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Jump Squats and Weighted Carries

16 Mar

Perhaps one of the most underrated, weighted, natural movement patterns is a weighted carry– and it’s simple! You can do this with your groceries, suitcase, kettle bell, sand bag or even your kids! Reusable shopping bags are perfect; you can fill them with whatever you want, and they even have handles. (Just be sure to do some research about how much weight your bag can handle!)

You can do a carry in just one arm and switch, or carry weight on both sides.

In the picture, below, I am using a 20 kg (44 lb) kettle bell on just one arm. In the workout, also below, I use one arm for the first 15 seconds then switch to the other.

Kettle Booty 2
You can also carry the wight close to your body in front of you- think of hugging a sand bag, or carrying a child.

sandbag carry- bear hug

picture courtesy of t-nation.com

Another variation is a farmer’s walk, as pictured, below:

2 arm weighted carry/ farmer's walk

picture courtesy of Wolfbrigade.net

Here is a quick workout, mixing in some weighted carries and some more explosive movements- jump squats (pyramid-style.) But first, a few tips for the jump squat:

  • Get into your regular squat position- feet shoulder width apart and butt back to lower yourself
  • Do the squat, keeping your chest up and butt back, as deep as you can go
  • Explode up, fast
  • Land soft- on the balls of your feet, rolling back onto your full foot
  • Get your butt back again, and repeat
  • If your knees start to cave in, or you are bending forward too much- STOP! You are likely too fatigued or need to get your glutes firing in order to do the movement safely.

Give yourself a good 20-30 feet to walk  around with the weighted bags, kettle bells, kids (or whatever you are using!) I like to walk in zig-zag lines, figure 8s and circles, because, let’s face it- how often do we actually walk in a straight line, back and forth?

Workout:

12 jump squats
30 seconds weighted carry
10 jump squats
30 seconds weighted carry
8 jump squats
30 seconds weighted carry
6 jump squats
30 seconds weighted carry
4 jump squats
30 seconds weighted carry

Rest 30 seconds

4 jump squats
30 seconds weighted carry
6 jump squats
30 seconds weighted carry
8 jump squats
30 seconds weighted carry
10 jump squats
30 seconds weighted carry
12 jump squats

Done!

Squats for Better Sex

20 Jan

Sex is a physical activity. It requires stamina, strength, coordination, balance and endurance. The greater your sexual “fitness,” the better your sex will be.

Sex and Self-Confidence:
Physical activity increases energy, releasing endorphins (“feel-good” hormones) that boost your mood and your self-confidence. Women with higher self-confidence report greater satisfaction with their sex life. In a study of women ages 30-50, the relationship between sexual satisfaction and a positive body image were considered. The study noted:

“…there are several factors that influence a woman’s level of sexual satisfaction including self-esteem, body image, and the amount of sexual knowledge she possesses that contribute to how she experiences sexual pleasure and satisfaction… People are almost totally incapable of experiencing a satisfying sexual relationship without a positive body image or normal level of self-esteem… The research study revealed that single women 30-50 years of age who have positive self-esteem, a positive body image, and high levels of sexual knowledge experience high levels of sexual satisfaction. Walker, 1998.)”

As you exercise, move, lose body fat and eat well, you feel good. The better you feel, the more you’ll want to you exercise, move, lose more body fat and eat even better. This positive feedback loop will lead to enhanced body composition and more confidence when you take your clothes off in front of another person.

If you’re stuck in a perpetual state of self-doubt and self-loathing, you are likely not comfortable with your body. If you’re not comfortable with your body, you won’t want to be undressed in front of another person; so you don’t do it. And if, by chance, you do, you’ll likely be so focused on your own body and insecurities that you’ll loathe the experience or the other person. If this is you, it is time to break that cycle!

Hormones:
Lifting heavy weights releases testosterone; this increase in testosterone increases sex drive (in you, too, ladies!) Squatting heavy and deep will make you feel like a 15 year old boy watching an episode of Baywatch in slow motion. In order to release optimal levels of testosterone during your workout, you’ll have to lift heavy. 

arren r squat

Arren; Back Squat

 

Testosterone can actually decrease (and cortisol, the “stress” hormone can increase) with longer duration cardio workouts, when you are at 70% of your heart rate max for an extended period of time. Cortisol and testosterone have an inverse relationship- as one goes up, the other goes down.

The increase in testosterone is often coupled with an increase in endorphins (again, “feel-good” hormones) that, as mentioned above, boost your mood and self-confidence. Your blood flow increases as your heart rate increases, pumping blood into your limbs and extremities- all of them.

single leg

Keirsten; Single Leg/ Bulgarian Split Squat

Squat Movements:
Sexual “fitness” requires strength, particularly of the glutes and legs. The best way to get strong glutes and legs is to do some variation of the squat. Squats require (and use) a good deal of flexibility, mobility and endurance.  You use hip power, pelvic power, glute power (and even Kegle power!) Squats put your largest and most powerful muscles to work, producing greater amounts of hormones (testosterone.) Squats improve overall body strength and stamina, improving performance in athletics and aesthetics.  They work your glutes and the upper legs, resulting in a firm and attractive booty- you’ll have greater sex appeal.

goblet b and w

Keirsten; Goblet Squat

Squats, when heavy and methodical, also work your Kegels. Your Kegels are your pelvic floor muscles. As you squat, you are (primarily) working your glutes; they are contracting and driving the load of your body (plus weight you add) upward. As you stand from your squat, your glutes are tight, and you’re keeping your Kegel’s tight and engaged. Women who have more muscle mass, particularly in the glutes, have greater control of the Kegel muscles; you learn to control muscle contraction, lending to greater sexual satisfaction for both you and your partner.

 

So get squatting!


Hamstring Curls

20 Dec

K

1. Lay on your back and place your feet on a ball, as pictured. Use your elbows at your sides for extra balance.

2. Roll your pelvis forward so that you lower back is close to the ground and your abs feel contracted- think of doing half of a crunch.

3. Once your abs are tight, raise your hips to make a bridge, as pictured in the top picture. Tighten your glutes and hold this bridge position for about 15 seconds- keeping TIGHT the entire time!

4. Keeping your abs and your glutes tight, roll the ball toward your butt; repeat a few times.  (Don’t let your hips drop!) Stop when you need to. Reset. Go again.

5. Once you’ve mastered the balance required for this movement, try raising one leg, as pictured. First, just hold the bridge with one foot on the ball and one foot up, without your feet falling off the ball or your body turning over. If you can do this and feel steady, then progress to single-leg curls (while holding your other leg straight up!)

If you feel your hips start to drop, or your glutes and abs are not tight, stop and reset yourself. If all you can do is the bridge, focus on holding it for a few seconds longer each time. I do this hamstring curl fairly often, especially before doing any other glute/hamstring lift. Oftentimes I’ll do a few sets of these curls (anywhere from 15-25 reps for 3-4 sets) before heavier kettle bell swings, deadlifts, or even squats. My glutes are activated and engaged, my hamstrings warmed up and my hips ready for movement!

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