Unilateral Training – Why You Should Get Yourself Some

I played 2 on 2 volleyball with my sister and niece and nephew on Saturday night, using a clothesline as an improvised net! My niece Madelina was my teammate. Madelina: Aunt Laura! I thought you were good! Me: That was 25 years ago! Don’t worry, I got my groove back after a couple of plays! What ‘groove’ I have left, that is. I left most of it back in the 80s. Did you know that if you play sports, you should do a lot of exercises that utilize unilateral movements? This is where you say, “No, Laura, I didn’t know that. Tell me more!” My pleasure.     What Are Unilateral Exercises? Unilateral exercises are movements that work one side of the body at a time, or movements that work the sides in significantly different ways. An example would be the single-leg squat. You might have both feet on the ground, yet in a single-leg squat you will place the majority of your weight, and hence the workload, on only one leg and use the other to assist only as needed for balance. We use unilateral movement constantly in our daily life and especially in sports. Working my legs in this way allowed me to move laterally to get behind the volleyball last night. You should’ve seen me. I was amazing. (I was so-so.) What are the Benefits? Balance, Joint Support & Core Work Unilateral exercises work the small stabilizer muscles that are forced to activate when the body is off balance. This is great news for building core strength that’s needed to work under movement and also resist...

Total Transformer HiiT Workout!

Who’s in the mood for jumping jacks? Abs? Kettlebell Swings? Wall Sits? Scorpion Push-Ups?!? Bwahahahaaaaa Scorpion Push-Ups. I’m sorry in advance for those! (I’m not all that sorry.) HiiT this workout 3-4 times this week and watch your body transform! You’ll get cardio! You’ll strengthen your abs! You’ll work legs and arms and shoulders and glutes! You’ll curse me until you see results. Then you’ll want to marry me sing my praises.   For this week’s workout you’ll need two light Sandbells, your Dual-Grip Medicine Ball, your Gymboss Interval Timer, and a mat. You’ll also need your game face. And some attitude, yo. If this workout is too difficult for you, be sure to watch the Workout Preview Video below to learn how to modify it! And, I have many more suggestions for adapting this workout to YOUR needs here. Ready? READY? That’s more like it.   Learn the Workout:   Now do it in Real Time!  ...

15-Minute Full-Body HiiT Workout!

I’ve got a busy week so let’s get right to the point! This week’s Quickie Workout is a 15-minute full-body challenge! We start out with a single-leg side plank burpee – say whaaaaat? – then hiit legs with a front/back plyo lunge, take a mini-breather with time-under-tension bicep curls, then slam core with plank oblique knee tucks and a Pilates back extension variation! When we say full body, we mean it! 5 exercises, 3x each. Set your interval timers for 15 rounds of 50 seconds exercise, 10 seconds rest. Or if you’re feeling sassy, do the workout 4 or 5 times through! :::fist bump::: Equipment for this Quickie: Heavy Dumbbells, Sliders, Mat, Towel Oh, and don’t forget to stalk follow me on social media! That’s where the crazy fun happens! Google+ Facebook Pinterest Twitter  Instagram  Preview the exercises and learn proper form & modifications for this workout:   Now do the workout straight through in Real Time! With me! Yayyyyyy Woot!...

You’ve Got Abs! Let’s Work ‘Em!

 On a recent post about abs workouts, this Google+ comment by Paul Miskinis cracked me up: “I hope after all this crap going on outside you can enjoy your new perfect physique! It’s overkill for vacuuming and dusting!” It’s no secret I kick ass in the house-cleaning department – and the yard-tending and the clutter-sorting and the garage-cleaning departments. (BOOM.) And while my physique is nowhere near perfect, am I building strong abs for cleaning house or for vainer reasons like showing off my six-pack this summer? If I had a six-pack that is. (I do, but it’s the drinkable sort.) I tell you to be your own kind of fit, because there are so many reasons to take good care of our health – practical reasons, functional reasons, performance enhancement, and yes, cosmetic reasons. I don’t care why you want to get fit, other than knowing so I can better help you get there. But my strong abs do help me vacuum and dust! Feeling strong and capable help me do all the daily tasks I must tend. And it erases any dread I might otherwise feel at completing demanding physical tasks. (Shut up. Dusting can be demanding.) On the idea of six-packs, that’s never been my goal – to see my six-pack abs. That said, would I feel bad-ass if that happens? Hell yes. And it does happen on occasion. When my diet is dialed in, my hydration is right, my hormones are balanced, the stars are aligned, Mercury is not in retrograde, and the sages have foretold of its coming, I get a wee glimpse of my...

Got Balance?

Balance is defined as the ability to control the body’s position, or distribute your weight to stay upright and steady. Balance is important for fall-prevention, but it’s also important to be in tune with your body so that rather than leaving balance to chance, you’ll know how to activate the right muscles while completing exercises or daily tasks requiring balance. People often say, “I don’t have good balance,” as if balance cannot be improved. It can! Balance is about equilibrium, but it’s also about utilizing, and strengthening, the muscles used for stabilizing and joint support. Balance exercises are especially important for seniors, but why wait? Why not meet that challenge early on and head-on, by incorporating balance exercises into your training? Here are exercise ideas to develop your balance, from easiest to more difficult: ~ Balance on one leg. ~ Balance on one leg while moving the opposite leg in various ways. ~ Balance on one leg while circling the arms, throwing and catching a ball, or passing a weight from hand to hand. ~ Walk heel to toe, forward and backward. ~ Sit on a stability ball and lift and hold one leg. ~ Practice balance exercises while barefoot. ~ Balance on one leg and close your eyes. ~ Balance on one leg on a pillow, BOSU, wobble board or other unstable surface. ~ Perform upper body exercises while standing on one foot or with feet staggered in “tightrope” position. ~ Hop in place and land on one foot. ~ Hop forward and back or side to side, landing on one foot. ~ Balance on one leg and reach...