Annie’s Mat Class

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Monday 9:00am – 10:00
Also trains private clients & teaches Sunday Yoga

Today I took Annie’s Mat class. Today was a day that I had no interest in working out, but I did so because “not” is a slippery slope. Working out on a day when you’d rather do anything else somehow feels sweeter when you’re done. In a surprise twist, I left class feeling very proud and totally geared up for a full week.

Annie.is.a.fantastic.instructor!! She truly lives, breathes and is Pilates and Yoga. Having said that, do not be fooled by her small frame and sweet smile. Her extensive knowledge makes her completely aware of what you are capable of, and she knows that your mind shuts off far faster than your body.  It is that, which keeps Annie from backing off.  She will push you past your comfort zone; BUT if you stick with it, pride and astonishment take over and you’ll forget what all that whining and fear was about. It’s that high risk, high reward kind of thing. Walking out of class today made me feel pretty fantastic about what I accomplished and that mental win (as well as a calorie burn) is my favorite part of working out. If you really want to get your money’s worth, tell her you’re in the mood to work the glutes! I dare you!

What is Pilates Mat?

Pilates mat class is the foundation of the Pilates work. The use of the Pilates Reformer and the Tower are built around the work done on the mat; but, without the assistance of the springs, you will use only your own bodies resistance to move through this series of exercises.  It teaches the body to move from a stable place, which is the life application of Pilates.  A mat class is designed to strengthen the core while focusing on strength, mobility and stability. Mat classes don’t pull any punches with the core work, but they’ll also challenge your hips, glutes, legs, shoulders and arms all while lengthening and sculpting your muscles. Great for all ages, and both men and women.

*If you have any type of injury or are pregnant, please tell your instructor prior to class, so that they may discretely guide you through any necessary modifications*

What Beginners Need to Know

Modification. Modification. Modification. This class is about a mind, body connection and is a practice of both thought and effort.  Don’t worry, everything can be modified and you’ll get there. In class I am acutely aware of what I lack in flexibility, but I’m also seeing dramatic improvements to my form, my posture, my lower back pain and my overall progression. So basically, I’m winning.

What the Expert Needs to Know

Annie is a great level 2-3 instructor. Please don’t misunderstand me, she is a great (and this is a great) level 1 class, but if you are an advanced student and you are looking to take your practice up a notch this is the instructor for you.

What to Bring

Fearlessness – Trust Annie, she’s got it. Try to make it past the point of comfort and then (if you need to) hit-the-breaks. She does a terrific job with corrections and she’s very aware of each of her students limits and abilities. The class size maxes out at 12 people so you will leave knowing your did each posture safely and correctly.

**Always listen to and respond to your body. Good workout pain and bad workout pain feel very different.**

Water & Socks – The class is done barefoot, which can get cold, especially in the winter. Feel free to bring a pair of socks, (grippy socks work the best). Also, in this class you’ll work up a sweat, so grab that water bottle on your way out the door.

Have you ever taken one of Annie’s classes? Tell us what you loved about it.

Want to know more about Core Sport Pilates or our classes, please visit our website at CoreSportstudio.com, call us at 734-459-1547 or better yet, stop in and say hello! We are located in
Downtown Plymouth above The Sardine Room.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram for daily updates and support
#PreventthePudgeChallenge #LovetheMat #MatwithAnnie

Barre with Carly

Carly’s Barre Class

Tuesdays & Thursdays 6:30-7:30

Some Sunday’s – please check the schedule for Sunday Barre times

 

 

 

Ok, let me cut to the chase and just say, I loved it! I loved it, I loved it, I loved it! But that feeling of elation was more about how proud of myself I felt on my way out the door than how I felt 10 minutes into the class. Ten minutes into the class I kind of wanted to punch Carly in the face (I’m sorry Carly, you are lovely).  BUT this instinct I get to punch trainers, this is how I know that I’m getting my monies worth. If I don’t hate you for at least a few minutes, you aren’t working me hard enough. But then I found my breath, found my focus, and found my mantra in a meme I had recently seen…If Brittany Spears can make it though 2007, I can make it though this (Picture that bald head attacking a car with an umbrella. Now Plie’!)

What is Barre?

NYC Barre fuses Pilates, Yoga, & standing Ballet Barre work all set to a background of fast paced music designed to get you moving. This combo will tone and minimize your hips, thighs, butt, abs, and arms. You will vary between using small weights, resistance bands, toning balls, and the standing barre.

