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...

We Rocked the ROC Race!

Last Saturday, I ran my first ever obstacle race! The ROC Race in Chicago, billed as “the craziest 5k of your life!” is the original game show-inspired obstacle run! It’s a 3-mile fun run filled with larger than life obstacle challenges! I hosted a giveaway for two free entries on my website, and fun surprise, one of the winners was my client Toni! So she and I, along with my 17 year old son and Toni’s best friend Chris, met up and ROC’d the ROC Race! The race was just as fun as I hoped it would be! The obstacles varied in difficulty, which made it fun for everyone. Some were easy and just for fun – like giant inflatable slides and a giant bounce house! Others challenged your strength – like the Get It Up (and Over) climbing wall, and the Gorilla bars. Guys. GUYS. Guess what? I did all the Gorilla Bars! I couldn’t do hand over hand, but I didn’t drop – I completed the entire sequence! And then get this – dropped backwards into the pit anyhow. OMG. How annoying! I lost my balance on my dismount. But there was a guy who was coaching me the whole time and that was super cool – “You’ve got great concentration! Keep going! You’re almost there. Steady pace, don’t lose momentum…” That REALLY helped because my grip was giving out but because of his encouragement, I kept at it! When I fell back into the pit, he yelled, “Great job! It counts!” WOO! Then there were obstacles that required balance, agility and coordination – like the Tight...

Let’s just say that bench and I have an intimate relationship and I’m pretty sure it had a smoke after I left.

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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...

Tone & Torch HiiT Quickie Workout

Last week we took it down a notch with a beginner-level workout. This week we’re back to high-intensity with a Tone & Torch HiiT Quickie! Tone Muscles! Torch Calories! You do both with this Quickie Workout! 3 rounds of high-intensity interval training will raise your heart rate, work all major muscle groups, and firm your abs and back, and have you burning calories for hours afterward! We start off with a plie squat & press, then ramp things up with a broad jump burpee variation! Then we work legs & legs with a lower body combo, work upper body & core with a hand-release push-up roll, and top it off with Superman X for your back! Watch it! Try it! SHARE IT! And SUBSCRIBE so you never miss a workout! Ready? Let’s get our sweat on! Equipment Needed for this Quickie Workout: Two Light Sandbells, your Gymboss Interval Timer, and a mat. Learn the exercises and how to modify the exercises in the Workout Preview Video:   Now, do this Quickie in Real Time!   Did you like this workout? Too Easy? Too Hard? Just right? Tell me what workouts you’d like to see in the...