Thursday, September 16, 2010

Try out my new favorite move.

I'm four days into my new schedule at work, and I've managed to complete one strength training session. I skipped Monday because I taught Circuit Sculpt, ran four miles on Tuesday afternoon, and since I didn't have any early morning clients on Wednesday—I became my own client! Hopefully I can snag another run this afternoon, and then another strength training session tomorrow morning to round out my week.

On top of getting my schedule organized, I am happy to report that I discovered a new exercise. New to me, at least. Perhaps you've heard of it—the side plank with a single-arm row? LOVE IT! This exercise incorporates multiple muscle groups (core, shoulders and back), which shaves time off your workout while burning a few extra calories. How to? Find a low cable machine and adjust the weight, or loop an exercise band with handles around a sturdy post. Then do the following:

1) Position yourself on the floor, making sure that your body is perpendicular to the machine/band.
2) Stack your hips, legs and feet.
3) Grab the handle with your free hand, then scoot back to create some tension.
4) Prop yourself up on your bottom elbow to start your plank, keeping that elbow joint below your
    shoulder while maintaining a straight line with the rest of your body.
5) Pull the handle toward your armpit. This will engage your back and shoulder muscles.
6) Release the weight and repeat until all of your repetitions are complete.
7) Relax and repeat on the other side of your body. (Gotta stay even!)

I typically do two sets of 12 repetitions per side, but you'll need to do whatever is appropriate for your fitness level. And remember, follow up your strength training session with a carb- and protein-based snack or meal. Your muscles will need some help recuperating. Yesterday, I drank a banana smoothie that incorporated some of the chocolate protein powder I picked up in Jackson Hole.

I'm not typically a fan of protein powders, as I think you can get enough protein without them, but this particular one—NutriBiotic Rice Protein in Chocolate—seemed pretty straightforward. Meaning, it's Vegan and natural. No crazy chemicals! One packet is a single serving, but I played it safe and only added a spoonful. There wasn't anything funky or chalky about it, but it gave my smoothie a nice chocolate edge.

I don't think I'll make a habit out of adding this or any other protein powders to my smoothies, but you know me—I'm always up for trying out new healthy food options. I bought a packet of the Plain and Vanilla flavors, too. We'll see how they taste.

Question: Are you a fan of protein powders? Why or why not? And if you are, which one do you consume?

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