It's a new year and with that comes a chance to resolve yourself to trying new things! Switching up your fitness routine with different exercises can help you bust weight loss plateaus, build new muscle groups and kill routine boredom. Here are 11 exercises to try in 2018:
1. Windmill: Lie on your back with your arms extended out to the sides at shoulder height. Raise your legs until they're perpendicular to the floor. Lower your legs to the left side of your body so you meet the floor a few inches away from your left hand, then bring them back to center. Repeat, lowering your legs to the opposite side.
2. Plank Toe Taps: If you can fit your body onto the ground, you can hold a plank! Get into high or low plank (low plank will be more challenging) and then tap one foot out then back to starting position. Then switch feet. This exercise strengthens the deep postural muscles supporting the abdominal wall and engages multiple muscle groups at once for an effective use of time.
3. Box jumps: Use a plyo box at the gym, or a sturdy bench. Make sure to clear the surrounding area just in case you slip. Jump onto the box or bench and land with soft knees. Step — don’t jump — back down to the floor.
4. Single-leg squat: Try this exercise with or without weight. First, balance on your right foot. Bend the left leg and reach it behind you. Keep your shoulders back and your core engaged. Now, bend the right knee into a squat position. Execute this squat as carefully as if you were trying to set down a full glass of water and then pick the same glass up.
5. Incline work: On the treadmill? Stair machine? Elliptical? Outdoors? No matter where you are, find that incline! A 20-minute walk, hiking through the mountains adapting to terrain, changing incline levels from 3 to 15 on the treadmill are all so beneficial for your calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
Glutes/Your Money Maker
6. Glute bridges:
7. Squat & overhead press: Begin in a standing position with a dumbbell in each hand. Clean the dumbbells to shoulder height. Your palms should be facing each other and elbows pointed forward. Look directly forward, chest up, and feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down - flexing the knees and hips to lower your body, and maintain good posture. As you start rising up to a standing position, simultaneously press the weights overhead . Return weights to shoulders before repeating.
8. Lunge & twist: Hold a medicine ball in front of you with elbows bent about 90 degrees. Step forward with your left foot in a lunge position. Be sure to keep your knee over your left foot; don't twist at the knee. Then come back to starting position. Then switch legs and repeat. Great for your core too!
9. Plank shoulder taps: Come into a static plank position, again with the hands just underneath the shoulders. Your core, quadriceps, and shoulders should all be engaged. Without rocking your hips side-to-side, touch your right hand to your left shoulder and then place it back to the floor. Then tap your right shoulder with your left hand and bring it back. Another awesome exercise from my 30-Minute Badass Bodyweight Workouts that you can do ANYWHERE, anytime and require no gym and no equipment! These make the perfect travel workouts too!
10. Walk-Outs: From a standing position, bring your hands all the way to the floor in front of you. Locking out your arms. Walk your hands out until you are in a push-up position with your hands directly underneath your shoulders. Brace your core. Walk the hands back until they are at your feet and then stand all the way up. Add a push-up after the walk-out to make it more difficult!
11. Pike Push-Ups: Come back into your plank position. but this time, push your hips up toward the ceiling and keep your spine long. If you do yoga, you’ll know this position as downward-facing dog. Keep your entire body active and your neck relaxed, and bend the elbows as if you were about to head-butt the floor. How much you bend the elbows is up to you, but your head should never actually reach the floor. Step your feet closer to your hands to intensify this move. This is one of my FAVES!!!
Lastly... fuel up after your workout with an adequate amount of protein to help muscles recover. Vital Proteins Dark Chocolate & Blackberry Collagen Peptides are easily digested and soluble in cold or hot liquids and TASTE SO DAMN GOOD. Adding a scoop or two of these collagen peptides to food or beverages gives you the boost you need to support healthy hair, skin, nails, bone and joint health, digestion, muscle recovery, and more. Plus, collagen is anti-aging! And God knows none of us are getting any younger!!!
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I'm pumped for what 2018 will bring to my life and those of my clients.
