Monday, November 29, 2010

clam it: glute 23/30...

I've mentioned before that Mr C and I have a shared love of crosswords. We're aren't super excellent at them but we have alot of fun doing them. Yes, we do them together. And no, that isn't cheating. Its teamwork people!

I love to make silly suggestions at some of the more inane clues and Mr C always plays along and we have a right old giggle. Recently we had a clue along the lines of 'phrase that means "be quiet"'. I suggested 'clam it' as an answer because it totally fit and I would not hesitate to use this phrase to convey the sentiment. It was wrong. But we thought it was very funny and it has slowly crept into our every day language, followed by copious laughter.

During one of my pilates classes we do a series of floor exercises focussing on legs - this is one of them. And goes by the name clam exercise. Some may say this name has questionable taste but it reminded me of our new saying and is therefore deemed funny in an appropriately tangential way. It is also recommended by those fancy pants researchers I mentioned the other day. Being partial to a bit of geekiness that makes this exercise a shoe in for an awesome glute exercise.

an unapologetic self esteem booster, again from cuehapiness

Sunday, November 28, 2010

i'm shiny happy, people...

another cute thing from cuehappiness

I haven't blogged much about some of the non-weight, non-exercise related things I've noticed with all this healthy guff I've added to my life. Its been thanksgiving here in the US and its had me feeling all kinds of gratitude for my lucky dip of a life. 

Indulge me a little and let me share some of the changes I've had going on.
  • Sleep - I have never had problems sleeping but now I sleep really solidly and wake up so refreshed I yabber on to Mr C relentlessly. And, in the last month or so I have noticed a real drop in how much sleep I need to feel totally rested.
  • Skin - I hope I am not jinxing myself here but my skin has improved so much, I recently looked through some photos from a few years ago and apart from the poundage differences I was surprised at my skin condition, I had forgotten that I would regularly have a chin break out situation.
  • Mood/Energy - these two are so inter-related for me that I'll lump them together. I don't have a particularly stressful life but I would say in general I've become more of an even keel and handle the ups and downs a whole lot better.
  • Openness about food - I didn't even know how secretive I could be about food. The other day, to some random stranger in the lift, I starting talking about hungry I was and that I couldn't wait to eat lunch. It struck me that I had never done that kind of thing before and I realised, with some sadness, that I used to be a bit ashamed of eating. 
So there you go folks, I have a bucket of sunshine about my healthy endeavor, I'm keen to keep it going and discover the new shiny things to decorate my life with.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

bend and stretch: glute 22/30...

So the latest and greatest glute exercise is a stretch - none other than the hip flexor stretch. Oh, that, I hear you all say, that's not really a glute exercise.

Well my friends some fancy pants researchers beg to differ and have shown that during this stretch the old gluteus maximus is as effective as squats in terms of muscle activation.

I dig this stretch, it feels really good on pretty much every muscle between my waist and knees. Not sure that my butt is going to be smaller from it or change appearance but its all positive folks.

And, to stretch our feel-good-about-ourselves muscle here is a little positivity to dwell on.

Enjoy the weekend xx

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

kick butt: glute 21/30...

Nothing fancy here folks, just one girl kicking her butt in an attempt to make it smaller :)

There appears to be two common versions of this exercise. One where you jump from standing and try to kick your butt with your heels and one where you jog on the spot and try to, alternatively, kick one butt cheek at a time with the corresponding leg.

I did the jogging version. But only because I didn't know about the jumping version before I researched it properly. Definitely not because jumping sounds way harder than jogging :)

Anyone who does Jillian's workouts knows she loves these. So its no surprise I did them with her this morning through the magic of tv and exercise videos. She told me my form could do with some improvement but that generally I was doing ok. I'll take it with thanks Jillian.

Hope you're all out there kicking butt this week.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

fire hydrant: glute 20/30...

I must be a little slow on the uptake because I really thought I was mishearing the instructor call the next glute exercise in this prestigious list - the fire hydrant. But I googled it and it is indeed called the fire hydrant, presumably because it resembles dogs peeing on said structure.

There have been moves in this list which really hurt but this takes the cake thus far. The Glute Exercise Cake that is, what an honour if ever there was; I wonder what that cake would look like, perhaps I will call up Buddy from Cake Boss and see what he comes up with.

I was feeling my butt and saddlebags burn before I finished one of these darn things. And I felt like my hip might become dislocated. Clearly this means that I am a lady and I'm not designed to pee like that ;) But, aye, if its good for the gander its good for the goose. Or something like that.

ok, so I'm not sure what this means but lets pretend its a quirky message carved into this tree from my glutes to my saddlebags :) 

Hope you're all well and enjoying wrapping up the week.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

getting to know you, getting to know all about you: twenty questions

Inspired by SkinnyLatte, who in turn was inspired by Meet Me At Mikes...

