Thigh Torching Workout
The truth is, you can’t spot train, that’s a fact. What you can do, is tone, lengthen and strengthen the areas of your body where you tend to hold more fat…hello thighs!!
Warm up 5-10 mins
Stair Climber (the big stairs) side step for 20 minutes each side on level 10 or higher for a total of 40 minutes
Strength Training -
4 sets, 60 sec/exercise
1. Wall Squat with light medicine ball squeeze
2. Curtsy Lunge with dumbbells
3. Side Leg Raise with Pulley
4. Plie Squats
5. External Hip Raise
*Perform all exercises with 30 sec rest between sets.
Cool Down & Stretch
***Most importantly, remember that no matter how hard you train in the gym, sexy, lean thighs are made in the kitchen so keep on, keeping on with that clean eating stuff ;)
The ULTIMATE Beach Bum Workout
This workout is for those of you who are seriously down to build a fabulous toned booty by THIS summer and are ready to eat, train and squat accordingly.
You can do this workout up to twice a week and feel free to make it a part of your regular training, ie. add it to your back and leg day.
Here’s how it’s gonna go down:
5-10 Min Warm UP (I like stair climbers)
25 MINS HIIT Uphill Sprinting On 1 min off 1 min for 25 minutes. Start at a minimum intensity of 4 and then increase your intensity with each minute to the hardest resistance you can and then back down toward 4 for any remaining time.
*Rest 30 sec between each SET
1. Tightening Exercises
a) Hip Thrust One Foot On Ball (2 x 20 each leg)
b) Hamstring Roll In With Ball (3 x 30)
c) Lying Side Clam (2 x 20 each leg)
d) Lying Hip Abduction (2 x 20 each leg)
e) Fire Hydrant (3 x 30 each leg)
2. Strengthening Exercises -
*Med - Heavy Resistance, Rest 45 sec between each SET
a) Plie Squats (3 x 20)
b) Bulgarian Split Squats (3 x 20 each leg)
c) Full Squats (3 x 20 each leg)
d) Deadlifts (3 x 20 each leg)
e) Weighted Butt Blaster (3 x 20 each leg)
a) Jump Squats (3 x 25)
b) Weighted Wall Squat Hold (3 x 60 sec hold)
c) Box Jumps (3 x 20)
10 Mins Stair Climber Level 12-15 *If you can handle it
Cool Down and Stretch
*Remember, a beautiful bum is made in the kitchen. If you are not eating clean, no matter what you do in the gym is not going to help*
Oxygen Magazine’s Beach Body Workout!
Summer is officially 52 days away and this is the perfect time to get your body toned and looking fabulous for those glorious beach days, barbecues, patio parties and trips away with your friends and loved ones.
I adore Oxygen Magazine’s beach body workout and I this is the program that I will be using for the next four weeks so we can be training buddies from afar ;)
With this workout, I like to throw in 2 long runs per week generally for about 60 minutes (outdoor) and then a couple of sprint HIIT sessions on the treadmill, outside or on the elliptical. I also aim for a day of cross training such as cycling, spring skiing, hiking or boxing.
1. Plié Squat
Target Muscles: gluteus maximus, quadriceps, adductors
Set Up: Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing out at 45-degree angles. Grasp a single dumbbell with both hands, letting it hang naturally between your legs.
Action: Inhale as you bend at the knees into a squat, stopping when your thighs are almost parallel to the ground. Push through your heels to return to the starting position, squeezing your glutes and pushing your pelvis forward at the top of the motion. Repeat for eight to 10 reps.
2. Dumbbell Row
Target Muscles: latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids
Set Up: Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing toward your body. Lean forward from your hips at a 45-degree angle and bend your knees slightly. Extend your arms so that they are in front of your knees, keeping a tight stretch within your arms and upper back.
Action: Exhale as you pull the dumbbells toward your chest, flaring your elbows out to the sides. Retract your shoulder blades as you pull. Hold for a count before inhaling and slowly returning to the starting position. Repeat for 10 to 12 reps.
