Movemo Challenge: Fit For Love

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Photo Credits : Destination Photographers CandidTales

Movemo fans, meet Zara and Jonathan.  Rarely, do I ever highlight friends and family, but their Fit for Love story was too good not to share.  A couple months ago, they asked if I could help them with some fitness tips before their wedding in November (congrats again!).  Immediately I thought they were asking for tips to lose weight and get leaner before the big day.  I was blown away by their request, because instead of asking for some fitness tips for their own personal health, they asked if I could share tips to improve the health and fitness of those they cared most about – their friends and family.

Cheers to Fit for Love – a series of quick fitness exercises that Jonathan and Zara’s friends and family can try out to improve their health, energy and fitness before the big day.  Dare to move more and dare to love.

Movemo Challenge: Fit for Love Part 1

Shoulder Taps

Position yourself on the floor in a push up position.  Keep your core tight and try your hardest not to sag your hips or arch your lower back.  Envision your head, back and hips creating a perfect line.  Once you’ve achieved this plank position start moving and shifting side to side as you keep one arm posted lift the other to tap your shoulder.  Continue these shoulder taps for 10 to 20 reps.  This exercise will help strengthen your core as well as your triceps and deltoid muscles in your arms and shoulders.

Squat Thrusts

Keeping yourself in plank position, now switch more of a lower body exercise as you keep both your arms planted and push off both feet and thrusting them forward to about the same position as your hips.  Perform a mini-squat then immediately push back off and extend your feet back into the full plank position.

V-sits

This exercise is a little tougher and requires a bit more core strength, but it is a create exercise for working out your upper and lower abdominals.  Laying on your back fully extended, raise your upper torso and legs simultaneously and use your hands to tap your feet or ankles.  Make sure your arms and feet meet halfway (don’t cheat and raise your legs 80% of the way so your upper torso only has to raise 20%) to make the most out of this exercise.

Movemo Challenge: Fit for Love Part 2

Exercises (Level 1)

Torso Elevated Plank

Using a bench or elevated step, get into a plank position with your face faced down and your weight resting on your forearms and toes.  Keep your back of the head, back, hips and leg as straight as you can and hold that position for 10-20 seconds.  By elevating your upper torso on a bench or step, it makes the exercise easier, allowing you to build strength and endurance until you’re ready to take it up a notch.

Bulgarian Split Squat

This is a split squat, only with your rear foot elevated on a bench or step.  Lifting your rear foot higher increases the range of motion, which makes the exercise a little tougher than a traditional split squat.  Try 10 of these on each leg for a total of 20 split squats.

Dumbbell Push Press

Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand holding them at your sides of your shoulders.  Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed forward, knees unlocked.  Push your hips back slightly and then snap your hips forward.  Use the momentum of your hips to push the weights up and off your shoulders straight above your head.  Lower the weights and go right into the next repetition.

Exercises (Level 2)

Exploding Plank Push Ups (Torso Elevated & Lower Body Elevated)

From a plank position, slightly lower your body then push off, explode and get some air time.  Brace your arms and chest for impact as your reset and continue to perform exploding push ups.  Perform this 5-10 times.

Jumping Bulgarian Split Squats

Adding a bit of dynamic action, from the single squat position, push off and explode into a jumping split squat.  Perform this 5-10 times on each leg and switch.

Dumbbell Cleans to Push Presses

Start from a full squat position with the dumbbells resting on the ground.  Keeping your back straight, lift up from the squat while holding onto the dumbbells.  At the top of the motion, load the dumbbells to your shoulders and perform a push press just as before.  Repeat 5-10 times.

Movemo Challenge: Fit for Love Part 3

Frankensteins:

Lay on your back with legs fully extened and place both hands on your thighs.  Using your stomach and core strength try sitting up while sliding your hands from your thighs all the way toward your ankles (or top of your feet if you can reach that far).  Perform ten of these.

Arnold Press:

Load both dumbbells onto your shoulders, press the dumbbells up and above your head and then lower them down until your arm makes a 90 degree angle.  Once lowered, rotate your arms inward to the middle of your chest and try and clap the dumbbells together.  Then bring them apart, load the dumbbells straight with your shoulders again and perform the press. Perform 5-10.

Side lunge to inverted lunge:

Reciprocate between side and inverted lunges. When performing a side lunge, make sure to keep your back straight and core tight. Try to lunge and lower to where the top of your thigh becomes parallel to the floor. Repeat 5-10 times per leg then switch.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please email Matt at matthew@movemofitness.com.  That’s it for now.  Please stay tuned for next month’s installment of Fit for Love Part 3.

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My Love Affair…With Fitness

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(Photo above: P.S. We’ve been bicep kissing WAY before Kaepernicking…)

Your eyes meet. They flash that smile. You feel your heart race.

Remember your first crush? Remember the spark of adrenaline when you were with them? Remember the way you wanted to know everything about them? The way you couldn’t wait to talk to them? The way you wanted to spend everyday with them? Yeah, you do.

There is this ingrained formula we tend to follow when creating relationships. The initial introduction. The excitement of meeting someone new. The general enjoyment of being in their presence. The continual involvement to be in their presence. Finally, you get to the point where they begin to be part of your everyday life.

When we like someone, it’s human nature to want to know everything and anything about them. When we enjoy our time with someone we try to incorporate them in all that we do. The relationship then becomes hard to hide and the want to share how awesome they are and how awesome you feel when you’re with them becomes the hot topic in every conversation.

I found this same formula apparent in my “relationship” with fitness.

Yeah, you can say it. I had a fitness love affair.

I met fitness during an enlightening part of my life. I was rediscovering myself and exploring different avenues to channel my energy. Fitness was there to comfort me. The more I involved myself with fitness the more I realized small changes in the way I perceived and lived my life. I was happier, more energetic and motivated to take on challenges.

However,  most people enter their fitness relationship skipping the general enjoyment part. They often associate fitness as this obligation they have to do in order to live a certain life or look a certain way. We read magazines and blogs about how fitness is a lifestyle. And in order for fitness to become part of our “lifestyle”, we need to incorporate it into our everyday routine. I guess this is the part where fitness becomes a little daunting. Just like any other, commitment is often the telling factor of a relationship’s endurance. And to most, the thought of measuring our commitment is a bit scary. Will I be good enough? Can I actually do this? Will I be really happy? Am I doing this for the right reasons?

For me, my commitment to fitness was found through the discovery of self worth. I realized that when my body was healthy I was healthy. So making the commitment to fitness came naturally. Now I realize that’s not the case for everyone. But if we take a step back and truely ask ourselves what commitment to fitness means to us, what it stands for in our lives, then we can begin aligning our fitness goals to our lifestyle.

Guest Post Submitted by Michelle Dela Cru

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