Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July everybody! As you know The Fourth of July is the holiday that really kicks off summer and is always surrounded by family, friends and “food”! The ritual of a family get together and food goes back even before 1776.  This ritual was established because back in the day families worked for food and basic survival. So coming together and sharing a meal was the ultimate communion. Well today most of us are blessed to have our basics covered.  So I throw out to you a different form of family get together. Create a ritual of activity with your family. Create an annual bike ride. Create a Fourth of July hike or a softball game.  Something even extreme as a family river trip, a  rock climbing adventure or my favorite, a family surf trip or annual ocean paddle. I have these huge soft top long boards that are 12 feet long!  Every year I try to get as many family and friends to do a paddle to the pier and back where I live.  It’s a long paddle and takes a couple hours. Some paddle ocean kayaks and load them up with family. The comradery that comes from this is incredible.  The bonding of a family “work out” goes far beyond breaking bread.  I have had families from different areas bike from where they lived to a neutral camping spot. Some families rode seven days.  Once there, the shared experiences and stories of everyone’s journeys are moments that last a life time and exceed far beyond a nice meal shared together. Anyway, just food for thought....

The Ultimate Butt Blaster Series: Exercise #3

Here is the third exercise in Butt Blaster Series: V-lift. It is both a stretch and a strength exercise.  Here is how you do it: Stand in a V stance (a V stance: this means stand tall, abs engaged, feet pointed outward, and legs slightly wider then your shoulders so you’re making a giant V) while holding medium resistance dumbbells – try 10 lbs to start.  The dumbbells should be held with your palms facing in, the weights touching the front of your thighs. Slightly bend your knees, but keep your back straight and shoulders back.  Now, you want to bend over, but bend from the hip keeping your back completely straight.  The dumbbells that are touching your front thighs almost scrape your body, and follow exactly your toe line all the way down to the floor or as far as your able. Keeping your stomach engaged and your butt lifted, feel your hamstrings stretch all the way out and open up as you stretch towards the floor.  Once you have reached the bottom of the rep pause for a beat, for 5 to 10 seconds, and breathe – but stay tight! Now, leading with the top of your head; squeeze your butt, squeeze your stomach, and lift the dumbbells back up close to your body.  Remember, back straight, and slowly straighten up to your starting position.  At the top of the rep, softly push the dumbbells into your thigh while lifting your butt, not your heels, and squeeze for 5 seconds.  Repeat the sequence slowly for 15 reps. Quick recap of key points: Use your butt, not your...

The Ultimate Butt Blaster Series: Exercise #2

On to the second exercise of the ” Butt Blasting Series “: Dumbbell Step Ups This exercise is a bit more anaerobic in nature and requires major focus. With a medium weight dumbbell in each hand, say 10 lbs, put your right foot flat up on a bench or box.  Roll your shoulders back and engage your upper back, not neck, to hold the dumbbells. Now, with stomach tight, slowly stand up engaging the right butt and entire right foot.  Don’t push up from your toes or knees. Stand all the way and squeeze your butt @ the top of the rep by pointing your opposite toe – but don’t lock out your right knee. Now, slowly come down, counting 5 seconds or even 10 seconds, back to your starting position and repeat the same sequence with the same leg for 15 reps. This should burn like crazy! If it doesn’t, you’re not going slowly enough; you’re bouncing.  So, maybe lower the weight of the dumbbells or lower the height of the bench or box with a step.  If it truly gets too tough, you can spot yourself by bouncing just a little bit off the bottom, but never forget to squeeze @ the top of the rep and keep that foot flat the whole time. Do 15 reps each leg but don’t interchange your leg. You should do 15 reps on one leg and then 15 reps on the other. You want to feel this right in the dimple of your butt cheek.  You should be able to take a magic marker and draw a target on your...

