Tag Archives: weight lifting


The skateboards can provide an awesome workout! 
will be worked!!!

Filmed and Edited by CHRIS UPTON
  • Warmup and stretch before the skateboard workout
  • begin by modifying the exercises until you are comfortable on the skateboard
  • these exercises require strong and healthy joints and stabilizer muscles

LUNGE and LIFT Workout!

This morning we did a circuit workout that challenged our

cardiovascular system and our strength!
                                  THE WORKOUT:
  • Remember to warm-up & stretch 5 minutes before you begin.
  •  Be sure to use good form with each exercise.
  • Be creative with the resistance… if you don’t have dumbbells, then use something from your home like a gallon of water!  

1. Back Row w/Dumbbell – 30 sec.

2. LUNGE to the next exercise

3. Bench Dips – 30 sec.

4. LUNGE to the next exercise

5. Bicep Curl – 30 sec. 

6. LUNGE to next exercise 

7. Push-Ups – 30 sec.

8.LUNGE to next exercise

9.Squat Jumps – 30 sec.

10. LUNGE to next exercise

11. Up-Right Row w/Kettle Bell – 30 sec.

12. Sprint back to the beginning.

Repeat 3-4 times!

Be sure to feed your body what it needs after your workout for best results!


A Little Anatomy

I am currently studying for my PhysicalMind Institute Tye4® Pilates Certification… the reason for no resent posts lately!  Well, I have been reminded – through my studying – how perfectly complex the human body is.  I am fascinated by this intricate system i.e. the reason I work in fitness!  I love that we have so much knowledge about the body, yet it is totally vulnerable and mysterious.  All the parts are arranged  in such a way as to work together for perfect function.  When one part does not work properly,  other areas WILL be effected.  Every part depends on another.


Simply put:
  • Bones support our body against gravity. We are a lot prettier this way 🙂  Hehehe
  • Muscles move the bones
  • Tendons connect the muscle to the bone
  • Ligaments connect bone to bone and helps stabilize our joints

Now let’s talk ARMS for a minute.
We are able to raise them above our head, easy (considering a healthy shoulder joint).  No big deal- not much thought, right?  Welllll, let’s take an inward look to see HOW we are able to perform that “simple movement”:
Think about the shoulder blade, or scapula, for now.  It stabilizes our shoulder both at rest and in motion.  As the arm raises upward, the scapula is responsible for range of motion and support for the arm.  It holds the arm to the body so the arm does not dangle!!!

The scapula is an ANCHOR!

As you raise your arm out to the side,
the first 30 degrees is accomplished by the arm alone- moved by the deltoid muscle.
The remaining movement is possible because of the scapula bone.
The muscle that moves this bone is the trapezius in the back.
Raise your arms out to the side and all the way up to your ears.
Now lower them.
Think about the back work that is involved.
Now do the same thing but bring the arms in front of you.
Can you feel your scapula move?
 — — — STORY TIME — — —  
College days at Houston Baptist University
Starting back to practice after volleyball season 
had ended.

So, we were back in the gym after a good Christmas break,
gearing up for training during the off season. We were lifting weight to find our max.  This means that we had to lift as much weight as possible, in one lift, for different muscle groups, to find the maximum amount of weight we could lift.
 This would allow us to find 60% of our max weight to perform  3 sets, doing 10 repetitions or we could lift 40% of our max weight for 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
Ok, so back to the gym.  I was doing the Military Press exercise with a straight bar to find my max.

Military Press Exercise

WEll, it didn’t take long to learn that the weight I was lifting was OVER my max when my shoulder dislocated while holding the weight above my head!!! OOOUUUCCCHHHH! That was too much demand for my trapezius, levator scapulae, and serratus anterior.  When they gave way, my shoulder joint lost its support.  The  rotators in my shoulder clearly couldn’t handle that load and resulted in dislocation.  Good news for me: I didn’t tear anything, but I did stretch and strain the tendons and ligaments of my rotator cuff muscles in my shoulder.  They were stretched good!  For a number of days, I had to support my injured arm with my other hand while I sneezed, coughed, or hick-upped.  If I didn’t add that extra support, my shoulder would slide out of joint, and then slide back in.  Yes, that was weird!  I rehabbed my shoulder with focus – determined to fix it and get back in the gym.  After a few weeks and a much stronger shoulder, I dislocated it again 🙁
The doctor said that if it happened again, I would require surgery.  Well, let’s not tell the doctor, BUT I dislocated it 5 more times.  BOOOO  I didn’t want the surgery and decided to live with my limitations.
Fast forward 6 years…
At this time I had earned my degree in Kineseology and was working as a Fitness Specialist and Group Fitness Instructor at the Memorial Hermann Wellness Center in Houston, Tx.
My boss and mentor Joetta Dickerson (owner of The Pilates Studio Houston and Pilates Instructor to the Houston Rockets Basketball team) started teaching me the art of Pilates.  I began studying and practicing TheMethod Pilates. Unknowingly, I rehabbed my shoulder to full range of motion and strength while using the Reformer!  Needless to say this kinda hooked me onto Pilates!

Now in 2013:  PhysicalMind Institute has created the most inventive Pilates system – TYE4® that functions as a reformer!  Reformer classes are expensive and hard to find.  Great news:  now everyone can take advantage of the benefits that come from balanced, flexibility, joint mobility, core strength, long lean muscle and coordination from the large Pilates apparatus.   

Be thankful today for your scapula 🙂
Pay attention to your movement and enjoy the fact that you have such a cool, complex “earth suit” to wear!

Finding your “ENGAGED CORE” before Weight Lifting

Being a pilates instructor, my favorite thing to say is, 
 I say it all the time, and I have people saying it to themselves throughout their day.

Let’s talk about the CORE:  
It’s made up of both deep and superficial muscles that stabilize, align, and move the trunk of the body.  We are talking our abdominal muscles, our bootylicious muscles (the gluteus), the lower back muscles, along with with the psoas of the hips and the multifidus of the spine.  The multifidus muscles are small, but very powerful in giving support to the spine.  Their function is to take pressure off of the discs in between each vertebra.  Strengthened, they can actually make you a little taller!  They are essential in keeping the spine stable and straight.

A good core workout will hit all of these areas.  It is a good idea to understand and strengthen your core before lifting weights.  Your CORE should ALWAYS be engaged before you lift any weight to protect your back.  This can protect you from back injury.

With my clients, I lead them through a Pilates routine to warm up, stretch out, and activate the CORE before they ever lift a weight.  Then, before they lift the weight above their head for a military press, for example, I say “ENGAGE YOUR CORE!” — and they are easily able to master the perfect form!

How to find your “ENGAGED CORE
Lay on the floor with your knees bent. 
Stick your hand under your back.  
If there is space between your lower back and the floor, your CORE is relaxed.
 Now, flatten out that space by pressing your abs down toward your spine.
Now the back is flat.
Relax the CORE and engage it a few times noticing how your hips move.  Now get up and try to do that same movement standing.  Remember to keep your chest up.

Practicing the “ENGAGED CORE” position when lifting weights will create muscle memory for that posture and will roll over into everyday activities.