Carly did a great job of correcting my form without making me feel awkward or clumsy. She kept me moving when I wanted to bail, and gave me a “you got this smile” exactly when I needed it. Would I go again? I’m there right now.

What Beginners Need to Know

First of all, I have two left feet. Bull in a china shop!  So, set aside any worry you have about coordination, form, or your own two left feet – you will be just fine! Go at your own pace and you’ll have it down in no time. Once I got into it mentally, I found it was impossible not to have fun!! The available modifications and Carly’s expert knowledge make this class great for all ages, so grab your teen! And just in case you were wondering, men are also more than welcome.

What the Expert Needs to Know

The small class sizes (max 12 people) ensure that you’ll get a fantastic workout too. By no means was this class breezy and Carly was able to easily toggle between newbie me, and her more advanced students. Of particular note: I saw the advanced students sweating and shaking just as hard as I was, just without the modifications.

What to Bring

A sense of humor – Some of the class is done in an aerobic / dance style so you’ll be moving quickly from one posture or move right into the next.  If you are coordination challenged like myself,  it may take a few times to get the hang of it. That’s OK! There will be the lucky few who’ll have amazing coordination, the stamina of a bull and the ability to look graceful even in Down Dog, but that’s not me (or the majority).  Just smile at yourself and have fun.

Determination – I had NO IDEA how hard it would be hold a rubber ball between my knees and Plie’. Holy! Moly! Be patient and do as much as you can, but push yourself too. Try to go just past that point of comfort and you’ll amaze yourself by what you can do.

**Always listen to and respond to your body. Good workout pain and bad workout pain feel very different.**

Water & Socks – The class is done barefoot, which can get cold in the winter. Feel free to bring a pair of socks. You’ll also work up a sweat, so grab that water bottle.

If you’ve taken Barre with us before let us know what you thought. If you haven’t tried Barre yet then I’m throwing down the gauntlet – if I can do it, anyone can!

Want to know more about Core Sport Pilates or our classes, please visit our website at CoreSportstudio.com, call us at 734-459-4911 or better yet, stop in and say hello! We are located in
Downtown Plymouth above The Sardine Room.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram for daily updates and support

Earn extra Prevent the Pudge points for sharing this article. Don’t forget to use the hashtags below. 
#PreventthePudgeChallenge #LovetheMat #BarreWithCarly

#SaveBreakfast

There are new studies being published challenging breakfast’s status as “the most important meal of the day.” Some demote it to [gasp] “just a meal,” while others claim that skipping breakfast altogether is just fine. I can’t help but imagine that somewhere in a sad, dark little bar, breakfast just pulled up a stool next to Pluto – “Dude, WTF?”

 

New research aside, I am die-hard supporter of breakfast, and the amazingly healthy lifestyle benefits it provides. As with any argument there is research that supports both sides, however, I believe that if you’re not eating breakfast (even a little one,) you are doing your body a disservice, ultimately sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

In honor of Breakfast and all its glory, here are my top 5 reasons why Breakfast rocks!

1. Breakfast primes you for smart food choices all day long.

The verdict is still out on whether or not eating breakfast may help you to lose weight, but what is not disputable is that breakfast is a healthy habit that has been shown to lead to other healthy habits. Starting out your day making good choices sets the tone for the entire day. If you wake up and start your day working out, you’re more inclined to make smart, healthy choices as the day progresses. In the same manner, when you start your day with a healthy breakfast you are less likely to snack your way to lunch.  Or maybe you withheld from snacking but arrived to lunch starving, thereby consuming far more calories than your body needs.  Another bonus – breakfast gets your metabolism up and running; with your fuel tank full, it makes it much easier to say no to those donuts in the break room.

2. Break the Fast

Skipping breakfast means you are fasting anywhere from 15-20 hours. As a result, your body delays producing the enzymes necessary to metabolize fat. (Think of how a car runs, how it begins to sputter when you are driving on empty) When you start your day with even a small breakfast (perhaps a piece of Ezekiel toast with nut butter) your system wakes up, turns all switches on and begins burning fat. Why delay this amazingness until noon? Research shows that while non-breakfast eaters may skip breakfast to skimp on calories, they tend to consume more daily calories than breakfast eaters.