The Ultimate Butt Blaster Series: Exercise #1

Hi everyone!  I always get questions on how to slim and trim the butt.  I also get questions on how to shape the butt – give it a lift.  So I am going to address all these questions in a series I created for you called “The Ultimate Butt Blaster Series“.  These three exercises will shrink, tone, and shape your butt like never before!  I will create a separate post for each exercise in the series and will post them one at a time for you –  Note: This is not an easy routine.  These are advanced exercises that require coordination and a pretty good starting level of fitness. Exercise #1: Rocket Jump Squat Loosely straddle three stacked steps, a box, or low bench with your feet flat on the floor, but toes slightly pointed out so that your inner thigh is engaged.  Slowly lower into a squat position leading with your butt, keeping your chin straight, and toes behind your knees until you almost touch the step, box, or bench with your butt. Next, make sure your abs are engaged and leap into the air, landing on top of the step, box, or bench with your feet together.  Try to land gracefully, softly, and quietly like a cat.  This will instantly incorporate and recruit all the right muscles. Now, slowly lower down into a squat position and then slowly come up, but in the last 10% of your up motion, jump off the step and jump down, making sure to control your landing and catch your fall like a cat – again, landing with your butt and not...
Find Your Flow

Find Your Flow

What is your flow? It is the place where time seems to slow down and everything falls in to place, it is *“completely focused motivation and characterized by complete absorption in what one is doing.” As a surfer, I feel it when I’m on the water. It is a place where the mind-body connection is one. How do you tap in to your flow? I have been teaching this secret to all my clients for over 15 years. The secret is the synergy of change you create when you connect all the elements of fitness together. These elements are the body, mind, spirit, energy, and nutrition. You must begin empowering your body to succeed by challenging your mind to be honest, positive and committed to your result. Here is an incredible and simple exercise that will open up a new perspective and energy for your training. With a new perspective come new results and this exercise practiced before workouts, eating or anytime throughout the day, will act as the catalyst for your success. So here is what you do… First of all begin to clear your mind. Put your cell phone on silent (not so simple for MANY of us- but time un-connected is important), turn the music or TV off, and be in a place where you can concentrate with no interruptions. No judgments here simply play along and commit to the exercise. Close your eyes and take five deep breaths through your nose and out your mouth. Each breath is deeper than the first. Take your time with this and please commit. Building the mind/body connection will...

It’s All About Commitment!

Yes, this is my belly.  And no, I did not get it by doing 8 minutes abs! I keep getting these e-mails about seeing in the media how the perfect body requires little effort and no time.  With my schedule, I still find 30 minutes, four days a week dedicated just specifically to stomach work.  And that’s just the abs!  Finding time for the rest of the body and cardio is a schedule battle everyday for me. Like yesterday.  I just could not train the entire day, from start to finish.  So I am lying in bed still thinking about not finding that time.  I let it go and fall asleep.  But even though I did not train I was still thinking about it; I was still connected to my body. Hey, life happens, I get it – but stay connected on any level possible.  You’ll find when you’re not connected and you miss one workout, one turns into two, then three, and you just start slipping.  I know I preach this a lot but I do because it is important.  If you want a good body, then fitness has to be a lifestyle; something that is a part of you day-in and day-out.  You’ll find when we get older this connection is vital!  As we know, gravity kicks in after 35 and snapping back in shape gets harder and harder.  But on the opposite side, we are also wiser and know our bodies and how we can be more efficient with our training and nutrition. Point is, we need to keep it real.  When we have a certain...

The Side Bridge

Hi, here is a great  exercise for everyone.  It’s from the yoga world and one of my all time favorites, the Side Bridge.  I love it because it works so quickly and effectively on all the parts of our abdominal area we so desperately try to maintain.  The abdominal area being our lower back, sides, obliques, and stomach.   This literally hits them all in one exercise! Some times if I had a crazy day and no time to do anything with my body I will do side bridges before I go to bed.  I actually feel like I didn’t lose the entire day and still got a little something in.  It’s all the little “somethings” that add up and keeps our bodies and minds in shape.  Of course, if you can get a full dose of exercise, fantastic! OK, here is how to do a Side Bridge: 1.  Lie on one side, with legs straight and ankles on top of each other like the picture of yours truly. 2.  Support the upper body by keeping the elbow directly beneath the shoulder. 3.  Being careful not to let the top hip rotate forward, engage the abdominals and use the torso to lift the hips up, parallel to the floor. 4.  Hold this position for as long as you can, maintaining a neutral neck and spine position. When your feel like you can’t hold it anymore, well this is when I say “Tighten your skirt up Mary, suck it up and count to ten!”  Seriously though, really hold it for an additional ten seconds to really get that peak contraction.  This...