Bridal Prep: At-Home Arm Workout!

In the past I never really gave my arms a second thought. Biceps curls were for meathead, right? I couldn’t have been more wrong, they make for nice sculpted and toned arms. I’ve actually received compliments from complete strangers, clients, and friends telling me how good my arms look or how they wish they had my arms. I’m all wait whaaaaat?? Because it happened before I knew it!

Do this routine even just once a week and you’ll be rockin’ your tanks, slim tees, or even your wedding dress with confidence! This workout will also strengthen your shoulders and core to help with that beautiful posture.

I actually made this arm/shoulder workout for my best friend and bride-to-be @megsferris! But even if you’re not exchanging vows anytime soon, you will fall in love with what this workout will do for your upper body 🙂

megs

 

All these exercises are pretty basic straightforward movements. Maintain a steady pace, with minimal rest, going right from one to the next!

Tempo (311): Technically this indicates a 3-second concentric (against gravity) portion, 1-second pause, and 1-second eccentric (with gravity) portion. Promise it’s not a exercise science lesson, this just means for a full biceps curl you can think “lift the weights up for the count of 3, pause for 1, and lower back down for 1”. So as you do it lift the weights up (against gravity) counting in your head “3-2-1”. Then pause for 1; when I do this with clients I usually say ”and hold”. Then for the final portion lower down (with gravity) for 1; again with clients I’ll usually say “and back down”.

Bridal Prep At Home Arm Workout_livengproof.com

  • Alternating Biceps Curl:Standing with a dumbbell in each hand held at arms length, palms facing your thighs, elbows close to your torso. Keeping your left arm stationary (no swinging motions to create momentum) Curl your right arm, rotating your palm forward, contracting your right biceps to bring the weight to shoulder level. Remember to exhale (breathe out) during the contraction phase, think “Exhale when I Exert Energy”. Hold the contracted position for a second, squeezing your biceps. TIP: Think of your arm like a hinge – your forearm should be the only thing that moves during this exercise! Slowly bring the dumbbell back to its starting position, twisting your palm back to face your right thigh as you bring it back down. Repeat on left side. This is one rep.
  • Top Half Biceps Curl:Standing with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing up, arms bent at 90 degrees, elbows close to your torso. Contract both arms up to shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second, then slowly lower back to 90 (about parallel to the floor).
  • Bottom Half Biceps Curl:Standing with a dumbbell in each hand held at arms length, palms facing out away from your body, elbows close to your torso. Contract both arms up halfway so that they are parallel to the floor. Hold the contracted position for a second, and then slowly lower back to arms length.
  • Full Biceps Curl:Standing with a dumbbell in each hand held at arms length, palms facing away from your thighs, elbows close to your torso. Curl your both arms, keeping your palms forward, contracting your biceps to bring the weight to shoulder level. Remember to exhale (breathe out) during the contraction phase, think “Exhale when I Exert Energy” – you exert energy to bring the weights up! Hold the contracted position for a second, squeezing your biceps. Remember: Think of your arms like hinges – your forearms should be the only thing that moves during this exercise! Slowly bring the dumbbells back to starting position. This is one rep.
  • Alternating (Internal /External) Shoulder Rotations: Standing with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing up. Position your elbows against your side with the elbows bent so that they are parallel to the floor (90°) and your arms pointing outward from your body at about 45° angle. This will be your starting position. Keeping your forearm perpendicular to your torso at all times, internally rotate your shoulders, bringing your forearms towards each other in front of you. To avoid hitting your dumbbells (and to increase the range of motion) alternate which hand is above and below each time.
  • Lateral Overhead Triceps Extensions: (tones the triceps long head and increases shoulder stability) extend the arm over your head so that the forearm is perpendicular to the floor and your biceps is next to your head. Rotate your wrist so that the palm of your hand is facing forward and your pinkie is facing the ceiling. The other hand can be kept fully extended to the side. This will be your starting position. Moving only your forearm, exhale as you contract your triceps and bring your arm into full extension overhead. Inhale as you, slowly lower the dumbbell back next to your head keeping your upper arm (shoulder to your elbow) stationary, pause when your triceps are fully stretched.
    Set 1 (111): think “up for 1, hold for 1, down for 1”
    Set 2 (311): think “up for 3-2-1, hold for 1, down for 1”
    Set 3 (113): think “up for 1, hold for 1, down for 3-2-1”
  • Triceps Kickbacks: (tones up the backs of the arms) Squeeze your booty, and hinge forward from the hips. It is super important to keep a straight neutral spine (avoid arching your lower back!), and keep your chin tucked (think double chin). I personally like to stand in a sort of lunge position: with your front right knee bent, right hand comfortably resting on your front right thigh, left leg is extended back, and dumbbell is in your left hand with your palm facing your torso. Keeping your left forearm glued to your left side. Your forearm should be about perpendicular to the floor (this is your starting position). From here hinge at the elbow, squeezing your triceps to send the weight behind you, extending your arm back. Return to starting position! Exhale when you kick it back, and inhale when you return to starting position J
  • Single-Leg Overhead Triceps Extension: (tones up the backs of the arms and challenges your core) While balancing on one leg, hold a dumbbell (or two like I did) straight overhead, slowly lower forearm towards head, then raise the dumbbell overhead again. Do this for 1 minute, raising up for a count of 3, holding straight up overhead for 1, then lowering back down towards head for 1.
  • Lateral Triceps Extension: standing up straight, laterally raise your arms up and out to your sides. Keeping your palms parallel to the floor (this is your starting position). Hinging from your elbows, bring the dumbbells in towards your center in front of your chest, pause, and then slowly extend forearms back to arms length (starting position). The challenging part here is to keep your arms parallel with the floor throughout each set. Remember: Think of your arms like hinges – your forearms should be the only things that move during this exercise!
  • Lateral Biceps Hammer Curl: Same starting position as previous exercise: Standing up straight, laterally raise your arms up and out to your sides. Except for this one, turn your palms so that your pinkie is closest to the floor, your weights should be perpendicular to the floor (this is your starting position). Perform a hammer curl: hinging from your elbows, bring the dumbbells in towards your head, pause, and then slowly extend forearms back to full arms length (starting position). Again the challenging part here is to keep your arms parallel with the floor throughout each set. Remember: Think of your arms like hinges – your forearms should be the only things that move during this exercise!

