Tag Archives: back

Posture in the Workplace

We invited Wayfair to share their graphic and article about how to keep good posture in the workplace. We hope you enjoy it!

If you’ve ever had to sit at a desk for several hours at a time, you know what it’s like to constantly shift in your seat in search of the most comfortable position. Fortunately, there are all kinds of methods you can use to help improve your posture at your desk. That’s why Wayfair asked the experts to put together a helpful guide on ergonomic seating. It talks about everything from posture to ergonomic accessories to exercises you can use to help improve your comfort throughout your day!

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How to Increase Your Pull-Up Game

Pull-ups can be one of the most difficult exercises–especially for adult-aged women. It’s also funny and frustrating that they are also one of the most simple exercises out there. If you’ve been following us on our summer fitness journey, you know that one of my summer goals is to do four pull-ups in a row. Right now, I’m at two. However, I’m doing grueling workouts (still feeling it everywhere) in order to get to that goal. Do the exercises below to increase your pull-up game (if you’re brand new to pull-ups, we have something for you too!). Remember that we’re going for strength here so keep the number of reps low

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Bring the Sexy to Your Back Workout

From one person to the next, people want nice backs. Whether you’re male or female, a sexy, strong back is desirable. It’s not hard to get there! All it takes is time, effort, and perseverance. For more than cosmetic purposes, having a strong back is incredibly useful in everyday life. We will outline a great back workout in a gym to get you that back you’ve been wanting. Please ask questions below if you are unsure about a particular exercise. We enjoy this workout because it hits all parts of our back. We also enjoy it because we did this workout together! Find a workout buddy–it keeps up the level of fun and motivation!

Quick Workout Summary

  • Seated cable rows
  • Lat pull downs 
  • Pull-ups
  • T-bar rows
  • Straight-arm pull down
  • 1-arm row
  • Rack pulls
  • Back extensions

1. Seated cable rows. The reps and sets all depend on what you’re going for. I usually do 4 sets of 1-5 reps for strength. If you’re going for muscular endurance, try 12+ reps. This applies for the rest of the workout. Make sure to isolate your back, and just pull with your arms. 

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2. Lat pull downs. Make sure you’re not using your whole body to pull it down, but instead using your arms to once more isolate your back. And don’t pull it behind your head!

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3. Pull-ups or assisted pull-ups. Make sure you go through these with every last bit of juice in you. These are pull-ups, not chin-ups. What’s the difference? Pull-ups have your knuckles facing you, chin-ups having them facing away from you. 

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4. T-bar rows. Not every gym has this, so we are lucky to be able to use it. It’s a lot of fun! Make sure your body is tight and strong as you row it towards yourself. If you don’t have a T-bar, try using a regular old barbell.

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5. Straight-arm pull down. Make sure your arms are straight on this one and you use your back rather than your triceps. 

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6. 1-arm row. Try to lean against something to give yourself more of a challenge and a way to stabilize your other muscles. Go hard!

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7. Rack pulls. For this one–first off–you need to be making a cute face like Hungry is making. Second, make sure the bar in the squat rack is in the right location so that you can do a small pull and then release it slowly back to the bar. It should make some noise and it should be heavy because this is a small movement.

Rack pulls

Rack pulls

8. Back extensions. We always like to finish off with back extensions to work our lower back as well as everything else. You can do this with or without weight and make sure you are contracting the proper muscles.

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And THAT will bring sexy to your back! This was a really fun workout and it’s even more fun if you get into it and work hard. Get a great playlist ready for yourself and kill it! Each exercise is important in a certain way. It’s important to keep form at tip-top shape and keep isolating your muscles for an effective workout. Remember, we are always here for advice or questions! If you have a question, please comment below! Use this workout to stay hungry and fit!

BONUS PUPPY PIC

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Let’s Talk About Strength

I’m glad I’m not alone in this “strength revolution.” I totally just made that phrase up, but it’s true that more people (females are more so who I’m focusing on) are striving towards strength rather than being skinny. I find this to be so exciting and I am HAPPY it’s finally here. Yes, there are certainly those who just want to attain that Victoria’s Secret model-esque body, but I think we are slowly straying away from that. We are moving towards being healthy and fit with strong bodies as the portrayal of sexy bodies.

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Can I get a hoo-rah?! Of course, I didn’t always strength train. When I did sports, we would do some weight room stuff, but it was rare. Moving forward from that when I went to the gym, I would only do elliptical and maybe some weights. That slowly increased more and more to where lifting became more important than “cardio.” I honestly do not know how I could ever go to another way of working out that didn’t involve lifting. It feels so good and you see progress each week in muscle development and strength. Who could let go of that?