1. Sweet or Savoury?
Sweet tooth here! I really limit my intake but a meal isn't a meal for me without dessert :) My favourites at the moment are dates, yogurt or these delicious bite sized cookies Mr C and I discovered at Whole Foods. On the savoury side, I feel like I have newly discovered a love of cheese, particularly goat's cheese, mmmm. I'd be hard pressed to choose between a good cheese and something sweet at the moment.

2. Dresses or Jeans?
Dresses! Generally I feel more "me" in skirts and dresses. But, I have recently bought two pairs of jeans (from the non-plus section no less) and they have revolutionized my wardrobe - they seem to go with everything and are incredibly comfy. 

3. House or Apartment?
Apartment, we've lived in apartments for years now and the low-fussiness of them is definitely a big plus for us. Occassionally we dream up the ideal house where we'd sit on rocking chair and watch the world go by; that is usually a stand alone house. 

4. Shop Online or Offline?
Both! I love to shop, browse and fashion-watch in real life and virtually :)

5. DVDs or Downloads?
Downloads - iTunes and Netflix are well worn in our house.

6. Cocktails or Juice?
Neither? Wine over cocktails and coffee or water over juice. However, a mimosa at breakfast is pretty hard to turn down :)

7. Chocolate or Strawberry?
Strawberry milkshakes, icecream or cake. But strawberries dipped in chocolate - a winner all round :)

8. Laptop or PC?
Macbook and iPad.

9. Magazines or Newspapers?
Magazines - but use the applications on iPad for both information sources.

10. Facebook or Twitter?
I'm on fb but not twitter, so have to say fb. 

11. CDs or MP3s?
MP3s - iTunes all the way here.

12. Kids or Pets?
Neither - yet. We feel like we have so much to do before we "settle down" and get either - but one day we will. Maybe.

13. Macaron or Cupcakes?
Macaroon! I love coconut, sweet tooth is calling!

14. Walk or Run?
Walk. I have the worst running gait you have ever seen, and I focus so much on running that I forget to breathe properly. Its just an all round disaster best left alone. Love to walk though.

15. Breakfast in Bed or Breakfast Out?
Out for sure. We are spoiled in my home town of Adelaide and have so many delicious spots - one has some fluffy ricotta blueberry pancakes that are divine - I'd eat them in bed, or anywhere, if they appeared there. But otherwise, the crumbs and spilage likelihood prevent my enjoyment of breakky in bed.

16. Market or Supermarket?
Both - I never seem to be able to get everything I want at one spot. I am on the bandwagon for buying locally though, so farmers markets or road side stalls are a big winner for me.

17. Sourdough or Grainy?
Grainy. Have recently discovered Great Harvest breads, and gotta say everything I've tried is amazing. 

18. Heels or Flats?
My vestibular apparatus is questionable, so while I look longingly at heels, its flats for me. I love a good wedge or boot with skirts and dresses.

19. Late nights or Not?
I was born into an old woman's persona - I'm an early to bed, early to rise lark.

20. Coffee or Tea?
Coffee! Nothing beats it in the morning. French press or expresso are my favs. I'll often have tea in the afternoon and have tried to be exotic and branch out but always come back to plain old liptons black tea with milk.

words of wisdom if ever there were: pic credit

Thanks for the inspiration Phil!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

pressed for time: glute 19/30...

Just a quick one folks. Checking in with glute exercise number 19 - the leg press.

This is done on a machine and my substantial research online tells me the muscle incorporation is pretty similar to a wide squat. Actually, substantial might be an overestimate, somewhat substantial? Maybe.

Anyway, I go back and forth with my feelings about using machines for exercises. Mainly because I like to think that my exercise is like squeezing real life situations into short amounts of time - for example bicep curls is the concentrated equivalent of lifting shopping in and out of the boot of my car.

And you know, there is nothing I do in my life where I sit down and push things away with my legs. I guess though, the idea of these machines is to isolate and stress particular muscles so my analogy system for valuing machines is probably debunked if not downright fraudulent ;)

Nevertheless, the leg press machine doesn't feature in my routine all that regularly. But its in my gym and it already sits in the corner not being used much, so every now and then I use it so it knows it has some love. And it does work the legs really well - and the booty now that I know how to use it properly. And it makes me feel strong - my legs have had to carry my body around for years so they can press a good weight. Yup, superhero coming atcha!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

jack flash: glute 18/30...

