*JBrauzfit’s favorite types of cardio* (+ 8 FREE cardio workouts to try out!) 3/23/16

Many times when we think of what we are going to do for our “cardio day” we tend to dread it. Ugh..I have to get on the treadmill again and run 5-6 miles ( trust me I did this ALL the time back in DC and thank god for my headphones and the BRAVO tv station that was hooked up to the treadmill…) or maybe you end up reading a book on the elliptical…

While that may not tend to be my favorite thing to do (at least not anymore)…many of us tend to resort to that because it is easy and you don’t really have to think much when you are doing it. But is it effective?!

In many cases it is, because at least you are moving your body and that is just straight up great right there. But, are you doing it because YOU like it? Or are you doing it because everyone else does… are you getting a good sweat in once you have finished or did you not drip one ounce of sweat once those thirty minutes was up?

First, a bit of JBrauz workout philosophy…if you get some amazing enjoyment out of reading your book on the elliptical, or pumping the 3 lb weights on the bike, then keep it up. I am all about YOU enjoying your workout because that is going to make you consistent with your workouts and getting you in the gym.

However, if you are starting to get a bit frustrated with not seeing many results after doing the routine above..then it might be time to start mixing it up! So below I have included MY favorite types of cardio that get me nice n’ sweaty and I think they may do just the trick for you too! ( BONUS: they aren’t boring!)

Seriously, a girl does not have time to go into her workout dreading it. You should be pumped up (even just a little bit!) and have FUN with it. That’s what it is all about. Challenge yourself with the speeds or incline on the treadmill, race a friend or spouse sprinting up some hills, start making weird noises on the row machine.. 😯 (Okay, maybe don’t do that, but christ that shiz is hard, but so challenging and awesome),  get your kettlebell swing and jump rope on, or even get that booty in the pool! (This is an excellent low impact option for anyone and all levels, really great if you are pregnant!)

JBrauz’s Fav. Types of Cardio: 

  1. Kettlebell Swings & the Row (Erg) Machine

Superset Rowing & Swinging:

Complete 8-10 rounds:

1a) Row 250 m rowing

1b) 15 Heavy KB Swingsiphone pics 1.7.16 029

2. Hill Sprints

Complete 5-10 sprints up a big hill and lightly jog back down to your starting point. Want to make it more challenging? Complete planks (1 min) or side planks (30 sec each side) once you come back down the hill each time  😆

hill sprints

 

3. Track Sprints

Jog two laps around to  warmup

Complete 8-10 100 meter sprints and jog or walk the roundabouts.

Jog or walk 2 laps to cool down

track sprints

 

4. Treadmill sprints (Here is a sample fartlek workout!)

Warmup:1-5 min @ speed 5.0-6.0 ( depending on your comfort level)

Min: 5-8- Speed 7.0, incline 0

Min: 8-9-Speed 1.5 or 2.0, incline 0

Min: 9-11-Speed 8.0, incline 0

Min: 11-12-Speed 1.5 or 2.0, incline 0

Min: 12-13- Speed 9.0, incline 0

Min: 13-14- Speed 1.5 or 2.0, incline 0

Min: 15-16-Speed 10.0, incline 0

Min:16-17-Speed 1.5 or 2.0, incline 0

Min: 17-19- Speed 9.0, incline 0

Min: 19-20- Speed 1.5 or 2.0, incline 0

Min:20-23-Speed 8.0, incline 0

Min: 23-25: Speed 1.0, incline 0

Min: 25-30: Continue cooling down if you would like

fartlek face<—-my treadmill fartlek face   😆

 

5. Hiking

Pick a day (most likely during the weekend) to go and enjoy the outdoors! Especially if you live here in SLC, UT we have lots of lovely and beautiful hiking options to choose from! Here are some of my favs:

  • The Living Room
  • Mt. Timpanogos
  • Desolation Trail to Salt Lake Overlook
  • Lake Blanche
  • Lambs Canyon
  • Mount Olympus

view from living room hike<—-beautiful view from “The Living Room”

 