Remember, I'm always here to help you with your fitness and nutrition, so
hit me up on Instagram, Facebook, or on my website. Cheers to an amazing 2018!
Have you had one of those weeks (or months!) where you feel really good about your nutrition, you’ve made the effort to get to the gym, yet the scale isn’t budging or those jeans aren’t quite zipping? Maddening, isn’t it?! We’ve all been there and today we’re discussing the 5 mistakes you’re probably making at the gym that are weighing you down, literally!
Mistake #2 – Not Going Hard Enough
You know I live by the philosophy “STRONG, not skinny.” In order to achieve that strength, you gotta work! Being a beast at the gym builds those sexy muscles that are supported by your work in the kitchen. You have to work intensely enough to get results. Being able to laugh or chat during a set are signs your workout is not challenging enough. Ask yourself, am I truly pushing myself or am I just faking it? If it’s the latter, I can be the push you need! My 8 Weeks to Strong program delivers amazing results through intense, specially designed workouts!
Mistake #3 – Your Rest Periods Are Too Long
We all know our lives are crazy busy these days, which means not wasting time at the gym is as important as ever. One reason your workout session may be overly time consuming is because your rest periods between sets and exercises are too long. Not only does resting too long impact the total time spent in the gym, but it will also compromise your gains. Too much rest can reduce the strength-building fatigue effect. It is critical to keep your rest periods short so that your muscles don’t have a chance to cool down (and/or you start getting distracted by your phone, other people or realizing how tired you are! We know who we are on this one, am I right?!).
Mistake #4 – Not Establishing a Mind To Muscle Connection
This may be a new one for some folks. A mind to muscle connection is the synergy between the brain and targeted muscle that allows the individual to focus and visualize the muscle working. Conversely, doing rep after rep mindlessly, is not working with intention. This mind to muscle connection was a hallmark of Arnold Schwarzengger’s huge bodybuilding success. He proved training SMART is just as important as training HARD. Visualizing your workouts through intention and muscle targeting will bring your gym game to a whole different level. Having a detailed plan when you hit the gym is a critical piece to correcting this common mistake. Stop winging it at the gym, let me help you create an effective workout plan customized to YOUR life! Just click here to take the first step!
Mistake #5 – Not Mastering Form First
In the gym, form is everything! Having a great workout plan, yet not executing it with proper form is like ordering a top shelf whiskey at the bar then spilling the whole thing! Both are major party fouls! A few examples of poor form are jerking the weight, swinging the weight, not using full range of motion and straining your neck during an exercise. Poor form doesn’t just hinder your fitness progress, it can also result in serious injuries to your muscles, tendons and back.
Look, we all make mistakes, I know I do on the daily! But gym mistakes don’t have to be on that list! Learning to warm-up, creating a workout with the right intensity, limiting your rest between sets, connecting your mind to your body during exercises and mastering your form are just a few of the fitness areas I can absolutely help you transform. I offer some amazing fitness plan options in the areas of coaching, one-on-one training and customized plans here on my website.
As always, I am here to support YOU! I’ve helped thousands of others across the country unleash the BEAST inside at the gym. Shoot me a message to my email email@example.com or via Facebook or Instagram anytime. Let’s ramp up your gym game TODAY!
Happy New Year!
I am a firm believer that being mentally tough plays a HUGE role into your physical strength and well-being also. You can't have one without the other. When I ran across this article I immediately wanted to share it with you because it hits the nail on the head! Being mentally strong is a skill-set that we can all learn and fine-tune.
Check out the full article here for all 15 Qualites of Mentally Tough People and pass it along if it inspired you as much as it did me.
Cheers to a happy, healthy and STRONG (mentally and physcially) 2017!
XOXO - Amy
My 3 Favorite Exercises For A Bodacious Booty:
This classic training move does wonders for building a strong rear end. Really DRIVE through your heels to engage your glutes. When completing your lunge sets during your booty training, you want to be sure that you vary the directions of your lunges - forward, reverse, and diagonal are good variations to start with. Use weight by way of a barbell, plate, dumbbell, anything heavy to ramp up the intensity and build muscle in your booty!
