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I'm someone who's undergone a complete life/self overhaul. I'm now a professional in my dream job, balancing an amazing relationship, a healthy body, a healthy self image, my passions, my family and surrounding myself with good people. It's hard, not gonna lie. But I'm here to help, to inspire and say "you're not alone."

Me, today. 7.3.12. Day 9 of the Anywhere Workout Challenge & Canada vs U.S.

American side

Canadian side

After a long 2 days of work, today felt like Friday. I needed a break and celebrated Canada Day and Independence Day with a country to country battle of jean on jean waring giant jenga, and all around ridiculousness. We drew a line and everyone dressed for their country, bringing food and drinks like poutine – a Canadian fries and gravy dish, and pigs in a blanket, a go to American party dish. I was an American spy infiltrating Canadian lines with my jean overalls, jean jacket, beaver hat and flannel shirt. After a night of fun, friends and rowdy party games, the wee hours turned into some intellectual discussions. An actual dictionary was brought out – as opposed to google – to look up the definition of several words. Feeling the weight of it, I thought it could be a great workout tool!

– Chest lifting Push ups: Hate pushups? Well, you probably hate the tube top bulge you get right around your arm pits more. Blast that away by putting a large book under one hand while doing pushups, keeping everything else the same. Switch sides and you’ll get a good focused, slightly different feel to your chest tightening exercise. 3 sets of 10 on each side and you’ll be well on your way to a bulgeless top experience.

– Calf raises: Stand on the book (use one that is more than 2 inches thick) with heels dangling off the book’s edge. Starting with heels on the floor, slowly come all the way up to your toes and all the way back down making sure to press all the way through your big toe. For a variation, keep your knees slightly bent, and also turn your toes in towards each other – you’ll feel it more on the outside of your calf. 3 sets of 20 on each leg.

– Hip raises: lying on the floor, one leg bent with book under that foot, the other leg straight out, lift your hips off the floor and the straight leg up in the air. Keep it in the air and pump your hips up and down from floor to as high as you can go, pushing through your heels and keeping your butt tight. 3 sets of 25 on each leg.

– Cleavage strengthener: standing up, press the book between both palms with arms straight. Start with your hands in front of you by your hips, and keeping your arms straight pressing the book as hard as you can between your palms, raise the book to shoulder height and back down, keeping your arms straight. It’s good to use one that is relatively heavy (3-5 lbs) or so. Focus on pressing your hands together, rather than the lifting motion. 3 sets of 20 and you should feel it right in the center of your chest, a little in the front of your shoulders and a little in your lats.

– Weighted sit ups: just like it sounds. Hold the book to your chest, and tuck your toes under the couch. Starting from back flat on the ground, exhale all the way, tightening all your abs and drawing them in towards your spine, then tuck your chin to your chest and slowly start curling over the book so that your elbows then touch your thighs. Be careful not to use your thighs or shins to start the motion or pull your self up – don’t cheat. 4 sets of 20 and you’ll be burnin good.

I hope you like putting that old dictionary or phone book to good use!

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