Category Archives: Fit and Fabulous

Move-it Monday: Fit and Fab (#2) + Punches

Okay, so you guys were a wee bit shy about our first ever Fit and Fabulous from a couple of weeks ago…which I totally understand.

It’s a bit daunting to link up pics of yourself in workout gear if that’s not already your thing.

So, here’s the deal: I’m going to show you my favorite workout outfits and what I do in them, and I will provide a linky for you to join in at any point that you feel up to it. The linky will stay open all week. If it helps you to be held accountable this way or you feel like you can motivate others by linking up, I would love, love, LOVE (subtle, right?) for you to do it.

If you don’t want to post pics but do want to tell us about your exercising adventures in the comments section…also fantastic.

If you just want to read, well, that’s also good. 

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Between this week’s outfit and the last one, you’re probably thinking that all I do is wear screamin’ bright colors to get my sweat on. But, actually, the opposite is true. The Les Mills instructors at our gym sort of, kind of have a uniform for the different formats we teach. Body Pump = mostly red + black, Body Combat = more red + black + maybe a pop or two of dark green thrown in for wild craziness.

So, while lime green is usually so far off my radar that I wouldn’t even consider pairing it with my pasty white skin, when I saw this little number at Academy for $5 (originally $50!!), I decided I would buy it and ask my skin for forgiveness later.

Also, these long shorts are what I wear pretty much every time I kick-box (the better to not flash anyone when I whip out a roundhouse), but hot pink doesn’t exactly say, “I’m tough and will kick your tushy into shape,” and I’ve got a reputation to uphold, y’all. At the gym, anyway. Here, though, I’m just that girl who likes to thrift and talk a lot. So…blindingly pink shorts it is.

Today, I thought I’d show you the four punches you would see over and over again if you took my Body Combat class (and do over and over again if you already take my class; hello, lovely gym-girls/guys!). If you’ve read along for a while now, then you know that BC is kind of my happy place exercise. It puts a huge smile on my face every single time.

So, if you want to join in from your living room, here are the basics:

1. The Jab

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From Combat stance (what I’m standing in in the first pic with one leg forward and feet apart), punch straight forward with your front arm, twisting your fist so that your thumb is down and your knuckles face up.

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Fully extend your arm without locking out your elbow, then pull the fist back to your chin, which is your “guard.”  If you try this in the mirror, you should be aiming for your own mouth, nose, chin. Keep your chin tucked and your elbows in close to your body.

You can also do a jab from Front stance, which is just what it sounds like—a front-facing stance with the legs apart where neither leg is farther forward than the other.

2. The Cross

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The cross is essentially the same as the jab, except that it is only performed in Combat stance because it must come across (hence the name) the body. As a result, it always comes from the back arm.  Rotate the body, pulling the back shoulder to the front, and extend the arm straight forward, again cork-screwing your fist so that the thumb is down. Your aim is still for the nose, mouth, chin.

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Your back heel will lift, and you will pivot on your toe to protect your knee. After you punch, return to guard with your fists to your chin.

3.The Hook

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The hook is a power shot to the jaw, cheek, or temple. Starting from guard (fists to the chin), make a right angle (corner) with your elbow and push your fist to the side of an imaginary opponent’s head (I like to personify the dirty dishes and imagine knocking their lights out!). Return your fist to guard. You can perform a hook from the back arm (like I’m doing above) or from the front (like below).

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4. The Uppercut

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The uppercut is the only vertical punch we do. From Combat stance, drop your front shoulder, squeeze your fist, and…

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…drive it upward into your (again imaginary) opponent’s chin. Finish the punch somewhere around your nose and then come back to guard.

Avoid “swooping” which means that you drop your hand down and swing it up (if you were in a real fight, this would leave you completely “guardless” and vulnerable to being hit).

You can also do an uppercut from the back arm with all of the same principles.

Make sense? (All of it…not just the part about getting hit).

I hope so because I have yet to encounter anything else (that I enjoy doing) that has toned my arms (shoulders especially) like these four punches. 

So, here’s my challenge for you:

Try 3 sets of 5 reps each of these 4 punches in right Combat stance and then switch and repeat on the left. Do it 3 days this week. That’s a total of 120 punches each day (just as a point of reference, there’s a particular Body Combat release that has 128 jabs in one section of one song, so if 120 sounds like a lot…trust me…you’ll make it).

It’s totally normal if you feel awkward at first (and by awkward, I mean: complete-and-total spaz!). I did!

