Category Archives: Guest Post

The GoFit Gals

I reciently got the chance to interview the GoFit Gals, and ask them about their new health and fitness program they have started.  I love their slogan “Eat Clean and Train Dirty,” and  I so need a t-shirt with that saying on it too!!

Both PJ and Risse were beyond sweet and helpful for this interview, and I know they are the same way with all of their clients.  Check these ladies out and all that they have to offer you!

1. Who is your nutrition and workout program geared towards? Those wanting to lose weight, those who are looking to maintain their weight and become stronger, or both? What can those who are looking to maintain and get stronger expect?

Our online fitness & nutrition program is geared towards anyone who is wanting to get healthy. Whether you have weight to lose, habits to change or are looking for some new clean recipes & workout ideas – this program is built for anyone! From our program you can expect short workouts, but they aren’t sissy. They’re meant to burn the most amount of calories in the least amount of time. You can also expect tasty recipes that are easy to make and will leave you full and wanting more!

2. What kind of workouts do you put together? Are they workouts you can do at home, the gym, or both?

We create a variety of workouts from strength, to HIIT and everything in between. The workouts are designed so you can do them at home (or the gym) and very little equipment is needed.

3. How much cardio and strength training do you have your program members doing each week?

We have you being active 5-6 days a week for 30-45 minutes.

4 What kind of nutrition do you focus on for your eating plans? Are there plans for vegetarians or vegans?

Our nutrition is based on food-combining, timing of day and keeping you full. It is “clean-eating” with easy to create recipes. Currently we have our regular nutrition plan but will be releasing a gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan option as well.

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5. What do you want people to take away from your program?

We want them to learn that they can change their bodies and their habits. We set our programs up so anyone can be successful, you just have to give it a go and we’re here to cheer you on the whole way!

6. Right now you have your Skinny Jeans Challenge. Do you have any other free challenges planned for this year?

Yes! We run free challenges several times a year with great prizes from amazing sponsors. We do this to help keep you motivated! Our next challenge will be announced soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

7. What kind of support can those looking to sign up from your program expect?

You get full support! Consider us your personal trainer, nutritionist, and cheerleaders! We are completely accessible through all our social media accounts and e-mails because we want each one of you to succeed!

8. What are your favorite kinds of workouts?

We are both busy so we love workouts that are short but will get the job done right. We are no joke and take your health seriously.

9. What motivated you to start Go Fit Gals?

We started Go Fit Gals because of a hole in the market. We saw people trying programs but none offered a great mix of workouts and nutrition that was scientifically based, easy to follow and provides all the tools to set you up for success.

 10. Who inspires you?

We are inspired by people who try their hardest and give it all they’ve got. We’re inspired by our community as they set out to take care of their bodies and change their unhealthy habits into healthy ones.

Please feel free to contact and check out the GoFit Gals at any of these locations:

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Allison Sipes Guest Post

As you all know I’m heading down to Florida in a few weeks to work on learning aerial silks.  I’m beyond excited to learn more about this form of fitness.  The woman who will be doing my training, Allison Sipes, is such an amazing instructor and athlete.  I first got to know her through her pole fitness classes, which were the most amazing fitness classes I have ever taken.  Through these classes I always saw amazing improvements and gained more strength both physically and mentally in every class.  And guess what?  Allison has so kindly agreed to do a guest post for us today!

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Allison is a professionally trained dancer and was a National Junior Olympic gymnast as a child. After graduating from the University of Florida in 2005 with a BA in sociology, she discovered pole fitness in Orlando and instantly became addicted when she realized she was able to combine the strength and grace of gymnastics with the expression of dance. Her classes focus on combining dance, spins, aerial tricks and flexibility training from beginner through advanced levels. Allison also emphasizes proper technique and stretching for injury prevention.

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In 2009, she founded www.OnlinePoleLessons.com as an outreach to those interested in learning Pole Fitness at home. Her site features lessons from beginner through advanced levels, on static and spinning pole. New lessons are added each month, along with a blog that features articles on health, nutrition, beauty and everything pole dance related.