2. HIP THRUSTERS
I can't say it enough, the more weight the better with these! This move specifically targets your glutes in amazing ways. Not only that, but it also works on your lower abs, hamstrings, quads, and even your calves! This is a great training move that multitasks by providing many benefits to many different muscle groups!
Are you ready to put the BOO in BOOTY?
Then buy my How to Build a Booty plan TODAY!
If you want even more help with building muscle all over your body, go to AmyMarolfFitness.com, where you'll find even more options where we can work together and make big progress. Let's get started today!
Burn fat? Yes, please! Are you in need of a new go-to recipe for an easy snack, lunch, or on-the-go dinner? Maybe you're just looking to add some variety to your lean protein consumption? Muscle food doesn't have to be bland and boring. In fact, it's actually pretty amazing! I get asked often, how does one go about getting a killer set of abs? Abs come from the gym + the kitchen. Gains in the gym need to be backed up by proper nutrition that starts in the kitchen! If you're looking to strengthen and shred your core, check out my awesome abs plan on my website!
Enjoy this delicious, fat-burning chicken apple salad that's so easy to make and be sure to comment below if you try it!
I get asked all the time about clean eating. I am a firm believer that this clean eating lifestyle isn't about depriving ourselves of all the good stuff! You really can have your cake and eat it too! Whether you rock your clean eating like a champ every week, or you're new to this way of living, here are my top 10 tips to remember when you decide to eat and cook clean! If you're sick of working your ass off at the gym, but don't see any results, if you're low energy, if you think all you can eat is chicken and broccoli or if you're ready to lose weight and look great, then be sure to check out my website and lets get started on living your best, healthiest, most confident, sexiest life yet!
1. Approach your meals and eating habits as your lifestyle.
When you really value something as a way to make your life better, generally speaking you will approach it with a sense of commitment and a can-do attitude. When you look at your meals and eating habits as a way to make your life better rather than "some new diet to try for 30 days", I bet you'll find that you're more committed and chances of your success will sky rocket!
2. Eat ALL the fresh fruits & veggies!
For a good, well-rounded (and delicious) meal plan, it is super important that you get a lot of great variety! Dark leafy greens are a must every day, as well as seasonal fruits and veggies are a great way to get this awesome food group incorporated into your diet. I try to eat a veggie with every single meal! For daily fruit, I usually stick to low glycemic fruits such as green apples and berries. Do this and I bet you $1 you'll be feeling fantastic from the inside out!
4. Be prepared.
When you are prepared you will have the most success in sticking to your goals and crushing them. This means meal prep! This means scheduling your training times like they are an important business meeting (because they are)! You know yourself best, and you know what your weak spots are. When you prepare--you are not going to be able to give yourself an out later on. You will have no excuses when you know you've got prepped, delicious muscle-building foods back at the house. Bonus tip: Buy bags of veggies already washed and chopped to steam in the microwave, buy a rotisserie chicken and pull off all the white meat and always have a bag of frozen berries in your fridge for shakes, salads and snacks! These items require ZERO prep.
5. Eliminate added sugars.
Albeit, sometimes delicious--these bad boys don't help us accomplish our goals. Keep these guys to a minimum. Find other ways to get your sweet fix. For example, seasonal fruits as well as sugar substitutes such as stevia, honey, and maple syrup are great ways to add a little sweet in your life without getting in the way of your fitness goals! And: READ LABELS! There's sugar in damn near everything. I try to keep sugar to under 7g/serving with anything I buy.
6. Drink water.
Water is your BFF! Drink water like it's your day job. Not only does it keep random cravings at bay, it also leads to other awesome perks like healthy, glowing skin! Proper hydration leads to healthy body function, and healthy muscle growth. It's different for everyone, but personally, my goal every single day is to drink 3L of water.
