#30DaysToStrongerKnees Day 26: Forward Lunge

This variation of lunge teaches you to use your glutes to work against your momentum, stabilize with your core and hamstrings, and keep pressure out of your knees!

This is a body weight only exercise that can be performed with weight when mastered. Start with your feet together with your hips and shoulders squared. Lunge one leg forward, creating enough space for your hips and shoulders to remain square as you descend. Once you are lunged forward and your glutes are stretched, push through the heel of your front foot while you squeeze your glutes and return to the starting position.

Your goal is to move at a slow and controlled pace, keeping your weight in your heel, and squeezing your glutes from the bottom to the top. I recommend alternating legs for 3 sets of 20-30 reps.

Make sure you post your video daily to the Balance In Motion Facebook Page or tag me in your Instagram or Twitter post using my handle and the hashtag #30DaysToStrongerKnees

If you’re uncomfortable posting a video, you can always post a motivational quote, picture, or something health and fitness related.Make sure to encourage others, and never, never judge! Again, this is a judgement free zone!

Chair Pose

Begin standing, with feet slightly closer together than hip width distance apart. As you inhale, reach your arms up overhead. As you exhale sink the hips down and back as you bend your knees, just like sitting in a chair! Keep the back straight and stay for 3-5 breaths.

To add more heat to this pose, make it a flow! As you inhale rise to stand, and as you exhale sink back to chair. Repeat for 5-7 breaths.

You can also add chair pose to your sun salutation sequence to add an extra challenge! Add chair immediately after your first mountain pose, and again after your second forward fold.

#30DaysToStrongerKnees

The most common complaints I hear from clients is that they have weak knees or low back pain. These two areas most commonly experience pain because you are moving poorly, have bad posture, or displace your weight into joints instead of muscles.

The good news is, there’s are some simple exercises you can do to fix this problem. Over the next thirty days, we’re going to teach you these exercises. They focus on using your body correctly to avoid flaring up pain, creating new injuries, and over all motor control of your lower half.

30DaysToStrongerKnees

The challenge will take place the month of June! I will send an email daily with a movement video and form instructions. Join the challenge by posting your video daily to the Balance In Motion Facebook Page or tag me in your Instagram or Twitter post using my handle and the hashtag #30DaysToStrongerKnees

If you’re uncomfortable posting a video, you can always post a motivational quote, picture, or something health and fitness related.Make sure to encourage others, and never, never judge! Again, this is a judgement free zone!

High Lunge Pose

Begin in downward facing dog and lift one leg for three-legged dog. Bring the lifted leg forward and place the foot between the hands. Lift the upper body as you bring your hands off of the ground and overhead. Keep the back leg lifted and strong, and make sure to keep the knee above the ankle on the front leg! Stay for 3-5 breaths. Return to three-legged dog and repeat with the other leg.

Lateral Raise

Working your shoulders without pressing weight overhead is a great way to practice low impact work for your shoulders. Using your delts to raise weight against the pull of gravity, allows your shoulder to stretch and squeeze safely with minimal joint irritation or engagement. This movement is best used once your shoulder are warmed up from presses.

This movement can be done sitting or standing. Start by gripping the weight and holding them at your sides. Lift the weight with your palms facing down, keeping your shoulder muscles at the high point of the movement for maximum muscle contraction.

Stretch

Lateral Raise

Squeeze

Lateral Raise

Bold Body Basics- Dumbbell Only Workout Program

After receiving great feedback on Workout Structure at Any Level, I decided to give a bit more insight on structure at the beginner level. I know from experience that it’s hard to get started when you are unsure of yourself; together I want to help you build confidence, muscle, and your metabolism through a solid foundation and education.


 

Click here for a downloadable PDF

Bold Body Basics- Dumbbell Only


 

Bold Body Basics- Dumbbell Only

The Bold Body Basics- Dumbbell Only Workout Program includes four days of workouts covering your entire body. Over the next month, I will be sending out videos and descriptions of each of the exercises included. I will emphasize the stretching and squeezing motion of each movement to ensure you are being efficient and effective with your workouts.

Week One: Legs

Week Two: Back & Biceps

Week Three: Shoulders

Week Four: Chest & Triceps


Click here for a downloadable PDF

Bold Body Basics- Dumbbell Only


 

All these exercises, along with isolated core movements will be easily searched in my Movement Library to make your own routine or add to a current one!

