Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Inchworm Pushup

Gosh, I forgot about this move—ever do a pushup like an inchworm? No, seriously! It's an honest variation of a traditional pushup, but it challenges your core even more while it stretches your hamstrings, too. Nothing beats a compound exercise. Otherwise known as an exercise that targets more than one body part. There's your vocab lesson for today. Now you can say you learned something new.

Let's get back to inchworm pushups. If you've mastered the pushup, this would be a great way to add to it. It doesn't necessarily make the pushup harder, but as I said before, it forces you to engage your core in a way that traditional pushups do not. And then there's the hamstring stretch—who doesn't love a good hamstring stretch, am I right? So let's get to it: Start in pushup position. Perform the pushup, then keep your legs straight as you walk your hands back toward your feet. In doing so, your hips will lift toward the ceiling and you'll ultimately end up in that hamstring stretch. Pause for a second, then walk your hands back out to your pushup position. Repeat from there. Aim for a set of ten. Build on that until you can complete two sets of ten. When that becomes easy, bump it up to twelve.

And when that becomes easy, well...get creative. Do the pushup on a medicine ball. Stagger your hands. Bring the elbows in. Or roll up to standing and add a squat before stretching back down and walking out to your pushup position. Just like any good pushup, there are tons of ways you can vary it up.

But that's enough worm-talk. I'm getting visions of worms in my apples, or worms covering the sidewalk after a nice summer rain. Ew and gross. Let's move on. I'm thinking we should talk about fauxmade almond butter.

As you know, I don't have a suitable processor in which I can make nut butters at home. Until I get one, I've decided to let creativity take over my kitchen. Hence, the fauxmade almond butter. Because really, the best part about making homemade almond butter (aside from one's ability to eliminate the unhealthy fillers) is one's ability to add exceptional flavor via various other ingredients. Although I don't ever tire of straight almond butter, I do like to enjoy a little variety via some flavor on occasion. The only piece of equipment you need? A spoon. OK, maybe a bowl as well. Let me explain.

Fauxmade almond butter starts with your favorite store-bought brand. I like Maranatha, it's quite simple. (And I just bought a jar at Costco for next to nothing, so I had a ton of it on hand.) From there, all it takes is the additives of your choice and a little elbow grease. Best to continue explaining via recipe.

Fauxmade Honey
Cinna-Nilla Almond Butter

1 cup store-bought almond butter
2 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix your little heart out. Store in an airtight container in your 'fridge.

Note: I emptied the cup of almond butter into a bowl because I wanted to have some store-bought almond butter left. But if you've got a half empty jar, don't hesitate to mix within. And it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that you can tweak the ingredients all you want. I found the above to be quite tasty. Also good: a just-honey version. I'm thinking pumpkin and maple flavors for my next batch, so I'll let you know how it turns out. Of course, if you come up with something awesome on your own, do share!

Now—go! Make like an inchworm and pushup, then make like an inchworm again and eat an apple with some fauxmade honey cinna-nilla almond butter on it! So good. I swear.

Question: How do you feel about inchworm pushups? Further, how do pushups fit into your fitness regime? And we all know I'm drooling over bigger food processors these days, so what's the one food gadget you've been drooling over? Do tell.


Lori McCollum said...

For as much as you like healthy nut butters, you should check out www.naturallynutty.com
They make the best peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter and pepita butter. All kinds of amazing flavors! All natural/organic, made right here in Michigan! The owners are so nice~ I order from them all the time to share with my EcoTrekkers.

TARA said...

Thanks for the tip, Lori! I'm salivating over all of their flavors, and currently debating which ones to order. Any recommendations?

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