Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Back Warm Ups and Who Am I?

Today I had a great workout and integrated many TRX suspension training exercises. My focus was upper back and core strength. My back has been a little sore as I only got in one workout last week and Ava has gained weight again-yes this means lugging around a few more pounds. Here are a few warm up exercises for you back before you begin your exercise routine.

Many mothers ask about back pain and how they can manage it. This video provides some helpful tips, addressing the main soft tissue issues that contribute to back pain.

After a weekend of visiting some mom friends it's back to work. Much needed venting, a walk and a few drinks and laughs can clear the air and make you feel appreciated again. The reality is one of my friends that I played University Volleyball with came to visit. She has 3 of her own children now, the date for a visit was set 2 months previous. We caught up and I cannot beleive she actually bought Bud Light Lime- it resembles dish soap flavour- she used to be a Sleeman rep-what happened? She and I admitted it is easy to lose yourself,who you are, once you become a mother (and this was reflected in her beer choice). I assured her and myself we are the same people we were before children, before careers, you are your passion and your values. This for me has held strong and true from the time I was a teen to now, I love sports and volleyball and I am honest. This I know, I will continue my identity based on this. Have you ever asked yourself lately WHO AM I? You are not alone. I am sure every mom has asked herself this.

A few other key points were brought up that night. She indicated she does not workout at all now, even though she does have 20-30 minutes a day, she just feels lazy. I think she was looking for something inspirational or insightful, but not from me. I said I think you do not feel pushed yet, for the most part you look good and although you may feel 10 lb overweight I cannot tell. You have to look at this from a different perspective, such as health, muscular discomfort relief , quality and longevity of life- not just looks. This may be you, you may be 10 lb overweight and you may feel content with this, no one else can tell. Well in all honesty no one else cares if your 10 lb overweight, but you should, if you don't care who will. Set your own boundaries, goals and limits, this may help take you to new places.

I had a great gym workout today in true Busy Mom20 minute fashion. Dynamic warmup, I used the barbell for a combination of cleans, push presses, bent over rows and dead lifts in succession to get my heart rate up. I then did dumbbell hand cleans and finished with a burpie pull-up countdown from 5 to 1- 5, rest 4 rest 3 ect. All of these moves can be performed with dumbbells or kettle bells from home.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

10 Tips to Help New Moms Get Their Bodies Back

Dickie Lake 003Well, you have had a baby and need to get your body back. It's natural you are going to feel a bit out of sorts, look at what you have just been through. Gaining 30-50lb, a complete body overhaul, exhaustion all to get your beautiful bundle of joy that you spend most of your time appeasing. When you feel ready to get your body back, regain your composure follow these simple tips to save you time and frustration.

Losing that Muffin-top

1. Make sure you are ready for regular exercise- this means at least 3 times per week 15-20 minutes per session. If you are not physically and mentally ready for this commitment you may be better to hold off. I see many women try to jump into exercise before being able to make a commitment- they end up frustrated from not getting the result they deserve and this leads to a negative exercise experience. Exercise integration is the key, you can regain your posture with some small exercises and learn how to permanently make exercise a part of your weekly routine, even as a mother. This is exactly what phase 1, the first 6 weeks of the Baby Bump Busy Mom Fitness program teaches. Not Addressing muscular imbalances/instability from pregnancy posture before starting an intense program- new or old muscular imbalance and instability can lead to injury. Frustration and drop out is just around the corner. The truth is many of these nagging little aches and pains can be avoided with the correct exercise, progression and stretches. Set yourself up for success and start at the right place for your body, work methodically-this will still be very intense.

2. When ready for regular exercise and losing those last 10 lbs Avoid Performing Single Joint Exercises. They are a waist of a busy moms time. The time it takes to do 10 single joint biceps curls, you could have performed at least 5 full body burpies to get you heart rate flying and get the metabolic boost you need.

3. Too Much Traditional Cardio and Not enough Strength Training. I say traditional cardio meaning running, elliptical, biking- this type of repetitive movement at a moderately elevated heart rate takes much longer to burn calories and can set you up for overuse injury. Take the faster road less travelled- high intensity interval training. This means you can use sets of sprints instead of jogging for a greater calorie burn, but the best form of calorie burn involves resistance (strength) interval training. You can use a group of full body resistance training exercises in succession to gain strength and get a high heart rate for cardiovascular training- all at once. This is what phase 2 of the baby Bump Busy Mom Fitness program focuses on- fat loss.

A few other Simple Rules to follow when time to Loses that Muffin-top

4. Lifting heavy enough, you want to reach failure between 8-12 reps, meaning you cannot physically perform another lift

5. Eating- it is easy to skip or even forget about eating as a busy mom

6. Work out of your comfort zone- losing fat efficiently is uncomfortable, if something becomes easy it is time to progress the exercise or move to the next phase of your program. a good program will have progression built in.

7. Know what muscle you are flexing- you will enjoy exercise more when you understand it

8. Working through full range of motion

9. When is Exercise Good and When is exercise bad? If you have a virus, injured or are severely sleep deprived exercise is bad. If you are healthy, tired, have some general muscle soreness - not an injury, then exercise is good.