3. Breakfast eaters consume more nutrients and less fat

A 2011 study in the ‘Journal of Nutrition Research and Practice’ found that breakfast eaters consume more Calcium, Potassium and Fiber than non-breakfast eaters.  “I really wish I hadn’t eaten so many healthy nutrients,” said no one ever!

4. Huh? What was I just saying….

Studies show that breakfast can improve cognitive function and memory by restoring glucose (your brain’s fuel of choice.) Powering up the brain not only improves memory and concentration, but it can even make you nicer. Further, breakfast can lower stress and improve your mood, which is a win/win for everyone.

5. Brunch

Ok, life is about balance; we can’t live with all Yin and no Yang. Eliminate breakfast and brunch is just lunch. I don’t know about you, but a world without Bloody Mary’s and mimosa’s, well, that’s no world I want to live in! Every once in a while we all need to cheat, and a cheat meal is ok, but a cheat day can be derailing. Eat that quiche, drink your champagne and then head out for a nice long walk to burn it off. Your body will be much happier with an AM cheat meal while you have the day ahead of you to burn off those calories, rather than an over-indulgent dinner that sends you right to bed storing fat. Also, brunch is cheaper. Still winning.

If you need a little breakfast inspiration, here are a few of our favorites.  All of these recipes are great for making a weeks worth at a time, and keep well (up to a week or more) in the refrigerator or freezer.

 Oatmeal Ideas

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TheYummyLife Overnight No-Cook Oatmeal

 

 

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SugarFreeMom Baked Oatmeal Cups

 

 Egg Ideas

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Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Paleomg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TheYummyLife

Want to know more about Core Sport Pilates or our classes, please visit our website at CoreSportstudio.com, call us at 734-459-4911 or better yet, stop in and say hello! We are located in
Downtown Plymouth above The Sardine Room.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram for daily updates and support

I had on TWO pairs of Spanx, nearly lost consciousness and STILL ripped my skirt

It’s that time of year again!  Core Sport’s Prevent The Pudge 2014 is rounding the corner (October 12th – December 20th) and this year I will be sharing my journey, trainer tips, recipes, workouts and some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way. For me this isn’t a chance to “prevent,” but “destroy the pudge.”  What’s your current fitness goal?

Who is this person?

I’m Kristi. I’m 33, a recent first-time mom, a jack-of-all-trades (master of nothing) and the new person at Core Sport answering phones and scheduling your appointments.

My Story – The Nutshell Version

After the birth of my son, I left the hospital unable to stand upright (thanks to a C-Section,) 70 pounds heavier then my pre-pregnancy weight, and the most out of shape I’ve ever been in my entire life. After I took time to heal I began to evaluate my options for weight loss and it seemed that the more out of shape I got, the more fear of the gym kept me from getting back into the gym. Does this sound at all familiar? Fear’s a strong-armed beast like that.

 

 Let’s back up a year…

A few days before my 32nd birthday I walked into Core Sport to purchase my $99 trial month. While my clothes still fit, I was out of shape and I could feel it. Walking up their stairs left me   breathless. I noticed that I was waking up in the morning stiff with back pain, I wasn’t sleeping well, my flexibility was gone, and my hips had started to occasionally pop. Also, you know those  sneaky bad habits that creep up on all of us when we stop making health a priority? Well, my guilty pleasures were now taking over and the occasional indulgences had become the framework of my daily routines.

When I walked into Core Sport I was greeted by Jessica Lidell, and immediately developed a giant people crush! Jess was maybe the most fit person I’d ever seen in real life! She was also kind, friendly, approachable and made me feel like she truly cared about my goals (and if I showed up for my new client consultation.) Jess made me excited to be at Core Sport; I knew I had walked through the right door. I scheduled my first appointment for the following week and I went home feeling very proud of myself. Then, life happened.

At 7am the following morning the phone rang and just like that I was out of work. Two days later, my husband and I learned we were expecting our first child. Wham! Bam!

Spoiler alert: I didn’t use one minute of that $99 trial. My pregnancy was complicated from day one and Jessica kindly paused my account due to medical restrictions. Just like that, Core Sport and I broke up before we even got to know each other.

