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Inverted Row Tutorial

One of my goals for this year was to be able to perform a pull up on my own. This is not an easy feat! It is very important to grow into this movement gradually as it requires a great deal of upper body strength. I have been working towards developing this ability for the past few months and wanted to share how I started. An inverted row is a great way to begin if you want to perform a pull up or simply desire get stronger using your bodyweight.

Inverted Row Tutorial

Inverted Row Tutorial

Breaking this movement down makes it a lot more accessible and easier to accomplish. It is always about the small steps right? Making strides towards getting stronger in a smart way will help prevent an injury down the road.

The Set Up

To perform an inverted row you are either going to need a barbell or a smith machine. Smith machines are usually found at most commercial gyms in the lifting area. I am using a smith machine in these pictures.

The Grip

You will want to use an underhand (supinated) grip to perform an inverted row. An underhand grip puts the shoulder in the right position. This is one less thing to worry about! You need to get strong in an underhand position before you consider moving on to an overhand position.

Inverted Row TutorialSmall considerations such as this will make a world of difference in steadily improving without the worry of potentially getting hurt.

The Movement

Angle your body below the bar with the elbows straight. Rest on your heels and begin to bring your chest up towards the bar before returning to your start position.

Inverted Row Tutorial

Steps to Activate your Muscles

  • Shoulders Back and Down (think about tucking them into your back pockets)
  • Core is Tight
  • Low abs are engaged
  • Elbows are straight
  • Booty is tucked under
  • Gaze is straight ahead

Inverted Row Tutorial

Progress It

The lower the bar the harder this movement will become. Start by setting the bar low enough so that you feel challenged, but you are able to perform 12-15 repetitions without a rest. When that becomes oh so easy you are ready to challenge your body further.

Inverted Row Tutorial

You will then lower the bar closer to the floor and change your start position from an angle to a bridge on the floor. The grip will remain underhand and you will bring your chest up to the bar while your lower body performs a bridge. Keep your body neutral and remember to activate all the muscles you need to engage.

Your body will move into a table-top position as you pull yourself up towards the bar.

Wrap Up

You can complete various combinations of this exercise at different levels in your workouts. Strive for three sets of 12-15 repetition three days a week. If you are building up your strength you may need to take short rests to get to your desired number of repeitions. Be patient!

Inverted Row Tutorial

I always like to stress than no movement is beyond our grasp. We just have to realize that we need to begin small and work our way up. Rome was not built in a day. A perfect row or a pull up is not going to happen fast. The average gym going bee needs to develop some essential strength first.

Happy inverted rowing!

Enjoy the fit life one adventure at a time and follow along!
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I always love hearing from you! If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email.

Xo,

Lauren

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The Other Side of Fear

Everything you want is on the other side of fear…Jack Canfield

Fear of failure. Fear of success. There are so many traps when it comes to fear. Rather than face fear in the eye most of us choose to spend way too much time in the comfort zone. We cling to the familiar and try to hold on to what we already know.

The Other Side of Fear

The Other Side of Fear

Challenge Yourself

Anything of value, anything worth doing that is going to make a real impact, often brings up fear. If you want to make your mark on the universe, you need to get out of your comfort zone. Playing it safe is never the answer. If you are not feeling fear in some area of your life, you are probably not challenging yourself, let alone, going to change the world.

Listen to Your Instinct

How often have you found yourself making excuses to not do something, even though, if you were to really listen to your gut instinct, you knew it was the exact thing you should be doing to take you to the next level? There is a reason that certain things or situations make us uncomfortable. We are out on the ledge and often do not see the ground underneath us. Out of sheer panic we retreat from what scares us the most.

Dream Big

The Other Side of Fear

Your goals should be big and lofty. In essence, they should scare you a bit. If it is too easy then the challenge is not really there. What is your secret heart’s desire? Owning a business, participating in a race or maybe writing a book? Rather than dismissing these gentle pulls as something you could never accomplish take the steps to try and get there. No one even accomplished great things by never trying. Write the first page or run the first mile. Ignore that familiar feeling that allows you to question those steps.

Make Peace with the Enemy

We all carry a certain amount of insecurity and self-doubt, and those fearful thoughts tend to rear their ugly heads when we are about to embark on anything new. No one is a stranger to feeling this way.

You will never completely get over fear. A shift in perception would be to consider it your friend. The way I try to see it is that if I feeling anxious or doubtful, it is often a positive signal that I need to get to the other side of something.

It is all about using a muscle that you have not used before. Once you start, it gets stronger and the fear begins to subside.

