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Belated Fitness Friday: Give Yourself a Break

Truth be told, I simply forgot to publish this post yesterday.  Going to make a nice berry and cacao smoothie now to boost my memory!

As a trainer, I like to give clients the most bang for their buck.  I try to keep the workouts we do jam-packed and well-rounded.  That said, I do think it is important, and a whole lot more pleasant, to insert some moments of zen into an otherwise intense workout.

Not only does this feel better in the body, it also allows you to check in on how a specific muscle group is feeling after the exercise is completed.  In a circuit setting this is especially wise since you’ll be repeating the exercise and will be better able to asses if you need to adjust weight or modify in any way the second time around.

If you are still curious about what I mean, check out the examples below to see how to include mini breaks into your strength training workout:

After plank or pushup: Try Child’s Pose.  Starting on hands and knees, take knees as wide as the mat and toes together.  Sit back of your heels and lower your forehead to the ground, arms extended.  This simultaneously releases the lower back and shoulders, which tend to get tense during planks and pushups.

After Glute Bridge: Try Knees to Chest. Lie down on back and pull knees in towards chest, wrapping arms around shins as if you are trying to curl up into a little ball.  This releases the low back and is a good counter stretch for the back bending that happens in a glute bridge.

After Chest Press:  Try T Stretch.  After releasing weights, lie back on flat bench and take the arms out in line with the shoulders, palms facing up toward the ceiling.  Let gravity gently ease your arms open.  This stretches the pectoral muscles and shoulders and is a good one if you tend to have forward rounded shoulders when standing or sitting.

As a rule of thumb, I tend to have clients hold these mini stretches for 45 seconds or so and keep the longer held stretching to the end, when the muscles can completely relax.

For more exercise motivation check out the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook or follow on Twitter!


After T worked his little legs climbing the back of the couch he took a break by falling onto the pillows below….

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