Health & Food

My Exercise “Routine”

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Several weeks ago a reader asked me to explain my exercise routine and another reader asked me which of the Exercise TV videos I like to use. Today I have decided to dedicate a post to answering these questions. Because…everyone wants to workout like ME…right?!

Below are the pieces of equipment that I use for my workouts. I typically workout 5-6 days a week, for 55-60 minutes. During that time I always include about thirty minutes of cardio (mainly the elliptical or sometimes a run or fast walk outside) and twenty minutes of pilates, yoga, or resistance training. Like I said, I don’t really have a “routine” but I tend to do some type of arm and ab exercise every time I workout.

Many people might call me “lucky” because I am very small boned and overall quite small. Like I said in this post, you could easily look at me and think I have not one ounce of fat on me. Of course where I do carry my fat is around my waist (waist to hip ratio of .81 already, at age 28, yikes). This is the one area I try to workout the most. I know I can’t “spot reduce” but it’s still nice to have some muscle behind my…ahem…belly fat.

My Favorite Ab Workouts

I don’t know the names of any of these moves (I’m an RD, not a trainer!), but I do know they work. This one is great for your back. When you are trying to get nice abs, you can’t just work the front, you have to work your back muscles as well. Start in position one (above) and then lift straight up (below). I use a fifteen-pound weight. I typically do about three sets of twenty-five reps.

This move (below) is another great move for your back. If you don’t have an ab ball you can try it just by lying on the floor, but in my opinion it’s not quite as effective. I typically do about three sets of thirty.

And of course let’s not forget the actual abs. This move (below) is incredibly effective. Put the ab ball between your feet, or if you’re a beginner (like Nick) put the ball between your shins. Then lift it up to your hands and grab the ball and swing it back behind your head. Then bring the ball back forward, and lift your legs up to grab it, and get back to the starting position. This one is painful, and very effective. I like to do fifteen reps of these, for a total of about two to three sets.

The two parts of my body I love are my legs and arms. I can build muscle in those two areas fairly easily. Like most people I often wish I could gain muscle and definition in my abs as easily as I can my arms, but I’m not holding my breath. Even though it’s pretty easy for me to tone my legs and arms, I still need to keep up with my arm workouts or they’ll just look like…twigs.

My Favorite Arm Workouts

I love this one (below). I usually don’t start off with this interesting squat that Nick is demonstrating, but it’s close enough. Normally my legs only slightly bent.

Then with all the power I have I lift up the fifteen-pound weight until it reaches the height of my chest.

And sometimes I’ll bring it all the way up above my head. I typically do about fifteen reps, and three sets of this move.

This move is another favorite (below). I actually know what this move is called; tricep curl! I like to do about twenty reps, three sets on both arms. I typically follow this move with the same number of reps and sets of bicep curls.

I like to keep my legs nice and toned so I can feel confident in dresses, skirts, and (maybe) a bathing suit. Most importantly, however, I like to keep my legs toned and in shape because they do so many things! Let’s be honest, our legs are an integral source of power, which allows us to do just about everything we do each day. If my legs start to lose muscle as I age, my whole balance will be off and everything will just start to fail, slowly but surely. I’ll admit, I love leg workouts!

My Favorite Leg Workouts

I’m a huge fan of angle weights. I like to do leg lifts wearing my two-pound ankle weights. I lay down on the mat, do fifteen reps lifting my leg up, fifteen reps moving my leg to the front or back, then fifteen reps making circles with my leg. I do this sequence twice on both legs.

Nothing beats a good lunge. I do lunges (30 steps total, 3 reps) with a fifteen-pound weight, or a ten-pound weight.

Favorite Exercise TV Workouts

Here are some of my favorite Exercise TV workouts, in no particular order. Keep in mind I’ve never liked Jillian Michaels because I can’t stand it when she gives nutrition advice. However, as a trainer, she’s pretty awesome.

  • All 10-minute videos
  • Best of Jillian (I love these exercises, I’m always sore the next day!)
  • Last Change Workout (25 minutes, I think…)
  • 30-Day Shred
  • Yoga Sculpt (31 minutes)
  • Pilates Abs (12 minutes)
  • CRUNCH gym videos (a new favorite!)

And what do I eat after my workouts? Something that is fairly high in protein. Check out this post for some recommendations.

QUESTION: What’s your favorite exercise move?

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