Flash forward 41 weeks and 3 days

The day I entered the hospital to have my son I weighed in a whopping 70 pounds heavier than the day I met Jessica. SEVENTY POUNDS! During my pregnancy eating made me feel good! If I got even a little hungry then I would get sick, and eating was the only thing that kept my constant nauseousness at bay.  Also, I know that for some part, I dealt with my complicated pregnancy, the subsequent worry, and nerve racking nights by comfort eating. Before, I was a careful and mindful eater. Now, there wasn’t a nacho in town that I said no to, and don’t even get me started on the peanut butter and fudge brownies (If they’re gluten free can I eat three? No? What about if they’re organic?) On December 19th, 2013 at 6:45am my son was born via emergency C-Section. He was a healthy 7 lbs, 13 oz and I thanked God because he was perfect. I, on the other hand, was a mess!

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It doesn’t matter if you stated at 130 pounds, or 230 pounds. Gaining 70 pounds is gaining 70 pounds!

It took until my 12 week check-up to be given the all clear to begin light exercises, which I really did try to do at home in between feedings, naps, diaper changes and the occasional shower. I was out of shape, uncomfortable in my own skin and exhausted, all while navigating this mommy thing. Oh, and still unemployed. Fitness was the last thing on my new “to-do” list.

My Love/Hate Relationship with Stretch Cotton

For the next 5 months I begrudgingly wore my maternity leggings and the same three large tee-shirts, the only clothing I owned that fit me. The longer I lived in stretch cotton, the more my old closet began to look like a dream; a fantasy I’d never realize again. I did attack my weight loss in the kitchen and was able to loose 55 pounds by April, but that last 15 would.not.budge. It was that last 15 pounds that stood between me and my jeans. It was that last 15 pounds I was going to have to sweat off. Changes needed to be made, but knowing what I needed to do and actually doing it – that’s the HARDEST part hands down! It seemed like everywhere I went someone was validating for me that the sweat, the work, could wait until later – or even that it wasn’t necessary at all. I was told that because I was petite to begin with that I should just be happy with my new shape and move on.

Well-meaning stranger: “How old is your son?”

Me: “6 months”

Stranger: “Ahhh, he’s so cute. Did you have any problems losing weight? You look great!”

Me: “Thank you! I still have 15 pounds to go until my pants fit, but I’m making headway”

Stranger: “Oh, Stop! You HAD a baby! You get a pass. You’re a mommy now.”

Insert many variations of that last sentence, and I’ve heard it. Stories of how after having a baby someone never lost that last 20 pounds, or how after the second baby they gained an additional 10. How work, kids and responsibility shifts focus. I was assured that working out was now a “nice-to-have” and no longer a “have-to-have.” I’ve heard the old adage, “Your body will never be the same, but that’s okay – you had a baby.” I’ve been reminded that I wasn’t 20 anymore (and may I say, Thank God for that.)

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On my climb up…

To be clear, I know that my body changed; I’m okay with change. I know as I progress through life that my body will continue to change; I am also okay and understanding of that. This wasn’t about looking a certain way.  For me the idea that this weight was some sort of runaway train or that it was outside of my control, or that it “happened to me,” THAT I was not okay with. The excuse I heard the most though, is the one that struck the biggest nerve with me. “I’d love to workout, but I’d rather spend time with my children. I don’t have the time to go to a gym.” This is the one that made me pause and question my own motives, wondering “was getting back into shape selfish?” I wanted fitness and health to be something that Mark and I taught our son; something he witnessed first-hand within our home. I wanted J to grow up feeling connected to, and proud of his body; but how do I teach him something that I myself don’t make a priority? I began to think that I either needed to make my peace with stretch cotton OR that I should hope to inherit a windfall of money for the purchase of a brand new wardrobe – knowing myself, neither seemed plausible. My goal was not to become a fitness model, to have rock hard abs, or to prove how well I could bounce back. I just wanted to feel healthy, to have my confidence back, to set a positive example for our son and to avoid giving away two closets full of perfectly good clothing. I have some really cute clothes! I began to realize that in the world’s kind attempt to offer me new-mom support, I found nothing but more excuses and more reasons for why not.

*Don’t stop telling new moms they look great! They need to hear that. But if she says she’s still trying to lose the baby weight say something encouraging like “good for you! Losing weight is hard and I wish you the best.”  Better yet, offer to babysit while she goes to the gym.*

Enter, body dysmorphia

By June, everyone who wasn’t me began to look like a Greek God. I had waist envy. Almost everything that came out of my mouth had to do with my weight, or what I wanted to do about it starting tomorrow… starting Monday… I mean starting next month… I really mean starting once I catch up on sleep. Ever make the promise to start [FILL IN THE BLANK HERE]? Yeah, me too.