Allison was a judge for the 2011 Polesque competition in New York, and choreographed a pole dance piece for the “Mommies Rock – A Musical Blog” that toured all over the United States. She is sponsored by XPole and Bad Kitty Apparel and is a Fitness Rep for Pole Dance International Magazine. Allison was a finalist in the 2011 and 2012 “Pro Division” US Pole Dance Federation Competition, making her one of the top Professional Pole athletes in the country.

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From Allison:

I was first introduced to Xpert Pole Fitness in 2010, (I had been instructing years previous to this) and was inspired by the format and structure of the program. The methods and techniques taught in the training have taken my personal teaching experience to a whole new level of understanding. I use these techniques in my classes to help my clients to become the best pole athletes they can be. The material and information covered in the XPert training is great for anyone looking to further their knowledge and skill level for this growing sport.

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I also teach aerial silks and Lyra as well as aerial yoga which involves an aerial hammock. These aerial arts compliment pole fitness in many ways, including strength conditioning, endurance and flexibility. Many of my students have experienced major transformations with themselves after taking classes including weight loss, muscle toning, overall flexibility improvement, and a huge confidence boost to top it off. Many students are happier with themselves and their progress in class and this positive change carries into their personal lives.  This allows my clients to be confident to try things they may have once thought impossible, and I like to think it’s attributed to them accomplishing things they never thought they could through fitness and dance training.

The thing I find most rewarding about pole fitness is that people are able to find a form of exercise that is fun and changes their perspective on how they view themselves and how strong and reconnected they become with themselves. For someone’s first class they can expect it to be a lot more challenging and fun than they ever thought!

Allison is an XPert Pole Fitness Master Trainer and loves teaching others the ‘art of pole.’ As the founder of the Florida Pole Fitness Championship and the Florida Pole & Aerial Arts Showcase, Allison hopes to bring awareness to the wonderful art and sport that is Pole Fitness. Allison not only brings her professional competition experience but also her classical dance expertise from her 20 years of training to create a unique teaching environment in the “art of pole.” You can view one of her videos at: http://www.youtube.com/user/AllieGatorUF

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In 2012, Allison founded the Florida Pole Fitness Championship. This was the first pole competition of its kind for Florida, and featured an Amateur, Professional and Masters (aged 40 and up) division. The event sold out with over 500 people in attendance and is being held again on Sunday, March 3rd in Orlando, Florida. This year’s competition will include a Men’s Division which is open to all US residents. After the success of the FPFC, Allison was inspired to create a second event called the Florida Pole & Aerial Arts Showcase, which was held in October 2012. The Florida Pole & Aerial Arts Showcase promotes awareness for pole fitness and aerial dance as an art form and alternative fitness where performers of all backgrounds and skill levels can participate. It is an event open to the public where artists can take the stage and share their passion with friends, family and the performing arts community. The second Florida Pole & Aerial Arts Showcase will take place in the fall of 2013. For more info on these events, please visit: www.FloridaPoleFitnessChampionship.com, www.FloridaPoleShowcase.com.

A Motivating and Uplifting Story from The Clean Eating Geek

This week I’m dedicating to Clean Eating! So, I’ll have a ton of great recipes that I cook for my own family and links to other recipes that are favorites.  I’ll also have a few workouts posted for ya still too Smile

Today’s guest post comes to us from an amazing woman, The Clean Eating Geek.  She has kindly shared her moving and uplifting story about finding fitness and clean eating with us.  I know you will take a lot away from her story just like I have.  Also, today is her Birthday, so Happy Birthday Danica!!!

393094_461717823865105_525620897_n[1]Hello, my name is Danica, otherwise known as The Clean Eating Geek. I’m Australian and I have fallen in love with the fit, clean eating lifestyle. Andrea very kindly asked me to write a guest post, so here I am ready to share my story. I guess it’s always best to start at the beginning, I have been overweight my whole life. I was always the heaviest and the biggest (I’m now 5’10”) – even compared with the boys. There is a photo of me, aged 4, towering over 6 and 7 year olds. It’s the story of my life, always being the biggest, forever the ‘fat kid’. I copped the usual teasing and bullying of course, I think we’ve all been there.

