Category Archives: Postnatal Fitness

Free Workout Friday: 8.18.17

Happy Friday all! For this exercise, you’re going to want to grab ONE kettlebell.

Remember to focus on breathing, the movement/form, and listen to your body. Read today’s workout through carefully before going out and tackling it!

Single bell 2-handed clean to squat x5 reps
Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, bell between your feet. Start in squat position, then as you rise, do a 2-handed, single bell clean. As you drop back to starting position, return to squat position.

Single bell 2-handed swing x5 reps
With the kettlebell resting no more than a foot ahead of you, grip the bell and do one swing, then come back to a full stop at your starting position. Do not continuously swing for 5 reps.

Single bell 2 handed racked carry (front) x20 steps
Clean the kettlebell up, walk 20 paces. Chest and eyes forward. Don’t arch your back, take your normal sized steps – don’t leap/lunge/speed walk/etc.

At the end of your 20 steps for the carry, perform this all the way through again. Do the carry three times total, and the first two exercises a total of 6 times.

*Always start with a lighter weight.

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Free Workout Friday: 8.11.14

**Edit: If you’re seeing this post pop up again, apologies! I have been having issues with WordPress moving live posts to “drafts” on me both here, and my personal blog. I have emailed them to get this issue resolved (but if any of you can help a gal out, it’d be much appreciated!) Anyway…

No fancy name for today’s workout, just the date. There are two ways to complete this exercise:

First, do them separate. Run through the weighted stuff first (you’ll be doing it a total of 5 times), then do the core work. OR, you can start with one round of core, complete two whole rounds of the weighted exercises, do a round of core, two more weighted, one more core, then one final round of weights. The choice is yours!

Also, it’s best to do this with kettlebells, however, if you’re using dumbbells, on the swings: switch to single swing. It gets a bit sketchy trying to double swing dumbbells.

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Free Workout Friday: Core Conditioning.

You have probably caught on by now that I never program “crunch-like” movements for your core. Why? Because you don’t have to do sit ups, crunches, or make similar movements to strengthen your core. As a matter of fact, for women in the pre- and postnatal phases, crunching movements like that can be dangerous. Especially for moms who are working to fix their diastasis recti.

But we need strong, solid cores. Our core is the key element in helping with our posture. Bad posture? You probably have a weak core.

Give this core focused workout a go. Start with just a simple two rounds the first time through. Focus on your body alignment, breathing and overall movement. It’s safe to incorporate this into your weekly workout plan two to three times. As you go, and feel more comfortable with the movements, add in rounds. Never do more than five rounds total though.

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Free Workout Friday: A Twofer.

Are you ready everyone? Because this week is a special one. Since WordPress didn’t publish my scheduled posts while I was on vacation (aka unplugged from the outside world, but still didn’t want to leave you all hanging on my weekly freebie), I’m giving you, today, BOTH of those workouts. So it’s a two-for-one Friday special!

Postnatal moms, be sure to check out the ** at the bottom of the page for modifications to make these safe for you to perform.

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​**Note: Can be done with kettlebells or dumbbells. Always start with a lighter weight and adjust as needed. Postnatal mommas: skip the jumping lunges and do walking lunges in place for Full Court Press. Ditch the Russian twists and put dead bugs in their place for Twistin’ and Turnin’.

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Free Workout Friday: Squat Accessories.

I talk to my clients a lot about accessory work and how important it is. Just like how often I reference yoga for a great mobility work out. If you want a better, bigger lift, you’ve got to do the work and put in the time.

Today’s free workout is an accessory workout to help you get those squats down (parallel), and get those numbers up. But REMEMBER, accessory work isn’t about how much weight you can move around. Go lighter, focus on the movement range/form.

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​**Note: always start with a lighter weight and adjust as needed.

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You cannot, logically or physically “miss a Monday”.

As per usual, on this beautiful Monday morning, I’ve seen a few dozen “Never Miss A Monday!” posts on FB and IG. While I understand it’s well-meaning, it does more damage than good. This past Fall, I sparked a little “rah-rah” in the social media world with this post on my personal IG page, and felt like it needed to be dredged up again here (which is why the seasonal references are a bit… dated. But the message is still clear, and it’s IMPORTANT) as it speaks to what VSFF is about at its core.

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Let’s talk about that phrase: Never Miss A Monday. Wanna know a, not-so-secret, secret? I hate it. Why? Because you legitimately cannot miss a Monday. Unless you die on a Sunday. Seriously. The whole entire approach is horrible. I get it. You want to tell people Mondays are important.

