I know firsthand how hard could it be sometimes to squeeze a workout in our busy and overbooked schedules. The hardest part is to get started! Regardless how crazy life is, I try not to skip my workout sessions. Who doesn’t love to feel healthy, fit and alive, with adrenaline in the blood and boosted energy levels? Given my endless love for Italian food and my sweet tooth, being active brings a perfect balance to my daily lifestyle. I have been asked to share some of my current weight training and stretching program, so I have described some of the exercises from my routine for achieving beautiful legs, arms and abs. 🙂
STRETCHING AND GYMNASTICS
Lately, I always start my workout session (after a 10 min warm-up) with yoga, splits stretching and basic gymnastics exercises. Stretching is important as it improves flexibility and increases our athletic performance. It also helps the muscles recover from soreness and injuries as it delivers a lot of blood to the muscles. Gymnastics also works extremely well the abs, as the exercises have a strong emphasis on the core.
I divide the time as: 10 min of yoga, 20 min splits stretching and 15 min exercises for back walkover (doing an acrobatic movement from a standing position to a back bridge and back to a standing position).
During the yoga and splits session, I stretch with half-splits on both legs, while bending forward and holding the poses for several minutes. I also do a stand forward bends, where I “hug” my knees tightly from a standing position. Then, I sit on the floor and I stretch my legs as far open as possible, and bend forward. This is combined with walking my hands up in front until I feel I cannot reach any further. At the end, I just add several more yoga stretching based on my mood and preference and circle them.
I have not reached the walkover part yet, but I have managed to strengthen the bridge (backhand stand) and to keep the balance with one leg up in the air. The next goal is to have the strength (and mostly courage) to push the leg back and do the actual walkover. This routine is great, because it pumps blood to all your muscles, improves your arms strength and increases the balance and flexibility. And as any other gymnastics exercise, helps achieve a slim and fit body shapes. After the initial painful splits stretching, the gymnastics are also the FUN part of my morning workout.
Next on my workout agenda are always push-ups. This is the perfect exercise for arms, shoulders and it again strengthens the core area. My routine usually consists of:
1 set x 10 full body push-ups from the ground,
3 set x 10 knees push-ups on a pad,
1 final set x 10 push-ups on knees, without the pad.
I do short breaks in between, in which I do the squat sets.
I start by doing 30 bodyweight squats, in order to warm up my legs/knees. Then I make 4 sets of squats while holding a kettlebell at the height of my chest. The first set is done by using a 6 kg dumbbell or kettlebell, for 30 repetitions. The next two sets go with holding an 8 kg kettlebell, again for 30 reps each. The last drop-set is completed with 10 kg weight, with as many reps as I can make. On average, I try to make at least 120 squats per workout.
Using kettlebells in each hand, I do lunges on a pad, for maximum stretch and muscle contraction. I typically use 6 to 8 kg kettlebells in each hand, and I do 3 sets of lunges for 8-12 reps per leg. On the last set I might do a drop-set, where after I have completed all reps that I could manage with 6-8kg kettlebells, I continue doing lunges using only my bodyweight, for about 10-15 more reps.
My workout ends always with a 30 to 45 min cardio session in the form of running either outside, or on the tread-mill. If I use the tread-mill, which is most often the case, I use elevation of only maximum 6.5 due to my troubled ankles (as a result of many years of dance sport).
I hope you have found some training inspiration here and some useful tips for your own routine. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.
The most important part is to enjoy your training, regardless of what it is, as long as you feel active, energized and healthy. 🙂