Active Rest through Yoga

As Brittany mentions in her Workout Structure at Any Level post, active rest is an essential part of any workout schedule. There are many ways you can actively rest, but one of my favorite ways is yoga!

I’m going to guide you through one of the most basic yoga flows – sun salutations. I like to begin every yoga practice with a few rounds of sun salutations. This  sequence really helps me find my breath and gets my muscles nice and warm for the rest of my practice.

*An important thing to remember as you’re going through this sequence (and any yoga sequence, for that matter) is that you should never be feeling any pain! You should feel a nice stretch throughout your body, but only go as far as you are comfortable and able to continue breathing steadily. Take modifications when necessary! Another important thing to remember is that every day is different. Some days you might be able to touch your toes no problem in your forward fold, and other days it might not happen at all. Listen to what your body needs and respond appropriately.*

Sun Salutation Sequence (Surya Namaskar A for all of you sanskrit lovers!)

Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

SunSalutations-1

 

  •  Don’t let this pose fool you! Mountain is a very active and engaged pose.
  • Take a few deep inhales and exhales and really begin to ground yourself. Press both feet into the floor equally and keep your spine long and straight. Imagine there’s a string going from the crown of your head down through your spine and someone is pulling the string in opposite directions. Shrug and roll your shoulders a few times and bring awareness to your shoulder blades. They should be pulled down and back, creating space between your shoulders and your ears. In other words, your shoulders should not be shrugged.
  • When you’re ready to begin your first sequence, bring your hands together at heart center.

Inhale  – Stretch Your Arms Up Overhead (Urdhva Hastasana)

SunSalutations-2

  • On your next inhale, sweep and stretch your arms up overhead and reach towards the sky.
  • Look up towards your hands if that feels good for you. If not, just look straight ahead.
  • Feel free to add in a little backbend if you’d like.

Exhale – Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

SunSalutations-3

  • As you exhale, hinge at the hips and begin to forward fold, keeping your back straight as you reach your hands towards the ground.
  • Keep the spine straight as long as you can, then gently round your back into your full forward fold.
  • Remember it’s okay if you can’t reach the ground, and bend your knees if you need to! You should feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings, but no strain.

Inhale – Halfway Lift (Ardha Uttanasana)

SunSalutations-4

  • On your next inhale, lift up to a half forward fold.
  • You can gently press your hands into your shins as you bring your chest and gaze forward.
  • Keep the spine straight and back flat as you really ground into the floor through your feet.

Exhale – Forward Fold and Hop/Step Back to Plank and Chaturanga (Chaturanga Dandasana)

SunSalutations-5

  • As you exhale your upper body back down, place your hands on the ground, shoulder-width apart, and hop or step your legs back into plank position.
  • In the same exhale, bring your body weight forward onto your toes, and begin to lower down into chaturanga. Arms should be bent at 90 degrees, and your elbows should be tucked in close to your ribs
  • Chaturanga alignment can be confusing. I like to think of it more as projecting my body forward rather than down. You want to be careful not to let your core get saggy or let your butt stick up in the air. Think of your body as a board and the whole board lowers down as one piece from that up-on-your-toes plank position until your upper arms are parallel with the floor.
  • Chaturanga can also be taken with your knees to the floor. The same principles apply as far as keeping your body straight and elbows tucked in towards the ribs.

Inhale – Upward-facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

SunSalutations-6

  • As you inhale, roll onto the tops of your feet and lift your chest for upward-facing dog.
  • Press your hands into the floor and draw your shoulder blades back and down (away from your ears, just like in mountain pose!).
  • Keep your leg muscles active.
  • You can also take cobra pose here, keeping the legs on the floor and just lifting through the upper body.

Exhale – Press Back to Downward-facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

SunSalutations-7

  • As you exhale, roll back onto the bottoms of your feet and use your core strength to pull your hips up and back into downward-facing dog. Really push into your hands  and through your shoulders here and lift your tailbone high to the sky. The top of your head should be pointed down towards the floor.
  • Actively press your heels towards the ground. Feel free to bend your knees if you need to!
  • You can also ‘walk-it-out’ by alternating pressing one heel into the ground while bending the opposite leg knee, and then switching to really get a good stretch.
  • Stay here for a few breaths just taking the time to stretch out and get comfortable.
  • On your last exhale of your downward dog, hop or step your legs back up between your hands and continue to exhale to forward fold.

