Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday, Snacks and Single-Leg Squats

It's the weekend! Insert sigh of relief right here. Did you sleep in? Did you wake up without an alarm? Yes and yes for me and it felt oh, so good. I mean, let's be honest—I still woke up relatively early, but I'll take 8:00AM over 5:15AM any day. My body just loves that extra hour or two I get on Saturdays and Sundays, but it usually doesn't want much more than that. I try to sleep in 'till 10:00AM, but I get achy and anxious. "Get up," my body says, "GET UP!" And I do. Might as well. Hate to waste the day. But first, let's talk about my recent snack obsession. Seriously, I can't stop eating this brown rice bread I bought at Trader Joe's last week:

It's amazing. I had a slice of it for breakfast at my aunt and uncle's house, with some almond butter and a banana, and it tasted absolutely divine. Of course I've mimicked that breakfast here at home, but I've also served it up like this:

Toasted and slathered in sunflower butter and homemade pumpkin butter. The healthy carbs, dash of protein and all the fiber in the pumpkin butter is snack perfection in my eyes. Rather, in my mouth. I will be bummed when this loaf of mine runs out, but I have a sneaking suspicion I can find it on the "healthy" shelf in the frozen foods section at my local grocery store. Or at least something like it. But I'm also on the hunt for a great recipe for brown rice bread, so if you have one, please send it my way! You know me, I do love my recipes.

I also love single-leg squats. I hadn't done them in a while, so I decided to introduce them to my Circuit Sculptors yesterday morning. I honestly wasn't sure how they'd handle it, but they did 'em like champs and I couldn't have been more proud. We did them against the wall with an exercise ball behind our backs. One leg lifted slightly out to the front. This is a great way to introduce a single-leg squat to your system, simply because you can push some of your weight onto the ball behind you. Form is easily maintained, although you'll need to call upon your core for balance. But not as much as you'd need to if you were simply standing on one leg. Speaking of standing on one leg, here's a list of other ways to perform a single-leg squat (in no particular order of difficulty):

1) Use a bench, as suggested in the Women's Health Big Book of Exercise:

2) Use a Smith machine.
3) Use a body bar for balance.
4) Hold a ballet bar (or something like it).
5) Stand in front of a chair, sitting down on the chair
6) Use TRX straps, facing yourself toward the anchor point.
7) Stand unassisted, arms out to the side with your chest and head up.

In any case, extra resistance can be added by holding weights or adding weight plates to the Smith machine. Well, unless you're using the TRX straps which work very simply with your own body weight. Always remember to keep your unused leg out in front of you, watch your working knee—don't ever let it cross your toes. This means you should only squat as low as you can at first, never push further. Trust that you'll get even lower as you practice. And as you build up strength in both your legs and core.

Now go, enjoy your Saturday. And if you can, get some fitness in.

Question: What is your favorite squat-based exercise?

REMINDER! Don't forget to enter my  giveaway! You just might win a prize pack from Siggi's Yogurt! (Contest ends at midnight EST on Saturday, March 12, 2011).

1 comment:

Tammy said...

730 the latest for me on weekends and I feel great. Can't sacrifice any precious weekend time!!

Used to do those single leg squats at the Y. Shaky legs for hours after. But they work.

Off to run the Notre Dame lakes and then officially start my Saturday!!

P.S. The sun is shining!

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