Monthly Archives: October 2014

Lauren Sesselmann’s Soccer-Inspired Workout Moves

When Lauren Sesselmann is training, she focuses on agility and explosive-type training to help her on the field.  She also does a lot of strength training because she is a defender.  Not only does this training help to develop a strong soccer player, but it’s also a great workout for anyone.  Try some of Lauren’s favorite moves to help you get a strong and toned body.

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Running Pyramid

A running pyramid involves interval training in which the more difficult intervals get progressively longer as you move up the pyramid and then shorten as you move down the other side of the pyramid.  Lauren loves these because they help her to get the cardio and endurance needed for soccer.  Because a running pyramid is done in intervals, you burn more calories than you would running at a steady pace.

Speed Ladder

Speed ladders are used for soccer training because they help players to practice sudden direction changes, which are required often in soccer.  In addition to being a good cardio workout, doing a speed ladder can help improve your speed, balance and strength.

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Box Jumps

Lauren loves doing box jumps because they help her with explosiveness on the soccer field.  Box jumps are a plyometric exercise, so they help to improve your agility while burning fat.  Box jumps are also great for strengthening your legs and core.

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Burpees

One of Lauren’s favorite moves is the burpee.  Burpees boost your heart rate to burn more calories, and can help to develop endurance.  They also work your total body to help build strength and don’t require any equipment.

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Tuck Jumps

Lauren is a fan of tuck jumps because they’re high intensity and require constant movement, which translates onto the field. Because tuck jumps are a plyometric movement, they work well as part of a HIIT routine.   They’re also a great way to help strengthen your legs and lift your booty.

5 Best Core Moves for Your Body

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Laura McDonald

You’ve probably heard how important it is to work on your core, but what exactly is your core? Laura McDonald, an ACE-certified personal trainer, explains that the core refers to the layers of muscles that surround your mid-section and are involved in every move we make. She says that the core acts as a link between the upper and lower body and, when it is not strong, we are prone to experiencing issues like back pain, poor spinal alignment, bad posture, hip and knee pains and even weight gain in the midsection. Laura points out that typical core exercises like crunches don’t work all of the necessary core muscles like the obliques, which are arranged diagonally, and the  erector spinae which run up the length of the spine.  Here are her favorite moves for strengthening all of the core muscle groups.

Forearm Plank

Laura’s Instructions: Get on your forearms and toes, placing your elbows directly underneath your shoulders, forearms extended forward and hands flat. Lift your body off the ground, keeping a straight line from head to heels. Imagine a big long board, or plank. Hold for at least 15 seconds, rest and repeat several times. Once you can successfully hold this several times, try adding on increments of 5-10 seconds until you can hold for a full minute.

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Leg Drops

Laura’s Instructions: Lie on your back, with your legs extended in the air and arms at your sides, palms flat (You can place your palms under your butt for more stability.) Slowly lower your legs toward the ground and lift back to the starting position. Go as low as you can without your back popping up. Bends your knees a little if you need to and keep abs engaged and back pressed into the ground. Repeat up to 10 times and add on more as you get stronger.

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Side Plank Hip Dip

Laura’s Instructions: Lie on your left side with your knees straight and prop your upper body up on your left palm underneath your left shoulder. (Don’t let your head sink into your shoulder.) Brace your core by contracting your abs and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Once stable, lower left hip towards ground and then raise back to start position. Switch sides. Repeat up to 10 times and add on more as you get stronger.

Roll-Up

Laura’s Instructions: Lie on your back with your legs extended, feet flexed toward you and arms overhead. Inhale, then exhale as you roll up one vertebrae at a time, bone by bone, while looking towards your belly button and engaging the core muscles, reaching towards your toes. Keep your shoulders pulled away from your ears. As you reach the top of the move, create a C shape with your spine. Inhale, then exhale as you slowly lower back to the starting position, each vertebrae like a string of pearls, one bead at a time. If this is too difficult at first, bend knees slightly and grab behind thighs to assist you.

Skull-Smashers

Laura’s Instructions: I love this kickboxing style move. Stand in a staggered position with your left leg out a few feet in front of your right leg. Raise arms overhead and imagine grabbing someone/something by the head and “smashing” it down towards your right knee as you drive your  right knee and hands towards each other. Keep your hips tucked in a little, engage the core and inhale when arms are overhead, exhale as you smash. Repeat 20 times and switch sides. Build up more reps when you’re ready.

How to Stay Active During Your Pregnancy

Exercising while you’re pregnant can increase your energy, reduce discomfort and even improve labor! Emma Moyer, blogger at Be Mom Strong, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor and mom of two, says working out during pregnancy helped give her a boost of energy.  She says staying active throughout her pregnancy  also helped her to avoid gaining unnecessary weight, maintain a positive attitude and cut down on back pain.  Follow her tips for staying active during pregnancy.

Start Exercising Before You Get Pregnant

Emma says it’s important to start exercising before you get pregnant. This can help with conception, and also ensures that your body is in its best shape during the early stages of pregnancy.  She points out that even just getting out and walking everyday can have a great effect on mom and baby’s brain development.

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Pay Attention to How You Feel

Emma stresses that it’s really important to listen to your  body when you’re working out during pregnancy, and to stop if you experience any pain or symptoms your doctor has warned you about.  Check with your doctor, and consider switching to a more low-impact activity if you get the okay.  Emma also says to not go by the age-old tale of staying below a certain heart rate and, instead, focus on how you feel.  She also recommends avoiding higher impact activities if you are at risk of falling.

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Go Low-Impact

You don’t need a high-impact activity to get a great workout.  Emma says that walking every day is a great activity to keep up while you are pregnant.  She also suggests yoga, pilates and barre classes because they are low impact.  These activities also help to keep you strong, which can help reduce discomfort during pregnancy and prepare your body for labor.  Swimming and dancing are other low-impact options.

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Try Tabata

If you’re feeling great and get the okay from your doctor, Emma suggests trying Tabata training.  Tabata training is a four-minute round that consists of 20 seconds of activity followed by 10 seconds of rest that is repeated eight times during the four-minute round.  Emma says Tabata is great because it’s quick and super effective.

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Prepare for Labor

Emma says that squats help to build the muscles necessary for labor, while boosting your backside!  She also says that pelvic floor exercises are great for preparing for labor.  Try kegals and pelvic tilts.

 

Looking for a prenatal workout routine?  Try the Fit Mama Prenatal Workout!