For the first time in my life I genuinely hated getting ready in the morning. Nothing in my closet fit properly and nothing I wore made me feel good about myself. I spent most of my days hiding in sweatpants and baggy tee-shirts. I cut bangs people! I CUT BANGS. I did this to distract from my body and shift focus away from my midsection. I felt judged (which was really just me judging me) and I was plagued by fear and anxiety. The further away from the gym I got, the scarier and the more intimidating my mind began to make it. I was the only one standing in my way and was doing a top notch job of it.

By August, I realized I was procrastinating. Nothing was going to change, if NOTHING actually changed, and all of the excuses delaying my ‘return’ needed to be identified – and DEALT WITH! (More later on the excuses and obstacles).

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Goofing around – 6 weeks pregnant

My Excuses

1. Money
We were still living on one income, so I had a budget. That budget was small.

2. Accountability
I HATE gyms! I’m terrible at holding myself accountable; getting myself started alone was, well, lonely and unappealing.

3. Mommyhood
My schedule now revolved around my son and his schedule; all the while wrestling with the notion that maybe I was being selfish or indulgent.

4. Nothing Fit
This one I admit is a little shallow, but there it was everyday in my head. I didn’t have any workout clothing that fit. What I had was meant for my body less 20 pounds and most of my yoga pants suffered major seam damage as I climbed that 70-pound hill. See excuse #1; new clothing wasn’t an option. I was diving into a sea of Lululemon in a pair of junky old torn up maternity leggings. Basically, I didn’t feel cute and I needed to shift both my focus and my self-talk.

5. Time
Since becoming a parent I’ve never watched time melt away faster, nor have I been more aware of how I prioritized it.

6. Ego
This was a biggie. There was a time in the not-so-distant past that I was so in shape that I could do almost anything a trainer asked of me. While these workouts were still hard, it’s a lot more fun to workout when you feel strong and capable. I felt weak, jiggly and insecure. Again, I needed some positive self-talk and a kick in the pants! I needed to get over myself!

7. It was going to hurt
Maybe you are one of those people who like pain, but I don’t. I knew that it was going to hurt, not the sore muscles the day after, that I kind of like. I was afraid of the mental pain and embarrassment that comes mid-workout when you can barely breathe and feel like the walls are collapsing in on you. The pain you feel when you are out of breath and want to quit, and your mind starts to tell you all the reasons you should just run for the door. You begin to rationalize and bargain with yourself “Stretch cotton isn’t thaaaat bad, I could live in sweatpants – people do that” or “I’ll just start next week, next week will be better,” and all you’ve done so far was the warm up! That mental pain I knew I would have to break through, and it seemed exhausting.

These were my excuses. I’m sure you have your own (everyone does) and I challenge you to acknowledge them, write them down, own up to them, and then make a plan for overcoming them.

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7 months postpartum.

So now what?

A week ago I tore the seam on my skirt getting into my car. I can laugh now, but at the time I had on two pairs of spanx and could barely breathe; riiiiiiiip! I absolutely shredded that skirt. I was not my best self in that moment and I was finally over it! This was my rock bottom. It was my moment where I knew, for me, no more excuses! No more fear (fake it till you make it, right?!?) No more standing in my own way! For the next 10 weeks I’m putting it all out there: the good, the bad and the sweaty. Why? Because somehow this experience feels like an equalizer. If I can come back from 41 weeks of lying around like veal, 10 months of avoiding the inevidable, a 70 pound weight gain, abdominal surgery, financial strains, sleep depravation, negative self-talk and an all around feeling of being a fish-out-of-water, well, if I can bounce back from that, then you can bounce back from whatever it is that is keeping you from reaching your goals. I haven’t a single doubt about that.

If you want to share your story about how life happened or how you got derailed, we’d love to hear it. If you want to just quietly watch from the blogging sidelines that’s ok too – and if you’re trucking along achieving your fitness goals, then I applaud you and I challenge you to use these 10 weeks to take it up a notch and reach for what’s next. Regardless of where you are in your health and wellness, begin the conversation with yourself, what’s your next goal? I’m curious to see what happens when we spend 10 weeks focused on achievement rather than all the reasons why not.