You can check out Youtube videos (just search for the punch’s name) if you feel like you’re doing something really wrong or just aren’t getting the hang of it.  Also, if this is not something you normally do, you will feel sore. Take a Tylenol and hit it again the day after.

So, there it is. Your fitness challenge for this week. You had no idea I was gonna get all bossy on you, did you?

I would love for you to tell me how it goes.  Oh, and ask questions. Lots of those. Hmm…what else? I think that’ll do it for now.

Do you have a favorite results-producing exercise that does it for you?

Now…time to link up (if you want). Be sure to link up to your specific fitness post and grab my Fit and Fab button from the sidebar so people can join in on the fun.

 

 

 

 

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Move-it Monday: Fit and Fabulous (#1)

Well, howdy! And welcome to our first ever Fit and Fabulous, the linky party that’s all about motivating and keeping each other accountable to be fitter, healthier, and stronger…and looking fab while we do it!

As a Christian, I have zero delusions about God’s caring one way or another about my measurements or the size of my muscles, but I do know that 1 Cor. 6:19 says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.”

So, for me, this linky is a public opportunity to be a good steward of my “temple” and hopefully help others do the same, whether or not they share my motivation.

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Top: Walmart, Shorts: Nike/Goodwill, Shoes: Asics Nimbus 12

Here’s my outfit choice for this week’s Fit and Fabulous Move-it Monday. Those who know me well will probably find it an odd one since I’m not usually much of a pink/purple fan, but I guess I was feeling a bit nostalgic for the days when my childhood best friend, Ronda, and I would argue about which color—pink or purple—was going to be the fave of the day. I’m pretty sure I was six.

So, what did I do while wearing this outfit? Two words: tricep pushups.  Oooooh yeah.

So, what’s the big deal with tricep pushups? Well, you know how when you’re practicing your Miss American wave in the mirror (go on, admit it), and that annoying flabby bit on the back of your arm waves back?

Well, I know. *shudder*

Tricep pushups are your surefire bet to banish the jiggle. And they’re really not much different than the ones in the standard pushup tutorial I posted a while back.

Here’s how:

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Start with your wrists under your shoulders, elbows soft.

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Here’s a side-view. Shoulders down, abs tight, neck flat, bottom down.

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Lower your chest toward the ground, sliding your elbows along the sides of your body as you do. The tighter you squeeze your elbows against your sides, the bigger the burn and the better the toning.

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Holding this position for a picture is also a great workout. Ouch!

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Modification #1: It might not look too bad in the pics, but tricep pushups are hardcore. If you go at it and find yourself unable to do more than few correctly, then give this a try. Bring your knees up under your hips, and then proceed with the steps from the standard tricep pushup.

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Modification #2: Slide your knees back a bit farther (you can also anchor your toes into the ground), making sure to brace your abs to support your lower back. Knock out a few knee pushups to get a feel for the move and then determine which option is best for you from there.

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Modification #3: For fitness freaks out there (yeah, I’m a proud card-carrying member of that club), here’s an advanced option. Find something elevated to dig your toes into, and then proceed as usual.

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This balance ball wasn’t ideal since it wasn’t fully aired up (I might have fallen off at least once), but you could also use stairs, a step riser, bleachers, or even a (sturdy) stack of books.

Even though tricep pushups are a fantastic isolation exercise for toning, they’re also fairly easy to get wrong if you’re not careful. Below are some of the most common mistakes to avoid.

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Elbows going out instead of straight back and tight against your sides.

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Are my shoe-laces tied? Now’s not the time to check. Keep your neck nice and level, never letting it fall between your shoulders…or…

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…raising your chin too high.

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Get your fanny out of the air!

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But don’t drop it down too low.

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Make sure your movement is vertical, not horizontal (no rocking forward over your toes).

And that ought to do you for starters. Try it out, and let me know what you think!

And now it’s time to par-tay!

The “Rules:”

1) Link up to your specific Fit and Fabulous post, not just your main page address.

2) Please don’t link-up any giveaways, products, or advertisements for your blog (let your fit and fabulous self be advertisement enough : )).

3) Please include the Fit and Fab button somewhere on your blog so that others can see it and join in the fun.

five days five ways | fit and fabulous

4) If you don’t have a blog, just leave a comment telling us about your workout and include a picture (using the “+ image” button on the bottom left) in the DISQUS box.

And that’s it! I can’t wait to see what you did to get your fit on!

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