One of the things I wish more people knew is that strength is, well, intoxicating.
If you haven’t already discovered this for yourself, I think that’s been one of my favorite aspects about my own physical transformation.
There’s something pretty darn magical about suddenly being able to do a strength exercise (such as plank-style pushups) after months (or years) of not being able to do so.
I remember that back in grade school, I couldn’t climb a pole in gym class to save my life. #noodlearms
Now, I’m pretty certain I could climb my way to the top of that pole, slap that top bar with enthusiasm, and then slide back down to take a bow. (Woohoo!!)
Strong = Sexy
I DO however say this because feeling good (heck, GREAT!) in your own skin gives you more self confidence, which is one of the sexiest assets anyone can have.
This all probably sounds like a total no-brainer, but until you’ve experienced a, “Woah! I just did that!!” moment when it comes to physical fitness, I don’t know if you’ve been able to truly savor the deliciousness of one of those breakthroughs.
It’s kind of like getting an “A” on a paper you worked really, really hard on in college, or finally seeing your preparation pay off after a decent amount of time and dedicated effort.
Plus, the more in shape you are, the better you feel because you’re taking care of yourself — mentally, physically, emotionally and hopefully spiritually too. When all those elements combine, why wouldn’t you feel fantastic in your own skin?
AND, when you feel great, you radiate a whole different type of energy. You’ll attract more positiveness because you’re putting forth positive and happy vibes.
I’d also wager that your significant other (or COUGHsex lifeCOUGH) will benefit as well!
Strength Does Not = Bulkiness
Now don’t go thinking that I’m touting becoming a body builder because I’m not. (You’ll know this if you’ve seen any of my videos.)
Something that always surprises me — particularly when talking to women — is how people tend to equate being strong with being bulky.
That’s soooo NOT the case!
Using your own body weight for resistance is one of the best ways to become a lean, mean fightin’ machine!
You don’t need any additional weight to benefit from push-ups, sit-ups, planks, squats, lunges… you name it!
Often times you’ll find that high reps + low/no weight = inches melting away.
You CAN bulk up from doing a TON of body weight training, but generally speaking, unless you’re a gymnast, you’ll only beef up if you’re training with additional (heavy) weights and eating specifically to build body mass.
Help! I’ve Lost My Rump and I Can’t Perk It Back Up!
I’m sure you’ve seen it too: Super lean people who jog for hours on end on the treadmill with nary an ounce of booty in sight!
While cardio is terrific for your cardiovascular system, for digestion, stamina and more, it usually won’t do the trick for giving you a perky rump.
When you’re jogging on a pretty level course or going at a sustainable yet relatively quick clip on the elliptical, what muscles do you feel working?
I’m sure your calves and thighs are nicely firing, but what about your derrier?
Usually the only way you can tap into your glutes is either by sprinting (which makes your legs go through big, long strides) or by working some hills into your routine.
Want to get that perky tush back (or just find it in the first place)?
Back It Up!
Just remember that it’s key to have good form.
With reverse lunges, forward lunges and squats, it’s essential that you do NOT let your knees shoot out past your toes. Ideally, you want to keep your knees aligned over your ankles. (I find this is easier to do when I focus on keeping my weight spread evening throughout my feet — not all in the balls of my feet or all in my heels).
With squats, the idea is to sit down and back — as though you were lowering down to sit in a chair that’s a bit behind you at knee heighth.
With hip raises — whether you have both feet on the ground or one leg crossed over the other OR up in the air — place your feet so your knees will end up directly above your ankles when you’ve raised your hips all the way up.
What’s your favorite booty-bustin’ exercise? As always, I love hearing from you!
Also, if you want to join in, today’s DAY ONE of a 30-Day Plank Challenge!
Day 1 – 20 seconds
Day 2 – 20 seconds
Day 3 – 30 seconds
Day 4 – 30 seconds
Day 5 – 40 seconds
Day 6 – REST
Day 7 – 45 seconds
Day 8 – 45 seconds
Day 9 – 60 seconds
Day 10 – 60 seconds
Day 11 – 60 seconds
Day 12 – 90 seconds
Day 13 – REST
Day 14 – 90 seconds
Day 15 – 90 seconds
Day 16 – 120 seconds
Day 17 – 120 seconds
Day 18 – 150 seconds
Day 19 – REST
Day 20 – 150 seconds
Day 21 – 150 seconds
Day 22 – 180 seconds
Day 23 – 180 seconds
Day 24 – 210 seconds
Day 25 – 210 seconds
Day 26 – REST
Day 27 – 240 seconds
Day 28 – 240 seconds
Day 29 – 270 seconds
Day 30 – PLANK FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE!!