Friday, May 9, 2014

EMOM Upper Body Workouts

Well, I guess this week slipped away from me a bit! We celebrated Jenn's birthday on Wednesday night and attended the school play last night, so it's been a bit busy around here! This weekend we have some fun plans, though.

Tonight we're tidying up the house and then cooking a simple meal at home, something that seriously got away from me this week. I failed to menu plan and never made time to go to the grocery store, so we ended up eating out for several meals. I'm eager to get back to our usual homemade routine.

Tomorrow Terry and I are driving down to San Diego for a two-birds-with-one-stone kind of trip. First, we're picking up baby's crib from Buy Buy Baby (the crib was extremely difficult to find and only available down in San Diego!), and then we're hitting up a few breweries as part of a very belated birthday celebration for Terry. It's also our last trip to one of our favorite places before baby arrives, so we're excited to spend a little quality time together!

Sunday is Mother's Day, of course, but we celebrated with our moms while they were both in town--a first! Though we don't actually have the baby yet, Terry has insisted that we celebrate this year, and I won't argue with that. :-) But when he asked me what I wanted to do, I really only had one request: finish the nursery and other baby prep stuff. By "finish", I mean set up the crib and start making the room livable. We're getting down to the wire here, and I think I'm a little anxious, so I hope this weekend's work will make me feel a lot more relaxed and prepared for this kid to arrive.

And now...

I have a workout for you today! Whaaaat?? I know, they've become rare in recent months as I've become less and less capable of my normal routines. That's not to say I haven't been active; today I proctored AP tests at the high school and earned 6,000 steps by noon! Not bad for just walking around a library.

Anyway, on Tuesday evening Terry and I agreed to tackle a strength workout together, and it just so happened that Tina posted a workout that inspired me that morning. Hers is Crossfit-style (she's pregnant and due the same week I am but still doing Crossfit!), and I definitely don't do the Crossfit thing, but I liked the idea of "every minute on the minute" and modeled this upper body strength workout after hers.

This workout only requires a stability ball, so it's great at home!

Here's what Terry did (focus on core with lots of other muscles incorporated):

The exercises:
  • Push ups: Ideally on your toes, but keep your form. If you need to drop to your knees, do it.
  • Ball crunches
  • Plank: Try a variety of planks (something different for each round), like side planks, elbow planks, feet on a stability ball, elbows or hands on a stability ball, reverse plank, etc.
  • Ball lowers: Hold the ball between your ankles and lie on your back. With straight legs, lower the ball slooooowly almost to the ground, then lift the ball and repeat.
  • If the reps listed above are too many or too few for you, increase or decrease to fit your fitness level. At the end of each set of reps, you should feel lightly fatigued but not at exhaustion (perhaps toward the end you'll feel more exhausted!).

And here's what I did (completely different because I am omitting core exercises from my routine):

The exercises:
  • Push ups on my knees (my belly hits the floor!) for the first few sets, then on my knees plus my hands elevated onto the couch for the last few sets. Also good for pregnancy: push ups with hands on a wall.
  • Dips: Bench dips using a chair.
  • Biceps curls
  • Upright rows
  • Overhead press
  • Lateral raises
  • Bent rows 
I felt delightfully fatigued by the end and even called it before time was up because I didn't want to overdo it. 


The idea is to set a timer for 10 minutes for each set. Then, beginning at 0, complete the exercises indicated for the even minutes (0, 2, 4, etc.) and the exercises indicated for the odd minutes (1, 3, 5, etc.). If you finish the required reps early, you get to rest!

At the end of 10 minutes, you can jump right into the next set or take a short break before beginning the timer again.

The best part of this workout is that it's done in about 20 minutes (maybe 22 if you take a break between sets). But it'll also leave you nice and sore for a few days!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


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