Get ready to sweat.

Happy Tuesday, friends!

I’m back for another of my favorite exercise moves! I learned this one from my friend Jess, who actually just asked me to be in her wedding next October! How cute is this?? When I opened the envelope, there were two envelopes: one held this puzzle to put together…

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And the other held a piece of paper with the wedding’s date and a really sweet note. Adorable! Heart you Jess 🙂

Anyway, back to the sweating! This is a variation of my Weighted Push-Up with Arm Lift and is another great move for toning not just your arms, but also your core (including those pesky obliques!). Give it a try 🙂

Weighted Push-Up with Side Plank

Instructions:

1) As with my other push up move, you need some weights that have a square edge so you aren’t rolling all over the place. I picked these up at Target for a few bucks, but most gyms have them too. I use 5 or 6 lb weights for this move, but feel free to adjust that!

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2) Get into a plank position with your hands holding/on top of your weights. Your feet should be a little less than hip distance apart. Be sure to keep your abs tight and lifted to support your lower back.

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3) Next, slowly lower yourself into a pushup – try to get your body perfectly parallel to the floor in a straight line. Make sure your hips don’t droop down and that your abs are still tight. Try to hold it a few seconds if you can.

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(The lighting in that room makes me look tan! I’m totally not.)

4) Raise yourself back up into a plank position, and then slowly lift one of your arms up while turning towards that side, bringing yourself into a side plank position. You have two options: you can either place one foot on top of the other, like I’ve done here:

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Or you can place your top leg in front of the other, like I’ve done here. Whichever feels more comfortable! This staggered feet version is easier to do in a fluid motion, and also easier in terms of balancing.

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5) Hold yourself in the side plank for 10 seconds, or as long as you can.

6) Come back into plank, hold for 5 seconds, and repeat on the other side. Continue until this happens:

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And you know I wouldn’t end an exercise post without this!

CONGRATULATORY THUMBS UP!!! he he

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Oh and check out how sexy my knee is now as a result of my epic wipeout last week:

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The other one is scab-tastic. So hot!!

I’m off to class and lab! We’re hydrogenating olive oil today in Chem lab to make it into solid vegetable shortening… trans fat, here we come!

Give my new workout move a try and let me know if you like it! Has anyone tried the Eagle Ab or the original Weighted Push Up with Arm Lift yet?? What’d you think?

Ta-ta!

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The strength move you’ve been waiting for!

Yes, get excited, I’m FINALLY posting my favorite strength move that I left you all with a teaser for last week! Sorry for the wait (weight?? hehe) – my mom is in town this week, so I hired her on as my photographer for the morning. Good things she accepts payment in muffin form 😉

I started doing this move this summer and it’s awesome. Not only does it tone your arms (both through the push up AND with the extra weighted move), but it also tones your core as it works to keep you stabilized.

Weighted Push Up with Arm Lift

(ummm yeah clearly I couldn’t think of what to name this!)

Instructions:

1) First, you need some weights that have a square edge so you aren’t rolling all over the place. I picked these up at Target for a few bucks, but most gyms have them too. I use 5 or 6 lb weights for this move, but feel free to adjust that!

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2) Get into a plank position with your hands holding/on top of your weights. (Now do you see why you need square weights?? 🙂 ) Your feet should be about shoulder distance apart. Be sure to keep your abs tight and lifted to support your lower back.

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3) Next, lower yourself into a pushup – try to get your body perfectly parallel to the floor in a straight line. Make sure your hips don’t droop down and that your abs are still tight. This is really hard to hold for a picture!! 🙂

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4) Raise yourself back up into a plank, and then lift one of your arms straight up. Your hand should come just about to your waist, and your elbow should stay perpendicular to the floor and tight in to your body. Hold for a few seconds, and then lower your arm back down.

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5) After stabilizing yourself in plank pose again, do another push up, then lift the other arm. Continue repeating, alternating arms in between push ups, until your are tired! 🙂

Congratulatory thumbs up, obviously:

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Yay!

It’s sunny out again today – thank goodness! I’m off to pilates, back for lunch and some editing work, and then off to my long Organic Chem day – class from 3-4:30, lab from 5-8. Blech!

Have a great day friends!

p.s. My Sweet Potato Lentil Chili is awesome with salsa and cilantro on top. Mmmmm!!

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The Eagle Ab… are YOU ready?

So seeing how I’m going to be simmering on the running for a bit to let my knee recover in the coming weeks, I thought it would be fun to do a post about one of my favorite non-running exercises: abdominal work!

I learned this popular Army ab exercise, called the “Eagle Ab”, from my dad! It’s killer and sure to give you a good workout.

Instructions:

1) Start on your back with your body straight. Your head, shoulders, and legs should all be lifted a few inches off the floor and your abs should be engaged. Keep your hands behind your ears, your elbows spread parallel to the floor, and an intense expression on your face. 😉

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2) Slowly lift yourself up into a crunch. The only part of your body touching the floor should be your butt, and your elbows should come between your legs, which will open into a diamond shape with your feet still touching. Maintain intense facial expression.

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3) Slowly lower yourself back into the first position (don’t let your legs or shoulders touch the floor!), maintaining control and not moving too quickly, and do it all over again! And again! And again! Don’t stop… come on, you can do one more!!

4) Repeat as many times as you can, and then congratulate yourself on a job well done. 🙂

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(Clearly these pictures were taken at my parent’s house in Tampa this summer… yeah, I have no nice furniture 😉 )

Let me know if you try it and how you like it! What’s your favorite ab exercise?

Time for jammies, a good book, and my bed 🙂 I have been SO SORE all day after the race yesterday!! I felt like an 80 year old trying to get up and down the stairs. However, the good news is my right knee is no more sore than the rest of me!

Have a great night, everyone, and stay tuned tomorrow to see what fun new meal I’m going to make with my leftover pasta!