5-15 Minute Plank Workout

Well, I did it again…one more injury to add to the list. I decided to go for a 5 mile run on a whim with my mom (my multi-marathoner mom, that is) two weeks ago. I actually thought I did pretty well and felt good, considering I don’t think I’ve run more than 3 miles since my mud run last October. ūüôā Took it easy the next day but then when I attempted to run two days later, my foot had other ideas. I’ve never had a stress fracture before, but this felt different than any other pain. I got an x-ray and turns out I don’t have a fracture. This is good news…except that I the only thing to do now is sit back and “relax” (ha, not a word that comes up in my vocabulary often) until whatever it is heals. As you can probably imagine, the past two weeks have been pretty frustrating but I’ve tried to convince myself that my body is telling me to take a break and I should try to embrace it. Easier said than done, but in the meantime I’m doing more low-impact/upper body/ab workouts and will get back to the running and burpees in due time…ok, so maybe I’m not in a bug rush to get back to burpees. ūüėČ

Here’s a plank workout that’s easily done at home. ¬† One time through adds up to 5 minutes, so this can be a 5, 10, or 15 minute workout, just depends on what you are feeling!

10 Min Plank Workout
Plank Pulses

Plank Dips

Plank Toe Touches

Superman Planks

Plank Push-Ups

Spiderman Planks

Ladder Workout and Whole30 Snack

Sometimes when I go to the gym, all I want to do is put my brain on auto-pilot and get in and get out. ¬†A good workout doesn’t always have to be multiple rounds of multiple reps and…wait am I on round 3 or round 4? Was this exercise supposed to be 30 seconds or 1 minute? ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I love a good, intense workout but sometimes it’s nice to put together a short and sweet plan and get ‘er done.

Here’s a ladder workout that requires little to no equipment. ¬†This can easily be done at home, just use a (sturdy!) chair for the box jumps and warm up by doing high knees, running your stairs, “fake” jump roping, etc.

Bodyweight Ladder WorkoutThe Easter egg theme was totally unintentional. ¬†I think it’s my subconscious talking? #comeonspring

I know I’m making this the most random post ever, but I also wanted to share a fun appetizer recipe that is Whole30/Paleo approved! During the Whole30 challenge, Matt and I made it a point not to go out for dinner/drinks because…well, what’s the point? ¬†If anything, the challenge certainly saved us a lot of money! ¬†We did end up spontaneously having a few friends over one night and I was determined to whip up a few snacks that I could eat AND my guests would enjoy….also so I wasn’t a huge hostess-fail. These bacon wrapped dates are good any time, anywhere. Challenge or no challenge. ¬†I mean, who doesn’t love bacon?

DSC02020Bacon Wrapped Dates

Cook bacon in a skillet until halfway done, then wrap around a date (pitted!) and secure with a toothpick. Bake at 350 until bacon is cooked through.  Frying the bacon before baking makes it a little crispier in the end.  I also only used about a half a piece of bacon per date, but it really depends on the ratio you prefer.

 

That’s all for today! ¬†Make it a great one!

Football & Friday Night Workout

My weekend started early, Primetime style. ūüôā ¬†The Rams were playing the 49ers during Thursday Night Football and this game would mark my first real Sunday tailgating experience in St. Louis. ¬†Oh how different my game days have become. ¬†Instead of going carb-less for a week and getting up at the crack of dawn smelling like spray tan, I can now show up 2 hours before the game, eat my face off and even wear (gasp!) a hat if I wanted to. ¬†Let’s be honest, the hat part probably won’t happen unless it’s raining. ¬†I can’t go a day without a good hair tease. ¬†Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader.

Apparently the tailgate food was actually relatively healthy, compared to most game days. ¬†We had two kinds of shrimp, one bacon wrapped and made by my mom (yum!), bratwurst, rice, Chinese ramen salad and my personal favorite, indoor s’mores (also made by my mom, her stuff is always a hit). ¬†I chose to limit myself to the bacon wrapped shrimp, Chinese ramen salad and indoor s’mores, along with some of the random pretzel mixes and dips that are inevitable. Recipes for the ramen salad and indoor s’mores are at the end of the post!

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The game itself was fun, until the Rams lost. ¬†It just wasn’t our day. ūüôĀ ¬†I still enjoyed watching the cheerleaders every move though, surprise, surprise.

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The players’ tunnel was always my favorite part of the game. ¬†Nothing beats running out of the tunnel with the lights out and pyrotechnics going off behind you. ¬†I may or may not have cried as I watched the cheerleaders run out on Thursday night because I know the exhilaration and excitement they are feeling in that moment and it’s something you never forget. ¬†It’s fine, I’ll get over it. ¬†One day…

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I will say, it was fun sitting in the stands with my parents and Matt and actually being able to enjoy a game with them instead of waving at them from afar!

Needless to say, Friday was a rough one. ¬†When you are used to going to bed like a grandma around 9:00 every night, midnight makes it a little hard to function the next day. ¬†Matt and I reaallllyy were not in the mood to workout after work. ¬†It was very tempting to park our butts on the couch and call it a night, but we forced ourselves to suck it up and go to the gym like we planned. ¬†My workout wasn’t super high intensity but it was upper body focused and my arms were shaking by the end, so I think I did my job. ¬†In the end, we were glad we went. ¬†After all, it certainly didn’t kill us. ūüôā ¬†The workout alone takes 20 minutes and you don’t need any equipment, so it’s easily done at home. ¬†If you don’t have access to a cardio machine, you can warm up with 5-10 minutes of jumping jacks, high knees, stairs, etc.