Inhale – Halfway Lift (Ardha Uttanasana)

SunSalutations-4

  • On your inhale, lift your upper body and press your hands into your shins for another halfway lift. Remember to bring your gaze and chest up and to keep your spine straight.

Exhale – Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

SunSalutations-3

  • Exhale, bringing your body into forward fold once again.

Inhale – Stretch Your Arms Up Overhead (Urdhva Hastasana)

SunSalutations-2

  • Inhale and bring your body upward, with your spine straight, and reach arms up and overhead. Again, you can look up towards your hands or just keep your gaze forward.

Exhale – Hands to Heart Center in Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

SunSalutations-1

  • Exhale and bring your arms back down to heart center in mountain pose.

Congratulations, you just made it through your first round of the Sun Salutation A sequence! Repeat this sequence several times to bring some heat into your body and get a really good stretch after killing your workouts all week!

 

Workout Structure at Any Level

When it comes to workout structure, most people are at a loss as to what they should be doing, how often they should be doing it, and how to individualize to meet their goals. It’s common for people to go through the motions without actually knowing how to work their body properly. In order to help shed some light on the subject, I created three templates to offer structure to those at a beginner, intermediate, and advanced level.


 

Beginner Workout Structure

  • Upper Body can be worked in a variety of ways. Making sure you target it on it’s own, one day a week will increase your ability to tone, tighten, and build lean muscle mass in your chest, back, shoulder, triceps, biceps, and traps.
  • Core and Cardio are a vital part of your routine. They ensure your cardiovascular system is healthy, create a solid foundation for you to build upon, and allow you to burn some extra calories along the way.
  • Lower Body is more important than people give it credit for. Increasing strength and mobility in your lower half will help you avoid injuries, pain, and weight loss plateaus.
  • Active Rest is the most commonly skipped part of a fitness routine. People assume they need to constantly workout to achieve their goals. Instead, these days make or break your routine allowing you to make time for mobility work, work/life balance, and mental & physical focus for the rest of your week.

 

Intermediate Workout Structure

  • Back and Biceps being worked together is simple science. They are the prime upper body muscles that activate in pulling motions. Working them on their own day allows you to isolate them as a pair, but work both in a complimentary fashion.
  • Core and Cardio are a vital part of your routine. They ensure your cardiovascular system is healthy, create a solid foundation for you to build upon, and allow you to burn some extra calories along the way.
  • Chest and Triceps  are two of the prime upper body muscles that activate in pushing motions. Pairing them together allows them to be fatigued while working together. Isolating them in this type of structure helps to work them safely and effectively.
  • Legs and Shoulders are best trained together when the majority of movements done are compound. Although on opposite ends of the body, isolating them on their own day can allow you to be effective and avoid injury.
  • Active Rest is the most commonly skipped part of a fitness routine. People assume they need to constantly workout to achieve their goals. Instead, these days make or break your routine allowing you to make time for mobility work, work/life balance, and mental & physical focus for the rest of your week.

 

Advanced Workout Structure

  • Back and Biceps being worked together is simple science. They are the prime upper body muscles that activate in pulling motions. Working them on their own day allows you to isolate them as a pair, but work both in a complimentary fashion.
  • Core and Cardio are a vital part of your routine. They ensure your cardiovascular system is healthy, create a solid foundation for you to build upon, and allow you to burn some extra calories along the way.
  • Shoulders and Calves are best worked together when more advanced in fitness. Although not used together for any motions, they pair up nicely allowing for maximum isolation of each muscle group.
  • Core and Cardio are a vital part of your routine. They ensure your cardiovascular system is healthy, create a solid foundation for you to build upon, and allow you to burn some extra calories along the way.
  • Chest and Triceps  are two of the prime upper body muscles that activate in pushing motions. Pairing them together allows them to be fatigued while working together. Isolating them in this type of structure helps to work them safely and effectively.
  • Legs  are the biggest powerhouse muscle group of the body. When you get to an advanced level, you will need an entire workout dedicated to them.
  • Active Rest is the most commonly skipped part of a fitness routine. People assume they need to constantly workout to achieve their goals. Instead, these days make or break your routine allowing you to make time for mobility work, work/life balance, and mental & physical focus for the rest of your week.

