Don’t Kill Thigh Vibe: Inner & Outer Thigh Routine


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Hey Girls!

The weather has been heating up down here in South Carolina and I’ve mostly been avoiding shorts for two reasons: A. My legs are no where near as tan as they were when I took the photo above and B. I nevvvver where shorts when I’m lifting. Aside from the fact that they can ride up and get all up in your business, I’d just as soon challenge the imagination of the creepy old man on the recumbent bike – than show him the goods – if ya know what I’m sayin?!

On that note – I’m sharing my favorite exercises to sculpt, tighten and target the inner & outer thighs! You’re going to LOVE it!  You’ll also be toning that booty AND you’ll be working that waistline. I love routines that focus on large muscle groups like legs & thighs; they require more energy, which increases your metabolism, burns fat and helps your body tone up fast! Another win: you don’t need any equipment (get your fitness on, sans creepy gym dudes).

Watch the Video

Let’s do the workout together! How exciting is this?? Watch the workout below in real time and follow along with me!

Get your Printable Don’t Kill Thigh Vibe Workout Just Right Click and Select “Save Link As…”
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SPORTS BRA: Mixmax Women Strappy Crop Tank Tops Bustier Cutout Padded Bra Cami
TOP: Lululemon Cool Racerback
LEGGINGS: Lululemon Make A Move Tight
SHOES: Nike Women’s Flex Experience Rn 4 Black
Other Similar Styles:
✓  Lululemon Womens Black Cool Racerback* SE Shine On
✓ Lululemon Wunder Under Yoga Pants Hi Rise Mesh Black Shine On Luon 

 

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Liveng Proof Bootcamp @ Lululemon Greenville Showroom | Highlights

Sometimes before I teach a class I feel like I am 12 years old again; I’m nervously standing behind the blocks before a race at a swim meet. I have thought about this moment all week. I have that nervous/excitedness churning feeling in my stomach. And I do a lot of the same things to prep for it. I mull over how I want the workout to flow, scratching out rough ideas on paper, drawing out what equipment goes where.

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And the week leading up to the event I know I’ll need to prep 3-winner giveaway bags AKA me running around town buying things in good-better-best-sets-of-three. At anthropologie the girl at the register noted “I’m guessing this a gift since there are three of everything?”. And at GNC I planted my generously-loaded basket onto the counter to checkout  and  in a do-you-come-here-often-tone the guy goes  “A basket huh? We don’t see many of those” ….Yeah you know, just my regular weeks supply of SUPS;-)

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Bust out a  handwritten-welcome poster. Babe did you print the sign-in & waiver sheets?
Then there’s the creation of a solid spotify playlist for the big day (which you can check out here).

 

I have a new-found respect for people that host events – there are seriously so many details that you need to keep track of for everything to run smoothly. And let’s just say I’m not the most laid-back type…

And I guueeeessssss you could say I’m a bit neurotic when it comes to the day-of. I have to get ready hours before I actually have to be anywhere. I have a whole stretching routine I do. And as you can imagine I’m cray about being “on-time” (which is actually 10-15 mins earlier than real time). Props to my husband for being so tolerant of me when I’m in this zone…thanks babe. But the morning could not have been more perfect. The forecast had said there was supposed to be showers early Saturday morning. But when I woke up – they couldn’t have been more wrote. It was sunny and in the 70s – literally couldn’t have been any better!

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Leading a class is invigorating – for that hour it’s GAME TIME! 100% of my focus is on my people. Watching their form, encouraging them, directing them, making sure they have a good handle on what to do, and above all else making sure they are having fun!

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Sometimes I hear myself saying the most ridiculous things – somehow they make it past my usual filter. For example I was having people plank in a class one time and I had them do glute squeezes while they were planking and I said “pinch your cheeks hard, as if you were trying not to poop” – they all burst out laughing! Their form improved after I gave this cue & they were laughing = win-win in my book!

Quite often after I teach a class I am hit by a wave of “was that good enough?” “was that a challenging enough? fun enough? different enough? class”. As an instructor I have to remind myself that although I am leading – the focus is not on ME – its on each individual listening to me! The class is for them. I am there to give them an amazing workout!

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I think that’s the only way I am able to “perform”. It’s not like I’m 9 years old again playing in a piano recital in front of an entire church full of people (are you seeing a trend? and OMG my palms are sweating just thinking about the anxiety I would get from those recitals! lawd!!!!)… This is of course noise in my own head, but I think we’ve all experienced the “am I enough?” noise before. Am I smart enough? experienced enough? pretty enough? rich enough? funny enough? thin enough? did I do enough? Am I enough?

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And the answer is YES. I am enough. YOU are enough.

