Full Circle Fire Hydrants

Circle Fire Hydrants: Step 1

Circle Fire Hydrants: Step 2

Circle Fire Hydrants: Step 3

Circle Fire Hydrants: Step 4

Circle Fire Hydrants: Step 5

To be honest, I don’t know what to call this exercise because I made it up about a year ago and I have been doing it ever since. I took an exercise called ‘The Fire Hydrant’ and basically made it more complicated so I could target all areas of my glutes. I decided to use the name ‘Full Circle Fire Hydrants’ because you follow a circle pattern with your leg during the exercise. It may look easy, but if done correctly, your glutes will be on fire.

To Perform FULL CIRCLE FIRE HYDRANTS:
1. Start with your hands and knees both on the floor. Create a table top with your back and keep your hands and knees both shoulder width apart. (Picture 1)
2. With your left knee and both hands on the ground, lift your right knee and pull it into your chest. Crunch your torso toward the knee and contract your core. (Picture 2)
3. Now rotate your hip to raise the knee to your right side. Your knee should still be bend and your leg should be parallel to the ground. (Picture 3)
4. Extend and straighten your right leg keeping it parallel to the floor. (Picture 4)
5. Slowly move your leg toward the back. Your leg should be behind you now. (Picture 5)
6. Bend the right leg and return your right knee to your chest. Crunch your body toward your knee and contract your core. (Picture 2)
7. Repeat steps 3-7 for the allotted amount of reps (I usually do 10), and then repeat on the other side.

TIPS:
1. This exercise is all about form. Do not compromise form!
2. Hold each position of the leg for one second before moving onto the next step. Each movement should be nice and controlled.
3. Keep your shoulders square. It is ok to bend your elbows during this exercise if you need more stabilization, but do not twist your shoulders.
4. When I bring my knee to my chest (Step 2), I like to crunch toward my knee. Tighten your core and breathe out while your knee is in this position to give you abs a nice squeeze.
5. When extending your knee to the side (Step 4), keep your leg turned in. Some people may want to twist their leg so their knee faces the ceiling, but your knee should be facing forward.
6. After bringing your leg behind you (Step 5), it is good if you can raise your leg past parallel. Raise your leg as high as you can without bending your knee. You should feel a nice squeeze in your glutes.

Do you think you may try this exercise next time you are at the gym? If you do, let me know what you think of it. Do you have any questions, comments, or any ideas for other topics? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com

Advertisements

One Arm Medicine Ball Pushups

One Arm Med Ball Pushup: Step 1

One Arm Med Ball Pushup: Step 2

One Arm Med Ball Pushup: Step 3

One Arm Med Ball Pushup: Step 4

Do you want a new chest exercise that will really stretch and activate your pecs? This exercise activates all areas of your chest, works on your stabilization skills, and also gives your pecs a nice pull allowing your muscles to lengthen and grow.

To perform a One Arm Medicine Ball Pushups:
1. Start in a Pushup Plank Position with one hand on the floor and one hand on top of a medicine ball.
2. Lower into a pushup keeping one hand on the medicine ball.
3. Return to the Pushup Plank Position.
4. Roll the ball to the opposite hand and repeat the exercise.
5. Continue rolling the ball from one hand to the other with a pushup in between. I like to do 10 reps (20 pushups, 10 on the right, 10 on the left).

TIPS:
1. Activate your core in order to stabilize your body. When lowering into the push position, you should not tip to one side or droop your body to the floor.
2. Your chest should be parallel to the floor. If you tilt your shoulders, your chest will no longer be parallel and you will not be using the correct muscles during the exercise. (In the second picture, my shoulders are a little lopsided. Try to avoid this positioning and aim for a more parallel look like the positioning I achieved in the third picture. Form is important for this and every exercise).
3. Your feet can be wide, shoulder width apart, or together. The closer your feet are, the more your core will need to activate to stabilize your body.
4. I like to alternate sides during the exercise, rolling the ball to the opposing hand between each pushup. Other people may recommend doing all 10 pushups on one side, and then switching to the other hand to do the other 10. Either way works well, I just find continuously alternating makes the exercise more challenging because you are constantly shifting your weight and positioning.