Skip ahead to my teenage years and things certainly didn’t get any better! I have an anxiety disorder called Social Phobia and it well and truly reared its ugly head when I was 13, in my first year of high school. Being at school was torture for me and I was absent more than I was present. I ended up leaving school at the end of Year 9 and did Year 10 at home via correspondence. My Social Phobia and depression caused me to hit absolute rock bottom at this time, aged 15. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was a truly horrible time. Thankfully my love of horses pulled me through, but only just.

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I spent 2001, aged 16, at home doing nothing. No school or any other kind of study. I was still miserable and overwhelmed by hopelessness. I used to wake up at lunchtime and then I would spend the rest of the day eating everything in sight and drinking Pepsi Max (which developed into an emotional crutch that I still use today). My only salvation was my weekly riding lesson and more often than not that was the only time I would leave the house. Needless to say my weight got to the highest it had ever been by that point in my life.

Things took a turn for the better the following year. I went back to school to do Year 11, this time at a senior college, and everything changed dramatically! I made some new friends, I was actually enjoying being a school and I gained some independence. The biggest change was that I lost almost 20 kilos! I didn’t set out to lose weight; it happened on its own thanks to me being more active every day (no deliberate exercise) and eating a far more sensible amount of food that was healthier than what I had been eating. I wish weight loss was still that easy! I think being 17 helped in that respect, but changing your lifestyle and making better choices really does work.

My next health milestone was when I joined a gym for the first time at the end of 2005, aged 20. I’m not entirely sure what prompted me to join but I’m glad I did! It was a HUGE leap out of my comfort zone. A big part of Social Phobia is this overwhelming feeling that people are judging you for every little thing that you do and possibly hating you for it, so to go to a gym with other people knowing I might embarrass myself was a big deal. Thankfully the staff members were wonderful and they made up a workout plan for me and showed me how to do everything. This was my first experience with gym equipment and using weights. I went fairly consistently up until late 2008 when I switched gyms. I don’t recall what my weight was at the time but I remember feeling strong and fit and losing tons of centimeters all over my body.

In 2008 I got into a relationship and the gym gradually became less of a priority. At some point I switched to my now ex-boyfriend’s gym so we could go together but it wasn’t a very regular thing. Like a lot of women I stacked on the ‘love weight’ and ended up the heaviest I have ever been. Towards the end of our relationship I was definitely turning to food for comfort (as I always have) but a large part of that was trying to deal with my Dad having terminal cancer. Needless to say that was an incredibly tough time.

Dad passed away on November 28th 2009. I am an only child and I was Daddy’s little girl. I lost my protector and it’s a loss I still feel every day. I started eating everything in sight and I returned to my soft drink addiction (after going without for some time) – trying desperately to fill a void that can never be filled. I was physically and emotionally uncomfortable and there was no denying that something had to change!

In February 2010 my relationship ended. It was mutual and we are still friends but of course it was still heartbreaking. It was time to start turning my life around. I wasn’t working at the time (my job was given away while I was grieving for my Dad but that’s a whole other story), so I threw myself into working out at the gym. I finally had the freedom to go whenever I wanted, so I did! I got brave and started doing group classes which I totally fell in love with. The weight started to come off and that spurred me on even more.

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Things really took off in January 2011 when I could finally afford to move out of home. For the first time I had complete control over the food that came into the house and how it was prepared – it was life changing! Every decision was my own and I got to take full responsibility for them, either way. If I bought ice-creams or potato chips it was totally on me – I couldn’t blame anyone else so I had to own it! It was actually quite liberating. I was doing a few classes a week at a gym and I started bootcamp. My weight continued to drop. Towards the end of the year I had become a total cardio queen – bootcamp twice a week and running twice a week. It was exhausting and I was getting shin splints because I was pushing myself so hard, but then the universe stepped in!

