YOU GO, I GO – partner workout

YOU GO, I GO – partner workout

In a recent post I talked about how you can incorporate your kids in your exercise schedule so not only you can keep your workouts consistent, but how you set a great example to them about keeping healthy and well.  If you missed it click here

Exercising with your partner can also be another way that allows you to be consistent with exercise.  You are not only spending time together but also keeping each other motivated and therefore feel less isolated in your fitness journey.

After all, its about keeping you both feeling fit and healthy to continue your travels TOGETHER for as long as you can.

So, in that spirit, I have developed a workout called: YOU GO, I GO!

One partner (P1) will complete their 10 reps while the other partner (P2) will hold the move. Then swap! (ie P1 will hold as P2 does their reps).

After you each hold and do the reps, move to the next pairing in the circuit.

Complete 3-5 rounds through the circuit, performing reps and holds on each move! For the unilateral (one sided) moves, hold and do reps on one side before switching.

Beginners, feel free to lower the reps to 5 as needed or use the many modifications I have shown you on FIT4theRoad

CIRCUIT:

  • P1 – 10 reps/side Lunges – P2 – Glute Bridge hold
  • P1- 10 reps Push Ups – P2 -High Plank Hold
  • P1-10 reps Squat Jumps – P2- Squat Hold
  • P1- 10 reps/side Lying Leg Raises – P2- Side Plank Hold
  • P1-10 reps/side Mountain climbers – P2-Plank
  • P1- 10 reps squats – P2- Wall sit (against the van)

Want some guidance in a structured workout/exercise plan customised to suit your fitness level, goals and abilities? Why not consider my Online Personal Coaching.

Have niggling injuries or aches and pains that I can help you overcome to ensure you are Fit4theRoad and can continue your travels, get in contact with me to tailor a program of strengthening and rehabilitation exercise to have you back on track.

– Kerri

Stretch your way around Australia

Stretch your way around Australia

Being fit and healthy means a lot of things to a lot of people. There are many components to being fit and healthy, building and maintaining muscle and aerobic fitness are just some. You need to think about flexibility, too. Stretching can help.

You may think of stretching as something performed only by runners or gymnasts. But we all need to stretch in order to protect our mobility and independence. Stretching has to happen on a regular basis, preferably daily.

 

Why stretching is important

Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.

For example, sitting in the car traveling for extended periods may results in tight hamstrings in the back of the thigh. That can make it harder to extend your leg or straighten your knee all the way, which inhibits walking and why you might get out of the car when you reach your next camp a bit stiff!

Likewise, when tight muscles are suddenly called on for a strenuous activity that stretches them, such as running around with the kids, they may become damaged from suddenly being stretched. Injured muscles may not be strong enough to support the joints, which can lead to joint injury.

Regular stretching keeps muscles long, lean, and flexible, and this means that exertion won’t put too much force on the muscle itself. Healthy muscles also help a person with balance problems to avoid falls.

Where to start

With a body full of muscles, the idea of daily stretching may seem overwhelming. The areas critical for mobility are in your lower extremities: your calves, your hamstrings, your hip flexors (in the pelvis) and quadriceps (in the front of the thigh). Stretching your shoulders, neck, and lower back is also beneficial. Aim for a program of daily stretches or at least three or four times per week. Below I outline my daily stretching routine, and highlight the muscle I am focussing on to keep my body feeling relaxed. If you need some help with specific areas that are tight or aching, please don’t hesitate to drop me a message.

The cumulative effect of stretching

Stretching once today won’t magically give you perfect flexibility. You’ll need to do it over time and remain committed to the process. Some of the photos in this article have taken me a lot of time to achieve that level of flexibility. It may have taken you many months to get tight muscles, so you’re not going to be perfectly flexible after one or two sessions. The key is to stay consistent and make it part of your daily routine eg as soon as you get out of bed.

