Happy Monday! It’s time for the third installation of my beginner workout series – the Booty Basics Workout. This is my absolute favorite kind of workout, so get ready to get those glutes in gear. :) This is a fast-moving and fun circuit routine that will leave you sore (in a good way) the next day!
If you missed the first two in the series, check out my Easy-A Abs and Easy Arm Circuit workouts.
- Squats – Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder width apart. Keeping the core strong, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor (or as close to parallel as you can go). You can keep your hands by your sides, clasp them in front of your chest, or hold hand weights and perform a bicep curl as you squat.
- Lunges – Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder width apart. Keep the upper body straight and the core strong throughout this exercise. Step forward with the right foot and lower the hips so that both knees are at a 90 degree angle. Return to start. Complete all the reps on this leg before switching sides. Note: Make sure the knee you’re lunging with doesn’t go too far forward. It should stay in line with your ankle.
- Single-leg deadlifts – This one’s a little tricky, but very effective! Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder width apart, hands at your sides. Driving weight into your right heel, keep your upper body totally straight and lean forward as you lift the left leg behind you and reach your fingertips toward the ground. Bend your legs slightly if you need to. To make this move more challenging, hold hand weights. Return to start. Complete all the reps on this leg before switching legs.
- Backward leg extensions – Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder width apart, fingertips on the back of a chair for balance if needed. Extend the right leg behind you and point your toe so the top of your right foot is resting on the ground. Raise the right leg as high as you can, hold for two seconds, and lower. Complete all the reps on this leg before switching legs.
- Hip raises – Lay on your back, knees bent and feet on the floor, hands by your sides. Raise your hips as high as you can, keeping your core strong. Hold for two seconds, then lower to the floor.
- Hamstring curls – Start on all fours, hands directly below shoulders. Extend left leg straight out behind you, then bend left knee to 90 degrees so your heel faces the ceiling. Straighten the knee and repeat. Complete all the reps on this leg before switching legs.
Whew! I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did. I think being sore from a killer workout is one of the best feelings in the world – and this routine definitely delivers. :) Do this routine a few times a week and you’ll be rockin’ a better booty in no time!
Question: What’s your favorite strength training workout?
Happy Friday! Let’s congratulate ourselves on (almost) making it through another week! What are your weekend plans? Mine involve nothing but chillin’ out, maxin’, and relaxin’ all cool. (Although Ben does want us to do our taxes this weekend. Sigh. Like a normal person, I am dreading this, but he’s excited. What a lunatic.)
In honor of Friday, here are five things that have made my life rock this week:
- These shoes.
If you know me well at all, you know that I am a huge Harry Potter nerd. I’ve read all the books, seen all the movies, and I even took a class in college called “J. K. Rowling and Modern Fantasy.” I can’t even pretend to be embarrassed about my love for HP.
Anyway. I recently received an e-gift card to TOMS, and while I was browsing the other day, I stumbled across these beauties. When I spotted the maroon and gold combination, all I could think was “Gryffindor!” …which meant I needed them, obviously. I can’t wait to wear them with anything and everything this spring. :)
- This book.
Okay, full disclosure: It’s a young adult novel about two teenagers who have cancer. But I swear, it’s a beautiful and happy and sweet and wonderful read. I cry at almost everything, but I was bawling at the end of this book. In a good way. It’s refreshing to read a young adult novel with an advanced vocabulary and such seriously complex characters. If you’re looking for a book to read this weekend, I very strongly recommend this one.
- Badger balm.
I don’t know about you guys, but I get horribly dry skin in the winter. My hands are especially sensitive since I’ve been washing them about 95 times a day in hopes of escaping another bout of the flu. This miracle salve is the only thing that makes my hands look like they belong to a human again.
- This sweater.
I bought this sweater in cobalt blue a few weeks ago and then immediately ordered it in two more colors. It’s without a doubt the most comfortable sweater I’ve ever owned. I’ve been loving them over tank tops with skinny jeans or leggings and boots. It’s become my winter uniform. If only they still had that purple one in my size… :)
- WP Site Care.
I consider myself a pretty tech-savvy person, but behind-the-scenes blog technology really intimidates me. I spend my days writing technical documentation about complicated legal software, but I’m way too nervous to upgrade my WordPress theme. What if something happens?? How do I know I’m backing things up correctly?? Well, I didn’t know – until I miraculously stumbled upon WP Site Care. I had been stressing over a few blog-related things for weeks, and they completely resolved all my issues in like an hour. Amazing! I feel so much more at ease about my blog’s security now and I definitely think I’m in good hands.
I found WP Site Care through the lovely Anne from fANNEtastic food – check out her blog for a 10% discount!
Question: What’s been great in your life this week?
Today I’m linking up with Lauren from From My Grey Desk Blog.
My work friends and I play the “Questions” game sometimes. We all submit questions to a grab bag, and then everyone has to answer whatever question is picked. (Is that a game, really? Is it a game if no one wins?)
Anyway, once, the question was this: “When you go to a bookstore or library, which section do you instantly gravitate toward?” Everyone had good answers, like Travel and History. But mine was hands-down the Cookbook section. I really have a hard time leaving any book establishment without at least one cookbook in hand. As such, I’ve amassed quite a little library of cookbooks. Check it out. This isn’t even all of them. This might be half of them:
Of these, I have some favorites. Here they are broken down into categories based on what you’re looking for:
If you want the Bible of vegetarian cooking
- Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz – if I could only recommend one, this would be it. It’s an amazing collection of recipes covering entrees, side dishes, breakfast, dessert, everything. Some of these recipes aren’t supremely healthy, but they’re all delicious!
If you want to feel healthier and more vibrant than ever
- The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone
- Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr
If you’re trying to eat fewer calories and more nutrients
- Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz – the slimmed-down version of Veganomicon
If you want dinner to cook itself for you
- Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson
- The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester
If you like some heat
- Some Like it Hot by Robin Robertson
- Viva Vegan by Terry Hope Romero
All of these are excellent and I use the recipes from many of them in our regular rotation. If you’re interested in a more plant-based diet, jumping on the Meatless Monday bandwagon, or just looking for some new ideas for vegetable side dishes, give one of them a spin!
Question: When you’re in a bookstore, which section do you check out first?