Today’s Workout: Squeeze

Have you ever heard this catchy workout line:  “If you don’t squeeze ’em, no one else will?”

Back in college I used to attend Jazzercise classes with my mom when I was home on Winter break and that line was the favorite of a very bubbly instructor.

Today’s workout was Squeeze:  30-Day Body Transformation with Tracy Effinger.

This is a 50-minute workout that includes a warm-up and targeted exercises for arms, shoulders, abs, legs, thighs, back-side, and rounds out with a cool-down/stretching segment.

You do need a pair of light weights for this…and my light, I mean no more than 3 lbs. My shoulders were on fire using just 3 lb. weights!

Effinger also uses a fitness ball (the squishy kind that looks like a kick-ball), but I don’t have one and still felt the ab exercises without one.

The workout is one that requires concentration because you need to be mindful of “squeezing ’em”–i.e. engaging your muscles.  I like that I can’t zone out during this and have to just focus on the workout.

I first tried this a couple of years ago and barely made it through the workout…this time around, it seemed much easier.  That’s a good fitness-level sign!
It’s worth a try and is available via Netflix.

What’s a muscle group that you find burns when you use light weights?
For me it’s shoulders!  Maybe it’s the years of swimming…I have strong shoulders but notice that they feel workouts immediately.

‘Don’t go in the water’ Workout

Have you seen this story/photo online?

This kayaker out in the waters of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, got quite a surprise this past weekend when he saw the fin of a great white shark just 10 feet behind him.  I think I would’ve passed out in the kayak!  In Hawaii I saw a shark just off the beach- locals said it was “Louie” the shark–a well known shark who lurks around by the hotel beach.  You can bet that I stuck to the pool and my toes never made it into the ocean water!

If you do have access to a pool, or a shark-free zone, here’s a workout to help you prepare for a swimming workout.  I love to swim!  I’ve grown up swimming and may be part fish.  I swam competitively and am back to swimming at least a couple of days a week for a great full body workout.

The July/August 2012 issue of Whole Living magazine features arm, back, leg, glute, and stretching exercises that help you prep for the pool.

From the article:

Swimming isn’t a workout to skip. Water provides up to 15 times the resistance of air, meaning your muscles have to work harder to complete every movement. Swimming is also easy on the joints. “It’s one of the best total-body exercises you can do,” says Chris Webb, a swim coach in Charlotte, North Carolina, who works with veteran Olympians and Olympic hopefuls. And water is good for the soul. According to a study in Environmental Science & Technology, workouts done in or near bodies of water provide a bigger boost to mood than do other outdoor activities. Still, Webb says, “when it comes down to it, swimming can be pretty unnatural.” That’s why doing land-based moves to ward off muscle imbalances, practice movement patterns, and prep the nervous system before diving in is key. He created this routine to “bulletproof” the body against injury and soreness while helping you nab the perks of the pool—including a gold-medal figure—on dry land. 

You’ll need a resistance band and a door or object for anchoring the band (I used my refrigerator/freezer doors).  Going through the workout 2x should take about 15-20 minutes.

Source – Part of the shoulder series

A slideshow of the moves and an explanation of how to do each one is online.  This is a great little workout when you want a little bit of strength-training along with a good stretch.

Do you swim as part of your workout routine?  Have you ever seen a shark in the water?