This morning, to celebrate our 1,500 pound weight loss since January, I walked my Weight Watchers members through a challenging yet low-impact workout to help them along on their weight loss journeys! What follows is my best advice on routines for those who are just starting out, but still looking to be challenged in their workout plans.
First off, EVERYONE, despite age, weight, gender, etc., should get 30 minutes of moderate activity every day during the week. This can be a combination of strength, cardio, and flexibility training. I recommend cardio 3 times a week, strength-training twice a week, and flexibility once a week to ALL of my clients. Most clients should also focus on low-impact exercises to begin with, to accommodate any pain or existing injuries on joints.
The most important aspect for those just starting out is to begin slowly and MODIFY if needed. The last thing I want for my clients and members is to injure themselves. If you feel pain, STOP. During any exercise (that's worth it's weight), a good burn in the muscle is what you should feel. If there is pain, that usually means form is suffering, and something in the body is trying to make up for what's going wrong.
For any workout, I recommend 2 sets, and 10 reps in each set, if you are just starting out.
Also, it's important to speak to a professional (like me!!) if you need further assistance in learning how to exercise with the best form. Quality over quantity every time!
I always try to focus on proper form with squats. Begin standing with feet a little wider than hip distance, with arms straight out in front.
Squat down as if you were going to sit in a chair. Keep your butt out, and try to keep your foot from tracking out OVER your big toe.
Lunges are great for working your quads, your hamstrings, and your glutes. Proper form indicates you bring your foot out in front of you, and your opposite foot slightly behind. Bend both knees, careful again not to track your knee out OVER your big toe.
Calf raises help strengthen these smaller muscle groups. It also how you get those gorgeous high-heel worthy legs! Stand with feet about hip-width apart, and lift yourself up and down on your toes. For balance sake, it's okay to hold onto a wall or solid object so you don't fall down!
I told my meeting this morning that resistance bands give you a fantastic workout, and I stick to that statement! Personally, I have since moved to dumbbells, but resistance bands are perfect because you get to decide how much you want to be challenged by a slight move of your feet. I got a light, medium and heavy band set at Target, and I love them.
For biceps, place the middle of the band under one foot, and grip your handles at the mid-point of a curl. Simply curl up to get those badass guns.
Kickbacks are a great way to work on getting rid of your "wings" as my members called them this morning. Stand with both feet on your band and bend over. Bring your elbows up to your sides with your palms facing up to the ceiling. (Golden retriever not included)
Now kick those bands back, keeping your elbows high and close to your sides.
Shoulder work is one of my favorite things to do. I have worked HARD to get some pretty badass shoulders I am proud of.
With Military Press, start with your band under your feet at an equal distance. Hoist your handles up so you make some goal posts with your arms, like this.
Press your arms up, but NOT TOGETHER (shoulders hate that), like this. (Can we also talk about how majestic I look in this photo?)
Personally, I feel there is no better workout for the chest than push-ups. I love them. It's good to remember too, to start out EASY. I showed my members how to modify to start by doing them against a wall at first.
Once you're ready, you can move down to an incline position, say on your fourth or fifth stair in your home. Then, move down again to doing them on your knees.
Before you know it, you'll be up doing them on your toes, like I do them!
And it's also important for some to have a good workout buddy. If you don't have a houseboy, somebody like this will do fine. This guy loves to sit in the room with me most days I workout.
Of course, there are so many wonderful ways to get in your strength-training, cardio, and flexibility each day. But I wanted to share my passion for activity with my members this morning, and I had a blast doing it. More workouts to come this week, I promise!