leg day

Simple Stretches to Keep You Going

It’s no surprise that I’m always on the go. It’s the lifestyle of any busy mama who’s hustling hard in all areas of her life. Looking back at summer, I realized that I’ve been on the go whether it was for work, family vacations, and even daily life. On top of keeping up with the demands of a busy life on the go, exercise can be hard on the body and throw off both our physical alignment and our mental alignment. It’s so important that we take the time to stretch and recover. So I’ve teamed up with Puma Women to share some of my favorite and quick stretches that can keep you going ForeverFierce in your "on the go" life.

 

Here are some simple stretches you can do without any equipment anywhere you go:

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Side bends

  1. Stand firmly on the ground, feet aligned shoulder-width apart.
  2. Raise both hands to the sky and bend to the right side. If you feel yourself losing balance, release one arm to your side.
  3. Make sure that your hips are facing forward for proper alignment.
  4. Hold for 10 - 15 seconds and switch sides.
  5. Repeat if necessary.
Standing Quad Stretch

Standing Quad Stretch

Standing Quad Stretch

  1. Find a wall for balance.
  2. Grab your right foot with your right hand and bring the foot toward your glutes.
  3. Make sure that your hips are facing forward for proper alignment.
  4. To deepen the stretch, raise your legs to stretch your hips.
  5. Hold for 10 - 15 seconds and switch sides.
  6. Repeat if necessary.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

  1. Step right foot forward, raise the toes, and slightly bend the other knee.
  2. To deepen the stretch, try to touch your toes.
  3. Hold stretch for 10-15 seconds and switch sides.
  4. Repeat 3 times.

To take it deeper, here are a few other ones that are great to ease the hips and hamstrings. I spend a lot of time at a desk, so these are perfect for releasing any tension in the back and for hip health. The Psoas muscle is your deep hip flexor a muscle that is often neglected and used daily in our lives. It connects the femur (thigh bone) directly into the lumbar vertebrae (low back vertebrae).  By stretching this muscle, you will relieve the tension in the lower back, which is a common side effect or symptom that most people feel when overworked.

Deep Quad Stretch

  1. Lay face down, hips aligned; take your right hand, grab your foot, and pull your foot toward your glutes.
  2. To deepen the stretch, lift the hips just 1inch off your mat or the ground.
  3. Hold stretch for 10-15 seconds and switch sides.

Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Start in a kneeling position and bend your right leg forward, left leg back slightly past 90 degrees.
  2. Raise your right arm to the sky and bend over to the left; hold for 10-15 seconds.
  3. To deepen the stretch, rotate your body to the left. (Only rotate if it’s comfortable for you; if you begin to feel pain, rotate forward to step 2).
  4. Repeat 3 times and switch sides.

The greatest thing I’ve learned about myself in my fitness journey is that balance is key. You can go hard at any goal in life, whether it’s fitness, family life, and even your professional life. But when you do, there’s a cost to pay and sometimes things will shift out of alignment. It’s important to be intentional and to remember that in order to stay #ForeverFierce in all areas in life, you have to make time to stretch and grow.

Puma recently released a lightweight training shoe that’s both incredibly stylish for the gym, and perfect for the busy female hustla in all of us to take our gym looks to everyday looks anywhere we go! I need workout gear that can keep up with me, and PUMA’s new Fierce Bright trainers do exactly that. 

For me staying Forever Fierce means that we’re living life at full stride no what the goals or dreams are. What does being #ForeverFierce mean to you? Show me your 3 fiercest looks in and out of the gym and share using #ForeverFierce


This post was sponsored by PUMA through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about PUMA, all opinions are my own. 

DO // Leg Day

Like most women I have a love and hate for leg days in the gym. A major LOVE because leg day helps us defy gravity and raise our bums off the ground and hate because it leaves us tired for the rest of day and walking out of the gym like a baby gazelle.

Training legs for women is the equivalent to training upper body for men. For most women our body strength is more prominent in our lower body, but we don't the glutes as much as we should. Did you know that the glute is one of the largest muscles on our body and one that doesn't get trained often enough? My coach, Michelle Mein, has me training glutes 3 times a week and I've seen such an incredible improvement on my backside. (who says asian girls can't have a butt)

It's important that when training your booty that you activate your glute muscles. If you haven't checked out my blog post on traveling fit, do it! There are some floor work exercises that can be done prior to training legs that will help fire up those glute muscles to activate them prior to starting any type of lifting. 

Here are some things to keep in mind while trying to build some muscle on that butt!

1. Do NOT fear weights! Strength training with weights has been one of the biggest factors in building the curves I've always wanted. You need to build lean muscle mass onto your body in order to trim to fat and build the tone. Cardio will help you burn fat, but you have to increase muscle mass on your body in order to keep fat off.

2. Do NOT fear the carbs or protein! The right nutrition and macronutrients from the right type of carbs will help fuel your body through your workouts and fuel your muscles. 

3. Train all angles of your glutes. Most women will focus on squats alone. While squats can definitely help build the curves, you can't forget about creating roundness on the sides. Side lunges, curtseys, and sumo squats will help. 

4. Stretch and rest!! Recovery is an integral part of muscle building. This is a part of my fitness journey I'm learning the importance of. Having a tight butt is nice, but in order to help that grow, you gotta stretch, foam roll, and do all the essential things the body needs to continue moving. 

Sorry guys I never have time to record myself working out so I've linked up some of my favorite examples of them to each exercise. 

Start off by doing 3 sets of 15-20 of each exercise. Here's a list of some of my favorite glute exercises:

Add Massy Arias' Plyo Smith Machine Challenge for additional sweat and have fun!