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Fitness

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Goodshapes Part 1: A Sustainable 14 Week Holistic Program

There are so many different fitness and nutrition programs out there these days, and many of them have conflicting/super extreme/restrictive advice. It can be difficult to navigate which one might work for you, and part of that boils down to the fact that there is not a one size fits all prescription for exercise and nutrition. Every body is different, and therefore different things work for different people.

As a trainer and licensed physical therapist assistant, some of my biggest concerns with any program is whether or not it is sustainable, practical, safe, and effective. After learning the hard way with my own health, I no longer adopt a fitness philosophy of no pain no gain, or go as hard as you can–but rather one of moderation and balance that emphasizes nutrition, fitness, mind, and spirit.

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This is why I was so excited to learn about Goodshapes,  a program that is holistic in nature and strives to help you gain confidence, reach your fitness goals, build strength, increase tone, adopt a healthier concept of nutrition, practice gratitude, rest and restore, and gradually bump up training intensity while preventing risks of injury.

The Lowdown

With the program, Goodshapes provides you with two guides — one on nutrition and living well, the other your personalized workout guide. The workout guide explains in thorough, yet simple terms the different types of exercise you perform. It also includes:

  • Reasoning behind exercise and workout
  • Different levels of intensity
  • Warm Ups to get your blood pumping
  • Entire workouts that are personalized for your fitness level
  • Stretches to keep you from getting injured

Maybe it’s the rebel within me, but I don’t like to do something if I don’t know why I’m doing it–and Goodshapes does a great job at helping me understand why the workout I am doing is effective! I love that the guide has pictures with detailed descriptions of each exercise. At the end of the guide, they’ve condensed it into a mini-guide that you can easily pull up on your tablet or phone, wherever you may be.

Another plus of the Goodshapes program that I love? Since the program consists of strictly bodyweight exercises, you can do the workouts anywhere and no equipment is needed. Fitness equipment and gym memberships can be so expensive. You can do these workouts at home, outdoors, or while traveling. The workouts are 30-45 minutes in duration. They gradually increase intensity at different stages to ease you into the exercises and keep your body safe.

They also have endurance options for exercise and the program encourages you to modify as needed and listen carefully to your body. While a lot of programs put too much emphasis into one aspect of fitness, Goodshapes encourages and guides you with an array of focused activities, including power/strength, flexibility, cardio, and functional movement.

To keep you motivated and progressing, they also offer challenges throughout the program so you can amp it up and see results even faster. They recommend that you take pics before and during the program so you can see your results (every 4 weeks) – just tag #goodshapes on your pics! This isn’t a crash diet or extreme workout plan, but rather easy-to-adopt changes to your lifestyle that will lead you to looking and feeling your best.Stay on the lookout for the second part of this series – I will share with you some of my favorite recipes from  as well as some other aspects of their nutrition program!

Get 50% off Goodshapes with code “ProteinPants” (savings of $20) 


Photos: Jeff Tse

Wardrobe: Cotton On

Shoes: Hoka


<3

Hillary

 

Three Butt Exercises You Can Do On the Floor

Have you ever had one of those days where you planned on going to the gym, but then decided to skip out because you’re too tired?  Sometimes rest is exactly what you need, but it can become all too easy to keep skipping workouts, thinking that you’ll hit the gym the next day. With that in mind,  here are three exercises to tone your butt that you can do without even getting off of the floor!  I promise that after I post this, I’ll get off the couch and do these exercises, too!

Bridge 

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1.  Lie on your back on an exercise mat or solid surface. Bend your knees and place your feet hip-width apart, with both feet flat on the floor. Flatten your low back against the mat by gently contracting your abdominal muscles, and try to maintain this contraction throughout the exercise.

2.  Exhale and lift your hips up off the mat, pressing your heels into the ground as your squeeze your butt and pull your belly button back toward your spine, making a straight line from your knees to shoulders.

3. Inhale as you slowly lower your hips back to the mat. In addition to helping tone the glutes, this exercise is often used in physical therapy for core training.  🙂

Side Lying  Hip Abduction 

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  1. Lie on your side on an exercise mat with your legs straight and your feet stacked together and your hips, shoulders, and arm in a straight line. You can lay completely flat with your head resting on your arm, or have your head slightly up but supported by your arm (flat will help ensure your body is in a parallel line). You can rest your other arm on top of your hip or in front of your body (on top of your hip will again help keep a parallel line). As in the bridge, engage your abdominal muscles for the duration of this exercise.
  2. Exhale and raise the top leg up in a slow and controlled manner, away from the bottom leg, while keeping the knee straight and the foot neutral.   Avoid lifting too high, as this will shift the focus from working on the targeted hip muscles. If you feel any tension in your low back or feel your hips/pelvis begin to shift, move in a smaller range of motion.
  3. Inhale and return the top leg to the original position in a slow and controlled manner. Do reps on one leg, and then switch to the other. This exercise is very effective if done properly, but if you simply swing your leg through, you won’t get the benefits of it. As they say, put your mind in your muscle (or something like that).  This exercise works the muscles on the side of your hip, including the gluteus medius, which is a small but important muscle.

Donkey Kick

_b2a50381. Come down to the mat on all fours, with your hands shoulder width apart and your knees directly below your hips.

2. Contract your abdominals and exhale as you raise one bent leg up towards the ceiling, keeping the foot parallel to the ceiling.

3. Inhale as you bring your leg back to the starting position and complete reps before switching to the other. This exercise works all of your glute muscles and is one of my favorites! I like to sink back into child’s pose after doing reps on one leg before switching to the other.

There are multiple variations of these exercises. Do 2-3 sets of each exercise, 12-15 reps and rest 30-60 seconds in between sets before switching to the next exercise. If you are up for a bigger challenge , do the exercises in a circuit–each exercise back to back, resting 45-60 seconds in between each circuit through. You can also add resistance bands for an extra burn.

*Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.  If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.*


Photos by Jeff Tse

Sports bra: Kenneth Cole

Pants: Athletic Collection


Do you prefer to exercise outside, at a gym, or at home?

–Hill