7. Choose whole grains.
Whole grains are better fuel for our bodies over processed, bleached grain products. Not all whole grains have to taste like sawdust. There are some really great options like this sprouted grain bread that tastes amazing as a base for some avocado and scrambled egg for an awesome protein filled breakfast! And my favorite, Rice Chex cereal, baby!
8. Balance Your Diet.
Remember, all things in moderation! Clean eating doesn't mean you have to cut out and remove all of your favorites. It just means that somethings you used to eat (and drink - Hello, Wine and Whiskey!) more regularly now become special treats. Clean eating is the farthest thing from deprivation. All that it means is making better choices, but also taking time to celebrate once in a while!
9. Don't eat foods with ingredients that you can't pronounce.
Chances are, if you are having trouble pronouncing an ingredient in your food it's probably not super fantastic for your rockin' bod. Pretty much stay away from the processed junk and you'll be good to go!
10. Keep nutrients in mind, not just calories.
Remember, when living a clean lifestyle--keeping your body nourished is the first priority! I feel like a lot of the current health culture really pushes calorie counting and cutting carbs. You can eat 1600 calories of chocolate cake, or you can eat 1600 calories of amazing, filling, and healthy food. It's not just about the caloric intake. Nutrients and food choice play a huge role in goal success!
Need help with a meal plan? My clients from all over the United States have had incredible success with my 6 Week Get Lean meal plan and my custom meal plans. Maybe you're thinking...I eat pretty darn clean already, but I'd like to learn how to dial it in and lose those last 5lb pesky pounds or talk about how your eating and workouts really do work hand-in-hand with each other when it comes to results, then a 1 hour nutrition coaching session would be the perfect fit for you! Reach out with any questions. Hearing from you all makes me happy! I'd love to help give you the tools to transform your body which in turn, transforms your entire life! It's pretty magical. :)
#1 - Chew Your Food
Have you ever finished a plate of food and ten minutes later felt overstuffed? Picture this: when you chew your food, your body starts to react to the rise in blood sugar. The more you chew, the more saliva is produced. Not only does this preliminary deconstruction help with the absorption of nutrients, but it also sends signals to your brain that food is being digested. If you swallow your food partially chewed or whole, the sugars being released from your food are delayed. Your body doesn't feel satiated even though you have had enough to eat, so you keep on eating. Take your time! Your tummy will thank you for it.
#4 – Take a Probiotic Everyday
Studies have shown that taking a probiotic can help you shed those unwanted inches around your waist. Your digestive system is filled with billions of bacterial organisms, good and bad. Those with an imbalance of organisms have a harder time losing weight and body fat. When introducing a probiotic, the digestive system is replenished with beneficial bacteria. Make sure your probiotic has multiple strains and anti-yeast ingredients. You can pump yourself with billions of live cultures, but if you don’t address the yeast, those beneficial bacteria will die off before they get a chance to do their job. High quality probiotics, like ProBio5 by Plexus, offer enzymes that kill off harmful bacteria and yeast that slow down your metabolism and cause other health issues.
#5 – Get More Sleep
Sleep quality often gets overlooked when it comes to health and weight loss. Lack of sleep causes a spike in cortisol and insulin resistance. Unfortunately cortisol also breaks down tissue and puts the body in a “fight-or-flight” mode which is not an ideal situation to lose body fat. Tired people will try to energize themselves with food, many times with sugar and carb heavy snacks. Sleep deprivation can also decrease insulin sensitivity which allows the body to feel satisfied after meals, so tired people have a tendency to overeat. To help keep these hormone levels in check, make sure you get an average of 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night.
#6 Bonus! – If You Can’t Tone it, Tan it!
Fake it till you make it! You may feel a little impatient on your quest to a flat tummy or sculpted abs. Why not take advantage with a little lighting magic? Tanning brings out the contours of your shape especially on your arms, legs and abs. If you don't want to lay out or live in frigid temperatures, consider a spray tan or invest in a good self-tanner.
Thank you to the lovely Annie Alves for contributing to this blog!
An effective workout doesn't have to be a long workout.