6. The Stairmaster (Stepmill)

Here is a sample Interval workout  😎

Warmup:1-5 min-level 5,6, or 7

Min:5-7-Level 10

Min:7-9-Level 2 or 3

Min: 9-11-Level 11

Min:11-13-Level 2 or 3

Min: 13-15-Level 12

Min: 15-17-Level 2 or 3

Min: 17-19: Level 13

Min:19-20: Level 2 or 3

Min: 20:00-20:30-Level 14

Min:20:30-21:00-Level 5

Min:21:00-21:30-Level 15

Min: 21:30-22:00-Level 5

Min: 22-25-Level 2 Cool down

stepmill

7. Box Jumps & Med Ball Slams

10 Box Jumps

1 Med Ball Slam

9 Box Jumps

2 Med Ball Slams

8 Box Jumps

3 Med Ball Slams

Continue going down the ladder for the box jumps until you reach 1 and continue going up the ladder for the Med Ball Slams until you get to 10! Enjoy 🙂

box jumpmed ball slam 1 med ball slam 2

8. Kettlebell Swings & Jump Rope

Complete 8-12 rounds of the following:

1a) 15 Heavy KB Swings

1b) Jump Rope fast for 30 seconds

Rest 20-30 sec and repeat

** I like to challenge myself by counting how many jumps I can do in 30 seconds and then try to up that number each time I jump rope next..try it and let me know how it goes!**

kb pic

9. SWIM!

I used to swim competitively in college and I will admit I have not gotten my butt in the pool for some time now, but once the weather gets nice out, I do like to occassionally swim at our local pool complex (where I also coach!) and they have a great outdoor pool.

Here is a sample 3,300 Workout

Warmup: 200 free, 100 choice kick, 100 pull

Mini Set: Kicking & Drills

8 x 50 (2 of each stroke)

Odd: Kick/Swim (by 25)

Even Drill/Swim (by 25)

*Main Set*

2 x 100 Fly (50 drill, 50 build to fast) @ 2:00

8x 50 Dolphin Kick with a board @ 1:00

3 x 100 Backstroke (Work the middle 50 fast) @ 2:00

6 x 50 Flutter Kick on Back @ 1:00

1 min rest

4 x 100 Breaststroke (do double pullouts off of each wall) @ 2:15

4 x 50 Breast Kick with a board @ 1:10

5 x 100 Free @ 2:00

Odd: Outside 25’s=fast

Even: Middle 50=fast

2 x 50 flutter kick with a board @ 1:00

100 ez

fly swimmin swim GW girls

 

Okay hope you enjoy these and let me know if you do one (or all 😉 ) and how it goes! Would love to hear from you.

 

XO,

JBrauz

 

 

 

Weak Glutes? Tight Hips? Cranky Knees? Meet my friend Slingy :) 3/15/16

So this is a fun little post that will be narrated by my “friend” Slingy..Slingy is the absolute best and has helped me live a more pain free lifestyle ever since he-she came into my life…

I would like for Slingy to talk a little bit more about how he-she has some great benefits…so without further adieu.

Hi guys! My name is Slingshot, but my friends call me Slingy for short 😉

slingy is everywhere<—–Yup, that’s me! I’m the blue guy… hanging over Mr. BB

I would love to talk to you today about how I can help you with any tight hip pain,cranky knees or activating your glutes. I entered Jess’ life on Christmas Day (I’m so grateful that her sister bought me) and ever since we met it has been love at first sight.

So when Jess opened up me out of the package and tried me on, she was a bit blown away as to how strong I was! Essentially she placed me above her knees and walked a bit… side to side and she was like “holy man, my glutes are burning!”. I was like “a-HA” you think I’m good when you do lateral walks…well you should try me when you hip thrust, squat or even do a pushup!

So, she decided to give me a whirl on all of those other exercises and decided I was too good to be true that she outta share me with her friends! (Her clients…;) )

SO let me just tell you why I’m awesome and why I should be your friend as well…

My benefits:

  1. Hip/Glute Activation– I’ll get your glutes burning (in a good way!) and it will feel oh so amazing. Many people have trouble firing their glutes, so I’m a sure way to help you out there! I really like to work the gluteus medius- the muscle responsible for abducting the hip. By strengthening the glute medius, you are working on stabilizing the hip and helping to maintain proper tracking in the knee joint, which reduces lateral stress on the knee.
  2. Knee Joint Stabilization– Feel like your knees cave in when you do a squat? or they are just a bit wobbly…well tell those cranky knees that I will help you out 🙂 Above anything, I don’t want you to injure yourself or receive an ACL injury!
  3. I’m versatile and I travel very well. Take me anywhere, especially on vacation or when traveling for work!

