Throughout the year, stress control is one of the most common reasons for exercising, and since the holidays can be the most stressful part of our 365 day trip around the sun, it's crucial that we keep sweating so our focus can stay on the fun stuff and we can enjoy the season! I believe it's more important than ever to keep up with the regular workouts - whether that means yoga classes, Crossfit, gym sessions, runs, or any combination of activities that get your heart racing.
Since the majority of our sweat sessions this time of year happen well before the sun comes out, Woody and I spend a good bit of our time in the gym. As much as I love running, I've come to appreciate what a good gym workout can do for me. Through multiple go-arounds at physical therapy and some eye-opening classes at GenFit, I've developed a good collection of strength training moves that help me stay fit and strong so that I can continue running. A strong core and balanced strength, is crucial for runners.
Two of moves I've added into my gym workouts over the past year is the Renegade Row and (for lack of a better name) the TRX Knee To Chest. My favorite thing about these two moves is that they both work my full body. I kind of dread them, because they're hard, but then once I do them I feel awesome. They leave me feeling that burn that only a good workout provides! I can feel the hard effort even when I'm heading to work, which is a great feeling!
Because these have a lot of similarities I won't include both of them in the same workout. I will pair other arm, core and back moves with them though - like a seated or bent row, lat pull downs, weighted side bends, and definitely squats. I also do some cardio every day - either a run on the dreaded treadmill or a go on the elliptical or rowing machine. Also, while I prefer to do cardio first (it helps me wake up at 5am) it’s actually best to put strength training first. That said, it’s okay to get your blood pumping with a quick 5 minute warm-up on the treadmill, elliptical or bike before heading to the weights when you’re going to focus your workout on strength training.
That said, some days will be cardio heavy, others are light days where I may do a quick 20 minute warm-up then spend 40 minutes on strength training. With my history of stress fractures I've learned that I have to focus on maintaining/developing strong muscles and bones. While I'm stronger than I have been in the past, I still have a long way to go. I have goals - like winning an arm wrestling match against the guys at work!
What are your favorite strength training moves? * Where are you celebrating Thanksgiving?