3. Alternating Dumbbell Curl
Target Muscles: biceps brachii
Set Up: Sit on a bench with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing forward.
Action: With your upper arms tight to the sides of your body and your shoulder blades retracted, flex your right elbow to bring the dumbbell toward your right shoulder. Pause, then inhale and lower slowly to the starting position. Repeat on the left side for one rep; do 10 to 12 reps in total.
4. Dumbbell Step-Up
Target Muscles: quadriceps, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, calves
Set Up: Stand with your feet hip-width apart in front of a tall bench (it should be slightly higher than your knees). Grasp a dumbbell in each hand, allowing your arms to hang naturally at your sides. Maintain a neutral spine and retract your shoulder blades for good form.
Action: Place your right foot on the bench so that your sole is fully supported. Push through your right heel to raise your body onto the bench, letting your left foot dangle just off of its surface. Perform eight to 10 reps on your right leg, then do the same on your left.
5. Flat-Bench Dumbbell Chest Press
Target Muscles: pectoralis major (sternal aspect)
Set Up: Lie face up on a bench with your feet flat on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip, bringing your upper arms parallel to your shoulders and your wrists above your elbows.
Action: Exhale as you raise the dumbbells up and over your chest, stopping just short of touching the heads. Inhale as you slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions.
6. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Target Muscles: middle deltoids
Set Up: Sit on a bench with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand, aligning your upper arms with your shoulders and your wrists directly above your elbows. Your palms should now be facing forward.
Action: Exhale and press the weights upward, bringing them about an inch apart above your head. Pause for a count before inhaling and lowering the dumbbells back to the starting position. Complete 10 to 12 repetitions.
7. Seated Triceps Extension
Target Muscles: triceps brachii (long head)
Set Up: Sit on a flat bench or low-backed seat. Hold a single dumbbell with both hands and position it behind your neck, keeping your upper arms close to your ears and your forearms parallel to the floor.
Action: Extend your arms to bring the weight above your head, being careful not lock your elbows. Your upper arms should remain stationary beside your head at all times. Slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position, ensuring it does not drop past parallel to the floor. Repeat for eight to 10 reps.
8. Stiff-Legged Deadlift
Target Muscles: gluteus maximus, hamstrings, erector spinae
Set Up: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs with your palms facing your body.
Action: Inhale as you lean forward from your hips, lowering the dumbbells past your knees. Hold when you feel a deep stretch in the back of your thighs. Exhale and contract your hamstrings to bring your body back to the starting position. Repeat for eight to 10 reps.
9. Cross-Bench Pullover
Target Muscles: latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major, triceps brachii
Set Up: Support your shoulders on the broad side of a flat bench and position your feet hip-width apart, thighs parallel to the floor for stability. Hold the head of a single dumbbell with both hands, extending your arms above your chest. Do not lock your elbows.
Action: Move your arms in an arc to bring the dumbbell directly behind your head, keeping your elbows in a fixed position throughout the move. Do not let your arms extend farther than parallel to the floor. Exhale as you raise the weight back to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 12 times.
10. Standing Dumbbell Cross-Chest Curl
Target Muscles: brachialis, biceps brachii
Set Up: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, grasping a dumbbell in your right hand with your palm facing forward.
Action: With your upper arms tight to the sides of your body and your shoulder blades retracted, flex your right elbow to bring the dumbbell toward your left shoulder. Pause, then inhale and slowly lower to the starting position. Complete 10 to 12 reps on the right arm, then switch hands and repeat on the left side.
Make Exercise YOUR Secret Weapon!
Exercise resistance. I have it. You have it. We all have it. But what if I told you that it is actually possible not to have that resistance at all. Would you believe me?
Lately, I have been working deeply with how and why this resistance develops and it occurred to me that, like everything else, resistance is a choice that stems from repeated thinking attached to action.
Seems very Pavlovian right? Well it is, kinda (I mean, you can introduce a whistle if you want to ;)
The key lies in reprogramming the brain to create new neuropathways where exercise is concerned.