Upper Body Tabata Workout

(Shout out to Heather for the Side Plank Toe Touch move! ¬†Thanks for the inspiration, it’s a good one!) ūüôā

Exercise Links/Demonstrations for those that may not be familiar:

V-Ups

Plank Push-Ups

Plank Jumping Jacks

Side Plank Toe Touch

Start in side plank position with your top arm straight up.  Keeping your hips up, bring your top foot forward and hand down to touch your toe.  Repeat.

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Oh hey there, Big Foot.

Mountain Climbers

Plank Reaches

Start in plank position.  Keep your hips straight and touch each hand out in front of you, repeating until time is up.

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Tri-cep Push-Ups

Just like a normal push-up, but start with your hands closer to your body, right next to your shoulders. ¬†When you lower your body, make sure your elbows point directly back. ¬†Disclaimer: I did these on my knees during the workout, I barely made it through the one in the demo picture. ūüôā

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Reverse Crunches

Walking Push-Ups

Start standing up, bend over at the waist, place your hands on the ground and walk them forward until you are in straight arm push-up position.  Do a push-up, then walk your hands back towards your body until you are back in standing position, keeping your legs only slightly bent when walking out/back.  That is 1 rep.

Superman Planks

Lower Russian Twists

Start on your back with legs at a 90 degree angle, arms out by your sides.  Bring your knees to one side, only going as far as you can while keeping the opposite shoulder blade and back touching the floor.  Return to starting position and repeat.

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Chinese Ramen Salad

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. shredded green cabbage
  • 1 bunch chopped green onion (or less, depending on your taste)
  • 2 pkg. Ramen noodles (Oriental flavor)
  • 3/4-1 c slivered almonds
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Stevia
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp margarine

Directions:

Melt butter in a small skillet and toss almonds until toasted.  Break up Ramen noodles and combine with cabbage, almonds and green onion.  Mix oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper together.  Pour mixture over dry ingredients and toss until fully coated.  Serve and enjoy!

Indoor S’mores

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(File this one under a Cheat Day!)

Ingredients:

  • 8 c Golden Grahams cereal
  • 5 c mini marshmallows, plus 1 extra cup
  • 1 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c light corn syrup
  • 5 tbsp margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

In a large bowl, measure cereal. ¬†Butter/spray a 13×9 inch pan. ¬†In a large microwavable bowl, microwave 5 cups of marshmallows, chocolate chips, corn syrup and butter/margarine for about 2-3min, stirring every minute, until melted. ¬†Stir in vanilla.

Pour the mixture over cereal and toss until completely coated.  Stir in the 1 extra cup of marshmallows.

Press mixture in the pan.  Let stand uncovered for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate for a firmer bar. Cut and enjoy!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Arms/Abs Circuit

Last spring, I over-did it a little in the running category, and ended up with a strained hamstring in my left leg. ¬†NOT ideal for someone like me, who likes to get to the gym and get her sweat on at least 5 times a week. ¬†Plus, it was around the time Rams tryouts were starting, so that added to the stress level even more! ¬†I tried resisting doctor’s orders, but eventually gave in and started the process of nursing my leg back to health. ¬†I couldn’t run for a couple of months, and had to stick to the bike and arms/abs exercises. ¬†Let me tell you, that got old REALLY fast! ¬†Eventually, I graduated to the elliptical, and then back to running. ¬†Now, 1 year later, I found myself in almost the same situation, but this time, in my right leg! ¬†Ohhhh the frustration! ¬†Luckily this time around, I recognized the signs before it got too bad, took it easy for several weeks, and now feel like I am finally close to back to normal. ūüôā ¬†I wanted to share one of the workouts I did, while I was still trying to preserve as much of my legs as possible. ¬†Enjoy!

Monday Workout

 

Here are the descriptions for a few of the not-so-common exercises.

V-Ups

Step 1: Lie on your back with arms over head.

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Step 2: Using your core muscles, keep your legs straight and bring your hands towards your toes.

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Up Down Planks

Step 1:  Start on your elbows in plank position

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Step 2:  Push up, one hand at a time, until you are in straight arm plank position

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Step 3: Return to starting position, one arm at a time

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Mountain Climbers

Step 1:  Start in straight arm plank position

Step 2: Bring one knee in towards your chest, switch legs continuously until your time/reps are over

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Sumo Squat to High Pull

(I usually use a kettlebell for this exercise, but since I didn’t have one handy, I used a dumbbell)

Step 1:  Start with your feet wider than your hips, toes turned out

Step 2: Squat and bring the weight up to chest level as you come up

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Plank Jumping Jacks

Step 1:  Start in plank position, feet close together

Step 2:  Jump both feet wide and then jump back to starting position

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Squat with Front Arm Raise

Step 1:  Start with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart

Step 2:  As you squat, bring both arms in front of you to shoulder level

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Plank Ball Roll-Outs

Step 1:  Start with your knees on the ground, elbows bent and forearms on the stability ball

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Step 2:  Keeping your weight on your arms and abs pulled in tight, roll out until your body is in a straight line (or as close to it as possible)

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