Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Get an Action Hero Body

If you are tired of your muffin top or of being “skinny fat” (you know, thin but squishy) then it’s time to bring some heat to your workouts. If you want an action hero body, you won’t get it in Pilates and you won’t get it jogging your 30 minutes on the treadmill while reading a magazine. It is time to step into the weight room and kick butt!

I recently created this new program for a beautiful client that just got “our” dream job. I say “our” because she recently landed the kind of part that warrants the making of an action figure doll and requires lots of fight training. Already the stung guys are impressed with her level of fitness and the perfection of her kicks. I have been working with this client for 3 years, so obviously she has looked good for a while, but with this new program she has taken her body to new levels of perfection and is having a blast a long the way. I can’t give you more information about the part just yet, but I can share one of the most recent workouts. Try it out and be one workout closer to an Action Hero Body!

The Workout

Movement Prep

Leg Swings --- Do 10 reps
Leg swings side --- Do 10 reps
Plie squat --- Do 10 reps
Forward lunge --- Do 10 reps
Warrior lunge --- Do 10 reps

Circuit #1

Single leg glute bridge on foam roller --- Do 12 reps, switch sides
Valslide mountain climber (hands on med ball) --- Do 20 reps, each leg, alternating
Painful push away --- Do 20 reps
Kayaker --- Do 15 reps, each side

Do circuit 3 times.

Circuit #2

Valband side steps --- Do 15 steps each way
Lunge/kick --- Do 15 reps, switch sides
Bentover row --- Do 12 X 20 lbs (use a 20 lb bar or 10 lb dumbbells in each hand)
Romanian dead lift --- Do 10 reps X 20 lbs (use a 20 lb bar or 10 lb dumbbells in each hand)
Dumbbell chest press --- Do 15 reps X 10 lbs in each hand

Do circuit 3 times.

Circuit #3

Bulgarian split squat --- Do 10 reps X 5-8 lbs in each hand
Single arm shoulder press --- Do 12 reps X 8 lbs
Valslide reverse lunge w/ front foot on airex --- Do 12 reps X 8 lbs (if this is easy add one 8 lb dumbbell)
Bicep curls --- Do 12 reps X 10 lbs
Dips with feet up --- Do 12 reps

Do circuit 3 times.

Straight Leg Swings
Swing your leg forward keeping it straight. Only go as high as your flexibility allows. You will feel this in your hamstring (back of leg).

Plie Squat
Stand with your feet wide, toes pointing out. Maintain erect posture and tighten abs. Inhale and lower yourself straight down. Exhale as you push up through your heels and squeeze your glutes.

Forward Lunge
Stand with your feet hip width apart and abs tight. Take a big step forward with your right leg, allowing your right knee to bend at 90 degrees. When your foot touches the ground the back leg will also bend. Exhale and push back with the right foot, pushing through the heel. Repeat for remaining reps and then switch legs.**You will feel this in your glutes and quads.

Warrior Lunge
Start with feet hip width apart, toes pointing forward and abs tight. Take a big step backwards with the left leg allowing the right knee to bend to 90 degrees. Simultaneously extend both arms up toward the ceiling to feel a stretch in your hip flexor. Push off with your left foot to return to start, allowing your arms to drop back down to your sides. Alternate back and forth until you have completed all reps.

Circuit 1

Single Leg Glute Bridge on Foam Roller
Lie on your back with your arms at your side with one foot on a foam roller. Extend one leg up toward the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes as you lift your hips off the floor using the foot that is on the foam roller. Finish all reps on one side and then switch sides.

Valslide® Mountain Climber on Medicine Ball
On floor, assume push up position with hands on a medicine ball with your body straight, arms under shoulders, and each foot on a Valslide®. Draw abs in and activate glutes. Slide right knee towards chest and exhale. Slide back to start. Slide left knee in towards chest and exhale. Continue to alternate between legs for remaining reps.**You will feel this in your abs.

Valslide® Painful Push-Away
This is a killer. It was named the painful push-away by the client who now has the Action Hero Body!
Get in push-up or plank position with a Valslide® under each hand. Hold abs tight as you slowly slide both hands out a few inches in front of your shoulders until you are just barely able to maintain a plank position. Walk your toes in a couple of steps to come back to a comfortable plank position. That is one rep. Repeat for remaining reps. Remember not to let your hips drop. **You will feel this in your abs.

My new favorite ab exercise! Keep your body very still. Only move your arms.
Lie across the top of a stability ball with your feet placed firmly on the floor. Your lower back should be centered on top of the ball. Hold a light weight dowel or broom stick with both hands and extend arms toward ceiling above your chest. Crunch up slightly to engage your abs. Slowly bring both arms to your right (keeping them straight) and then back toward your left side to complete one rep. Continue for remaining reps. **You will feel this in your abs.