Although most females still focus just on yoga and running (which is fine!), it is definitely broadening to where there is some sort of strength routine once a week, which is excellent! I know I don’t like to skip lifting more than one or two days a week, but that’s just me. I have goals for this year such as squatting 200lbs, bench 100lbs, and so forth. And that’s all focused on strength.

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In our culture, females are taught to shy away from protruding muscles or muscular strength. Like that’s the “manly” thing to do and not suited for the female gender. Well that’s plain wrong and stupid. Sorry, I had to say it. I’m proud of the muscles in my back and those times my quads are showing their muscles. It shows strength, discipline, health. What’s sexier than being healthy?

Some quad action

Some quad action

So women (and men) in the world, don’t shy away from your strength. Muscles are sexy! Being a stick is no longer the cool thing to do. Take the power into your hands and lift! I promise you will feel liberated from the cardio machines if you through some lifting and machines in there. And you can start small. Start with a few exercises and watch your love for lifting develop. If you’re not sure how to start, feel free to email me at alana.ppowell@gmail.com or leave a comment below. You won’t regret it! Embrace strength and stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Cuties

Cuties

5 Ways to Stay Focused on Your Goals

If you’re one of our followers, you know I’m going through contest prep right now. It’s been a 6-week contest of cutting fat and building lean muscle, trying to create a “transformation.” Since my willpower week, the clean eating has been a cinch. Well, except when I went to Iowa for family reunion and had ice cream on a daily basis. After that vacation, it was hard to get myself as motivated as I was beforehand. I still followed a good eating plan and exercise routine but I wasn’t as into it, so I’d fall into some bad habits–mostly, it’s picking at food I shouldn’t have. We all sometimes have trouble staying focused on our goals and here are some tips to stay on track

1. Set your phone background to something motivational. I know what I want and I know how I can get it. But there’s always the gap of emotion, laziness, and impulse. This is a way to bridge that gap. Take a photo that inspires you, could be a picture of a physique you want or a place you want to get to. Whatever your goal is. Email it to your phone and set it as your background so that every time you look at it (and we all know our phones are with us 24/7). I even went and added some text to mine to remind me of my bad habit and stop my hand from snatching a little piece of something.

HOPE solo inspiration

A great motivator for me

2. Go back to the first image, post, “thing” that started you on this path. We all become inspired to complete a goal, one way or another. For me, for this goal, I was inspired by the contest page. Chris showed me the contest and he thought I could do well, maybe even win. I never thought I could win (okay maybe before I saw all the rest of the people joining), but his confidence in me and my imagination of what I could  transform my body into. It was a chance to test my willpower, to see how hard I could work. I look at that page and I feel those same feelings and I become inspired again.

3. Imagine yourself at the end. This is a huge one for me. I can feel tired after a day’s work, I can feel lazy, and make up some excuse of why I shouldn’t go 100% that day. But all it takes for me is to imagine myself at my completion, imagine what I can become, and that inspiration pops right up again. If your goal is to save enough money for a vacation to Greece, imagine yourself on the beach. If your goal is to lose those x number of pounds, imagine what you will look like, what you will feel like. I always like to imagine how strong I will become, mind, body, and spirit.

Actually developing some abs

Actually developing some abs

4. Set a schedule on your calendar. Whether you have a smart phone or a hard calendar (we have both), plan the days of your week. I used to do this a lot during college when I set up training sessions with my friends. And for this last week of the contest, I am scheduling my workouts each day. You don’t have to schedule all the way down to what exercises you’re going to do, but a general plan. Maybe back and biceps with a little cardio on Monday, Yoga and HIIT training on Tuesday, and so forth. Put it into your calendar (it’d be great if you could do reminders and alerts with your smart phone if you have one) and put the times too. Make what you want a priority, and that means making solid time for yourself.

Set a date!

Set a date!

5. Track your results. Whether that means calculating body fat percentage or watching your savings account go up, TRACK IT. Maybe you don’t see a difference (though you probably will), keep reality-based checkpoints that you can measure with. I hadn’t measured for a while and I finally did, finding that I had lost 2% body fat. It’s a great re-motivator if you feel like you’re hitting a plateau or sliding away. Find some way to track your results and goal, no matter what it is.

Seeing progress

Seeing progress

Those are 5 simple things you can do anywhere, anyhow. If you feel yourself sliding, try one of these tricks. They are sure-fire to keep you hungry and fit! 

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Kitties from the other side of the window

Kitties from the other side of the window