Sunday, August 28, 2011

Just Add Rings and Water Tube...

Last week and this week in training, we had fun with functional body weight exercises that also focused on core strength.

Rings and Swiss balls are two mediums that require your core to engage in order to remain stable during the movement. To get the full effect of engagement of our cores, my trainer incorporated hanging rings and a water filled tube for some of the exercises. Using the rings and the tube forced us to focus on our technique and brought us an awareness of our core.

1. Modified Muscle-Up

{getting ready to row - keep your shoulders rolled back and core
tight before you begin}

Muscle ups are one of the toughest CrossFit exercises to master. It requires precise technique and strength. For beginners, this is an excellent exercise to work your lats, triceps, and core.

I break out the exercise into two parts... partly because the middle part (the transition) is difficult :) The first part is the row (pictured above). Position yourself under the rings so that your chest is underneath the rings. Row your body up to the rings. Think of being in an upside down push-up position.

Then the transition into the dip position... Use your core to bring yourself upright as you swing your legs back. You can also use a small hop to get yourself into the upright position until you get the transition part down.

{last position of the movement - trying to keep from swinging}

In the dip position, remember to keep your shoulders from shrugging and keep your elbows straight as your lower yourself down. It's normal to feel your triceps shaking - they're trying to stabilize. As you gain more strength, this will lessen. Then extend your elbows back out to complete the movement. This exercise was tough to get with an iPhone camera because of the shakiness :)

2. Weighted Scissors with Water Tube

I am not sure when this water tube appeared at the gym, but it's been incorporated into a lot of our ab routines. The tube is filled about 3/4's of the way with water. The swishing water inside requires your core to constantly work.

{Analisa and I getting in our scissor kicks.}

You can modify your scissor kicks by doing them in the crunch position. This will work your upper and mid-abs too. In lieu of the water tube, you can use a medicine ball or dumbbell.

3. Sit-ups with OH Water Tube

{Beauty of working with a partner is when you get tired, slightly tipping
the water to the other side to lessen your load :P}

For this exercise, you do a regular sit and press the tube up as you come up. You can do this exercise with a medicine ball or with a dumbbell to add resistance.

What techniques do you use to engage your core just a little more in your exercises?

Happy training,
Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Getting Back To It

I'm a few weeks into my new job and am back in the gym as of this week. My goal for 2011 is to compete in my first figure show. I now have 4 months to make this happen.

Monday was my official day back with training with the girls. My trainer had us focus on strength training our back and core.

{yeah! I completed the entire first set unassisted :) }

The workout included usual back exercises with twists to maximize efficiency and stay focused on utilizing strength and good form to get through the workout.

{My first time doing hex-bar DL's -- felt a little silly . This is before getting into position btw.}

{being diligent about not overextending my back}

The Workout
Turkish get-ups
Caged deadlifts
Close-grip pull-ups
Alternating single-arm kettlebell swings
Kettlebell shoulder presses

I'm excited to be competition focused again.

"Every day counts" is one of my trainer's mottos. In the short-term, I have two simple goals to incorporate my fitness lifestyle into my new workplace:
  • to not snack on junk food at work (I have my shaker and tub here now)
  • find a convenient gym nearby work for lunchtime workout

Happy training!