How has your week been? As I write this, I’m rolling out my forearms on my dining room table with a lacrosse ball, and making some hideous/hilarious facial expressions while doing so, I’m sure. Remember last Friday when I told you I was going to try out a gymnastics clinic? It sounded like a great idea in theory because I know it would help me learn to do some of the movements I can’t yet do in Crossfit classes – specifically toes to bar and handstands. But what I didn’t quite anticipate was how much my forearms would hurt after all of that tight bar gripping. I kid you not, I couldn’t make a fist with either one of my hands from Monday to Wednesday this week!
So what’s the plan for this weekend? To go back and do more, of course. #typical. Seriously though, the DOMS is almost gone and I actually feel like I’m making progress which is incredibly motivating. The thing about having less upper body strength is that when you start to build it, the improvements are more noticeable. I’m determined to hit my goal of being able to do at least 10 unassisted pull-ups this year, and at this rate, maybe it’ll happen sooner than anticipated.
Also happening this weekend: a workout at a brand new, totally awesome spot that just opened here in Vancouver. I attended a sneak peek event at this beautiful new space on Thursday morning and I’m SO excited to tell you all about it. Stay tuned for that coming up on Monday! In the meantime…
Work It Out
This one won’t take you long at all, but get ready to give it your all! Like some of the recent workouts I’ve posted, you’ll need a timer because the goal is to complete the workout as fast as you possibly can, improving week over week. Equipment-wise, grab a set of dumbells. Depending on your strength level, something between 15 and 25lbs should be about right. Intensity is the name of the game with this one, and the more you do it, the better you’ll get at pacing yourself to last until the end while also moving quickly. If you’re sweaty, you’re doing it right!
The Quick Trick Workout
Set a timer and work through the list of moves below as fast as possible with good form, resting only as needed. See below for descriptions of each exercise and suggested modifications.
Dumbell clusters: Stand with feet just outside shoulder width apart, holding a dumbell in each had. Using a little bit of momentum, swing the dumbells back slightly, then swing them forward, curling them up to hover just above your shoulders. As you do this, lower into a squat. As you rise to standing, push up powerfully through your feet, driving with your hips and pressing the dumbells overhead. That’s 1 rep. Lower the dumbells down the same way you brought them up, again, using a bit of momentum from the ‘backstroke’ to bring them back up for rep 2. Continue for all reps.
Here’s a little gif to demonstrate:
- Make it easier: Eliminate the squat and simply do an overhead dumbell press, or eliminate the press and do squats with the weights at your shoulders.
- Make it harder: Increase the weight.
Lateral hop-over burpees: Immediately after finishing the clusters, drop the dumbells at your feet. Hop over them to the right, then do a burpee, lowering your chest right down to the ground. Get back up and hop laterally over the dumbells to the left for burpee #2. Continue hopping side to side until all reps are complete.
- Make it easier: Eliminate the lateral hop and just do burpees, or eliminate the burpees and just do lateral jumps (or ski jumps) from side to side over the dumbells.
- Make it harder: Space the dumbells further apart so you have to jump further.
Alternating weighted lunges: Hold the dumbells, one in each hand and alternate lunging forward with each leg.
- Make it easier: Drop the weights and just use bodyweight.
- Make it harder: Turn them into weighted jumping lunges, switching leading legs mid-air.
Turn It Up
Right now at work we have a ton of construction going on upstairs, directly above my desk. Needless to say, this means I’ve had Spotify in my ears for many hours this week, and in the process I’ve found a few good new workouts songs. You’ve seen a couple of songs by CHVRCHES featured here in the past, and this week I’ve got another, Clearest Blue to share with you. It’s a great fit for running, or whenever you just need a bit of an energy boost. Enjoy!
Can’t see the video? Click here.
Have A Read
- 20 awesome things about being in your late 20s – via Greatist. Not really fitness-related reading, but great regardless. Cheers to all my fellow 28-ish year old readers out there! 😉
- So you want to start lifting weights. Here’s everything you need to know – via Mind Body Green. Ok, maybe not everything you need to know, but it’s a good start.
- 5 beginner-friendly ultramarathons on the east coast – via Women’s Running
Now let’s hear from you! What are you getting up to this weekend? If you’ve got workout requests for coming weeks, feel free to toss them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to deliver ASAP.