Exercises to do with me:

  1. Clamshells (I am pretty powerful though, and make this one a bit harder for you!) clamshells and slingy
  2. Glute Bridgesbanded hip thrusts
  3. Hip Thrustship thrust and slingyslingy and laura
  4. Lateral Band Walksiphone pics 1.7.16 893
  5. Standing External Rotations (Push knees out against the band-I typically will have my clients do lateral band walks and then after 10 steps each way they will do 10-15 standing Hip External Rotations! These ones reallllyyy scorch the booty!)standing hip ext rotations and slingystanding hip ext rotations and slingy 2
  6. Monster Stepsmonster steps 1 monster steps 2
  7. Squat with bandsquats and slingy

Okay, there you have it! I hope you see why I am beneficial to have in your life and JBrauz tells me that her clients rave about me all the time and many times will ask where I am if I’m not in my designated drawer! Gosh, I guess I am pretty important.

If you are looking to purchase me…you can click on my image below 🙂 (for reference, I’m an original large)

 

Hope I enter your life at some point!

Love,

Slingy

**8 Squat Variations To Try Out** 3/9/16

Some will love em’, some will hate em’, some just do them because they read in a magazine that they are good to do…

SQUATS.

Ah the wonderful full bodied exercise that gets me errrr somewhat cringing when I step up to the barbell and am ready to perform a barbell back squat.

But WHAT Jess?! You’re not allowed to say that…you’re a Personal Trainer/Coach and should like every single exercise that you do..

Well I hate to break it to you guys, but barbell back squats are not necessarily my forte and quite frankly one of MY weaknesses. One of the exercises where I don’t feel as strong in, one of the exercises where my quads feel like they are on fire when I put a heavy load on my back (and haven’t even started yet), and just overall not my fav. Yup, there I said it.

Just because you are a Trainer or a Fitness Coach and believe that a certain movement is crucial to do, (which in this case is squats and I believe are such an amazing exercise)…does NOT mean that you have to be limited to one variation OF that exercise.

SO, while I just went on my rant about not being the biggest fan of Barbell Back Squats, does not mean that I dislike squats in general. In fact, I am such a big fan on mixing it up with squats that’s why I wanted to share with you many other variations to try out and see if there is one in there that you prefer!

Here are 8 Squat Variations To Try Out (and maybe, just maybe… you will like 1 or 2 of them 😉 ) Let me know if there is one listed below that is your fav or if you have one that I didn’t mention!!

  1. Bodyweight Squat 
    1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. You can place your hands out front or above your head.
    2. Begin the movement  bracing your abs, thinking about maintaining a neutral spine, and by flexing your knees and hips, sitting back with your hips.
    3. Then you will lower your glutes down to an appropriate depth and then reverse the motion until you return to the starting position.
    4. Make sure you squeeze your glutes when you finish! bw squat 1 bw squat 2
  2. Prisoner Squat
    1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and by placing your hands behind your head.
    2. You will then begin the movement by flexing your knees and hips, sitting back with your hips.
    3. Continue to lower down until you get to an appropriate depth for yourself.
    4.  You will then reverse the motion until you return to the starting position. As you squat, keep your head and chest up and push your knees out, think about tracking along your second toe.

    prisoner squat 1 prisoner squat 2 prisoner squat 3

  3. Jump Squat 
    1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
    2. Next you will start by doing a regular squat, engaging your core and will both feet planted firmly into the ground jump up explosively.
    3. Your arms will swing back as you jump up explosively and you will let out a good exhale.
    4. When you land, lower your body back into the squat position and inhale your breath. Try to land as quietly as possible.  jump squat 1 jump squat 2

 

4. Goblet Squat 

  1. You will start this exercise by standing up, holding a kettlebell by the horns close to your chest, and elbows tucked in. This will be your starting position.
  2. Next you will squat down, with the kettlebell in front of your chest, elbows tucked in, close to the inside of your knees. Keep your chest and head up and your back straight.
  3. At the bottom position, pause and use your elbows to push your knees out.
  4. You will then reverse the motion to come back up to the starting position where you will squeeze your glutes.