Happy Labor Day, People!! We were in beautiful Breckenridge, CO, soaking up the sunshine and fun in the mountains with friends. I LOVE weekend getaways. Only downside sometimes can be that we get a bit behind with life. Does anyone else feel this way? Laundry, cleaning, yard work, mail, you name it - there's a lot to do to keep our lives functioning. And let's face it - EVERYONE is busy in this day and age. Sometimes work bears down on us, our families need our attention, or our lives quickly become over-committed. And what about the less frequent derailments in life - your child wakes up with a fever, you’re finally enjoying that much deserved, long anticipated vacation, or we simply lack motivation for the day. While these occurrences are normal, they don’t have to distract you from taking care of yourself. A healthy lifestyle is critical to overall wellness, helping you to avoid unhealthy weight gain, improve heart health and cholesterol levels, even reducing the risks of some cancers. Exercise also positively impacts our mood, stress level and even quality of sleep!
Here's the best part of all – you can enjoy the benefits of a great workout in as little as 10 minutes! That means when life gets crazy, throwing routines and dependability to the wind, you don’t have to write off today’s workout for lack of time. With all the health benefits to be gained in such a short amount of time, who can afford to miss it? NOT YOU!
For starters, try one of the following 10-minute workouts. As always, before beginning the workout, start with a dymanic warmup.
FIT WHISKEY GIRL'S FAVORITE KICK ASS WARM UPS:
butt kicks, high knees, bodyweight squats, walking lunges, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, toy soldiers, push-ups, burpees, and light weights for arms. The possibilities are limitless!
To aid in the transition from one exercise to another and minimize the distraction of watching/resetting a timer, you can download a free Tabata App, like this Interval Timer by Deltaworks and set the Interval Cycles in accordance with your workout. Another benefit to interval training – the workouts are never boring! With 4 easy ways to alternate intensity, there are endless opportunities to challenge your body.
A solid workout plan is only half the battle. Great nutrition is a vital component to truly changing your body, and my meal plans can help you accomplish your goals by explaining exactly what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. To learn more, visit my website. Let's work together to create a custom workout and meal plan that will work for you!
XOXO - Amy
(thanks to guest blog writer Deanna Torres - a sweet and strong lady - the best combo around!)
We all live hectic lives and there aren't enough hours in the day to get it all done! All that busy and crazy can make it pretty difficult sometimes to keep a balanced diet. We’ve all made these diet mistakes at some point, but don’t worry! Here are some some kick ass solutions to break habits and start new, healthy ones.
MISTAKE #1: Not eating enough.
Did you know that just for your brain and body to function at a healthy capacity you need to be consuming a MINIMUM of 1200 calories. Generally speaking, on average a woman should be eating between 1200-2400 calories, and men should be eating between 2,000-3,000 calories. How many calories should you be eating?
Fit Whiskey Girl’s Kick Ass Tip #1:
Avoid starving your body of proper caloric intake. Think and plan ahead. Stick to a meal plan. The possibilities are limitless! Following a meal plan ensures that you are consuming enough calories daily and getting ample variety. In addition, it helps to keep you from making other common dieting mistakes such as binge eating, or being SO hungry that you make an unhealthy food choice just because it seemed quick and easy, but then feel guilty after-the-fact. Check out my 6 Week Get Lean meal plan or lets work together to create a custom meal plan for you!
MISTAKE #2: Not preparing the majority of your food.
When you don’t prepare and plan out your food intake for the week it can lead to eating out more which leads to spending more money and less in your bank account and more on your thighs! This typically means consuming more calories due to larger portions, and a lack of control concerning what ingredients are being used. Also, a protein bar here and there is totally ok (RxBars and Quest bars are my go-tos), but you can't live on them!! Your body needs real, fresh food to thrive and perform at its best.
Fit Whiskey Girl’s Kick Ass Tip #2:
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! Not only does planning save you time and money in the long run, it also saves you from making irrational hunger induced choices. Let’s work together to get a customized meal plan started!
MISTAKE #3: Not Drinking Enough Water.