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Fitness Style Picks: Jen Selter Leggings & Sports Bras

You would think it would be easier to find the 3.3 million Instagram follower #belfie (aka “booty selfie ” what world do we live in, but seriously?) Queen’s favorite brands of leggings. In the interest of figuring out what brand of leggings Jen Selter wears in many of her famous #seltering IG posts, I spent more time than I am willing to admit scouring the interwebs for an answer. Turns out there are a few trusty brands of leggings this girl loves to sport:

 

 

 

PRJON Form Fitting Leggings with Mesh Vector Panels Black

Beyond Yoga Space Dye Mesh Stripe Blue Long Legging
Beyond Yoga Space Dye Mesh Stripe Blue Long Legging

 

 SOLOW Women’s High Impact Legging

 

WOD Gear Clothing | Bright Blue Crop Pants

Solow Style | High Impact Crop Legging

 

Alo Yoga Women’s Coast Legging, Black


SOLOW_ Crop with Back Leg Contrast Strapping

Solow Style | Crop with Back Leg Contrast Strapping

 

 Victoria's Secret VSX Knockout Tight Pant Print:Hello Lovely Graphic (Small)

Victoria’s Secret VSX Knockout Tight Pant Print/Hello Lovely Graphic 

 

 

 

Ebuddy 2015 Colour Block
Ebuddy 2015 Colour Block

 

 

Victoria's Secret The Ultimate Maximum Support Sport Bra

Victoria’s Secret |Victoria’s Secret The Ultimate Maximum Support Sport Bra


Lululemon Womens Mini Ziggy Snake Pipe Blue Sapphire Free to Be Bra
Lululemon Womens Mini Ziggy Snake Pipe Blue Sapphire Free to Be Bra

 

 

 

 

I thought the time I “wasted” might as well be shared, because let’s be honest, I can’t be the only one who wanted to know where #jenselter gets her leggings!

Because the trendier the leggings the better your workout is, amIright?? I personally prefer leggings as opposed to shorts in the gym. There’s nothing like being on the adductor machine in a pair of shorts. And forget about feeling comfortable deep squatting, deadlifting, or doing a good morning. Call me conservative but I’d prefer to leave more up to the imagination to all those dudes at the gym 😉

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You’re More Powerful Than You Think!

power_dont dim your light_liveng proof

I have lived in fear of power. The power of my own body and it’s physical abilities. The power of my voice and my opinion. The power of my decisions and influence over others. The power I have within myself to succeed. The power to lead others to success. The physical power gained by building muscle. The confidence gained with believing I have power.

I have lived in fear of all of these things because part of me wonders if I’m capable of this sort of power. We live in a very power dominated society:

Strong versus weak.
Big versus small.
Rich versus poor.
Upperclass versus low-class.

Instead of exerting my power on others with money, threats, or control. I have realized that true power comes from within myself.

How do I know that I will be good enough for this level of power? As I’ve gotten stronger I feel my doubts diminishing. The gym is empowering to learn that I am powerful. I am capable of moving heaviness. I produce the power to move the weights with authority. I move them the way that I want, they do not move me. With this new level of physical power,  my inner strength has grown.

I used to like the idea of being thin and fragile, so helpless that I could not do things on my own. I needed others to believe that I was capable. I needed their strength to show me that I was competent. I doubted myself so much that I lost my own voice, my own light, my own inner strength and power. Now I see that that’s no way to live. Why should I depend on others for my own happiness? What’s stopping me from going after what I want? I had dimmed my own light in fear of how brightly it would shine. I am learning that I do have the power to step into the light.