I hope to meet you at Core Sport. I’ll be the one with two left feet, in maternity leggings, struggling with proper form (thank God for these amazing trainers!) but I’ll probably be smiling, because I’m finally just doing it!

Want to know more about Core Sport Pilates or Prevent the Pudge, please visit our website at www.coresportstudio.com, call us at 734-459-4911 or better yet, stop in and say hello! We are located in
Downtown Plymouth above The Sardine Room.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram for daily updates and support
#PreventthePudgeChallenge

We Change Lives | Larry’s Story

Okay here’s the deal: we have all different types of clients from all walks of life. One thing that we hear a lot from our clients is that they wish they would have found us sooner.

Larry is one of our clients that has experienced incredible results since he started with us over two years ago.  He has had such a successful transformation, he wanted to share it with some of you newbies that may not have built up the confidence to come in for the first time. So without further ado, here is Larry:

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Larry G. speaking now:

Larry G. before a Pilates class at Core SportHabits can be good or bad. Some habits, like exercise and a healthy diet are essential for a better quality of life. I wish that I had fully endorsed that policy a little earlier in life. By the time I was 62, I had overindulged in food, alcohol and lack of exercise to the point that I had become obese and diabetic.

I had a choice – continue to live lazily, or fix the problem. I immediately set out on a program to improve my diet and begin a serious exercise program. As a result my weight is in the healthy range, I am physically fit and my diabetes is under control without insulin.

Partway through that journey of diet and exercise, my daughter who was a member at Core Sport kept telling me that I should really give Core Sport a try. I am so glad that I took her advice and joined.

Since I joined, Core Sport has become a habit that is so good for me physically and mentally, that I want to continue to nurture that habit as long as I am able. I am a regular now, attending group classes and semi-private or private sessions 4 to 5 times a week and occasionally more.

What continues to impress me and keep me at Core Sport is the dedication and competency of the instructors. This is a personal business and as a client I need to feel that I am receiving value for my investment of time and money, that I like and respect the instructors, and that they care about me as an individual. I can honestly say that Core Sport has delivered on all aspects of what is important to me.

I encourage you to give it a try. If you persist, you will be amazed with the results and enjoy the experience.

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If you are ready to make a change, now is the time. You can call me, (my name is Lisa) and I would be glad to tell you about our two intro offers (number is 734-459-1547) or you can sign up online right now.

I reccommend our $99 introductory month for first timers. It gets you a private session, two semi-private sessions and four group classes. This basically gives you the opportunity to try everything we have to offer. You can sign up right here:

One Month Trial Offer JUST $99! Buy Now

You get (1) 90 minute introductory session, (2) semi-private sessions and (4) group classes

core sport pilates fitness studio in downtown plymouth mi

Playground Workout

It was a LONG winter and we are all excited about spending some time outdoors! The park or playground is the perfect spot for the entire family to move together. While your kids are jumping, swinging and playing it is also a great opportunity for you to do the same with some adult variations. The same exercises and games that children do on the playground can be a challenging workout for an adult, not to mention FUN! I speak from experience. My 8 year old challenged me to do everything she did on a school playground. I made it 2 rounds following her course…….she played for well over an hour! A childs freedom of movement is amazing to watch and try! Try the following workout and let us know how you feel!

Warm-up for 5- 10 minutes. Run around the playground, jump rope, jump sqats, jumping jacks or burpees. Anything that gets your body warm, heart rate up and ready for exercise.

Squats – stand in front of a bench or steps and squat towards a 90 degree angle with the legs 10-15 reps

Monkey Bars – perfect spot for a set of pull-ups (change your grip to work different muscles) Underhand grip will target more biceps, overhand wide grip will target lats and rear shoulders, so mix it up or just trying moving across them like a child. Or challenge yourself or your child to see how long you can hang on the monkey bars in a flexed arm position. Do your best!

Step-Ups – alternate stepping up using power and control. Add a challenge by hopping up onto a step or bench (remember to step down softly). 10-15 each leg

Push-Ups and knee unders – a swing is also a great spot for atomic push-ups. Put your feet in the swing and assume the straight arm plank position. Do a set of push-ups, knee under or pikes. Try 10 of each variation

Swing – pull your navel to your spine and enjoy the ride. Do it until you or child gets board or you become nauseous 🙂

Tricep Dips – use a bench or step and dip towards a 90 degrees using the triceps. 10-15 reps

Play a round of tag with your child for 5-10 minutes

Either repeat this sequence and/or continue to play follow the leader with your child. Most importantly set the example for you child and have fun! Check out Core Sport’s owner Jaime White and fellow movement guru Benjamin Degenhardt playing in NYC!

