Wednesday, February 24, 2016

3 Moves that Completely Changed my Body (AND Booty!)

Getting back into shape after baby = intense. I had to completely reevaluate the way I approached fitness in order to see results. The days of “oh, I will just run a mile-ish and then put on my skinny jeans” are long gone. I have had to work so so so hard. SO HARD. But the good news is that I am definitely stronger than I have ever been in my life and my endurance is through the roof. There is no way that 22 year old Kate could run my current routes/distances, or lift the amount of weight I lift on the daily (mostly because you would have found her at Polvos drinking margaritas and smoking Parliament Lights). I will probably dedicate a lot of upcoming posts to my fitness routine, because it really has been an ongoing process for the past 2+ years.

Today I wanted to share 3 moves that have completely changed my body. I also feel like these moves have helped me get over plateaus, which is especially important when working out on the regular.  And all of these moves are buildable, meaning I can continue to add more weight/variations and gain more muscle.
(*Let me preface this by saying like everything in life, do your own research. Know what works best for your body. Know the right form before you start any exercise.)
Split Squat:
This is a great booty builder and shaper. I really feel it in my glutes and hamstrings. Adding this variation, in addition to regular squats and lunges, has definitely made an impact. I usually use one of our kitchen table benches, but this can totally be modified.  Customize these lunges to your liking by adding weights. Just make sure that the knee in front never crosses over the toes.

Plank Slides:

I love core work that requires zero crunches, so I incorporate a lot of planks into my workout. I first learned these moves from Christine Salus, one of my favorite fitness gurus on YouTube (I will link some of her videos below). She uses Tupperware lids to slide, but I have found that diapers and pull-ups work great if you are on a hard surface. My favorite moves include sliding both knees to my chest, alternating knees to elbows, and sliding into jack feet. You can also slide into a pike and back out to plank. The combinations are endless, making it a great way to build your core without burnout. Sometimes I up the ante by adding ankle weights:

Kettlebell (or Dumbbell) Swings:

Swings have been a recent discovery and I am obsessed. Again, this is a move that I can continue to adapt by adding more weight for intensity.  Kettlebell (I use dumbbells) swings are also a MAJOR calorie burner. Some studies say that you can easily burn 250 calories in less than 20 minutes. Like most moves, the key to this one is mastering the correct form. This was actually a little tough for me, because I am so use to squats. My body immediately wanted to squat on the down swing, so I had to really focus in order to do it right. This video helped a lot:

These are just some of the exercises I incorporate into my daily workouts. I try to mix it up as much as possible, so that I continue to see progress. Here are a few of my favorite at home workouts, if you're interested:

This is one of Christine Salus' "Silent Workouts." It is low impact with zero jumping. These are great if you don't want to make noise, or if you need to take it easy on your joints.

This one is a super intense 1000 calorie burn HIIT workout. Occasionally I try to complete the whole thing, but mostly I just do a few segments:

Super quick full body HIIT:

And here are some kettlebell workouts that I like:

Like I said, I will continue to write about my post-baby fitness journey. Let me know if you have any specific questions; I am happy to share tips and tricks I have learned along the way!

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