Bridal Prep Upper Body Routine!

BRIDAL PREP UPPER BODY ROUTINE HEADER PHOTO
Strong, Sculpted Arms Are Yours Bombshell!

Today’s Bridal Prep ARM routine – is actually an older one I posted but also one of my most popular! Some of you have requested a printable for this workout – so here it is!!  It takes you through a sequence of my favorite, ultra effective moves to tone your arms, shoulders and upper back. If you’re yearning for beautiful biceps and sultry shoulders, follow along below!

What you need for this workout:
– A pair of dumbbells (I like to have two sets handy, so I can drop down if I start to loose form)
– The gymboss interval timer app (optional)
– Some water

Choosing weights: Start with anywhere from 5-10 lb and work your way up from there as you get stronger. You can also do drop sets, which means you start with a higher weights and drop down to lower as your muscles become fatigued.

Incorporate this routine a few times a week from now until summer. Those arms will be so defined, everyone will be doing a double-take!

Get your printable here Liveng Proof_Printable Bridal Arms Workout – Just Right Click and Select “Save Link As…

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summer ARMS workout routine!

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Hey Ladies!

What’s the best summer accessory!? Sexy, sculpted arms!! Today’s NEW  summer ARMS Routine will leave you ready to rock tank tops, sleeveless dresses and your favorite bikini with ridiculous confidence!

You’re going to feel the burn, and fall in love with your strong, attention-worthy arms!

Follow along in the video and let me know if you liked this routine 🙂 Be sure to warm up and stretch in-between exercise whenever you feel it necessary! Really aim to challenge yourself during this workout. Try doing this with a heavier and lighter set of dumbells near by, only drop to the lighter set of weights if you start to lose form!

Get your printable here: summer ARMS workout routine – Just Right Click and Select “Save Link As…”

‘Crossfit Gym’ HIIT Circuit Workout

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How’s everyone doing this week!?
Summer is right around the corner ☀ can you feel it!?!

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For me this means the months ahead are filled with weddings, birthdays, upcoming vacations to finish planning etc! Often it can feel like I have to “cram” everything in before the nice weather runs out!

Warmer weather also means people are more likely than ever to seek out personal training (which is great for me)! So I’ve been much busier with the addition of new clients. So, I’m in a bit of an adjustment phase to this new busier ‘normal’. I have to remind myself that I need to take care of “me” first – which is incredibly challenging! I pour my heart and soul into my clients, but I’ve realized that if I don’t treat myself right (aka knowing when to say “No, I can’t do that” or knowing when I will need to take a 20 min power nap) I won’t be able to give them everything I’ve got!

I’ve learned the hard way. And, yes, sometimes I do spread myself too thin. But I’ve also learned that sacrificing my own needs for others never pans out well. I pride myself in giving each of my clients the energy and attention they deserve at every single session. But when I don’t take care of me I  know that my spark can dim  – and that’s usually a result of me taking on more than I can handle. But just like building strength and endurance with a progressive load, I am trying to gradually increase and adapt. And I’d like to think I’m building a pretty solid foundation for handling my days, as they get busier!

It’s definitely a process learning how to balance this new “normal”. At first, I’d catch myself feeling run-down & tired later on in the afternoons (it happens after your alarm clock goes off at 4 AM a few days in a row). So just before meeting with my late afternoon client(s), I’d envision how wonderful a nap would feel… but for some reason once our session would start I’d instantly be filled with happiness and energy! In reality, I feel so blessed with the responsibility I have to each of my clients. It seriously is so rewarding and I sometimes I can’t believe I’ve actually carved this life out for myself! Additionally outside of my clients, I know I am lucky to have the commitments and friendships I have that add all that wonderful flavor to my life.

Take home message: Even through all of the chaos ~I want you to focus on Y♡U

Make your healthy lifestyle the one consistent part of your everyday life, even if everything else is moving and shaking! Maybe crazy is your new normal??

Okay, so it’s the end of my work week and I’m seriously exhausted, but that’s not stopping me from posting this ‘Crossfit Gym HIIT Circuit Workout’!  I have been trying to stay more consistent about posting REGULARLY!