1. Plan your workout at a time in the day when you feel most energized. Are you a morning person? Do you like to train during the afternoon or at night? Listen to your what your internal bio-rhythms are telling you, YOUR BODY KNOWS BEST.
2. Let go of PERFECTIONISM when it comes to exercise. Yes, its important to follow a structure but that structure must work for you and be created around you and how you feel. Don’t force yourself into a program that doesn’t feel right. So you can’t do 20 push-ups so what? Do 10 and then do 10 more on your knees until you can. Be your own coach and supporter rather than cutting yourself down.
3. You know that amazing post-exercise GLOW that you feel? Visualize and feel that glow whenever you think about exercise at all. By doing this, you will begin to reprogram your brain and create new neuropathways.
4. Make exercise your SECRET WEAPON!!! - Aside from your regular structured training, turn to movement and moderate exercise when you need to take a break from life or during times of stress.Work getting challenging? Schedule a power walk on your break. Having a disagreement with your friend or partner? Why not hit up a yoga or barre classe?
It’s that easy.
Early this morning, I ventured down to the start line of one of the most awesome events that my city holds annually: The Vancouver Sun Run.
I have been running this race since I was about 9 years old and I love the way the city comes alive for this event. The race runs for 10km around Vancouver on road terrain.
Click here to see how I train for races.
Dawning my blue & yellow racing gear, in honour of the Boston Marathon Tragedy, I managed to beat my personal best time by 2 minutes coming in at 40 minutes 22 seconds, which was super exciting!
For those of you who are getting into running, training for a race like this is one of the best ways to get yourself it to wicked shape, not to mention, running along side others, really helps to boost your energy and drive to finish.
Before my run, I fuelled up with this and drank about a liter of water plus a cup of green tea.
After the race, I enjoyed my favourite OMFG Smoothie that was waiting for me at the finish line :D
100 Reasons to Exercise Now!!
- Because it makes you feel confident
- Because it helps you get stronger
- Because exercise helps combat depression
- Because you’ll feel proud of yourself
- Because you have goals you want to reach
- Because you’ll feel bad if you don’t
- Because you want to move forward, not backward
- Because it burns more calories than not working out
- Because it improves your heart health
- Because you want a great butt
- Because it prevents diabetes
- Because you want to be a good example to your kids
- Because you want to feel good in your clothes
- Because it reduces your risk of cancer
- Because your body was made to move
- Because you want to be an athlete
- Because you want to look better
- Because it lifts your mood
- Because you want to stand taller
- Because it reduces back pain
- Because it feels good
- Because it makes you feel accomplished
- Because you spend most of your day on your butt
- Because swimsuit season is always coming
- Because strong is the new skinny
- Because dieting only works so much
- Because it strengthens your bones, too
- Because it helps you lose weight
- Because it allows you to eat more food
- Because it’s the best way to spend “me” time
- Because it helps you de-stress
- Because it’s cheaper than therapy
- Because you want a strong core
- Because you want to take care for yourself
- Because you take pride in your body
- Because it strengthens your legs
- Because it helps your clothes fit better
- Because you want to push yourself
- Because you are capable of more than you ever imagined
- Because moving your body feels good
- Because it keeps your mind sharp
- Because it helps you beat belly bloat
- Because it helps you sleep better at night
- Because it gives you energy
- Because you want to stay healthy as you age
- Because you want to look younger
- Because you want toned arms
- Because it improves your balance
- Because it burns off last night’s dessert
- Because it boosts your immune system
- Because sweat is sexy
- Because you want to live longer
- Because you want to get better at your game
- Because you want to catch someone’s eye
- Because exercisers earn more money
- Because you’re more likely to eat better when you exercise
- Because you want to shave time off your running pace
- Because you want to breathe easier
- Because you want to see the scale drop
- Because exercise improves your sex life
- Because you are worth it
- Because being fit makes everything in life better
- Because you promised yourself that you would
- Because you deserve a better life
- Because it’ll help you drink more water
- Because you want to do real push-ups
- Because it reduces your health care costs