Do you enjoy this workout? Do you have any other chest workouts that may be helpful? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or ideas for other blog topics.

Coconut Turkey Bacon

It may sound weird to some of you, but I promise that it is delicious. If you like Coconut and you like Turkey Bacon, then you will LOVE this recipe. I will admit right now, it is not the healthiest snack you can have, but can make for a nice treat once when you are really craving something both sweet and savory.

Coconut Turkey Bacon

Ingredients:
8 Turkey Bacon Strips
3 oz. of Shredded Coconut
2 tbsp. of Coconut Oil
1 egg

Directions:
1. Crack 1 egg in a bowl and stir with a whisk or fork.
2. Place the shredded coconut on a large plate and spread it out evenly.
3. Oil a frying pan using 2 tbsp. of coconut oil and put the frying pan on the stove top at low-medium heat.
4. Coat one strip of turkey bacon at a time with the egg that was mixed in the bowl. This can easily be done by dipping the entire turkey bacon strip in the bowl.
5. Place the coated turkey bacon strip on the plate with the shredded coconut. Coat the strip on both sides with shredded coconut.
6. Place the turkey bacon strip on the frying pan and let it sit for about 1 minute. After one minute, flip the turkey bacon strip and cook for an additional minute. The reason we do not fry the bacon for too long is because the coconut will easily blacken if cooked too long. We want the coconut to be golden brown.
7. Remove the strip from the frying pan and place it on a plate that is covered by a paper towel.
8. Continue the process from step 4-7 for the other 7 pieces of turkey bacon. Once you have finished cooking all of the pieces, you should have 8 coconut coated, turkey bacon strips on one plate.
9. Place a paper towel over the turkey bacon and put the plate in the microwave. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes or until the turkey bacon has a consistency you like.
10. Let the plate cool and ENJOY!

Do you like this recipe? Do you have any recipes you would like to share? Email me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or ideas for new topics.

Rolling Pistol Squats

Rolling Pistol Squat: Step 1

Rolling Pistol Squat: Step 2

Rolling Pistol Squat: Step 3

Rolling Pistol Squat: Step 4

Rolling Pistol Squat: Step 5

One of the benchmark exercises to do in any CrossFit gym is a Pistol Squat. Pistol Squats involve only using one leg to squat down and push back up to the standing position. This exercise is very difficult and requires a lot of practice and strength to complete. Rolling Pistol Squats are an easier variation of the standard Pistol Squat because they allow you to use momentum to your advantage. Rolling Pistol Squats are also a great cardio and full body workout.

To Perform a Rolling Pistol Squat:
1. Start in the standing position with both feet on the floor.
2. Squat down with your glutes as close to the floor as possible and create a comfortable curve in your back to prepare to roll backward.
3. Roll backward onto your back and raise your legs in the air.
4. Using the momentum of throwing your legs forward, place one foot on the ground as close to your glutes as possible with the other leg straight out in front of you and stand up.
5. Once standing, put the leg that is straight out in front of you back down to return to the standing position.
6. Repeat the exercise from Step 2 and alternate legs with each rep.

TIPS:
1. When I roll backward, I like to keep my legs straight and bring my legs as close to my chest as I can. I give them a light pull with my hands and this allows me to give my hamstrings a stretch.
2. The closer you can place your foot to you glutes when you role forward, the easier it will be to stand up.
3. Momentum is key! Quickly bring your legs forward to make the push up from the floor easier.
4. For anyone with a knee or hip injury, any variation of a pistol squat is not recommended. Never do a workout that causes you pain. Listen to your body!
5. Rolling Pistol Squats are great to help tone your legs, but they also wok your core and provide a good cardio workout as well. I like to use Rolling Pistol Squats in between other exercises to keep my heart rate up. I usually do about 16 reps per set (8 on each leg), and about 3-5 sets during my workout.

Have you ever tried Rolling Pistol Squats? Do you plan on adding these to your workout routine? I really appreciate any feedback. Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com.

Jump Squats

Time to get our butts in shape for summer, LITERALLY. I personally can get bored with traditional cardio, so I try to integrate some High Intensity Interval workouts that not only provide a great cardio exercise, but also help tone your muscles. Jump squats are a great high intensity workout that target your entire lower body, especially your booty.