On December 27th 2011 I broke my foot. I walked around with a swollen mess of an ankle for 2 weeks before seeing a doctor (yes I am silly). I figured I would go ‘just in case’ it was broken because it wasn’t getting any better. Turns out I had fractured the top of my heel bone. They put me in a cast for a week so I spent the entire time in my apartment (couldn’t get down the stairs), sitting on my butt. I had nothing to do but eat and go on the internet. I started comfort eating big time because I was thoroughly miserable about not being able to work out. I couldn’t understand why I would be struck down while I was working so hard. My recovery was slow and after 3 weeks of hobbling around in a ‘moon boot’, I started going for walks again because I was desperate to exercise. I didn’t weigh myself during this time because I just didn’t want to know – everything was so toxic, I felt terrible about myself.

I couldn’t do much exercise so I looked into alternative ways to lose weight. I decided that maybe I should try and cut back on my sugar intake, so I started researching the benefits. While I was doing that I came across people talking about cutting out processed foods and of course – clean eating! I spent hours reading about it and looking at people’s transformations – it’s like I was struck by lightning! I believe everything happens for a reason and I swear I broke my foot because I needed to realize that you CAN NOT out exercise a bad diet (as I had always figured was the case). Weight loss is mostly about nutrition and I really hadn’t come around to that until I found clean eating. I figured that if I burnt 700 calories that morning on my run that eating some chips at lunch time would be fine – it’s not!

So in late February/early March 2012 I started making the switch. I did a massive clear out of my fridge and pantry – some food I gave away some I just threw away. It wasn’t a smooth process by any means. The toughest part for me was trying to work out how to start eating 6 or so small meals a day and to figure out when to eat and what to eat. It requires trial and error and I am still tweaking what I eat and when. It’s okay to ease yourself into it, it’s a lot to wrap your head around.

Sometime in April I weighed myself for the first time since before Christmas 2011. Based on those figures I had lost 5kg but that doesn’t account for the fact that I probably put on about 4 kgs when I had my broken foot, so it could have been as much as 9 or 10kg! I was completely blown away. I felt amazing and I was at the lowest weight I had been for at least 6 years!

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At no point have I been eating 100% clean, 100% of the time apart from a week or two here and there. For this reason I still have a long way to go because one of the hardest things is balancing out clean eating with treats (or cheats as some people call them) because it can be really hard when PMS hits or you have social occasions to attend. This is something I find very difficult (I am prone to emotional eating and bingeing) and it is one of my goals this year to get it sorted out so that life is a lot calmer and simpler. However, since I first started I have continued to prep myself clean food every week without fail and I guess that has been my saving grace. I would like to get my fittest body ever by the end of this year.

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In September 2012 I made a commitment to myself to start doing weights at the gym. After months of reading people’s stories, following fitness models on Facebook and reading articles I finally conceded that doing weights would NOT make me bulky. I had been scared of this for years (even with my own past experience!) so I decided it was time to let go of the fear. I found a basic beginner’s program online and I have been following that ever since. I do strength training 4 days a week and I have barely missed a workout in that time. I was scared and nervous at first but now I love it! My weight has gone up considerably since then, mostly due to muscle gain. I rarely weigh myself now because even though I know why the number is going up it’s still really hard to see it going in the opposite direction of my ‘magic’ number. I am learning to let go of the number I want to see on the scale because it’s just silly. It’s far better to base your progress on for you feel on the inside and how your clothes fit etc.

