Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pinterest Fitness Series: Resistance Band 4 Week Routine

Welcome back for another round of my Pinterest Fitness four week routines.  In this blog series I've taken all those pinned fitness ideas that I've been collecting to do "some day" and compiled them into a monthly challenge style routine where I've designated an entire routine for a specific day to be performed twice a week for the duration of four weeks. Each month's routine will involve the same theme or piece of exercise equipment. 

To get started, I recommend choosing two days during the week where you can remain consistent for the course of the four weeks.  You may also want to consider two days that allow you to have a rest day in between such as Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. These routines will be performed for four weeks consecutively.

This month's routine will be all about the resistance band. A simple and inexpensive piece of equipment that has many varieties of use for a total body workout. If you're also a fellow pole dancer, you can make great use of your pole with some of these exercises by wrapping the band around your pole to optimize the resistance. Check out the list below for the designated workout for each day. If you click the link to the corresponding workout, you will be redirected to the pin on Pinterest where you can pin it to your own Fitness Board. 

Week 1
Day 1
Sexy Summer Arms
Day 2
Beginner Band Workout
Week 2
Day 1
Upper Body
Day 2
Week 3
Day 1
Shoulders, Chest, & Triceps
Day 2
Booty Work
Week 4
Day 1
Lower Body
Day 2
500 Rep Back & Core

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Low Carb Diet and My Adventures with the Butternut Squash

I've recently decided to ditch the 95% bread, tortillas, and pasta diet I've grown up enjoying for a low carb diet/lifestyle.  There have been multiple studies out there in the mainstream media that have caught my attention and assisted in wavering my decision on this matter.  I never thought I'd give up my beloved bread but I wanted to try this low carb living to see if it made a different in how my body feels. 

It all started with buying a butternut squash.  I'd heard of spaghetti squash and went to the market to purchase one.  I wasn't able to find this particular squash and instead picked up a butternut squash.  Thanks to Pinterest, I was able to quickly research recipes prior to checking out my groceries to assure this idea of butternut squash noodles was in fact possible.  I did end up having to do some additional research and discovered that I could make perfect noodles out of the butternut squash if I had a fancy noodle making device.  I logged on to Amazon.com and purchased a Spiralizer.  It was listed as one of the best sellers so I was easily swayed into purchasing.  My Spiralizer arrived the next day. The first meal to make with my new Spiralizer was spaghetti.  I used the 6mm blade and while the noodles turned out really good, my husband and I both agreed that the noodles turned out too thick for our preference and will opt for a small blade on our next attempt.  I used some YouTube videos to learn how to properly cook the butternut squash noodles.

To cook, I placed my noodles into a skillet with olive oil until the noodles appeared to be tender and not as hard.  You can also bake the noodles on a baking sheet in the oven after mixing with olive oil.  For the bulbous seed end of the squash, I scraped out the seeds and cut up the squash as best as I could into thin strips.  I used the thin strips the following day for making baked french fries.  I put olive oil on the baking sheet and brushed over each french fry.  I then seasoned with garlic powder, pepper, salt, cayenne, and cumin.  Baked on 425* for 30 minutes then broiled on high for 5 minutes. I think I'll just broil on low for 10-12 minutes next time which was recommended by a Pinterest recipe I camce across.  The fries turned out delicious.  All in all, the butternut squash as a high carb noodle and french fry alternative was a huge success.  I'm looking forward to trying out zucchini noodles next for pasta dishes. I have also incorporated a lot of cauliflower and will be making cauliflower pizza crust tonight for a homemade pizza. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Common Body Position Mistakes in Pole and Aerial

As I'm working on getting back into the groove of teaching aerial silks again, I've been spending a lot of time getting re-acquainted with skills and my old bag of tricks and tips I used to religiously preach to my students in class.  During some of my movement studies these past few days, I have noticed that knack for picking out particular body alignment issues has reached a heightened sensitivity once again. I've greatly attributed my ability to pick out particular movement issues to having to learn everything myself from the self taught pole dancer YouTube generation before there was the existence of pole studios and pole instructors as well as my assessment skills I was trained to develop from being a nurse. 

Some of the classic movement mistakes I see students make can easily be corrected.  I wanted to share a few of the common mistakes with my readers so they too can focus on incorporating these tips into their practice. 

1. Sunken chest. I see this a lot in floor work. The shoulders are rounded and the upper back muscles are not engaged.  While this is a natural state to want to round the shoulders, it is not an aesthetically pleasing posture and leads to you missing out on working those abdominal muscles in the movement to achieve your desired affect.  While pole work can be fun, it's also a workout and you want to reap the benefits of each and every single movement. 

2. Flexed feet in the climb.  The points of contact in the basic pole climb include the knees and ankles.  Most people will default to strong arming their climbs and neglect the use of their legs which results in over and unnecessary use of the tops of the feet.  I have always taught the climb as being 90% legs and 10% arms.  When the leg contact points aren't properly engaged, it leads to using the top of the foot, particularly the foot behind the pole, which creates a flexed foot.  The flexed foot is bearing weight.  In a proper climb, the knees and ankles are taking the weight which allows both feet to point for  clean line approach to the climb. 

3. Micro knee bends in straight leg inverts.  The micro bends in the knees during inversions are the body's way of telling you that your abdominal muscles are not quite strong enough or are not properly engaged when performing this skill.  Focus on engaging the abdominal muscles prior to inverting or working on ground abdominal conditioning exercises to better prep your muscles for completing this skill. 

4. Locking shoulders back and down.  This can cause a lot of pain in the neck and traps muscles if you are pulling the shoulders back and down and locking them out during aerial activities.  We often hear that cue of "shoulder back and down" from both pole and aerial instructors.  While beginner level students may actually need these types of cues for proper shoulder engagement, most students will develop the necessary upper back muscles and shoulder strength that when pulling the shoulders back and down can cause unnecessary stress to the delicate structure of the shoulder joint.  Many aerialists and instructors are changing their tunes when it comes to this concept of shoulder engagement as a result of seeing an influx in chronic pain associated with improper alignment that was once thought to be the holy grail of shoulders.  Check out this amazing blog for a more in depth analysis of this corrective cue and how you should be properly engaging your shoulders: http://www.cirquephysio.com/blog/rethinking-shoulder-position-in-circus-arts

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Cleo the Hurricane's Liquid Heroine Vinyl Leggings Review

I recently purchased a pair of Cleo the Hurricane's Heroine Liquid Vinyl Leggings in black. I purchased these leggings in order to workout on the pole during the colder months when poles are typically slicker.  Anyone that has poled for a long time knows the pole is temperamental with the weather.  A slick pole usually results in a poor and frustrating workout.

The order process went relatively smooth.  My leggings arrived within a week of placing my order.  They arrived in a well packaged packing envelope with a clear wrapped cellophane containing the leggings.

The first time I used the leggings, I didn't feel like they fit well.  They are very tight and require you to pull them up all the way to get the best fit.  When ordering, you may also want to order a size larger than you typically order. I followed the recommended sizing chart when placing my order. The second time I wore them they fit a lot better as I made sure to pull them up higher up my legs.  The leggings definitely add the desired stickiness to the pole and made for an easier and warmer workout.  One downfall was that the leggings caused me to sweat a lot.  They practically had to be peeled off and my legs felt wet when I was done.  

Overall, I really like the leggings.  It was a nice change to be able to pole with pants on.  It took a little getting used to but after some pole play I was really enjoying using them during my workout.  If you're looking for some sticky leggings to wear during your pole workout, I highly recommend the Heroine Liquid Vinyl Leggings.