Guess what? We all know. Monday is a real ass kicker.

Those who don’t have weekend jobs are struggling to get back into the swing of that working thing. Kids up through college are dragging and shuffling to class.

Mondays suck. And they’re often the hardest day to get through.

Why on earth are we making it even worse by telling those who are trying to work on their best self, if you don’t get movement, eat “right”, etc… You failed! Why are we putting that added stress on?

Just stop it. All of it. I didn’t miss Monday. I hauled my exhausted ass that worked all weekend out of bed. I gathered all of my gear, and Moose, and was on the road to my parents house at 6 a.m., 11 miles away from my house, because that’s where Moose hangs out on Mondays. With Nanny and Bampy. Then, I drove the 8 miles to work. That’s right, my Mondays involve me driving 19 miles right off the bat (other work days, it’s just a 5 mile commute into the office). I worked a full 8 hour office day, trained a client, then came home and worked for my day job another two hours. I had a workout planned. I also hoped to get in some yoga since the past three days had been so entirely full that I didn’t do any. (That’s right all of you make time people, there are days when there isn’t time. You have to accept that and stop killing yourself trying to make time out of no time.) But my nephew had his first football game of the season. We had mud puddles in the driveway. I took 20 minutes out of my day to put my boots on, to put Moose’s snazzy new boots on – and go out and splash in the puddles. I pushed yoga aside to spend time jumping in dirty puddles with my child. Then, we packed up and shipped out to football. By the time we left that, made a stop at a store for things we needed, and got home, it was time for a very, very late dinner, quick showers and then bed.

Two things of importance here: don’t skip out on sleep to make time. Your body needs that reset button. Your brain, your heart, all that ooey gooey squishy inside NEEDS sleep. Neglecting it to “never miss a Monday” is only going to cause serious problems in the long run (and issues on the short term too). You are also sabotaging your goals by working out on little sleep, or working out exhausted. If you have weight-loss as a goal, you are messing with that too. So just don’t. At least 6 1/2 hours. Do it. You owe your damn body.

The most important thing: don’t miss moments to make time either. I get it, self-care. It’s important. But, I’m talking something different here. This whole thing of competing to be the busiest, boast the least amount of sleep time, the business of being busy – just quit it. Take the time with your children, your family, friends, loved ones. You need that too. If you’re consistently putting all of that off to the side to “never miss a Monday” you are short changing yourself.

You can makeup a missed workout. You can’t makeup missed time with loved ones.

Life is too damn short, and in the blink of an eye, they can be gone. …and you know what? For every Monday you are able to wake up, you’ve already checked in for your Monday. So, job done.

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Home workouts: Hip Thrust (modified)

Who says you can’t work out at home – affordably?

Most certainly not me. Did you know that I work with all of my clients exclusively in the comfort of their own homes? I do. Not only did I personally ditch the gym, but I’ve found that the home setting works best for my clients.

Most are working on building their own collection of fitness goodies, but some, I do bring bands, weights and balls along with when I work with them.

On this, social media deemed, “Workout Wednesday”, I’m starting a new series specifically focused on exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home with minimal and universal “equipment” (sometimes you’ll be using that dining room chair and the yoga ball together… just trust me, it’s a good one).

Today’s exercise is the hip thrust. There’s several different ways that you can approach this from using your sofa, a yoga ball or even your child’s ABC puzzlemat pulled apart and stacked.

The hip thrust can be done with a variety of different resistance types. Most commonly seen, is a weight plate on the tops of the thighs. You can perform them with no weights, hold dumbbells or kettlebells at your sides, use a resistance band or a barbell (as seen in the photo below). You can also do them one-legged.

Hip thrust benefits: Hip thrusts target and activate those glute muscles. By building strong glutes, you’re creating a working part of the support system for your lower back which decreases back pain by aligning your pelvis (and during your pregnancy, that alignment is pretty awesome when it comes time to have that baby!). Hip thrusts are also a safe exercise postpartum.

How to: Rest your upper back/shoulder blades on the very front of your sofa or that stack (best to do 2-wide, and tucked up against a wall) of kiddie mat, and bend those knees. If you’re using a yoga ball, make sure it’s against the wall and lean against it with the top half of your back only. Holding the barbell across your lap, below your belly and more at your groin area (if you’re using dumbbells or kettlebells, hold them right at your hips), using your heels as your anchor point, lift your hips by squeezing your glutes until you’re a straight line from those knees all the way up to your shoulders. Do not overextend/rise! Then lower back to your starting position.

How many? Perform three sets of 10 reps with 90-seconds of rest between each set.

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