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In October 2012 I started my Facebook page The Clean Eating Geek. I had been considering it for a while but I was never quite brave enough to do it. Even though I’m still on a journey to my fittest body ever I hope that sharing the steps I’m taking every day to live a better life is helping people. I’m not perfect by any means but I acknowledge my set-backs and try to grow from them. No journey is easy but I plan on living a full life and there is plenty of time to figure it all out. My path to success is not a straight line but a swirly hot mess! Life has ups and downs, strength comes from picking yourself up each time you fall. I truly can’t believe how far I have come in my 28 years. I have hit the lowest of the lows a number of times and clawed my way back up. It’s never fast or easy, sometimes you just have to wait these things out, but when you get to the other side it’s all worth it. It’s taken a long time for me to get to this point. A point where my life is predominantly happy and positive. I spent far too long being bogged down by negativity and depression and it still plagues me at times but I know the light will return. Working out, eating clean and living a healthy, fit life has helped me immensely. Working towards a healthy lifestyle might just help you too.

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To all of the wonderful supporters on my page and all of the new friends I might make after this blog, thank you. I appreciate every one of you. Thanks also for taking the time to read about my story. This is really only a slice of everything I have been through in my life so far. If sharing some of the more personal aspects of my struggle has helped even one of you understand that there is hope out there, then it was totally worthwhile. I understand what a relief it is to know that you aren’t crazy and that you aren’t the only one going through something. Whatever you may be dealing with right now, you are not alone. I wish you all much health and happiness.

For the Beginner Runner–Guest Post by Jen, The Marathon Mom

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Today’s post comes from Jen, The Marathon Mom.  Jen is a RRCA certified run coach and NASM certified personal trainer working with both in person and virtually training clients of all levels to complete their first 5K or set a PR at a marathon.  If you have never thought about a running coach or trainer, I highly suggest you do!  Jen is a wealth of knowledge, and she can get you where you want to be in the running game! 

Jen

I think I am asked at least daily for running advice whether it be from those wanting to start running or those wanting to improve. Recently I’ve had many questions from friends and family training for their first races. I love sharing my passion for running and hope I can pass this on to others too. I thought about the most frequent questions I am asked and decided to put together a list,

When do I start to like running? I think this is the most frequent question and I always hate to say “there are some days I still hate running!” For me the key is to take it easy some days and push myself other days, enjoy the surroundings while out and savor the victories whether this is running that 1st mile or a PR. Like anything new it takes work and does get easier, I still remember when 3 miles was a chore and now I can’t remember the last time I wanted to stop after 3 miles.

Along the same lines: When does it get easier? Everyone is different, but you need to listen to your body and not feel that you need to push right away or on every run. Like I said above it is something new and will get better. Remember it took us more than 1 step to learn to walk.

How do I motivate myself? Sign up for a race to have a goal and soak in the excitement of the race atmosphere. Find friends or a group to run with, making that commitment to others is motivation to get started and it is always nice to have company in tough times to push us further, then go out for coffee afterwards. Listen to music, buy new running clothes and enjoy the fact that you will feel better and have more energy.

What happens when I skip a run? Listen to your body and if you aren’t feeling it, having pain or need a short break then don’t run. Missing one run of the training will not hurt you, do not make this a routine but don’t be afraid to rest a sore leg, sleep in when you are sick or shorten a run. If something doesn’t feel right and your stride changes then don’t run through it, do something else (swim, bike, elliptical) and see how it feels later.

And finally don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Compete and push yourself to improve while accepting that things happen, life gets in the way and we all have bad days. Learn from these and work through them. Remember we are all different and can’t compare ourselves to someone with different talents and abilities. Work to improve on what you can do and have done, not what others can do.

How do you find time to run as a mom? Before I was a mom I was told so many times “just wait you will stop running.” That didn’t happen and I knew it wouldn’t. It takes time management and some compromise. I often workout early in the morning (4am during the week), take advantage of nap time and hit the treadmill at home or the gym childcare is a great benefit. Take the kid with you running, for us it was the only way I was guaranteed a nap the 1st year! But now we look at animals, stop at the park and I get a complete workout. We schedule long runs, sometimes splitting days and other times splitting BOB duty. I might sacrifice an extra hour of sleep or time to read or clean the house for a run, but it makes me a better mother and everyone is much happier.