- Because you’ll miss fewer days of work
- Because you want to create a new future for yourself
- Because it’ll help you like what you see in the mirror
- Because it makes clothing shopping more fun
- Because you want to look and feel incredible
- Because exercising can be fun
- Because it’ll give your skin a glow
- Because it’s a good way to spend time with your friends
- Because it’ll help you prevent the middle-age spread
- Because it reduces your blood pressure
- Because you don’t want to let yourself go
- Because you don’t want to squeeze into an airplane or rollercoaster seat
- Because it strengthens your spirit
- Because it’s a cheap way to entertain yourself
- Because you’ll be able to reward yourself
- Because you need a reason to wear those new workout clothes
- Because you’re tired of being tired
- Because not working out is not going to get you very far
- Because it’s a great way to spend time outside
- Because you made a commitment to yourself
- Because you’re tired of starting over
- Because there will always be another wedding, vacation or reunion
- Because you’re not a quitter
- Because it improves your cholesterol
- Because it boosts your metabolism
- Because it prevents age-related muscle loss
- Because if you can do this, you can do anything
- Because a fit body is a healthy body
- Because it beats sitting on the couch
- Because everyone has at least 10 minutes to spare
- Because you want to be stronger than your excuses
- Because not working out isn’t working out for you
- Because the only workout you ever regret is the one you skip
Which reason resonates with you?
(source: sparkpeople.com, image: weheartit)
Zain’s Spring Running Training
Spring is here and that means warmer weather and my favourite…OUTDOOR CARDIO!! Whether you are a seasoned runner or someone who has always wanted to run but is scared s*&^less, I got your back with my all levels program.
As I have shared, I was a PRO runner, well, sprinter, for many years until I busted my knee in an injury when I was 17. My dream was to become an olympic sprinter and given my times, chances are that could have been a reality.
But as we know in life, things change. My injury lead me (through my first experience of depression…I’m not one to easily let my dreams go) into to coach athletes during the time I was recovering and what happened? I fell in love with running in a whole new way from afar.
I never went back to competitive sprinting (well, I tried but could never really get my competitive time back). What I did learn was that running - and it didn’t have to be sprinting AND I didn’t have to be the fastest - was my version of meditation. NOT competing actually gave running back to me as a gift, something that became my companion in life, one that kept me fit and stronger than any other form of cardio ever.
I would run on streets, through new towns in Europe and India where I lived, on beaches, trails and forests in my hometown of Vancouver and along my city’s gorgeous seawall, which is where I do most of my running now.
As a coach, I had athletes of all levels and would often stagger their programs starting them from the skill level they had and building it up.
Here is a custom program that will help you get your body fired up for Spring running.
Only you can decide where you stand when it comes to running. I advise that you check with your Naturopath or Doctor before starting any new physical program.
Here are some things to consider:
1. First, identify if you are a Beginner, Intermediate/Advanced or Pro.
2. You may do this program in addition to your regular weight training and cardio but substitute your longer cardio days with the running and hill training.
3. These distances and rest times are only there to guide you. If you are a beginner and 3km sounds intimidating, start with 1km and go from there. Also, if running for 5mins makes you want to puke, run for 2mins and increase from there. Same goes with the hill training.
4. We do hill training to strengthen our body for flat surface running. You will notice the difference after the first week. After I started hill training, I knocked nearly 5 minutes off my 10km time!
*You may practice this program for up to 6 weeks and gradually increase your speed and if you wish, your distance.
*You will need a stopwatch/timer or Nike+ gear and good quality running shoes.
• Find a 3km or 1.5mi route and run this 2 times this week, running for 5 minutes at a comfortable pace and walking for 1 minute. Each week add an extra 2 minutes to your running time so up to 7 minutes
Cross Training -
• Find a hill OR treadmill and run or walk up 1 time this week doing 5-7 repetitions (so running up, walking down or if on treadmill setting to a high incline, say 12 and running up for about a minute and walking on a flat surface for about 2 minutes or until you feel recovered).