Build Confidence

As you build your confidence at trying new things, it actually becomes easier to do them. It does not mean that the fear completely goes away, it just means that you become more adept at managing it.

The real secret is not to eliminate fear, but to make peace with it. Acknowledge its presence and then move on.

These feelings are nothing more than a signal that you are about to learn, grow and step out of your comfort zone. Fear often operates as a teacher. Open yourself up to the lesson and what is revealed next may surprise you.

The Other Side of Fear

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

There is still time to enter the Freekeh Foods giveaway! Check out Friday’s post to learn how! I will be randomly selecting a winner end of day today. 

Enjoy the fit life one adventure at a time and follow along!
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I always love hearing from you! If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email.

Xo,

Lauren

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Freekeh Jeweled Salad {Giveaway!}

When is the last time you tried something new? I always try to mix up new flavors and create new dishes in the kitchen. It can be so easy to fall into a rut and create the same dish meal after meal. So I was excited when I recently received a package from Fit Approach with two different flavors of Freekeh Foods to test out. The verdict? It is delicious. Read on to learn some benefits, get a recipe and a chance to try it for yourself!

Freekeh Jeweled Salad

Freekeh Jeweled SaladWhat is Freekeh?

Freekeh Jeweled Salad

Freekeh is a process which means “to rub” in Arabic. Nearly 2,000 years ago when a Middle Eastern village was attached their crop of green wheat was set on fire. The villagers rubbed off the chaff, cooked it up, and Freekeh was born.

Health Benefits of Freekeh

Since the taste of Freekeh is very mild it is a perfect addition to soups, salads, or a side dish. Enjoy it hot or cold. Since it quickly cooks over the stovetop (20-25 minutes) it is a versatile grain that is easy for meals that need to be prepared simply.

Freekeh Jeweled Salad

Freekeh is very nutrient dense with six grams of protein and four grams of fiber per serving. It is also lower in calories and carbohydrates than rice or other grains. Organic and non-GMO.

The Recipe

I am a huge fan of salads that have a touch of sweetness with fruit, nuts and flavored dressings. With my batch of cooked Freekeh I created a simple jeweled salad that I know you are going to love.

Freekeh Jeweled Rice Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A Freekeh Jeweled Salad for an easy and delicious meal.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups of Cooked Original Freekeh
  • 1 Cup of Chopped Red or Green Grapes
  • 3 Tablespoons of Chopped Scallions (green part only)
  • ⅓ Cup of Raw Diced Pecans
  • 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Honey
  • 1 Teaspoon of Dried Parsley
  • Juice of ½ of a Lemon
  • Pinch of Pink Himalayn Salt
Instructions
  1. Cook the Freekeh according to the package instructions. Remove it from heat and allow it to cool. In the meantime, wash and chop the grapes, scallions, and pecans. Mix all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Ready to serve and enjoy!

The Giveaway

Freekeh Jeweled Salad

Want to test the waters of Freekeh goodness for yourself? You are in luck!

Freekeh Foohs is offering to send one winner a package with your choice of freekeh (original, rosemary sage or tamari).

Leave a comment below sharing why you would like to try Freekeh! I will randomly select a winner on Monday, August 24th

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Thank you to Freekeh Foods for the chance to try their product. This opportunity was presented through my partnership with Sweat Pink and Fitapproach. As always, all opinions and opinions are my own.

Enjoy the fit life one adventure at a time and follow along!
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I always love hearing from you! If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email.

Xo,

Lauren

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Guide to Plank Variations

Get ready, get set and be prepared to plank! I really love planks, and I am always amazed at how they can challenge me. Talk about a test of endurance and strength. What seems like a simple exercise gets tough – very, very fast.

Planks are a great way to warm up before jumping into your workout. They are also perfect at the end as a finisher before you start to wrap up your session. I often use this exercise both ways. There are a lot of options to mix up this movement. Adding some variety makes it challenging and fun in my opinion!

I recommend beginning holding these variations at 30 seconds. As it starts to feel easier increase in 15 second increments. Two minutes is a great performance standard to set.

Guide to Plank Variations

Guide to Plank Variations

Forearm Plank

Guide to Forearm Planks

This is a classic plank position that you will see pop up most frequently. It is so important that you keep your elbows under your shoulders during this exercise. Keeping your hands supinated (palms down), and open will also help to keep your shoulders open.

Pull in towards your heels and tuck your hips under you. Another common mistake is to allow the back to round. Engage your abs ad make sure your back is straight.

You can stagger your hands as shown below to mix it up and try something new. Try the left and then right!