What are the best shoes? Don’t buy what is cute or the brand your friend has. Go to a running store for a proper shoe fitting and don’t be afraid to take them back if they don’t work after a run (most stores around here are fine if they are slightly worn). Please don’t wear that pair of shoes you bought 5 years ago for step class. Most complaints I hear from new runners is that their legs, knees, feet hurt and then I find out they are wearing bad shoes, such a simple solution to prevent frustration.

I have been running about 10 years and was instantly hooked. I have come a long way from those first steps and my first marathon (Disney 2003) where I finished 5:20 to consistently running 3:30 marathons and running competitively. I learned to love the sport and train right. I have coached runners of all abilities for the past 5 years and love it! I am a RRCA certified run coach and NASM certified personal trainer working with both in person and virtually training clients of all levels to complete their first 5K or set a PR at a marathon.

Check out my running, food, and parenting adventures at:

Strong Legs for Workout Wednesday

Before we get to the meat of this post, I was hoping you would take a minute and send thoughts and/or prayers for my friend Kim tonight or tomorrow morning.  She will be having surgery on her knee Thursday morning.  Thank you!

I am dedicating each week this month to healthier living (as if I don’t already do that), but with a focus on different areas of health each week.  This week I have dedicated to running for beginners and for those who have been running forever.  Next week is clean eating with a guest blog post from The Clean Eating Geek!

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Tomorrow’s post will be from Jen The Marathon Mom.  Jen is a RRCA certified run coach and NASM certified personal trainer working with both in person and virtually training clients of all levels to complete their first 5K or set a PR at a marathon, and she has a great post for us beginning runners and experienced runners tomorrow.  Obviously, I’ve had a sneak peek at her post, and I’m taking every bit of information and applying it to my running.  I know it will help me a ton.  By the way, I know I’m being a total snot for baiting you like this Smile with tongue out.

Workout Wednesday

Today’s workout is designed to give you strong running legs, or just strong legs in general.  I have taken the exercises Jill Conyers gave us on Monday and put them into a workout along with some other great leg strengthening exercises.  For this workout you will be doing supersets.  Each superset consists of 2 exercises. Do 3 sets of each super set before moving on to the next (each superset is in a white rectangle). In between each superset is an optional short core exercise section. Remember to stretch after your workout!
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Jill Conyers Guest Post–Part 1!!

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Today’s post is comes from Jill Conyers!  This post deals with helping you stay injury free as a runner.  In her next guest post (part 2) Jill will have the answers to the rest of the amazing questions everyone asked.

Guest Post by Jill Conyers

People seem to often think running is synonymous with knee problems. I have been running since 2006 and I am happy to say I’ve been knee-problem and pain free. My husband is an ultra runner (he runs distances beyond 26.2) who started running in 2005. He has stayed almost entirely injury free! Knees included!

Based on my experience and research, running does not automatically mean you’re going to have knee problems. My advice? Do what you can to avoid injury and stay healthy overall including your knees. What I mean is train smart.

  • based on your where you are with your running have a plan and follow it
  • don’t over train.
  • REST!
  • cross train
  • strength train

I was specifically asked about how to strengthen your knees for running. I’m not aware of any exercises that can strengthen the knee specifically but there are exercises that can be done to strengthen the surrounding muscles (the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles) and help prevent knee and other running related injuries.

Use the following simple leg exercises to begin your lower-body strengthening program:

Bodyweight Squats (Muscle: Quadriceps):

1. Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width and your toes turned out slightly. Your hands are by your sides with your palms facing inward. Pull the shoulders down your back toward your hips.

2. Engage your abdominal/core muscles to stabilize your spine. Keep your chest lifted and your chin parallel to the floor. Shift your weight back into your heels as your hips begin to push toward the wall behind you.

3. Begin the downward phase by hinging at the hips, shifting them back and down. Your hips and knees bend simultaneously. As you lower your hips the knees bend and will start to shift forward slowly. Prevent your knees from extending forward past the toes. Keep the abdominals/core muscles engaged and your back flat.

