Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Sequence of Things

I celebrated my 30th birthday back in November. As a present to me, my husband so bravely agreed to take me dancing. In a ballroom. As in, ballroom dancing. Both our schedules and Mother Nature have prevented us from attending a class, but all that changed on Tuesday night. It was Rumba night, and the Rumba so happens to be my favorite. We danced for two hours straight, learning basic steps and trying our best to perfect them (without looking dumb). Certain sequences befuddled us, others came naturally for us two very unprofessionals. Perhaps if I had worn half of a blue dress, we would have looked more like this:

Although, I don't think I could ever convince Jason to wear an unbuttoned white shirt. Not if his life depended on it. Needless to say, I am now on a mission to become the first-ever fit bloggin' star to appear on "Dancing with the Stars"—it'll never happen, but a girl can dream. And I will dream. Maks and Derek will fight over my partnership, it will be wonderful.

On to more important things. Like sequential exercises.

A lot of my clients have weight loss goals, as we all do, so I've been keeping them in motion by running them through exercises in a sequence. Meaning, one exercise right after the other. Not only does this keep their heart rate up, it forces them to engage even more muscles to endure. And it gives me more time in the session to pack on extra punch. So far, they've all seemed to respond with gusto. I figured you'd enjoy a few samples of said sequences. Some of which you might already be doing:

1) Squats + Squat Pulses + Jump Squats
2) Squats + Squat Hold + Jump Squats
3) Squats + Bicep Curls + Shoulder Presses
4) Dead Lifts with Bent Row + Bicep Curls
5) Side-to-Side Lunges + Wide Squat Hold + Wide Squats
6) Seated Shoulder Press with Legs Up + Kickouts + Crunches
7) Plank on Dumbbells + Pushups + Alternating One-Arm Dumbbell Rows in Plank Position
8) Plank + Pushups + Side Plank on Right + Side Plank on Left

Speaking of side planks, are you doing them? They're super good for you because they tighten and tone just about everything. Including your obliques—even including your diaphragm, which is the muscle in your chest that facilitates your breathing. And breathing is super important in terms of strength training. To hold your breath is to suppress the supply of oxygen to your working body parts, which puts you at risk for passing out. And makes every exercise that. much. harder. So as you perform side planks, or any core exercise, be sure to breath deeply. Relax into what you're doing and keep each breath nice and slow.

The easier you breath, the more efficient your lung (and your training) will be. For example, right now I'm really savoring each and every breath I take. Oh wait—that's because my place smells like pumpkin and spices. And no, there isn't a candle on my desk. Recipe to come.

Question: Is there a sequence of exercises in your current routine?

REMINDER! Don't forget to enter my Ayala's Herbal Water giveaway! You could win a sampler pack that contains one of each delicious flavor. (Contest ends at midnight EST on Friday, February 25, 2011).

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