Do you ever go Back to Basics? The theme of the month for Inspired To Be Fit is going back to the basics. Get ready to learn a ton over the next few weeks. Today, Jill and I are going over the basics of 6 different foundation exercises!

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#ITBF: LEARN & BURN BACK TO BASICS

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ITBF is not your average link up!

Inspired To Be Fit (#ITBF) is not only a fun way to share your posts and make new friends! It’s also a resource for at least 8 kick-butt workouts a month!

Wait there’s more, you’re also getting a fitness education component. Not sure if you are performing you squat correctly? Curious how to progress a specific exercise? Unsure of how many reps to do to build muscle? ITBF is your go-to resource. 

As certified personal trainers, Jill and I provide a challenging and effective workout each week, along with tools, tips, tricks and resources to help you make the most of your workout program. Each month will focus on a different aspect of fitness, which will be the theme of the month.

What can you expect to find each week?

WEEK 1: Learn & Burn: Fitness professionals providing education (LEARN) on a specific fitness topic and the first of 4 workouts (BURN) of the month.

WEEK 2: Another brand new, custom workout!

WEEK 3: Taking your workouts to the next level: As you get stronger (yes, you will get stronger) you’re going to want to progress and modify your workouts to continue to see progress and get the most out of How can you progress and modify as you get stronger to get the most out of each movement and workout. Plus, the third workout will be delivered.

WEEK 4: FREE WEEK and the fourth workout!

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As a bonus, Jill and I challenge YOU to complete BOTH of our workouts during the week. Before, during or after the workout, snap a photo, share it on Instagram, tagging @jillconyers and @burpeesforbreakfast us and using hashtag #itbf!

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The theme of this month will be BACK TO BASICS! One of my favorite topics. Today is the first edition of the Learn & Burn. We are talking 6 basic foundation moves. Jill will be covering the push-up, squat and plank. Be sure to check out her recommendations as well! I’m talking lunges, pulling movements and hip hinge.

THE LUNGE

Raise your hand if you have knee pain when you perform a lunge? It’s a pretty common occurrence and it’s likely switching up a few things could alleviate the issue. There are many types of lunges, but for the sake of this post, let’s just focus on the front and reverse lunge!

HOW TO PERFORM A LUNGE CORRECTLY

lunge_correctStand with feed hip width apart. Shoulders back and down. Pelvis slightly tucked and core engaged. Move right leg straight back. Bend both knees, aiming for a 90 degree angle on legs and lower straight down. Weight should be in the front heel. Press through that heel to come back to standing position and return the right leg to it’s starting position.

COMMON ISSUES

lunge_nonosSTAGGERED STANCE

Think railroad tracks. Your feet should move back and forth as if on railroad tracks. I often see individuals stick one foot forward or back at an angle. Think railroad tracks.

KNEE OVER TOE

In a lunge, we want the front knee to be in line with the ankle, in a 90 degree angle. I often see the knee gravitate over the foot when there is a literal lunge forward. Rather than lunging forward, imagine someone is pushing you straight down. When I was a kid, I had a toy where you should press a button down and things would spin. Weird, I know. But think of someone having their hand on your head and pushing you straight down. If the pelvis is tucked  and you are thinking ‘straight down’, then the knee should stay in line with the ankle.

HEEL RAISE

Your quads and glutes are the primary muscles used in a lunge. You must think about those muscles as you perform the movement. As you move your weight down into the lunge, think about the forward heel. Most of your weight should be in that heel. As you rise, push through that heel and squeeze your butt as you rise.

TRAINER TIP: If I have a client that is a bit shaky with lunges, I’ll bring out the PVC pipe. You can use a broom, swiffer or door, as well. If performing a reverse lunge, pipe should be next to the arch of the foot that will remain forward. Hold the pipe as you perform the lunge. The knee should be in line with the pipe and should not go past. 

lunge_basics

PULLING MOVEMENTS

How many times have I said that I’m going to get X number of pull-ups? I was all talk and no follow through. I’m working on a pull-up progression plan, as I plan on nailing (at least) 5 unassisted pull-ups this year. Since I didn’t have a pull-up bar handy enough to take some blog worthy photos, let’s just talk basic pulling – the seated row.

pulling_basicsShoulders should always be back and down, lat muscles engaged, pelvis slight tucked, keeping abdominals engaged.

COMMON ISSUES

pulling_basicsSHOULDERS ELEVATE

When the upper back muscles are working overtime, the shoulders will elevate. Before any pulling movement, roll shoulders back and down. Feel those shoulder blades slide down your back. Squeeze, then perform your pull. Think: shoulder blades in back pocket.

HEAD PROTRUDES

Is it ever the case for you that you think you are pulling the weight/band towards you, but it’s really just your neck moving forward? Do a small chin tuck before your pull to help avoid this issue. Perform chin tucks a few times a week as part of your warm up, to help strengthen weak muscles.

