Archive for the ‘Pointers and Techniques’ Category

I keep get conflicting information on when to stretch.  I have always been a big believer that stretching afterwards is definitely important. If I am starting with walking or light cardio type exercise a warm up I feel is a much better way to go.  Stretching cold muscles can lead to injury so warming up if my favorite way to start.  Don’t get me wrong sometimes if I am feeling a bit stiff I might do a few little stretches first but I think warming up is more effective.

Of course everyone’s workout is different so I am sure there are times when cold stretching might be better but I usually start with a warm up and get right to the workout.  Here is my workout from today:

  • 10 minutes elliptical on interval resistance

Then into the strength training and core workout.

  • 15 kettlebell swings with the 12 kg kettlebell
  • 15 ball slams with the 15 pound slam ball
  • 30 count battle ropes; each arm

I did two rounds of all of these then moved on to some weights.

  • 50 pounds on the leg extension machine ~ 20 / 15 / 10 reps
  • 50 pounds on the lat pulldown ~ 10 / 10 / 10 reps ~ moving arms in to a different position between each set
  • 80 pounds on the pulldown crunch ~ 10 forward ~ 10 oblique each side ~ 10 forward

I finished with some renegade rows with the kettlebell ~ 5 each arm then 7 minutes cooling down on the treadmill today.

I of course stretched afterwards; I haven’t really had any lasting pains besides my first day; since then I started stretching afterwards and not so much before.  Somedays I do touch my toes and do a few squats just to loosen up but I think focusing on stretching afterwards is the way to go for me. I am hoping to learn some yoga so I am definitely not against stretching and lengthening the muscles but for a workout I plan to stick with my warm ups.  If anyone has any thoughts let me know!


I am loving this move.  Dustin showed me this kettlebell technique at the end of my 2nd personal training session and I failed at it miserably.  I didn’t really know what to call it and I think I was referring to it as the plank with kettlebell row in my previous posts.  I kicked its ass today.  I threw it into a segment of my workout along with kettlebell swings and battle robes; I did 5 each arm for three sets!  Ok, maybe that’s not much for some people but it was huge for me.  The key seems to be to keep shoulders aligned over the kettlebells and lift in a smooth rowing motion alternating arms.

I didn’t look nearly as awesome doing it as the picture above but as I said I did it.


How can something that sounds so innocent be so cruel?  Even the mention of the word “flutter” evokes images of butterflies in my mind.  Well, it used to!  Now all I can see is me flailing about on the gym floor trying in vain to make my legs alternate kicking up and down quickly for 30 seconds!

If I were a kitten I might have looked cute writhing about; however I am not a cute kitten….

The exercise was to do the flutter kicks for 30 seconds, pause and do again.  Not just the one time but 3 sets in my routine today!  I did the best I could to do 30 seconds twice each round but I got slower and more awkward as I went.

Still a good workout though.  I was just amazed how hard the flutter kicks were; I look forward to trying these again. The key seems to be keeping the legs straight and the hands under the buttocks seems to help balance and get the movement going.

So, here is my workout for today.

  • 15 wall ball squats
  • 20 seconds battle ropes
  • 15 reps “suitcases” ~ this involves 2 – 10 pound kettlebell and squats
  • 15 bosu crunches
  • 20 seconds fast feet
  • 30 seconds flutter kicks X 2

I did three reps of everything with a 10 minute cooldown on the treadmill and stretches to finish it up.

I love that feeling when I know I am getting something right!  I have been working on the kettlebell swings.  Sometimes actively trying them other times watching videos and researching pointers online.  I was still having a bit of troubles with the smoothness of the motion.  I posted a couple of days ago about my troubles with the kettlebell swing, but I think I’ve started to get it moving correctly.  A slight squat keeping back straight on the down swing and a smooth movement to stand and hip thrust on the upswing; keeping the kettlebell in a fluid motion.  I watched a very interesting video yesterday that talked about the importance of how you pick up the kettlebell.  I never really thought about that aspect of it but she mentioned that most people injure themselves before they even start by recklessly grabbing the kettlebell with one hand and going.  I was picking it up off a shelf today so I centered myself and used both hands.  Then when I found my place I placed the ball in front of me and positioned my feet and aligned myself before starting.  In the past I’d just grabbed the kettlebell with one hand and didn’t really think about the importance of balanced motions to prep for the exercise but it make sense.

Today I did a 3 reps of 6 different exercises.  I wasn’t sure I could make it through them all but after doing two rounds I hopped on the spinner bike for 2 miles then finished off with another round and a cool down on the treadmill; followed by some gentle stretches.

  • 15 reps captain’s chair knee lifts
  • 2 minutes fast feet ~ I even added an extra platform today so I was stepping higher!
  • 2 minutes kettlebell swing
  • 15 reps slam ball
  • 30 reps each arm battle rope
  • 15 reps up-wall ball throw