So the new addition to the glute exercise realm for landsoftly is the jumping squat. Similar to a squat but incorporating a jump at the end of the squatting segment. Here is more information about the jumping squat than anyone might ever need.

It was only recently that I gave the whole jumping thing a proper go. Not just for these exercises but in general, if a workout required jumping I really did a half arsed job. Putting my whole arse into jumping makes a big difference. Sure I feel daft jumping but its a no-joke way to get the heart pounding and the sweat pouring. And there is something to be said for using your own muscles to propel you up and off the ground. Who needs planes when you've got muscles? :)

I am not adverse to squats at all, I'm not able to get a low as some people but I can do a good booty flaunt without too much trouble. Jumping squats are a great way to do the same action and keep it more "cardio". I think my pace might be a little slower than others but I tried really hard to keep my form good.

So, onwards and upwards with a jump and a squat.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

its raining smiles...

Its pouring in Seattle, and its cold. And I love it. Ok, so I don't love the cold but I do love the rain. I think most Aussies do, well Adelaide-ians do; we don't get much there.

Thus when I saw this picture I saw a little blue version of myself - except, unless I'm really worried about my hair or something I'm carrying, I rarely worry about umbrellas. I never have much luck keeping anything other than my head dry with the darn things anyway.

The weather has me craving comfort dishes like soup and toast, stews, puddings and apple pie. I'm doing my best at keeping these healthy choices.

The weather does have me exercising almost exclusively indoors, so I'm doing my strides on the cross trainer and the bike. Mr C and I keep a close eye on the sky and get excited if the sun is shining so we can get a few steps outside.

Hope you're all well and enjoying rain, hail or shine where ever you might be.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

core blimey: glute 17/30...

As discussed a few posts ago I have been trying out some new resistance strengthening exercises. I researched the Exhale series of Core Fusion workouts and read pretty amazing things and thought I'd give one of them a go. I tried the Body Sculpt dvd (side note: I actually rented it from Amazon and had it download to my TiVo, how freaky cool is that!?!).

I didn't really know if any of the exercises in this workout would be strictly "glute" exercises before doing it but the answer is an undeniable yes. To the point where the next day my butt was sore to the touch. Even the weight of my plush lounge pants strained the poor things.

The workouts are demonstrated by a couple who are quite remarkable, in retrospect I am wondering if they are even human. They were so serene, flexible and strong that I suspect they have a superior set of muscles under their "skin". I always clap myself at the end of a workout and send out a thanks to the demonstrator; after this one I was so grateful it was over but so puffed I couldn't speak and so shakey my hands could not come together in a coordinated movement.

For anyone who is interested the workout is divided into five 10minute sessions - each concentrating on different muscle groups. You think to yourself - oh this is easy - and that thought lasts for about 30seconds and then you just want them to tell you its over. Its tough but I dare say results are worth it.

from here

At the moment I am not sure its for me, but I'll keep you posted.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

stairway to saddledoom: glute 16/30...

I have several glute exercises that I need to blog about but one I tried on the weekend needs special mention pronto.

This past weekend whilst visiting two of the loveliest canucks in all the land I found myself amongst the masses of crazed fans and halloween-ers at an ice hockey game. I hadn't been to a game before and loved every second of it.

I think it was Dolly Parton who said "the higher the hair, the closer to god". Well the same goes for ice hockey seats :) We were way way up overlooking the rink and everyone else in the arena. Was great for some people-watching and trying to work out if the numerous mullets were being sported as part of halloween costumes or were part of the local favour - I think it was exclusively the former but it was fun to speculate.

None the less, the hike up to the seats involved many many stairs - I am going out on a limb and guesstimating at least one million stairs were involved :) One of my dear companions suggested the stair climb could classify as a glute exercise. And then when I discovered the arena was called the Saddledome, it was impossible to ignore the call of this worthy bun-master workout.

And so, glute exercise number 16 is the stair climb. I do stairs just like everyone else - just one after the other, no fancy double step taking for me. But I must admit after realising the potential of the climb to our seats I concentrated a little more on using those maximi glutes to propel me up those steps. I was definitely feeling warm when we sat down but I can't say my glutes were making any noise - perhaps next time I will climb two million stairs and beat the saddle bags into submission :)

I had actually planned out my week so that I had two rest days whilst I was away, so I feel extra smug that I snuck this exercise in :) My glutii and every part of me sends out a big thanks to Mr and Mrs Canuck for an awesome weekend.

a likeness of Mr and Mrs Canuck: seen here