Proper execution

Hold a stretch for 30 seconds. Don’t bounce, which can cause injury. You’ll feel tension during a stretch, but you should not feel pain. If you do, there may be an injury or damage in the tissue. Stop stretching that muscle and talk to your doctor.

Quadratus Lumborum (QL) Stretch

The QL is the deepest abdominal muscle. It’s located in your lower back on either side of the lumbar spine. It starts at your lowest rib and ends at the top of your pelvis. This muscle is used to sit, stand, and walk.  The QL is one of the prime sources of lower back pain.  It becomes painful & tight when we sit too long due to reduced blood flow to the surrounding areas, weak back muscles and poor posture.

Hip Flexors Stretch

The hip flexors are made up of a number of muscle and their primary function is to flex the hip, lifting the knee and bring your thigh towards your abdomen (so basically walking).  They attach to your spine and are really important part of the core muscles and to stabilize your spine.  Hence, you can see that if they were tight and have reduced mobility how they are likely to cause hip, back and knee pain.

Hamstring Stretch

The hamstrings are also made up of a group of muscles at the rear of the upper leg. The hamstrings flex the knee joint and extend the hip at the beginning of each step. They are used in walking, running, and many other physical activities.  If these muscles are tight and weak you might feel it in the lower back and hip.

Cat/Cow stretch

One of my all time favourites, because it just feels good.  You might associate this stretch with yoga, as it it often done in those classes. It is a simple way to get your spine moving and prevent back pain.  Inhale and tilt your pelvis back for the cow pose, then exhale and tuck your tailbone for the cat pose.

If you need some help with particular stretches or specific aches and pains, don’t hesitate to send me a message.

If you are interested in a program to increase your fitness, lose weight, increase muscle or improve any aspect of wellbeing such as mobility and flexibility, I can design a program specific to your needs via my Online Personal Coaching Program

Join me my on my Facebook page Fit 4 the Road as I keep fit and healthy while traveling this great country.

Travel-Friendly, mini resistance band workout

Travel-Friendly, mini resistance band workout

When it comes to resistance training, using your body weight is the best starting point to develop your strength and mobility. But stepping it up and incorporating mini bands into your workout can be the challenge you have been waiting for.

The beauty of these wide flat bands is their versatility. They pack and travel easily and you can ramp up the intensity with varying resistance levels. They can also help in a myriad of ways from increasing your strength, stabilsation and core, improve posture and rehabilitate niggly injuries, aches and pains.

Im using a medium strength resistance band in these videos, which covers all the exercises in the workout, but feel free to change it up with other bands, but ensure your form and technique are correct.

This mini band Full body workout is designed to be done as a circuit. Perform the number of repetitions listed next to each exercise.

  • Beginners – 2 rounds
  • Intermediate – 4 rounds
  • Advanced – 5 rounds
 THE WORKOUT
  • Glute Bridges – 12 reps
  • Curl + Press + Reverse Lunge – 12 reps (6/leg)
  • Hip hinge + Row – 12 reps (6/side)
  • Squat with kickback – 12 reps (6/leg)
  • Band Pulldown – 12 reps
GLUTE BRIDGES

All the sitting we do when traveling, is a a surefire way to weak glutes and lower back problems, so we are kicking off our circuit with this exercise to activate our butt!

  • Place the band right above the knees and lie on your back.
  • Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the ground just close enough so that you are able to graze your heels with your fingertips when you stretch your arms out.
  • Press out on the band and drive through the heels to lift your butt off the ground. Drive your hips up, squeezing your butt.
  • Don’t let the knees cave in.
CURL + PRESS + REVERSE LUNGE

This exercise gives you the most bang for your buck by targeting your butt, legs, arms and shoulders. When we combine multiple muscle groups into the one exercise it raises the heart rate (cardio), works the muscle (strength) and is also alot more functional, as we never use only one muscle group in isolation in everyday life.