THE HIP HINGE

The hip hinge is the most common exercise I see people struggle with most often. The two most basic hip hinge is the Good Morning and the Deadlift. Now there are many variations of the deadlift, Basic Deadlift, Sumo Deadlift, Jefferson Deadlift, Kettlebell Deadlift, Romanian Deadlift and more. Today, I’m touching on my favorite deadlift and the one I see performed incorrectly, the Romanian Deadlift.

HOW TO PERFORM THE RDL CORRECTLY

hip_hinge_basicsHere are the basic cues for performing a correct RDL:

Feet hip width apart. Shoulders back and down (think putting them in your back pocket) and lats engaged. Pelvis slightly tucked and core muscles engaged (imagine I’m coming to punch you in the gut). Knees slightly bent. You will hinge at the hips, keeping knees slightly bent and back as flat as possible. As you hinge, your butt is going to go back. When you rise, drive through your heels and squeeze the glutes and hammy’s to stand.

Hinge and Snap.

COMMON ISSUES

hinge_nonosA few weeks ago at the gym, I saw a trainer teaching a client an RDL and it was THE WORST form I’ve ever seen. It was painful. Here are a few of the issues I saw and tend to see in class.

BACK ROUNDS

When the back rounds, this means we are not engaging the back muscles or core. Before you hinge, squeeze your shoulder blades together, tight and imagine you are trying to stick them in your back pocket. This helps to engage the lats, which help to keep the back strong and flat. When you get to the bottom of your movement, think about trying to place a China Tea Set on your back. Will it stay flat?

TRAINER TIP: Add Cobras or Supermans to your workout program for a week or two, in order to strengthen back muscles. Stretch chest muscles. 

BUTT NOT OUT

You gotta put your back into it, just saying. If that butt doesn’t go back, that means your back is likely to round. Don’t be afraid to put your butt into it. Think of a counter top. Imagine it is hitting right where your hip/leg bone meet. If it hits you, you’ll have to stick your butt back and perform a hinge.

TRAINER TIP: Stand a few inches in front of a wall. Perform butt taps against the wall as practice for a full hip hinge. Take a PVC pipe or broom. Place in the hip crease with both hands on each side. Pull the pipe/broom towards you and hinge. 

hip hinge practiceLOCKED KNEES

Stay lose (but always engaged) to some degree with the RDL. No need to lock out those knees. The slight bent helps produce the right kind of hinge. Think of engaging your lower abdominal muscles and keeping everything contracted.

TRAINER TIP: I often start my clients off by using a PVC pipe or broom stick, if they have trouble with a RDL. Place against back and perform a hinge. The stick/pipe should stay flush with your back. If you notice rounding in the upper, incorporate a superman/cobra into your routine. If you notice your lower back rounding, add a slight bend to those knees and incorporate butt taps into your routine. 

hinge_pvc_pipeNOTE: The RDL should not be a quick explosive movement or one that results in a hyperextended back. ENGAGE your core muscles and go slowly and controlled.

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 THE WORKOUT

This week, I took all some of our basic moves and rolled them into one fun, effective and custom workout! Yes, the pulling is missing because girl ain’t got no pull-up bar in a space where a good photo can be taken.

EQUIPMENT

  • Timer (I don’t go anywhere without my MiniMax)
  • YOU

SETUP

This is a pyramid set up. You will do 3 reps of each move, then 6 reps, then 9 reps, until you get to 15. Once you get to 15 reps of each, go back down the pyramid. You will rest when needed. If you prefer, go up and down the pyramid twice.

NOTES

Complete the RX reps of lunges on EACH LEG.

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So, to just keep adding to the length of this post (it’s uber long right). I had my first experience with the DSLR. The sick Hubs helped me take a few shots yesterday, but I went super quick and I just wasn’t feeling them. He helped me set the timer and I shot all the graphics for this post, myself, in the cold. My hands were freezing! Bloggers gotta do what a bloggers gotta do, amiright?

Also, my current watch while doing work: Fixer Upper. I absolutely love this show and now that everything is on Netflix, I decided to start watching/have it play in the background. I want to be like Joanna Gaines when I grow up!

And, I decorated the office a bit more this weekend. I CANNOT wait to do the reveal!

Anywho, hope you enjoyed Week 1 of Inspired To Be Fit! Be sure to head over to Jill’s blog to learn about the other 3 moves!

NEXT WEEK: A new Back to Basic Workout! Be sure to share your fitness related posts (check out the rules for what is encouraged and what will be deleted!).

Make your Monday LEGENDARY!

Are there any moves you have trouble with? Trainers – what are you top form faux pas? What did you do this weekend?

XOXO,
Jen

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