Crossfit Gym HIIT Circuit WorkoutComplete this routine 4 times through!!

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20-MIN LOWER BODY & CORE WORKOUT & FUN PHOTOSHOOT!

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20-min lower body & core workout_livengproof_plank pic

I wrote this workout on a whim because I had a last minute chance to have my amazing friend Jen offer to shoot a workout for me! You can check her skills here! So I got to feel like a real life fitness model as I stood in as her “test subject” as she just moved to a new shared studio space! She got to play with the lighting equipment and I got to pretend I was Jane Fonda 😉 Also I’m 5’10” so I’m pretty long – lets just say I realized why they have such large back drops – especially for any photoshoot involving movement! Thanks Jen for accommodating me and all my lanky limbs! I have since done this workout and let me just say for coming up with it “on a whim” I was pri-tee pleased with it!

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Jen is the owner of  J.Catherine Photography  you can also find her on facebook here!


20-MIN LOWER BODY & CORE WORKOUT

Equipment I Used:

Interval Cycles: 10 Sets
45 seconds of work (High)
1:15 seconds of rest (Low) – ONLY USE 15 SECONDS FOR REST & 1 MIN FOR JUMP ROPE

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You’ll do each exercise for 45 seconds followed by 10-15 seconds of rest before moving immediately onto jumping rope (or any cardio activity of your choice – you can hop on the elliptical, do jumping jacks, run on a treadmill, run outside, bike, spin – you get the idea)! When the high interval sound goes off go straight into the next strength exercise! Personally when I did this I just hopped onto an elliptical between each strength move (I thought the gym at my apartment had a jump rope – but I couldn’t find it – and I had left mine in my car). So, I would glance down at my phone as the interval timer counted down and check that I knew which exercise I was going to be doing so I could get right into it!

Also when I did this circuit I actually did it 2 times though for a 40 min workout! The time seriously flew by! If you’re up for the challenge try setting your interval time for 20 Sets for the Interval Cycles. Once you’ve completed the whole circuit, pause the timer, grab some water, and maybe take a breather for 30-60 seconds. Then repeat it again!

I set my interval timer for 20 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 1:10 seconds of rest, and selected different sounds for the high interval vs the low interval so I would know which one was signaling me to start and stop. I used the “Boxing Bell” to signal the High intensity round and the “School Bell” to signal the Low intensity round.

Each round is 20 minutes in length. And like I said if you have the time and you’re up for a challenge repeat the circuit one more time though!! As always, make sure you give yourself atleast 5 – 10 mins to warm up before you start!

Also here are the weights I actually used when I did this circuit:
alternating reverse lunges:  single 15 lb DB
side lunge + row to single leg overhead press: pair of 10 lb DB’s
kneeling woodchoppers: single 15 lb DB
front hold reverse lunge to single leg balance: single 20 lb DB

What’s the best weight to use? You should be able to go through the 12-15 reps with proper form, but the last three reps should feel super challenging. Try different weights to see which works best for you… and watch yourself get stronger!

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Alternating reverse lunges with torso twist
TARGETS: thighs, core , glutes, and arms

Start by getting yourself in an organized athletic standing position: shoulder blades squeezed back, glutes squeezed, torso tall, belly down and in. Holding any weight of your choice (medicine ball, single DB, pair of DB’s, Kettlebell, or just use your own body weight) in a hammer-curl position with forearms roughly parallel to the ground and thumbs up. Step your right leg behind you, making sure you step back far enough, while keeping your left knee in-line with your left ankle. Your weight should be over your front leg (you’ll you’re your left quad a lot here!). Then twist your torso left, while maintaining your posture (shoulder blades should stay retracted). Finally twist back to the front. Using your left quad and glute to push through, step your right foot back to your starting standing position. Repeat on the opposite side. Continue alternating sides each time!


Alternating spider lunges
TARGETS: core, shoulders, and hip flexors

 Begin in a plank position: palms on the ground (thinking about screwing your palms into the ground to create torque), shoulder blades retracted, glutes squeezed. A plank is ultimately the same posture you should have when you are standing except you are horizontal instead of vertical – thinking about it this way has helped me! So your spine should be in a fairly straight line. From here bring your right foot up just outside of your right palm. If your hip flexors are tight you will definitively feel this! Contract your left glute for an even deeper hip flexor stretch in the right hip. Return your right foot back to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the opposite side. Continue alternating sides each time.