  • Begin with your feet shoulder width apart and the band around your wrist and held at tension.
  • Curl your hands towards your shoulders.
  • Step back into a reverse lunge, until your front knee is at 90 degrees (or as low as comfortable depth), and press both arms overhead, mainly tension on the band.
HIP HINGE + ROW

A powerful exercise that works the hamstrings, lower and upper back and core. Important for again strengthening the muscles that can cause lower back, hip and knee pain in a lot of travelers.

  • Stand with feet hip width apart and the band around the foot.
  • Hinge at the hip pushing your butt back and maintaining a flat back with weight in the heels.
  • Brace the core to protect the lower back and ensure you breath through out the movement.
  • Pull the band up so that elbow is at 90 degrees. Try to pause at the top of each reps.
  • Complete the instructed reps and swap side to complete the other arm.
SQUAT WITH KICK BACK

A great exercise to work your lower back, butt, legs and core. This will really get your legs working. When performing the kickback pause at the top of the movement for a sec, then lower it back down, focus on squeezing you butt. If your lower back is activated too much try using a lighter band.

 

  • Begin with your feet shoulder width apart and the band just above your ankles and held at tension.
  • Slowly bend at the knees and drop your hips to lower you body, make sure your butt is back.
  • Push back up into the standing position, keeping your leg straight and drive your heel back squeezing your glute and keep your core tight.
  • Bring leg back into the starting position and complete another squat this time performing a kickback with the other leg.
BAND PULLDOWN

A great exercise to target the back shoulders and core and improve your posture.

 

  • Loop the band around back of your hands, wrists or even forearms.
  • Extends arm overhead and place tension on the band by forming a ‘v’ with your arms, pressing your chest out and squeezing your glutes.
  • Draw your shoulder blades back and down.
  • Keeping the tension on the band and your arms about shoulder width apart, pull the band down towards your chest.
  • Pause at the bottom of the movement then extend your arms back to the starting position.
Thanks for reading and supporting my page.  If you have any questions, please dont hesitate to contact me on the facebook page.

Hope to see you out and about traveling this great country.

Safe travels

Kerri

Traveling with back pain: No thanks!

Traveling with back pain: No thanks!

Sore lower backs are a reoccurring issue that comes up on a regular basis. I see it in my new clients when they come to train with me and I hear it from those of you that are travelling.

No one wants to be in pain. Its awful, its depressing and debilitating, but it doesn’t have to be. Regular stretching, mobilisation and strength exercises can help a whole lot more than pain killers.

So what can you do to avoid the pain killers?

Most people know to take regular breaks when they are driving.  It’s a chance to get out of the car to help with fatigue issues, grab something to eat, a bathroom visit, but it can also be your opportunity to do a few stretches, work on your mobility and activate some of your postural muscles in your neck, shoulders and back to help relieve discomfort.

Once you have arrived at your destination and set up camp, you again have another opportunity to work on relieving any pain you have with these stretches.  Its a great idea to get into the habit of stretching every night.  This will help you improve your spinal mobility and flexibility and reduce long term pain by enabling postural corrections and reducing the overcompensatory effects that the body uses to avoid pain.  If however you do experience pain, then you should stop and seek further advise from allied health professionals.

These exercises are used to:

  • Adjust your sacroiliac joint (which is important for pelvic stability)
  • Lengthen the muscles in the lower back
  • Stretch the piriformis (the muscle that often creates sciatica type symptoms)
  • Create space between the disc in your spine.

 

Sacroiliac stretch – reduces the tension in the muscles that originates at the sacrum (or hip bones). This stretch reduces the pressure on the joint and lower back.

Cat/Cow- Stretches the spine, hips, back and core muscles. It also opens the chest and lungs and allows for easier breathing.

Glute Stretch (seated)- Your glutes support movement and give you balance and when tight other parts of your body, such as your back compensate, so they need to be working properly.

Hip Flexor stretch – Important to counterbalance prolonged hip flexion of sitting for hours when traveling. By stretching these muscles it allows the hips to extend fully and avoid the lower back from compensating and giving you pain.

