This morning I woke up without excessive muscle pain but enough ache to know I did some good work at the gym yesterday! Yesterday was a lazy overcast day but eventually I was able to drag myself away from my two adorable cuddly cats to get to the gym and burn off some of this anxiety I’ve been feeling lately. I was unable to get to the gym during the work week, but instead chose to do yoga in the evenings when possible, also hoping to help with this very emotionally exhausting week. It helped a little, but I am bummed I wasn’t able to make an effort to at least spend a half hour or an hour at the gym at least once for weight training and intense cardio.
Instead of beating myself up about it, I made it a point to get to the gym this weekend for a low impact workout since it’s a new beginning for me as far as resurrecting my gym routine. For those who may be curious as to what I did this weekend when time was not so much an issue, here is Saturday’s routine.
- 30 minute elliptical for cardio
- 30 minute weight machine rotation for strengthening
- 10 minute ab work for core strengthening and sculpting
- 20 minute stretching and non-machine strengthening for cool down
- Ran 25 minutes on level 12 with a 5 minute cool down.
- My ultimate goal is 45 minutes 3-4x per day alternating different programs and increasing level tension over time.
I normally do 3 sets of 12 reps using low weights that still tired my muscles by the third rep for each exercise listed below, resting a couple of minutes between sets. The amount of weight you decide to start lifting depends on many factors, please ask a trainer at the gym before trying to lift 200 pounds your first, or even second, try.
Click on each image below to be taken to another website for more detailed exercise instructions.
Rear Deltoid Flies: targets posterior deltoid, secondary rhomboids, trapezius, triceps
Lower Back Extension: targets lumbar, secondary glutes
Seated Chest Presses: targets pectorials, secondary deltoid and triceps
Seated Leg Press: Targets quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Added padded toe raises that targets your calves.
Lateral Raise: targets deltoids.
- Basic Crunches: 2 reps of 25, targets all abdominal muscles.
- Abdominal Leg lifts: 2 reps of 25, targets lower abdominals
- Broom Stick Trunk Twists, 50 twists with 12 lb. bar
- Side Reaches: 2 sets of 25, lift up engaging your obliques and reach towards your feet from side to side.
STRETCHING AND STRENGTHENING
I love to stretch! I stretch whenever I can throughout the day, at work, at home, before bed, in the morning. I’m sure I look completely ridiculous, but the feeling of a good stretch trumps embarrassment by passersby. Stretching at the end of my gym routine is a blissful experience.
- Pigeon stretch: targets glutes, piriformis, and helps loosen tight hips (an ongoing issue of mine).
- Lumbar Extension stretch: targets lumbar spine and abdominals.
- Sitting Side Reach stretch: targets areas of your abs, back, and legs.
- Side Leg Lifts: 25 reps each leg, targets abductor muscles, glutes, and hips. This is my back to basics Jane Fonda move.
- Cat Stretches: 25 slow reps, targets lower back and abdominals.
photo by James Hamilton