Side lunge + row to single leg overhead press
TARGETS: upper back, shoulders, and glutes

Start by getting yourself in an organized athletic standing position: shoulder blades squeezed back, glutes squeezed, torso tall, belly down and in. Holding your dumbbells by your side’s palms facing your body. Stop your right foot out to the side keeping your knee in line with your ankle. Sink into that right glute – thinking about shooting at towards the right side of the room. Keep your spine in a neutral position so that your low back is not over arched. Extend your arms down lowering your shoulders toward the ground. Initiating the row as your shoulders squeeze back I’m squeeze your traps (shoulder blades), as you draw the weights dumbbells and towards your rib cage – elbows moving straight back!

Pushing off with your right leg to return to standing position transition into a single (left) leg balance by squeezing your left glute to maintain stability. Hammer curl your way it’s up and into an overhead press keeping your palms facing each other throughout the movement. Perform all reps with the same leg for the duration of the interval. Then repeat the movement on the opposite side for the next one!

Kneeling woodchopper
TARGETS: shoulders, upper back, arms, and glutes

Again in a kneeling position with your right leg in front keeping your knee in line with your ankle. Your shoulder blades should be squeezed back, left glutes is contracted, torso tall, belly down and in, and chin stays in a neutral position throught the movement. Holding your weights with both hands down by your left hip lift them up and across your body up over your right shoulder – in an upward chopping motion. Think as if you were digging and shoveling the dirt over your right shoulder! Return the weight to starting position next to your left hip. Your torso will twist slightly but it shouldn’t be excessive. Be sure to maintain your posture (avoid overarching your low back by contracting your left glute throughout the movement). Perform all reps with the same leg in front for the duration of the interval. Then repeat the movement on the opposite side for the next one!

Front hold reverse lunge to single leg balance
TARGETS: quads, glutes, upper back, shoulders, and core

Start by getting yourself in an organized athletic standing position: shoulder blades squeezed back, glutes squeezed, torso tall, belly down and in. Holding your dumbbells in a front hold – this requires that your shoulder blades stay actively retracted throughout the movement (which is a bonus for you core and upper back muscles)! Step your right leg behind you, making sure you step back far enough, while keeping your left knee in-line with your left ankle. Your weight should be over your front leg (you’ll you’re your left quad a lot here!). Transition into a right-leg balance standing position by pushing off slightly with your back (right) foot, keeping your weight on your left leg, squeezing your left glute to create a stable position, as you draw your right knee upwards to balance. The front hold should be maintained throughout the movement. Perform all reps with the same leg in front for the duration of the interval. Then repeat the movement on the opposite side for the next one!

Side plank with a front kick & reach
TARGETS: obliques, shoulders, and core

Begin in a side plank position: right forearm on the ground. Shoulder blades retracted, shoulders down and back, glutes squeezed, belly down and in. You can have your feet stacked (as shown in the pic) or they can be staggered. Extend your left arm overhead so that it is in line with your body. Kick your top (left) leg out in front of you while drawing your extended left arm out reaching for your toes. Try and keep your hips up thoughout the movement!

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Up & Autumn Kettle Bell Workout

I was inspired to create this particular workout after a serious lifting session with my friend Joe. Our workout that day included some pretty intense KB work and made me realize I’d really been overlooking this regular ‘ol piece of workout equipment. Sure, I’ve swung my fair share of kettlebells but I hadn’t really considered their uses much further than that. My new found appreciation of kettle bells was like discovering an unassuming restaurant that you pass by everyday but never give a second thought…until one day a friend takes you there, the food is amazing, and you’re like “how have I not been here before?!”

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These cannon-ball-with-a-handle-cast-iron-weights really shine when performing power movements such as: snatches, swings, cleans, and jerks (which apparently is what they were designed for in the first place, go figure). But that’s enough of my blabbin’ you’re here for a workout – so give it a run! If you’re not breaking a sweat by the end of the first set then I’m gonna go ahead and say you need to pick up some heavier KB’s…just sayin 😉 It’s always easier to drop weight during a workout, than it is to increase your load part way through…AmIRight?