Did you know that the average adult human body is 50-65% water? Pretty cool, huh? Because our bodies are literally made out of water, that means we need a TON of water to fuel our bodies properly.
Fit Whiskey Girl’s Kick Ass Tip #3:
Buy a 1 Liter re-useable water bottle and attach it to your hip. By having a water bottle, you are never without and it's better for the environment. Another bonus: the bottle serves as a reminder to drink up, and refill that water bottle all day long. Fruit, vegetable or herb infused water is a great option to add some fun and healthy flavors into your water to mix it up, and keep those soda cravings at bay.
MISTAKE #4: Not Getting Enough Sleep.
Did that Monday morning alarm hit you hard today? Not getting enough sleep is a huge factor in lacking energy for the daily grind, workouts, and everything else in between. Did you know that not getting enough sleep can even lead to you overheating during a work out?
Fit Whiskey Girl’s Kick Ass Tip #4:
By getting rid of those poor sleep habits you will feel more energized, and ready to better handle what life is going bring your way that day.
MISTAKE #5: Not Establishing Healthy Habits For Life.
It is time to throw those crash diets out the window. While we’re at it, lets ditch those 30-day challenges, and 7-day cleanses. Those plans, simply put are not sustainable. If you want REAL results you have to make HABIT changes, and establish those as the new normal.
Fit Whiskey Girl’s Kick Ass Tip #5:
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your body. Habits take time to establish, stick with it and don’t give up. Your efforts will pay off. Remember why you are putting yourself first in this journey and why you deserve to be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. When we have these healthy habits established, we set ourselves up for success in ALL areas of our life.
Much love, Fit Friends! Have a great week!
There are just too many choices when it comes to workout shoes! You're not going to climb a 14er in flip-flops; nor are you going to run a marathon in weight lifting shoes. How do you find the right shoe for the exercise you're doing? Does it matter? Absolutely YES. As IF we needed an excuse to go buy a new pair of shoes, here's some justification and recommendations for you.
WEIGHT TRAINING/BOOT CAMP:
This shoe needs to feature flexibility and stability. It should disperse pressure evenly. It needs to meet the demands of your rigorous workout by flexing and contracting with your foot during every squat and sprint. For these functions, I choose NIKE FREES. When you work out, especially during leg exercises, you have to be driving through the heels. It's really hard to drive force through the heel in running shoes with lots of cushion. The Nike innovators behind this particular shoe spent 8 (!) years studying the biomechanics of feet in motion. The culmination of their research yielded a profound understanding of the foot's natural landing angle. Plus, they look awesome and come in all sorts of stylish colors and patterns!
A trusted pair of shoes are a runner's best friend. Proper footwear works wonders for casual walkers and ultra-marathoners alike. In fact, it's critical to your physical heath. Every time you put your foot down while you're running, imagine that weight times three. That's the amount of force you're generating when you're running, no matter how fast or slow. There are countless factors to consider when choosing a running shoe: gait, susceptibility to injury, experience/current fitness level. I love my ADIDAS PURE BOOST X running shoes. These running shoes feature a sock-like fit that offers all-around support. A full "boost" midsole keeps every stride charged with light, fast energy. And guess what, ladies? These babies are designed for the contours of a woman's foot!
Our workouts should be diverse. Cross training helps us blast out of the same-old, same-old. It calls upon muscle groups that aren't always called upon. Plus, it keeps things interesting! I love my REEBOK NANOS
for surface area contact, improved traction and durability. These shoes are sturdy enough to keep up with my intense workouts but light enough to not weigh me down. Badass and durable. My kinda shoe.
Alright, so I'm not ALWAYS working out; sometimes I'm just hanging out. But even then, I want something I feel (and look!) good in. My NIKE AIR FORCE SUEDES do not disappoint if you're going for a sporty, casual, yet fashionable look. This iconic shoe has been transcending foot coverage since 1982. Seriously though, how cool are these shoes?! I have gotten stopped multiple times by men and women alike complimenting me on these whenever I wear them! Also, let's not overlook the classic Converse - both low top and high top - as a fantastic, casual choice.