 

Contact me for more advice, tips, or questions on setting up work structure individualized to your specific goals!

Free Workout Template and Nutrition Chart to Jumpstart your Resolutions

  

 
If you’re anything like me, you work best with a plan. So to help those like minded, I’m going to be giving away some basic structure. Once you have this structure, you’ll have no excuses not to be successful!


 

Bold Body Basics Fitness Plan

Bold Body Basics Nutrition Plan

 


 

Feel free to use these templates to track your workouts and nutrition to keep you more accountable, to build a platform to expand upon in the future, or to fill out and send back to me for recommendations, individualized plans, or to see if we’d be a good fit to work together!


Either way they are free for you to use however you would like! Email me with questions at balancebybrittany@gmail.com

 

Example Day 3 of Macro Counting

Hopefully you are having a bit of success and not going stir crazy, but for those of you who are- IT DOES GET BETTER. You are making a drastic change that will shock your body and it will take time to adjust. If you start to lose it, have a protein shake or try a new recipe to distract yourself. In the beginning it does feel a little “all-consuming”, but trust me- it does get better. Sooner than you know it macro counting will become second nature. You’ll soon start seeing a plate full of food as carbs, protein, and fat instead of a meal. Remember, you are fueling your body by sticking to your ratios.

Breakfast

1 slice of Ezekiel or Whole Grain Bread

1Tbls Sugarfree Jam

2 Egg Muffins

  • 1 Dozen Eggs ( I usually use 4 whole eggs and 8 egg whites)
  • 2c Chopped Veggies (Peppers, Onions, Mushroom, Spinach)
  • 1c Skim Milk/Soy Milk
  • Optional: Ham, cheese, sausage (Depending on how it fits your macros!)

Egg Muffins

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Scramble egg/egg whites and milk. Pour into muffin tin- fill each space halfway. Then sprinkle in veggies and other toppings. Bake for 20-25 minutes, edges will start to brown.  I tend to make these the day I go grocery shopping and eat them for breakfast or snacks during the week.~65 Calories: 3g Carbs, 6g Protein, 3g Fat each

This is just an example, if you need more protein per meal eat three egg muffins, more carbs? eat two slices of toast, less fat? don’t add meat or cheeses, or use all egg whites. Always stick to your individual ratios!

~215 Calories: 24g Carbs, 16g Protein, 6g Fat

Snack

Green Sludge Protein Shake (See Recipe in Example Day 1)

~180 Calories: 11g Carbs, 28g Protein, 3g Fat

Lunch

6oz Baked Chicken Breast

4oz Baked Sweet Potato

2oz Fresh Sugar Snap Peas

~270 Calories: 30g Carbs, 38g Protein, 2g Fat

Snack

Protein Bar (Clif Builder Bar, Quest Bar, Krave)

~270 Calories: 31g Carbs, 20g Protein, 8g Fat

Dinner

Fish, Rice, & Beans

  • 6oz Tilapia (I season mine with Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime- Calorie/Sodium Free!)
  • 1/2c Long Grain Brown Rice
  • 1/2c Fat Free Refried Beans

~360 Calories: 38g Carbs, 43g Protein, 4g Fat

Snack

1c Greek Yogurt (Dannon Light & Fit 2x Protein is the best protein wise 18g per cup!)

1c Fresh Berries

~215 Calories: 30g Carbs, 20g Protein, 1g Fat

Yogurt

 

Post-workout

1 Protein Shake

1 Apple

~185 Calories: 20g Carbs, 25g Protein, 2g Fat

 

Totals for the day:~1695 Calories: 184g Carbs, 190g Protein, 26g Fat

 

This is just a rough outline, adjust the portion sizes to match your macro ratio. This is very high carb and protein, and low-fat, adding things like cheese, avocado, and peanut butter are good fats to add here and there if they fit in your macros. A scoop of peanut butter at the end of a long day can be a mood booster and curb your sweet tooth, but never reward yourself with food. Food is fuel not a reward.

Happy Counting!