And if you don’t have access to kettle bells, dumbbells can be used as a stand in! One last thing, don’t laugh at my attempt at a pistol squat (especially with an 18 lb KB)..I’m working at being able to do one someday, but not going to pretend that I can do one just yet…I had to try for you guys 😉 If you’re in the same boat and have access to TRX cables (or resistance band), I like this pistol squat variation.

Photocredit to my friend and amazing photographer Jen! Check her out here!

Up and Autumn Kettlebell workout

 

Double Kettlebell Swing:
☑ place the kettlebell on the ground in front of you with the handles perpendicular your body
☑ your feet a little wider the hip distance apart. Pick the kettle bells up, screw your feet into the ground (imagine your feet are on big dinner plates and you’re turning them into the ground)
☑ Your feet should remain parallel but by doing this you create torque in your hips, knees, and glutes which gives you greater stability, thus an increased ability to generate power!
☑ Next I want you to think about squeezing your butt (yes you’re still just standing there holding the kettle bells and we haven’t started the movement yet) You are just getting organized to be able to execute!
☑ Hinging from your hip (without arching your low back) sit back and snap your hips forward – this should be a dramatic, fast, pulse-like movement and is driven mostly by just how tightly you can squeeze those cheeks. This hip snap will create momentum that drives the kettle bells up. As they descend back down sit back and repeat!

 

Turkish Getup:
☑ Laying on your back, position the kettlebell next to your right shoulder. You want your right foot posted up (think: the side you’re lifting the weight with is the same side your knee is bent). Now, reach across your body with your left hand and grip the handle with both your right and left hands. Glutes should be squeezed and belly should feel tight. Using your left hand, pull the kettlbell toward the center of your body and extend the weight up – keeping your elbow in close to your body and thumb facing toward your head as you press up. Ideally you should lock your elbow out and let your shoulder drop to the back of the socket. Keep your eyes locked on that kettlebell throughout the entire movement!
☑ Drive off the ground with your right leg, think about twisting your body up as you come up onto your left elbow. Ideally you want your elbow directly in line with your shoulder (yeah yeah, I know mine is slightly off). One more thing to think about – as if there isn’t enough already going on – you want to keep your shoulder blades pulled back and your trunk braced!
☑ Sit up and plant your left palm on the ground (again left palm should be aligned with left shoulder) As you transition to bring your hips up – think about getting your armpit forward. Squeezing your glutes and driving your right foot into the ground, lift your hips up!
☑ Left arm and right leg support you as you “needle” or pull your left leg underneath the kettlebell (your center of mass)
☑ Shifting your weight toward the right so that your torso is now vertical – I should have also kept eye contact locked onto that kettlebell – dive your right knee out , pushing off your right left , and stand tall.

Single Arm Kettlebell Snatch
☑Place a kettlebell between your feet. Bend your knees and push your butt back to get in the proper starting position.
☑Immediately reverse the direction and drive through with your hips and knees, accelerating the kettlebell upward. As the kettlebell rises to your shoulder rotate your hand and punch straight up, using momentum to receive the weight locked out overhead.

 

Single arm Overhead Press:
Start with your feet screwed into the ground, knees are soft, glutes squeezed , belly should feel tight (this is a stable athletic position) With the kettlebell in your right hand, keep your elbow in and your palm facing your head. Press the weight up overhead. Lower the weight back down and repeat.

 

Double Kettlebell Front Squats:
Screw your feet into the ground, glutes squeezed, belly tight. Load your hips and hamstrings sitting back. As you do this be sure to keep a flat back, shoulders retracted, vertical shins, and drive your knees out. Squat back and extend your hips back up to starting postion. Repeat.

Pistol Squats:
Again foot screwed into the ground, glutes squeezed to start, belly in tight. Load hip and hammies sitting back driving all your weight into your left foot. Work on building up glute strength to master this move!

 

Can any of you do a pistol squat?? Let me know!

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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 🙂

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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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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