goblet squatttt

5. Double Kettlebell Front Squat  

  1. First start out by cleaning two kettlebells to your shoulders. Clean the kettlebells to your shoulders by extending through the legs and hips as you pull the kettlebells towards your shoulders. Rotate your wrists as you do so.
  2. Next by keeping your spine/neck in a neutral position-look straight ahead or a little downward at all times, squat as low as you can and pause at the bottom. As you squat down, push your knees out.
  3. Try to work on keeping an upright torso, with your chest up and neutral spine.
  4. Reverse the motion back up by driving through your heels and repeat.

KB front squat 1 KB front squat 2

6. Barbell Front Squat

  1. This is an awesome exercise to do and often times gets neglected because of the big bad barbell back squat. The barbell front squat is a multi-joint exercise that  really works on strengthening the quads and core more.
  2. If you have never tried this exercise before- it would be safer to try it inside a squat rack and make sure the bar is at a correct height for yourself. (Also I think the Double KB Front Squat is safer to start with too 😉 )
  3. You will then face the bar and then slide your arms/elbows up under the bar so that your  palms/wrists are facing up toward the ceiling. You will then rest the bar along your anterior deltoids (the shoulder muscles in front of your body) and work on keeping your elbows up (like you are pointing your elbows out at the wall in front of you) You can either 1- position both hands under the bar with supinated grip or 2- cross your arms-one over the other (over the bar) kinda like “I dream of Jeannie”
  4. Next lift the bar off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.
  5.  Then step away from the rack and position your legs using a shoulder width stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up (or in a good neutral position- I tend to look slightly downward)  This will be your starting position.
  6. Next begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees (which is the point in which the upper legs are below parallel to the floor). Inhale as you perform this part of the movement.
  7. Then begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing your feet into the floor mainly with the mid part of your foot as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.

barbell front squat barbell front squat 2

7. Barbell Back Squat 

  1. Begin with the barbell supported on top of the traps- not your neck!
  2. Your chest will be in an upright position (but depending on where the bar is located on your back may make you have more of an upright chest than the other- but that is for another discussion!) Your head/eyes will be facing forward.
  3. You can position your feet into a hip-width or shoulder width stance with the feet turned out as needed. Depends on what feels more comfortable for you.
  4. Descend by flexing the knees and sitting back into your squat. Think about as you squat down to center the weight over your midfoot.
  5. Continue all the way down, keeping the weight over the midfoot. Once you are at a good squat depth for yourself,  you will then reverse the motion, driving the weight upward. Make sure when you return to the starting position you squeeze your glutes and reinforce good hip extension.

barbell back squat

8. Bulgarian Split Squat

  1. The  Bulgarian split squat is a single-leg strength exercise that targets mostly the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. You can perform this exercise with bodyweight, dumbbells, kettlebells or a barbell.
  2. Start by placing a bench, or couch,or box behind you. You will then place the top of your foot over that box and then bring your other leg/foot out at a good distance. One where your knee won’t go too far over your toes.
  3. You will then start by simultaneously bending that hind leg ( the knee) down toward the floor, inhaling your breath and your front leg will receive more of the weight and will be the quad area that you will be feeling as you bend it to a 90 degree angle. Make sure your abs are braced.
  4. Once you go to your desired depth, you will then exhale as you return your body back up to the starting position.

bulgarian split squat pic

There you have it, 8 squat variations to try out! Let me know if I listed one you love or you absolutely love one that I did not mention. Would love to hear from you 🙂

 

XO,

JBrauz

 

5 Safe & Effective CORE Exercises That You Can Do Right At Home! {JBrauz’s Favorites} 3/2/16

Hi Loves!

Ah the core! Many of us tend to associate our core muscles with strictly those visible ab muscles you see in front, but do not be deceived!

Our core muscles actually encompass: your abdominal muscles [transverse abdominus (deeper core muscles!)] rectus abdominus (those lovely visible abs you see) and internal and external obliques (when you think of those side abs), back muscles, and your pelvic floor muscles.

So it is very important to make sure we are working those muscles and strengthening them, ESPECIALLY when you are someone who perhaps sits at a desk all day or find your posture getting a bit hunched over when you are typing at the computer.