• After completing the distance, stretch out your body for at least 5-7 minutes.
Intermediate Advanced Runners:
• Find a fairly flat 8km or 4mi route and run this 2 times this week, running for 15 minutes and walking for 1 minute OR running straight through and taking a 2 minute rest half way if you are able to.
Cross Training -
• Find a hill OR treadmill and run up 1 time this week doing 10 repetitions (so running up, walking down or if on treadmill setting to a high incline, say 12 and running up for about a minute and walking on a flat surface for about 1.5 minutes).
• Find a 10 – 14km or 5 – 7mi route and run 2 days this week, at a steady pace.
Cross Training -
• Find a hill OR treadmill and do 13 repetitions of hill running 1 day this week, running up the hill as fast as you can and walking down.
Zain’s Ballet Barre Workout
Love the look and feel of long, lean muscle? I know I do! Physical training takes many forms for me and has never been limited to weight training alone.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to rip it up at the gym and pump weights but I also adore the look and feel of long, lean, flexible muscles. As a yogi with a daily practice, I have learned that regular stretching combined with strength is the perfect formula for a sexy figure and functional body.
One of the methods of training that I love is Barre. For those of you who have never tried a Barre class, I highly recommend it. I only recently came to try an actual class as I have a regular home barre routine that I practice once or twice a week to mix things up.
Flexible muscles are strong muscles as the quality of the muscle tissue is much better. There is more oxygen flow to the actual muscle itself clearing any toxins out of the muscles. Another huge advantage of this workout is that it really helps to improve posture.
Introducing this workout into your training regime will help you to create a sexy, healthy, natural looking physique.
You may use a wall barre if you have one or you may use a solid, four-legged chair. I do my barre workout outdoors on a railing in front of my house. Fences and levelled bannisters work too, provided they are smooth.
Warm up for 5-10 Minutes running up stairs, skipping or having a quick jog.
Do 3 sets with 25 reps per exercise
1. Barre Squats - (a) Stand facing the barre or chair, hold the barre firmly with both hands and balance on your tip toes (b) Squat, staying up on your toes using your arms to balance (c) As you lift up, raise into a calf-press. (d) Repeat. Move slowly, feeling each muscle strengthen on the way down and lengthen on the way up.
2. Quad Press - Stand facing the barre or chair. (a) Bring your feet and knees together, standing on your tip toes (b) Slowly squat down using your arms on the chair frame to balance. (c) Repeat
3. One-Legged Dancer’s Lift - Stand facing the barre or chair. (a) Stand on your right leg and use your right hand to grip the barre or chair frame. (b) Elevate your left leg to hip height and keep your leg straight. (c) Tuck your left arm under your rib cage and raise your arm up in one motion brining your fingertips to point to the ceiling and simultaneously twist your left leg and body up. You should feel this in your outer left and right hips and torso. (d) Repeat on right and left sides.
4. Lateral Leg Lifts - Bring your body parallel to the barre or chair frame. (a) Place your right hand on the barre and left hand on your waist. (b) Slowly raise your left leg out to the side and then up in front of you without allowing your toes to come to the floor. Keep your torso long and your leg as straight as possible. (c) Repeat on both right and left sides.
5. Curtsy Lunge - Bring your body parallel to the barre or chair. (a) Standing on your tip toes, cross your right leg in front of your left leg and curtsy - squat down with your legs bent (b) Lift up and repeat on both sides.
6. Barre Push Ups - If using a chair, place it against the wall so that it does not move. If the chair feels unstable, you may just use a wall. Face the barre or chair frame (a) Bring your legs out so that your body is at a 45 degree angle to the barre or chair frame (b) Place your hands on the bar under your shoulders (c) Using the strength of your arms, push your body up and down utilizing the weight of your body. (d) Repeat.
7. Barre Hip Raise - If using a chair for this, bring the chair against the wall. (a) Lay down on a mat with your right leg up on the barre or chair frame. (b) Place your arms and hands down on the floor and lift your hips. (c) Bring your left leg as far over your head as possible keeping both legs straight. (d) Hold for 30 seconds and repeat for 3 sets.