10. Making your program progressive- this is needed for intensity and to avoid plateaus

Monday, March 15, 2010

Busy Mom Fitness and Recipes

Busy Mom Fitness

As we had been having such lovely weather last week I was able to fit a 15 minute "back deck" fat loss workout in outside, before racing off to pick up the girls from school and daycare. I felt energized and really worked up a good sweat. My busy mom fat loss circuit was prone jacknife, kettle bell squat, kettle bell snatch, pullups, kettle bell chops, x body mountain climber. 3 of the 6 exercises are found in the Baby Bump Busy Mom Fitness program as well as the prequel exercises such as waiters bow and dumbell squats to all of the kettlebell exercises listed above.

A great little tip to get the most out of your prone jacknife move is squeezing your knees together as tight as you can at the top of your range- or when your knees are closest to your chest, also pulling your knees to your chest as much as you can. This intensifies your move by engaging your adductors, hip internal rotators and your hip flexors. Try this, concentrate on what you are flexing and work through your full range of motion. This is particularly important for a mom as your hips naturally externally rotated during pregnancy.

Prone Jacknife[/caption]

I have been keeping up with my healthy eating plan and trying to add lentils and spinach to most dishes that I cook. On my cooking day I made 2 main dishes- 1 chicken curry and one bean soup that I lived off of for the week. I had one of these 2 dishes for at least one main meal a day with brown rice.

Busy Mom Recipes

Chicken Curry and Lentils
-2 chicken breast - 1-2 cups dried lentils
-1 chopped onion - 1 chopped bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms -1-2 cups spinach
- 1 can coconut milk - 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 tsp. curry powder -1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp cumin, corriander, paprika, tumeric - pinch salt and pepper

Cook chicken in large pot/saucepan in olive oil, add rest of ingredients and simmer 30-60 minutes, stir occasionally.

Bean Soup

- 1 tin black beans, 1 tin pinto beans - 4 cups vegetable broth - 1 big onion chopped
- 1 bell pepper chopped - 1 bunch of carrots chopped - 5 stalks of celery chopped
-1.5 cups cooked quinoa OR brown rice - 1 tsp. each garlic, cumin, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, ginger
- dash cayenne - salt and pepper - 2 tsp lemon juice

Throw everything into your slow cooker and leave it.

Spinach side dish- this is another veggie side dish that is painfully easy. Using some organic real butter or oil in a frying pan throw in a few hand fulls of spinach and 1 fist full of almonds. Saute for about 1 minute. This goes with just about anything.


The girls are developing quickly. Ava will be 2 this month and she loves to talk, shut doors and wear barefeet. Kasia is turning into a little woman- she is extremely conscious of what she wears and changes her clothing 3-4 times a day- she often looks like a gypsy. The best thing that has happened recently is purchasing a small bouncy castle that we have set up in the basement right now. The girls go down for a jump after dinner and literally wear themselves out. They laugh and get out all of their pent up energy. I admit I love to go in for a little bounce each night as well.

Friday, March 5, 2010

1 Fat Blasting Circuit, 1 Recipe, Abdominal Re-training for mom

One great mom fat blasting circuit. 2 rounds of this are sufficient and will leave you gasping for your next breath.

1. Burpie Shoulder Press, 2. Front Chop, 3 and 4. 1 arm Dumbbell Snatch each side, 5. jump squats. Repeat these continuously and then rest 3 minutes before completing these 10 exercises again.

If you need to make modifications you can perform fast dead-lifts for your front chops, 1 sided squat and press instead of the combination move the dumbbell snatch.

I tired this new recipes the other night from Nathan Jackson Fitness. Squash Bisque- although it is supposed to be raw- I cooked it as I didn't think I could slip that by the kids. My modification for this tasty vegan recipe.

1 squash, 2-3 cups water, 1 red pepper, 2 celery stalks, 2 tsp sea salt, 2 tsp pepper, pinch of cayenne and cilantro to garnish. I pureed this after the squash was cooked and it was tasty.

I was skeptical (as I mentioned to him) because there was no chicken stock, but it was great, no worries. Thanks Nathan.

Are your abdominals really firing? This week I had the pleasure of working with some new people and many of them thought there abs were fine- meaning they were firing properly doing what they should be doing. After trying plank variations that were very difficult, we went through the lying leg lift series in phase 1, weeks 1 and 2 of the Baby Bump Busy Mom Fitness program, while drawing in abdominals. Drawing in if you are early post partum or have some sort of back injury will give you a neural connection that has been lost or modified from your stretched abdominals. These were the exercises that proved exhausting- mentally and physically. She had no idea her abdominals were not functioning properly. Are you aware? Do you have back discomfort? Have you performed drawing in abdominal exercises such as phase 1 week 1-6, pilates or rehabilitation? These are questions to ask yourself and if you feel your abdominals could be functioning better, this is where you want to start. This is the start of a great fitness program
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