I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorites<3

“Wholeheartedness. There are many tenets of Wholeheartedness, but at its very core is vulnerability and worthiness; facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks, and knowing that I am enough.”
―Brenè Brown

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Outside your Comfort Zone: your target heart rate training zones ;)

I’m always telling you that in order to see results, you have to push yourself to be uncomfortable during your workout. Doing this will speed up your metabolism, and cause signals to be sent to your body that changes need to be made; like becoming stronger and leaner.

To most of you, saying this does the trick, but a lot of you still are looking for a more definitive ‘how hard to push’??

In order to see results, you have to push yourself harder each day. The trick with this is that each time you push (outside your comfort zone), your body repairs and grows back stronger. Which makes you more efficient and effective! So you have to progressively up the ante each time to see the same results 🙂

To measure your output, I look at heart rate. Many of you may know simple ways of obtaining your heart rate, but since everybody is different, I wanted to teach you a method of measuring your own heart rate to determine if you are pushing as hard as you need to be.

This method is called the Karvonen Method, and is fairly simple to calculate:

First off, you’ll need to establish your personal Resting Heart Rate (RHR)

The most accurate measure of your RHR is first thing in the morning before you’ve gotten out of bed! Set an alarm to remind yourself (so you don’t get up first) and measure your heart rate for 15 seconds, then multiply by 4; do this twice for accuracy!

Start by Subtracting 220- Your Age; Then Subtract your RHR

Multiply THIS number by the intensity percentage you are shooting for

Low: 65-75% for early AM workouts (barre/yoga/brisk walking)

Moderate: 80-85% for Resistance Training/Toning/Circuit Training

High: 86-90% for Intervals/Springs/HIIT (or my bootcamp class)

Now add back in your RHR; The resulting number is the heart rate you are shooting for!

Example A 30-Year old is doing her early morning brisk walk, and wants to know where her heart rate should be; her resting heart rate is 68 bpm

220 – 30 = 190

190 – 68 = 122

122 * .65 = 79.3

79.3 + 68 = 147.3!

Her Heart Rate should be at about 147 bpm during her early morning brisk walk!

Pinterest Worthy #fitgirl Closet Wishlist

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1. Lululemon Womens Heathered Herringbone Black Kanto Catch Me 1/2 Zip

2. Lululemon Fleecy Keen Jacket Black Fleece 

3. Lululemon Womens Black Lightweight Winter Fluffin Awesome Vest

4. Lululemon Wunder Under Yoga Pants Hi Rise Mesh Black Shine On Luon

5. Alo Yoga Women’s Coast Legging, Black

6. Lululemon Womens Stripe Heathered Wine Berry Wunder Under Pant

 


Throwback to my collaboration with Greenville’s very own Lululemon Showroom! I was so excited to be able to do this (can you tell from the thumbnail). And I have to say, once you squat in lulu leggings (especially all things high-waisted) you just don’t want anything else – I realize this sounds very #basicB of me but its the honest #truth!

Highlights: Lululemon & Liveng Proof Bootcamp + workout!

 

I have been trying to challenge myself daily to “step outside of my comfort zone”…

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One day when I was standing in line waiting to treat myself to some luxurious lululemon attire. I noticed the ladies in front of me and I thought, “why couldn’t these women be my clients?” To me, they fit my typical client profile…and then I had this crazy thought, why couldn’t I just teach a bootcamp AT Lululemon!? I had vauge memories of scouring the internet and seeing lululemon’s across the country that had collaborated with local fitness instructors and businesses to host events (mostly yoga and barre). I told myself these memories were legit, and I  told myself that when it was my turn to pay, I’d step outside my comfort zone and just ask! I had nothing to lose, right?…and I’m SO glad I did. Eliza was super sweet and brought me to the store manager, Natalie, who was so laid back and welcomed the idea with open arms 🙂

Now that I was past the fear of asking. I had somehow managed to get myself signed up to host a bootcamp with lululemon (no biggie, right?). By creating this little situation for myself though I was sort of forced to rise to the occasion. I would need to market & promote myself, design a bootcamp for an unknown number of people…but I also started to realize something important: I had a vision. I envisioned that I would do a give-away (because who doesn’t like nice gifts- that are free?!). I wanted my presence at lulu to have it’s own vibe, its own feel. So I designed a welcome board, signs, and themed my give-away bags to match. It gave me purpose and drive that hadn’t existed before!

 

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What a way to kick-off a Saturday morning!  I saw team-mentality competitiveness, laughter, and encouragement among my all who attended!
Thank you to all who attended! I had a blast and was honored to have the amazing team at Lululemon ask me to come back again!

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

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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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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”.

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  • 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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