Cobra Stretch – Stretches the muscles in the shoulders chest and abdominals which helps correct posture imbalances and decreases the stiffness in the lower back.

Thanks for watching the video and supporting my page.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Safe Travels

Kerri

Traveling fit kids

Traveling fit kids

Finding time to workout while traveling can be a difficult task, but add kids to the mix and it can seem almost impossible!

Going to a gym in a local town can lead to the question of “who’s going to watch the kids?”, while working outdoors can lead to the question of “will the kids leave me alone long enough to burn a few cals?”.

However, it’s still important to make sure to fit those workouts in while on the road!

Unfortunately, so many travellers don’t get enough exercise. Along with eating out on a regular basis, struggling to fit in healthy foods such as fruits and veggies, and periods of inactivity, we can find ourselves feeling icky in addition to unwanted weight gain.

But what else can we do? How can we fit in exercise while making sure the kids are being attended to and having fun?

It’s simple actually! Incorporate your kids into your workout routine with a few fun moves for them, and calorie busting moves for you with a few exercises.

Exercising with Kids

Exercising with kids is a great idea for so many reasons.

  1. It ensures your kids are working towards the recommended one plus hours of exercise per day
  2. It builds healthy habits
  3. It invites your kids to learn more about exercise and ask questions
  4. It makes for quality family time

The key to a successful workout with kids is making the workout fun and age appropriate. For the younger kids, 2-4, you can have them join in by turning the workout into a game. Play red light, green light where the kids can only move when you say green light, and have to stop when you say red light.

Have the younger ones do simple movements such as jumping jacks, running in place, or dancing along with the music while you’re doing push-ups. Or simply have them practice their counting by counting reps for you.

For the older kids, 4+, have them join in on as many of the exercises as they can do. Don’t worry so much if they are doing the exact same workout as you. The point is to make sure they’re moving, having fun, and that you get your workout in.

Inchworm:

Main muscles worked: triceps, deltoids, abdominals, obliques

How to:

  • Start standing with feet shoulder width distance apart and hands hanging to your side
  • Slightly bend your knees
  • Hinge at the hips until you are in an inverted V position and your hands are touching the ground
  • Walk your hands out into a push-up position – make sure to keep your core engaged
  • Walk your hands back in towards your toes
  • Repeat

Why kids love it: This is a fun move! They get to be silly and pretend that they’re worms crawling on the ground.

Mountain Climbers

Main muscles worked: abdominals, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings

How to:

  • Start in a push-up position
  • Keep your shoulders over your wrists and core engaged
  • Bring your right knee in towards your chest and then back to the starting position, and then the left knee (this counts as one rep)
  • Repeat
  • Pro tip: pick up the pace for more intensity, or try touching your knee to the opposite elbow

Why kids love it: This move is fast paced and full of energy!

Push-Ups

Main muscles worked: pectorals, triceps, deltoids, abdominals

How to:

  • Start in a plank position with feet close together or start from your knees
  • Keep your shoulders over your wrists, core tight, and back flat
  • Fingers are pointed forwards and elbows are at a 70 degree angle from your torso
  • Slowly lower while keeping your back flat, abs engaged, and neck in line with your spine
  • Once your nose is close to touching the ground push yourself back to the starting position.
  • Repeat
  • Pro tip: Fill a backpack with objects from around the room and wear while doing push-ups

Why kids love it: This move makes them strong like Batman!

Jump Squats

Main muscles worked: abdominals, lower back, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings

How to:

  • Stand with feet shoulder width distance apart
  • Do a squat as you normally would
  • Engage your core and jump up with power
  • Land as softly as possible back into a squat position
  • Repeat
  • Precaution: depending on your child’s age and ability to follow directions, have your child jump as high as they can without the squat

Why kids love it: Who doesn’t love jumping around?

 

Happy travels!