grasp the handles of the attachment, and sit up straight as shown in (A). Keeping a strong core and tall spine, pull the handles towards your rib cage, activating the muscles in your back (trapezius, lats, delts, rhomboids). Pause when the handles are close to your body, then return to the starting position with control. Continue for remaining reps.
Variations: Standing barbell or dumbell row, standing rows using a double cable machine, single arm rows combined with push-ups (also known as a renegade row), single arm dumbell rows (as shown below).
3. Back Extensions: Position your lower body and feet on the back extension frame as shown below, and hinge forward from the hips as you fold your torso and upper body down toward the floor. With a strong spine, contract the glute muscles to return to the starting position (below). Pause, and continue for remaining reps.
Variations: You can do this one with your hands across your chest, behind your head, or holding a medicine ball or weighted plate. If you don’t have a back extension frame, you can also do this move positioned on a stability ball.
4. Basic Pelvic Tilt - you don’t need any equipment for this one, and you can do it anywhere, not just in the gym! This technique trains your pelvis to support your spine. Stand using good posture. Relax your hips and let your buttocks protrude somewhat. Place thumbs on lower ribs and fingers on hip bones. Tuck your buttocks under, so your hip bones line up under your lower ribs. Hold for 5 seconds, then repeat at least three times.
You can practice this one standing…
… or lying down:
5. Plank - Ahh the plank, one of my faves! (Remember when I planked for 24 minutes? Yes I know, crazy – I haven’t tried to do it again since!) This is a great strengthener for your core, back, and neck. Begin in plank pose on the ground, either with knees touching the floor or with legs extended straight behind you. Supporting yourself on your toes and forearms, keep your core contracted and maintain a straight line from the back of your head to your toes. Don’t let your butt point upwards or dip down towards the ground. You can choose to hold this and increase your time a bit each session, or do several holds (for example, 4x30s holds).
Variations: Side plank, rotating plank – both of which will activate your oblique muscles.
6. Hip Bridges - Lay on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, spaced about hip width apart. Place your arms at your sides, palms facing down. Pushing your weight through your heels, use your butt and core muscles (and arms for support) to help you push your hips up as high as you can toward the ceiling. Hold for 2 counts at the top, then lower, but don’t let your butt rest on the ground. When you’re a few centimeters from the ground, reverse the movement and continue with your next rep.
Variation: To make this harder, you could place a barbell across your hips, or go into a full back bridge, which looks like this:
7. Supermans - This is a great back strengthener. Lie face-down on a mat with arms and legs extended in a straight line. Simultaneously lift your arms, upper body, and legs off the ground, keeping your neck in a neutral position. Pause at the top of the move for a few seconds, (keep the core contracted!) and then lower until your arms and toes are about an inch off the floor. Repeat for next rep.
Variations: Try lifting the right arm and left leg together, and vice versa. Alternatively, you can leave your legs and toes on the ground, bend 90 degrees at your elbows, and just focus on lifting your palms, arms and upper body off the ground.
Turn It Up
I’m in the mood for a more chilled out tune today, and this one makes for a good stretching song after the workout above. Parachute is a band that’s growing on me, and this song, Kiss Me Slowly, is one of my current faves.
Have A Read
If you’ve been watching the news, you’ve probably heard about Reebok reporting lower than expected profits for this time of year. This is because the brand is being charged by the FTC for making false product claims, and in response, Reebok has agreed to issue $25 million in refunds to buyers of EasyTone and RunTone shoes. (If this is new news to you, you can read more about it here, then come back!)
The EasyTone ads stated that wearing these shoes would result in 28% more strength and tone in the wearer’s backside, and 11% more in the hamstring and calf muscles. According to the Washington Post, the toning shoe market was worth a whopping $1.1 billion last year. So I want to know is….
- What are your thoughts on toning apparel? I have a pair of Skechers Shape-Ups, which I was given during a complimentary Skechers bootcamp in Toronto. I enjoy wearing them when I’m walking around running errands, but I can’t say I’ve ever relied on them for any sort of butt-boosting benefit.
- What do you think about Reebok’s decision to issue the refund? I don’t know the specifics about how the shoes were tested prior to being sold, and although it seems irresponsible of them to make a claim that wasn’t true, I think it’s great that they’re taking responsibility and returning the money to their customers. Skechers was first to market with toning shoes, and I think Reebok probably wasn’t the only brand that felt the need to jump on the trend to preserve their market share.
- Did you hop on the EasyTone train without seeing the results you expected? You can apply for a refund here.
Alright guys, I’m off! I hope you have a fab Friday, and a wonderful weekend too!