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March MATness – Arm Weights – Chest Expansion, Shaving, Sparklers

With tank top season around the corner……..hopefully, the standing arm weights are a great add on to the mat work. You will only need a light weight of 2-3lbs to make these exercise effective. The more that you can actively put the work into your own body the heavier those 2-3lbs will feel!

Chest Expansion 

  1. Stand tall with your arms extended straight at shoulder height
  2. Inhale press the arms down and back as you maintain a stacked and stable spine
  3. Hold and turn your head right, center, left center and exhale as your release the arms back to shoulder height. Repeat 4-6x

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Shaving

  1. Lift the arms up and overhead as you actively press the heads of the weights together
  2. Bend the arms and bring the hands and weights behind the head and neck keeping the elbows broad, chest lifted and spine stacked.
  3. Inhale and press the arms long, reaching longer each time. Repeat 6-10x

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Sparklers 

  1. Hold onto the ends of the weights with the arms long in front of your hips
  2. Inhale and begin lifting the weights by drawing small circles up toward the ceiling for 8-10 counts
  3. Exhale as you circle back down. Repeat 3-6x
  4. Make sure you are using the full length of the arm to circle

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March MATness – Arm Weights Series Biceps

With tank top season around the corner……..hopefully, the standing arm weights are a great add on to the mat work. You will only need a light weight of 2-3lbs to make these exercise effective. The more that you can actively put the work into your own body the heavier those 2-3lbs will feel!

Bicep Curls Front 

  1. Stand on the mat with the legs firm and actively squeezing together, weight shifted slightly to the forefoot
  2. Zip up the waist and focus on proper alignment and posture as you move
  3. Bring the arms up to a 90 degree angle in front of the body with the top of the arm parallel to the floor – make sure the shoulders don’t round forward
  4. Inhale as you extend the arms away, exhale and you squeeze back to center
  5. As you move the arms, feel as though you are pressing through or against heavy resistance. Repeat 10x

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Bicep Curls Side

  1. After you have completed the bicep curls front go right into bicep curls side
  2. Bring the arms to the side at a 90 degree angle, keeping the upper arm parallel to the floor and the palms facing your head
  3. Inhale press the arms away, exhale pull the arms back to center. Repeat 10x

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March MATness – The Push-Up

Push-Ups are a great and effective way to strengthen the upper body. The important thing to remember is to keep the full body connection.  Body is in a strong straight line from the head to heels. Arms are a little wider than shoulder width apart with the entire palm and all ten fingers actively pressing into the mat. The creases in your elbows should face each other. Shoulders are drawing down your back with your abs pulling in and up. Thighs and heels are actively squeezing together.  Maintain these connection points as you move only the arms.

The Push-Up

  1. Stand at the end of your mat with a tall lifted spine
  2. Keep the tailbone lengthening heavy to the floor
  3. Drop the weight of the head forward and round forward until your hands reach the floor
  4. Walk the hands out onto the mat until the body comes into a straight plank
  5. Keep the hands and arms actively pressing into the mat as you inhale and bend the arms lowering the body to the mat as far as you can control
  6. Exhale as you press the body back up. Repeat 3x
  7. Walk your hands back towards your feet and round back up
  8. Repeat the whole sequence 3-5x

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March MATness – Seal

The Seal is another rolling exercise similar to rolling like a ball and the open leg rocker. Difference is you are adding in the clap of the legs to start the roll back and while you are balancing. Start by just adding the clap at the beginning of the exercise if needed. Try to initiate and feel the clap of the legs from the deep scoop of the abs.

The Seal

  1. Sit on the mat with your legs bent, heels together, toes long towards the mat and the knees apart
  2. Dive your hands between your legs and grab onto the outside of your ankles
  3. Keep the active press of the thighs and arms against each other
  4. Maintaining the deep scoop in the abs, lift the feet away from the mat so you are balancing
  5. Inhale, clap the legs from the hips 3x and roll back
  6. As your roll back the weight of the body is on the shoulders not the head
  7. Clap the legs 3x while balancing on the shoulders, exhale and roll back up. Repeat 6x

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