Guide to Forearm Planks

Push Up Plank

Guide to Forearm Planks

This is a great variation on the forearm plank. It is also perfect for building up your upper body strength when you are building up into a full push up.

Make sure your hands are in line with your shoulders. Abs are tight and hips are tucked under you.

Full Body Plank with Marching Feet

Guide to Forearm Planks

This is a neat variation. You will definitely feel your core and booty engaged even more. While in the full plank simply take turns lifting your right and left foot.

You can hold for time or rotate your feet for 20-30 repetitions (total).

Plank with Side Twist

Guide to Forearm Planks

You can begin this variation in a forearm plank (shown above). Take it up a notch by angling your body side to side. Feet are stacked and you can hold on side and then the other. So tough, but in the best possible way!

Guide to Plank Variations

Side Plank with Arm Extension

If you want to take it up a notch the side plank will surely challenge you. If you are building up your upper body strength this is another exercise that will give you a lot of bank for your buck.

While in the side plank extend your arm straight above your shoulder.

Guide to Plank Variations

Bring it down in a diagonal in front of you until it grazes the floor in front of you.
Side Plank_Pos 1

Guide to Plank Variations

Side Plank with Triple Tuck

Begin in the side plank position…

Guide to Plank Variations

Bring your top leg into a tuck position with your knee coming towards your chest.

Guide to Plank Variations

Make sure to not let you hip drop towards the floor.

Reverse Plank

Guide to Plank Variations

Lie on your back with your legs and feet straight ahead of you. Bend your arms at the elbows and push your hips up into the air. The goal is to keep them in a straight line with the rest of your body. Do not let your hips drop to the floor.

Pick and choose the different variations you would like to add to your workouts! Working your core consistently is the key to seeing the results you are seeking.

»Have you signed up for your FREE Welcome Pack? Enter you email and this exciting new eBook will be sent to you immediately! Lifestyle habits, nutrition advice, healthy recipes and training guidance that will help you get stronger in your workouts.

Enjoy the fit life one adventure at a time and follow along!
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I always love hearing from you! If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email.

Xo,

Lauren

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Focus on You

Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

My message today is a simple one. A brand of thinking that might help you let go of some of the ways that lead you to be stuck inside of a negative loop. We have all been there playing the same reel on repeat in our heads. A dangerous little game of comparisons.

Focus on You

Focus on You

Put in the Time

It is so easy to compare where you are right now with someone else on a different journey. Perhaps you are the same age or even younger. Yet you look at them, and wonder why you do not have what they have. They may have more money, a better job or be further along in their health and fitness pursuits. In reality, they have been plugging away at xy or z for 5 years, but you have just turned the corner on the 6 month mark. The why is very clear. They have simply been doing it longer than you. In most cases, the duration cannot be outwitted.

Not Just More

You may look at your goals in the eye and doubt that they will take as long as the average person. You vow to work longer. You vow to work harder. Except why do you think you are the first one to make these promises to the universe?

In reality, I have been working out for six years. That is my training age. It has no relation to my real age. When I see someone who is more capable I know their real secret to success. Maybe their effort and intensity is equal to mine. I am dedicated and I always show up. However, when it comes to time they have me trumped in spades. Any new project or endeavor is equally revealing. Your true age quickly shines through. Anything new has its highs and lows. The key to moving forward is concentrating on what is best for you – not worrying about a comparison that you have developed in your head. It leads nowhere.

Danger in Comparisons

In the dawn of social media it is so easy to fall into this tramp. You are seeing the highlights of someone else’s life. People rarely share the setbacks, losses or disappointments. You may start to feel like nothing is happening for you. You start to doubt yourself. This is a way of thinking that can lead you to your downfall.

Age is relative to the process. Wondering why you have to work harder is not worth you time. Instead of allowing your thoughts to wonder about someone else simply focus on you. If we all have limited energy stores why give away your limited ration to someone else? Headspace is something we often take for granted. If we allow ourselves to get wrapped up in the success of others than we will not have the energy to focus on ourselves. Some days might just feel like more of the same. That does not mean that nothing is happening. Comparisons are an indulgence you cannot afford.

Focus on You

You are unique. Your journey is yours alone. Keep your head down and only focus on the path in front of you. Everything else is irrelevant. Celebrate the success of others and learn what they did to get to where you want to go. There are no shortcuts that get you to the middle chapter. Be patient and diligent and your own progress will come to pass at the right time.

Focus On You

Always remember the universe is an unlimited place. :-)

Enjoy the fit life one adventure at a time and follow along!
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I always love hearing from you! If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email.

Xo,

Lauren

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