I do tend to find that by squatting, deadlifting, pulling and pressing that I get my fair share of CORE work in, but I do love me some specific core work. Below please find my 5 fav. core exercises to do, and these can be done right at home!

JBrauz’s 5 Favorite Core Exercises:

  1. Resistance Band Palloff Press and Twist:

*For this exercise you will want to hook the resistance band up to a door or some sort of fixed point so that you can stand tall and bring the resistance band out so that you have some good tension on it.

*From there you will place both hands around the handle and starting from the sternum area of your chest, you will slowly and controlled press the handle out to full extension of the arms (exhale) and then slowly bring it back in to the starting point (inhale).

*Please make sure your hips are scooped under and that your abs are braced (like you are getting a sucker punch 😉 )

* You can do 10-15 repetitions facing one way and then with good tension on the band and fully extended arms you will twist the band out to your left side and eyes will follow. You will do ~ 10 reps. Next repeat the same thing facing the other way for the press and the twist.

palloff press 1 palloff press 2resistance band twist

 

2 .Farmers Carry:

*Haha, for this one you are probably thinking “I ain’t no farmer” and yeah you’re right I’m sure many of you are not, but you do carry groceries into your house right? Or you carry a heavy carseat in…Okay yes you get the point.

*For this exercise I want you to put a heavy object whether it is a KB, a DB, or perhaps a heavy object around your house in one of your hands and carry it for 10-15 SLOW and controlled steps.

*I want you to think about your posture on this one, shoulders pulled back, chest up and out, core area braced, and head in a good neutral position.

*Not only is this great for working grip strength (which plenty of us can work on), but also your shoulder stability, triceps, and especially core.

*NOTE: When walking try not to lean to the side where the heavy object is being carried, try to stand up tall and make those core muscles work for it!

farmers carry

 

3. Any plank variation:

*Planks are a great exercise, but not necessarily for everyone. I say this because many times it is butchered and will be causing more harm than good. If you find your low back area getting pretty sore from doing this exercise, then consult a fitness professional or do it an incline!

*Line your elbows up directly under your shoulders, scoop your hips under, abs braced, glutes squeezed tight, shoulder blades pulled in (back fairly flat),feet can be spaced apart, and eyes looking about 45 degrees ahead.

*Try and hold the plank position for 60 seconds, and side plank for 30-45 seconds each side. (modification for plank-incline,modification for side plank-the leg that is closest to the ground-get on your knee)

plank-core side plank-core

 

4. Leg Raises or Lowers:

*This exercise can be a bit tricky because when you are lying on the ground- you will want to push your back into the ground like you are squishing a bug or in my clients’ case my hand 🙂

*You will start lying down, and pulling your belly button in towards your spine (visualize squishing the bug or my hand), legs will be up at a 90 degree angle.

*You will then start to lower your legs down toward the ground (without actually touching it!).

*HOWEVER, if you find that when you are doing this exercise and lowering your legs that your back is starting to arch stop your legs there and bring them back up to the starting position. (It might be helpful to do with a friend).

*You will shoot for 10-12 reps

*If you find it a bit difficult to do this without your back arching, then a couple of things. 1- bring both knees into the chest and practice extending one leg out, lifting it a little and lowering. or 2- one knee is pulled into the chest and the other leg lowers and you switch that way.

leg raises 1 leg raises 2 leg raises 3

 

leg raises-modified

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

leg raises mod with knee

 

 

5. Deadbugs:

*  I will admit, I don’t do this one AS often as the others, but still find it to be a helpful core exercise for sure.

*You will begin by lying down on the floor, both arms extended toward the ceiling.

*You will bring you knees, feet and hips up to a 90 degree angle.

*You will then practice pressing your back into the floor and hold it there for the exercise (remember visualize squishing the bug or my hand)

*You will then extend one arm to the floor with the opposite leg straightening and extended to the floor, but not touching the ground.

*From there bring both that arm and leg back up to starting position and then work the other arm and opposite leg together the same way. Remember to maintain a braced core to the floor. 🙂

*Do 10 reps for each arm and opposite leg!

dead bug 1 deadbug 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, enjoy these 5 core exercises and let me know how they work out 🙂

 

XO,

JBrauz