Circuit 2

Valband Side Step
Place a mini band around your ankles. Stand with your feet hip width apart and get into a squat position. Step to the side with your left leg, and then bring your right leg towards the left leg, but not all the way as to keep some tension on the band. Continue across the room stepping out with your left leg. Return to the other side of the room facing the same way stepping out with your right foot. NOTE: make sure the foot doesn’t get out from under the knee. **You will feel this in your glutes and hips.

Stand with feet hip width apart and abs tight. Step back with your right foot and lower into a lunge so your left knee bends to 90 degrees. Squeeze your glutes as you push up through your left heel bringing your right leg forward, kicking it in front as you stand and straighten your left leg. Then bring your right leg back again into a lunge position and repeat for remaining reps. **You will feel this in your glutes, quads and hamstrings.

Bent Over Row
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, abs tight and knees bent. Bend forward at the waist, keeping your back flat. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms hanging down, and palms facing your legs. Exhale as you bring the dumbbells toward the chest while squeezing the shoulder blades together. Inhale as you lower the weight. You will feel this in the middle of your back.

Romanian Dead Lift
Place your feet hip width apart, abs tight and holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees to 20 degrees and keep your back straight. Keep your eyes focused straight ahead and your shoulder blades pinched together. Lower the dumbbells down your legs toward the floor (making sure to keep your back flat) until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings. Inhale as you lower the weight and then exhale and squeeze the glutes as you come back to your starting position. **You will feel this in your glutes and hamstrings.

Dumbbell Chest Press on Stability Ball
With a dumbbell in each hand, lie on your back on a stability ball, with your arms out to the sides and bent at 90 degrees. Your head and neck should be supported by the ball. Hold up your hips so they are even with your knees and keep your abs tight. Exhale as you press dumbbells up directly over your chest toward the ceiling. Inhale as you lower back down. Repeat for remaining reps. **You will feel this in your chest and core.

Circuit 3

Bulgarian Split Squat
Stand with your feet hip width apart and abs tight. With your back facing the bench, place one foot on the bench (shoe laces touching bench). Hop forward with your other foot to come away from the bench. This is your starting position. Lower yourself down, until your right knee bends at about 110 degrees. Allow your right knee to bend naturally as you lower yourself. Push back up to the starting position. Repeat for remaining reps, and then switch legs.**You will feel this in your glutes and quads.

Single Arm Shoulder Press
Stand with your feet hip width apart and abs tight. Hold a dumbbell at shoulder height with palm facing your ear. Slowly raise the dumbbell extending your arm toward the ceiling. Slowly lower back down to starting position and repeat. Be sure to keep abs tight and knees slightly bent. Repeat reps on one side, and then switch sides.**You will feel this in your shoulders.

Valslide® Reverse Lunge with Front Foot on Airex
Stand with your left foot on an Airex pad and the ball of your right foot on the Valslide®. Slide your right foot back until your left leg bends at 90 degrees. Slide your right foot up to start position, pulling up with the glute (butt) of your left leg. Keeping your abs tight will help you keep balance on the Airex pad. Finish all reps on one side and then switch sides. NOTE: be sure to use the stationary leg to return to start, not the sliding leg. Think of the sliding leg as just going along for the ride.**You will feel this in your glutes and quads.

Bicep Curls
Stand with your feet hip width apart, abs tight and a dumbbell in each hand. Knees are slightly bent and hands are at your sides with palms facing out. Exhale as you curl both arms towards your shoulders. Keep elbows close to your waist line. Inhale as you slowly lower them back down to the starting position.**You will feel this in your biceps.

Dips, with Feet Up
Sit on a bench or chair holding the edge with both hands. Place both heels on a step in front of you. Hold yourself up using your triceps. Slide forward just far enough that your hips clear the edge of the chair or bench and begin lowering yourself so your elbows are at 90 degrees. Push yourself up until your arms are straight. Repeat.**You will feel this in your triceps.

A Skinny Parody

I live and work in LA where thin is always in. I have seen and worked with beautiful fit size 4 actors that are often made to feel big because their 18 year old co-star is a size zero. I take pride in the fact that my girls look lean, fit and healthy and they achieve this by working out consistently (not obsessively) and eat healthy (without starving!). I find this parody for the new Mac Book Air laptop hilarious, but a sad reflection of our society’s desire to be thin. Just as 3 lbs is the new 5 lbs in the computer world, a size 0 seems to be the new size 4 in our world. This video captures the struggle that many go through to “fit” the mold that society and the media set, rather than appreciating the benefits of a strong healthy body. Maybe I am reading too much into this but watch it and you decide.