If Men and Women Swapped “Mirror Muscles”

In the age of the selfie, gym check ins, bathroom mirror pictures, and #FlexFriday, it’s no surprise that men’s and women’s mirror muscles rule our social media feeds. In general, these infamous muscles are the ones you can easily see in the mirror: chest, biceps, abs, and quads. Each gender has 2 muscles (groups) that they are consistently checking out, taking pictures of and training (overtraining?) Chest and biceps rule as king among dudes and bros. While glutes and abs are the emphasis of the ladies. Jennifer-Lopez-e-Iggy-Azalea-1I even had a male client one day say he didn’t want to work on glutes because he wasn’t a girl. So wrong. It has definitely been the year of the booty in the gym and in the media. I like big butts and I can not lie. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with working these muscle groups, the problem is that other muscles and entire movements and body parts are forgotten or neglected. Ex) Never Skip Leg Day

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The purpose of this paradox is to incorporate the training of the entire body into a person’s program. Being one sided in any aspect of your life will only leave you skewed, crooked and more susceptible to injuries.

Let’s play with scenarios.

What if men trained glutes and abs 3 times per week along with their normal one- sided routine? What if while training glutes they were simultaneously training abs!? Glutes are powerful muscles. Strengthening glutes leads to increase speed and power output during sprinting and running and in Olympic lifts. Functional, firing glutes support movement patterns of lower limb joints (hips, knees, ankles). A number of glute exercises involve the hamstrings as well which are often under developed in athletes who focus mainly on front of the leg, quads. b1895e8261877304c122921353b5a753We are not built like pyramids; from the ground up. We are built from the middle out. Therefore, your strength radiates out from the middle of the body known as the core. The core includes layers of abdominals, back muscles, and around the rib cage. Olympic lifting (i.e. deadlifts and squats) recruits the core for stability during their movements. These movements are functional and involve not only the abdominals but the back as well. Core is the center of most kinetic chains in the body. Moving through that entire kinetic (caused by motion) chain develops each aspect of the body parts involved.

What if women trained chest and biceps 3 times per week along with their normal routine? Women tend to be comparable to men in lower body strength, but men have a head start in upper body strength simply because they have more testosterone then women do. A strong upper body not only aids in weight lifting, but also posture, and effectively completing daily activities. Training the chest muscles directly benefits shoulder strength and stability. Certain exercises (single arm press, cable flys, bottom up kettelbell overhead press) strengthen the “push” muscles of the chest and shoulder.  Training chest and biceps adds shape and definition to arms. A simple push up works shoulders, chest, core (back AND abs), triceps and biceps! (Tank top arms? Arms like a tank?) Woo!!

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Flexing for the wedding!

The average gym goer is training for appearance. Functionality? Ability? Balance? These get put on a back burner. I dream of a social media world where men are showing off their strong, powerful glutes (have you seen baseball players swing? Where do you thing that power comes from!?) Who else isn’t skipping leg day…have you seen soccer players? Every single member of the USMNT are perfect examples of why men should train legs. They can drop a soccer ball on their foot and a millisecond later it is flying past the goalkeeper at 80+ mph! Helloooo glutes!

I dream of a social media where a woman can flex those guns and it’s known how much harder a female has to work to get that definition, strength and cut then a male has to do. (That whole women have less testosterone thing). Defined, arms are beautiful!!

*Remember your whole body is connected, front to back and top to bottom. Train for your goals but don’t leave out entire body parts!

Mermaids flex too!
Mermaids flex too!

Play Hard Get Fit

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Okada, T., Huxel. K., Nesser, T. Relationship Between Core Stability, Functional Movement, and Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. January 2011. 25(1), 252-261.

Bleacher Creature Workout

Mom at your son’s track meet. Dad at your daughter’s soccer game. Gym rat looking to get outside on gorgeous days. Athlete in between classes and jobs. This workout is for each of YOU! Busy schedules, time constraints, and specific locations are the constantly changing variables involved in your workouts. For all those bleacher creatures, bench riders, and pop up chair cheerleaders, there is no excuse left to stop you from getting a sweat session in!

Equipment: Bleachers, Bench, Stairs, or other safe elevated surface.

Sets X Repetitions: 2X15

Burn More Calories: Walk, jog or run 1 lap (2-3 mins.) in between each set! Add an extra set!

*Working out on bleachers requires an increased level of fitness and balance. If you suffer from vertigo or have other balance issues, do not attempt to work out on steps.

 

Bleacher Creature Workout:

1. Uneven Squats- quads, hip flexors, glutes

2. Step Ups w/ Sprinter Start- quads, core,

3. High Knee Quick Feet- cardio, quads, agility

4. Alternating Side Plank w/ Push Up- core, chest, shoulder stability

5. Climbing Squat Jumps- cardio, quads, glutes

6. Squat Jumps- glutes, quads, hamstings

7. Elevated Lunge w/ Sprinter Start- quads, hip flexor, glutes

8. Elevated Push Ups w/ Variations- chest, core, triceps

 

1. Uneven Squats: One foot on a bleacher or bench so that it is elevated higher then the other. Push your hips back and squat like you are about to sit in a chair.

2X15
Uneven Squats- One foot on the ground or lower bleacher. Push our hips back like you are about to sit in a chair

2. Step Ups with Sprinter Start (on bottom step) -Video Below: Step up with one leg, as soon as that leg is fully extended on the step, follow by driving the other knee straight up into a march position, lower that leg down and repeat on the same leg.

3. High Knee Quick Feet -Video Below: Alternating between right and left feet tapping them quickly and lightly onto the bench.

 

4. Alternating Side Plank w/ Push Up: Complete your push up and rotate your body weight onto one hand until you are in a side plank position. Return to the push up position and complete the other side.

Push ups
Push ups

5. Climbing Squat Jumps onto the bleachers: (all the way up and down) Squat down and jump on the first bleacher, then the second, third and so forth.

6. Squat Jumps (on and off of bottom bleacher)-Video Below: Squat onto and off of the bleacher landing with soft knees, abs tight, hips back like you are going to sit in a chair.

 

7. Elevated Lunge + Sprinter Start- Video Below: Lunge as pictured below and left the back knee up and drive that knee forward into a marching position. *be careful with your balance! notice in the video it takes me a second to get centered. Also, watch your dismount OFF the bleachers!

Lunge
Lunge

 


8. Elevated Push ups + Single Leg + Single Leg bend and extend-Video Below: 3 levels of difficulty include:

1. basic push ups- bend your elbows until they are at 90 degree angles, squeeze your armpits as you straighten your arms and press up into a straight arm position.

2. push ups with one leg off the group

3. push ups bending your knee while you lower down and extend your leg when  you push up.


Cartwheels and Handstands: My version of a fun workout intermission, ending, or just because! (Do not attempt if you are not trained. Can result in injury.)

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This workout makes the best use of your time and resources all while hitting major, calorie burning body parts! Focus on your form, take your time completing each set properly and have FUN! get creative with your locations, keep gym clothes in your car and don’t hesitate to get a great sweat session in!

Play Hard Get Dirty, Play Hard Get Fit!!

 

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Questions or feedback: feel free to comment below or message me on the links on the top of the page by email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!