Jump Squat: Jump

Jump Squat: Squat

To perform a Jump Squat:
1. Start in a standing position with your feet about shoulder width apart.
2. Squat down.
3. From the squat position, jump up in the air and extend your legs. (Your feet should be a few inches above the ground)
4. Once you complete the jump, repeat the workout from step 2.

Tips:
1. When squatting down, get your glutes low to the floor. This will stretch and activate your muscles more effectively.
2. While jumping, straighten your leg and tighten your quads. Work your leg muscles even in the jump of the exercise.
3. When you return back to the ground, land through your toes and bend your knees. This promotes good form and prevents injury and joint discomfort.
4. I either like to do 5 sets of 15 reps for this workout with 45 second breaks in between, or I use this workout to superset with another leg exercise (usually lunges).

Are you getting your body in shape for the summer? Do you use Jump Squats in your routine? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with questions, comments, or ideas for new topics.

Cranberry Turkey Meatballs

Let me be the first to say that I am not a great cook. I have a really bad habit of over cooking food, I don’t usually know what spices go well in what recipes, and I tend to ‘eyeball’ measurements incorrectly. With this said, my turkey meatball recipe is really easy and it makes a pretty tasty and healthy meal. This recipe makes 12-15 meatballs.

Cranberry Turkey Meatballs 1

Cranberry Turkey Meatballs 2

Cranberry Meatballs:
Prep: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
1 lb of extra lean ground turkey
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1 egg
1 egg white
1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
Pinch of Salt

(Optional Ingredients)
4 TBSP of Parmesan Cheese
Shaved Carrots
Dash of Rosemary

Directions:
1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a large pan with olive oil or cooking spray, and place it in the oven while preheating.
2. Quickly dice the dried cranberries on a cutting board.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the ground turkey, oats, egg, egg white, cranberries, and any other optional ingredients.
4. Using your hands, or an ice cream scoop if possible, form the meat into golf ball sized meatballs (about 1-1.5 inches in diameter). Place the meatballs about 1 inch apart on the pan.
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn them over, and continue baking for 5-8 more minutes. The meatballs should look light brown on the outside. Cut into one meatball to make sure they have been cooked entirely through.
6. Let the meatballs cool and serve with vegetables, pasta, or any way you would like it.

Tip:
– I like to double the batch and save the meatballs for my meals for the week. The cranberries make the meatballs a little sweet, so when I reheat them, I like to rub a tiny bit of coconut oil on the outsides of the meatballs and heat them up in the microwave or oven. I usually have about 5-6 meatballs with a side of vegetables (asparagus or green beans with a little coconut oil are my favorites to have with these meatballs).

Let me know if you like this recipe. Do you have any healthy recipes you would like to share? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with questions, comments, and ideas for future topics.

Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs

goodandbadcarbs
I think most of us have heard the terms ‘good carbs’ and ‘bad carbs’ before, but do we actually know what they mean. To make it as simple as possible, ‘Good Carbs’ come from foods that also have a good source of fiber. For example, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, etc. ‘Bad Carbs’ come from foods with little to no fiber content, such as white bread, white rice, etc. Fiber allows the body to slowly digest the carbs that we consume which leads to more stable blood sugar. If we eat food high in carbs and low in fiber, we quickly digest the carbs which then causes spikes in our blood pressure.
One other major thing to understand about good carbs and bad carbs is the composition of the carbs themselves. When carbs are digested, they are broken down into glucose (sugar) which the body needs for energy. During digestion, the body will break down any carb it is given into glucose; however, because of the fiber and other nutritional value with good carbs, the body is taking in more than just glucose. With bad carbs, the body is only quickly converting the carbs to glucose with no other vitamins or minerals to digest; therefore the calories being consumed can be considered ’empty’ calories and not beneficial.

The moral of the story is:
1. Stay away from foods high in carbs, but low in fiber.
2. It is healthy to eat ‘good carbs’ (aka. foods with vitamins, minerals, and fiber)

I hope this article helped. If you have any comments, questions, concerns, or ideas for other blog post, email me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com .