Lots of Love,
Engrid

Guy-Approved Protein Granola

I made this to bring on our little weekend beach trip to Charleston and I’m pretty proud to say that it is husband approved. He’s pretty skeptical sometimes of my “healthy” treats, so if you’re thinking of making this for your guy it should pass the test! Many of  the “healthy” granola’s on the shelves actually contain more sugar than a Krispie cream doughnut! That’s seriously ridiculous! They certainly don’t make it easy for health-conscious consumers to make decisions with their deceiving and unrealistically small serving sizes either (always check your labels).

Just another reason I was inspired to make my own! Hope you like it!

 

PROTEIN GRANOLA_livengproof

Ingredients:

2/3 C Gluten Free Rolled Oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
2/3 C Puffed Rice
3 Scoops Jarrows Brown Rice Protein 
2 TBS Ground Flaxseed
2 TBS Chia Seeds
2 TBS Craisans
2 TBS slivered almonds
1-2 TBS raw stevia (optional)
1 TBS organic raw cacoa nibs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 TBS organic raw honey
1/3 + 1 TBS Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 300°F
2. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Spray with coconut oil (or any non-stick oil spray of your choice), coat evenly and set aside.
3. In a large bowl mix the oats, puffed rice, protein powder, flaxseed, chia seeds, craisnas, slivered almonds, cacoa nibs, and cinnamon.
4. Stir in the honey. Then add the almond milk, Mixing thoroughly.
5. Spread mixture evenly out onto your wax paper baking sheet.
6. Here comes the high maintenance part: I stirred the mixture and moved all the little granola parts around on the sheet, about every 10 mins. You kind of have to babysit it if you don’t want it to burn! I like my granola more on the crunchy side so I baked it for about 35 mins (stirring about every 10 – 15 mins). Just keep an eye on it. Leave it in for longer if you like it crunchier 🙂

Protein Granola (per serving) Nutrition Facts:
231 Calories | 20g Carbohydrates | 13 g Fat | 11 g Protein
(recipe makes 6 servings)
protein granola nutrition facts
PROTEIN GRANOLA_2_livengproof

PROTEIN GRANOLA_3_livengproof

PROTEIN GRANOLA_4_livengproof

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Clean Spaces for Clear Vision

This is a bit different post than normal, but I believe  creating a space that promotes a clear mind is 100% necessary for a happy and healthy outlook 😉

From a young age I’ve always had an appreciation for clean spaces. When I was ten, I went to play at a friends house and I decided we would spend our play-day straightening and reorganizing her room (we remained friends for years). And like many people I appreciate the single plug required for my computer (wire clutter drives me nuts).

Despite my love of all things neat and orderly, those who know me will tell you that I don’t really maintain it. My husband describes me as the most “organized, disorganized person” he knows.

Honestly, sometimes life just gets too busy to keep it all perfectly organized. Trust me, I understand that. But today I just needed to quiet my mind. I needed a space that allowed me to feel calm, where I could reflect and center my thoughts. I was literally driving home from the gym and I started plotting this, assembling the pieces together while I payed the parking garage ticket.

Having a space where I can center myself is necessary for me. I actually had my husband build a standing desk – which I love!! But for some reason I found being productive while standing seriously challenging. It’s like I can only be productive physically while standing, but not mentally….? I don’t know maybe it’s just me. I just feel like when I’m sitting to think, I’m actually able to quiet my mind and accomplish whatever it is I’ve set out to do. And my new streamlined desk space just makes me smile with satisfaction (so pinteresty of me, I know). But in the end that’s all that counts AmIRight? The little things that make us smile.

What centers you? What helps you to feel more productive?

your-trainer-Engrid

Summer Scorcher Workout!

You guys are going to have to try this workout and let us know if it really is ridiculously hard or we just made the fatal mistake of doing it outdoors in 90+ degree, humid weather (think ‘hot yoga’ level humidity and heat)! We’re guessing it’s a mix of both…

At one point we actually had to break because our camera overheated! As you can imagine we were pretty fried by the end (pun intended) 😉 And yes normally we’d perform the chest flyes with a set of respectably-heavy dumbells but like we said it was a scorcher!

 

summer scorcher workout

Get your summer scorcher workout printable here ~ Just right click and select “Save Link As…”

Let us know what you think!

How are you guys dealing with working out and the summer heat?

 

xo Engrid & Shana

Total Body Toning Workout!

Screenshot 2014-07-01 17.55.17

Happy 1st of July! Your Total Body Toning Workout can be done anywhere, anytime all you need is a set of dumb bells!

Bring your printable with you to the gym or to the park,  for an effective toning-cardio combo that will leave you smiling all day long!

Start with Set 1 and make your way down the column. Grab some water then get right back at it with Set 2!

Need music to get you energized? Us too!! Listen to some of our favorite songs:

 

Let us know what you think!

xo Engrid & Shana