Cool Down for 10-15 minutes with light skipping or a jog and a full body stretch.
Oxygen Magazine’s Your Ultimate Body-Weight BURN!
This is one of my favourite 5-move PLYOMETRICS WORKOUT because it can be performed anytime, anyplace, anywhere…in short? NO EXCUSES!
For this and other great workouts and info, check out Oxygen Magazine
Five moves, no waiting
TO DO: Tackle each exercise in the order shown, following the level-specific guidelines below.
BEGINNERS: Do 6 reps of each move and rest for 15 seconds between exercises. Don’t repeat the circuit.
INTERMEDIATE: Do 10 reps of each move and rest 10 to 15 seconds between exercises. Repeat the circuit once, taking 1 to 2 minutes of rest between rounds.
ADVANCED: Perform up to 15 reps of each exercise, resting 10 to 15 seconds in between. After the last exercise, rest for up to 3 minutes, then repeat twice.
Note: Due to its high-impact motions, don’t try this routine any more than 3 times per week, and always leave at least 48 hours between sessions.
1. One-legged forward hop
Target Muscles: gluteus maximus, hamstrings, gastrocnemius
Set Up: Stand on one leg with your arms at your sides.
Action: Bend your standing knee, then extend your leg forcefully, pressing through the ball of your foot to propel yourself upward and forward. Land on the ball of your foot, then immediately repeat. When you have completed your reps, switch legs.
2. Tuck jump
Target Muscles: quadriceps, gluteus maximus, gastrocnemius
Set Up: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms extended at your sides.
Action: Reach your arms behind you as you sink halfway into a squat, then extend your legs and leap into the air, bringing your knees up towards your chest in midair. Straighten your legs, land softly on the balls of your feet and repeat immediately.
Target Muscles: gluteus maximus, hamstrings, deltoids, abdominals
Set Up: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
Action: Bend your knees to squat low, placing your hands on the ground in front of your feet [A]. Next, jump your feet behind you to bring your body into a straight-armed plank position [B]. Hop your feet back towards your hands, then explode into the air, reaching up with your arms to help you gain height [C]. Land with soft knees, and immediately repeat.
4. Star jump
Target Muscles: gluteus maximus, hamstrings, leg abductors
Set Up: Start by standing with your feet close together and your arms at your sides.
Action: Lower into a half-squat [A], then jump upward as you open your legs and arms out the sides to bring your body into a star shape [B]. Land softly, with your legs and arms back at the starting position. Repeat.
5. Box ski hop
Target Muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, obliques
Set Up: Stand to the side of a small box or block, with your arms at your sides.
Action: Bend your knees slightly [A], then hop over and to the other side of the box [B]. Land lightly on the balls of your feet and immediately reverse to return to the start [C] – that’s one rep. Repeat for your entire set.
By Rachel Crocker, Fitness Editor, and Lara McGlashan-Volz; Photography Robert Reiff; Model Koya Webb
Ever have one of those sweat drenched, blood pumping, full-body, core and every single muscle utilizing, breaking all your boundaries, I can’t lift another dumbbell kind of workouts?
And then somewhere deep inside, find it in you to tackle a HIIT routine on a machine you have never seen before in your life?
Yesterday I was invited to train at one of the best equipped gyms in my city. The gym was split on two floors, had the coolest cardio equipment ever (I have only seen this stuff while training in Europe) and The moment I walked in, I felt a whole new kind of inspiration.
That’s me being polite. The gym was a fit girl’s wet dream.
If you have never shaken it up your routine by training at another gym, I highly recommend it. In fact, I think it is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. New equipment and machines will challenge you to use different muscles and although I trained on the same program that I have been using all month, I felt a greater level of intensity. Plus I trained at a different time of day and my body was like…’whassup? Ok, you wanna do this? Let’s do this.’
Most gyms offer a free pass for your first day so gurl, grab a friend and take advantage!
Sore does not begin to describe what’s going on for me right now…and I am loving ever minute of it!