4. Continue to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor. Avoid dropping your hips below your knees.

5. Keep the knees aligned with the second toe and body weight evenly distributed between the balls and heels of both feet. If you can view this from the side, your shinbone should be parallel with your torso and the low back should appear flat or may be showing the beginning of some rounding.

6. While maintaining the position of your back, chest and head and with the abdominals engaged, exhale and return to start position by pushing your feet into the floor through your heels. The hips and torso should rise together. Keep the heels flat on the floor and knees aligned with the second toe.

Stability Ball Hamstring Curl (Muscle: Hamstring)

1. Lie on your back on a mat, placing the backs of your lower legs and heels on the top of a stability ball . Your feet should be lined up with your hips and your toes pulled slightly toward the ceiling. Gently contract your abdominal/core muscles to flatten your low back into the floor. Try to hold this gentle contraction throughout the exercise. Extend your arms out to your sides with palms turned to the floor to help stabilize your body during the exercise.

2. Gently exhale. Keeping the abdominals engaged, lift your hips up off the floor. Press the backs of your lower legs and heels into the ball for additional stability. Do not lift the hips so high that the low back begins to arch. Your abdominal contraction will also help avoid excessive arching in the low back. Continue to press upwards until your body is in a straight line from your heels to your shoulder blades.

3. Exhale. Slowly bend your knees and pull the ball toward your hips until you can rest the soles of the your feet on top of the ball. Your toes may point away from your body in this movement. The hips will continue to lift as you pull the ball toward your hips. Keep the torso stable.

4. Inhale. Slowly press the ball away from your hips until the knees are straight, stabilizing with the core, hamstrings, glutes and arms. Repeat for a prescribed number of repetitions and slowly lower yourself back towards your starting position.

Calf Raises (Muscle: Calves)

1. Position your feet shoulder-width apart, side-by-side, with your toes pointed forward or slightly outward. Shift your weight over your heels.

2. Exhale and slowly raise your heels off the floor, allowing your entire body leaning slightly forward to maintain balance. Do not lose your alignment, especially in the hips and low back. Keep your knees straight and abdominals strong. Continue rising until your weight is on the balls of your feet. Hold this position briefly.

3. Inhale and slowly lower your heels back to the floor. Shift your weight back into your heels and stand up tall.

Glute Bridge (Muscle: Hips)

1. Lie on your back on an exercise mat or the floor in a bent-knee position with your feet flat on the floor. Place your feet hip-width apart with the toes facing away from you. Gently contract your abdominal muscles to flatten your low back into the floor. Attempt to maintain this gentle muscle contraction throughout the exercise.

2. Gently exhale. Keep the abdominals engaged and lift your hips up off the floor. Press your heels into the floor for added stability. Avoid pushing your hips too high, which can cause hyperextension (arching) in your low back. Keeping your abdominals strong helps to prevent excessive arching in the low back.

3. Inhale and slowly lower yourself back to your starting position.

Final Notes:

Start with 1 set (8 reps) of each move gradually increasing reps and/or sets as you get stronger. If that is too much decrease the number of reps and gradually build up to 8. If you’re fitness level means 8 reps was too easy increase the reps to 10 or increase the number of sets. Most importantly start from where you are!

Start with strength training 2 days per week. Increase to 3 days if time permits and as get stronger.

Lastly, keep track of your strength training. Nothing motivates more than seeing the numbers that show your progress.

I’m a wife, mom of 2, full-time psychologist, Swiftwick, FitFluential, Fit Approach and Girl Gone Sporty Ambassador that is passionate about running, plant-based nutrition, fitness and an overall healthy lifestyle.  I believe living a healthy life is not about perfection. It’s about commitment, effort and progress!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at jillconyers@gmail.com

You can also find me at:


I am not a licensed nutritionist, dietician or fitness trainer. I’m simply a healthy and fitness enthusiast who enjoys sharing information, experiences and ideas. Views expressed in this article are based on my own personal research and experiences. Please consult your doctor with any medical issues, or before beginning a training program.