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Ball So Hard Medicine Ball Workout || Cotton On Body

Summer is just about to end and it’s a common theme for us to get settled into the hibernation mode and settle back into fall days all warm and cozy. This was such a normal mindset for me in the past, but now that I'm so hooked on how exercise makes me feel, I'm determined to keep my body moving through the colder months.

With fall just around the corner, it also means that the holidays, dinner parties, and celebrations are coming too. Which means that most of our energy and money will be focused on family and friends rather than ourselves. Before you get too caught up in buying for everyone else, take a minute to treat yourself! My new go-to is Cotton On! They make extremely cute activewear (Cotton On BODY) that’s super comfy and affordable as well, which is perfect for my mama budget. Some personal Cotton On BODY favorites include the monochrome pieces, race fever tanks, and super soft tights! Check out more of Cotton On’s Activewear selection here.

If you’re a huge fan of plyometric workouts and athletic training over distance running or machine based cardio workouts, like I am. Then you’ll enjoy this “Ball So Hard” full body workout that’ll get your body fired up and ready to go! All you’ll need is any weighted medicine ball.

Ball So Hard Medicine Ball Workout 

Start with a 3-5 minute warm up. I like to warm up my body by doing interval training with a jump rope or jumping jacks by going for one minute and then resting for 30 seconds. This will get your heart rate going and both are great exercises to warm up the entire body.

Wall Ball Toss || 4 sets of 20 reps

Wall Ball toss is perfect for engaging your entire body. As you drop into the squat and explode up you’ll be firing off the lower half of your body, while the toss turns on your lats, shoulders, and your entire upper body. Catching the ball on the way down requires for your to activate all the stability muscles and core to come down in one swift move.

Drop low into that squat

Drop low into that squat

Power through the legs and toss the ball engaging the  lats  as you toss.

Power through the legs and toss the ball engaging the lats as you toss.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, facing a wall and holding the medicine ball at your chest. Pull your shoulders back and keep your chest up high. Drop into a full squat, going as low as possible while keeping the medicine ball at your chest.
  2. Immediately upon reaching your full squat, drive through the heels and stand up explosively. As you do so, throw the ball up into the wall. It should hit the wall at a height of about 10 feet. Catch the ball on the rebound, squat again, and repeat.

Wall Squat with a Twist || 4 sets of 20 each side

  1. Hold the medicine ball in front of you arms fully extended, but without locking out the elbows. You want to make sure you have slight bend in the your elbows to prevent any injuries
  2. Plant your feet 2 feet in front of your body and drop down into a squat position. Keeping your back in contact with the wall, lower your body until your upper thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Lift your arms straight out in front of your chest.
  3. Twist to the right and go back to the center and twist to the left.

What I love about wall squats is that it’s a humbling exercise. You want to make sure that you’re engaging your glutes, which is one of the larger muscles on the body, in order to stay in this position. TIP: Lift up your toes and drive your heels to the ground. This will activate your glutes and keep the burn away from your quads.

 

Alternating Push Ups on Medicine Ball || 4 sets of 12 reps

Alternating Push ups on medicine ball

Alternating Push ups on medicine ball

  1. Start in standard pushup position with one hand on the floor and the other hand on top of the medicine ball. Your body should be in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
  2. Slowly lower your torso towards the floor. Pause and press back up to the starting position. Roll the medicine ball beneath the other hand before repeating the movement.

Alternating Front Lunges with Medicine Ball 4 sets of 20 reps

  1. Start in a standing position then step forward in a lunge position.
  2. Make sure that your knees don’t go past your front toes and drop your back knee to the ground.
  3. Make sure to keep your core engaged as you alternate your legs.

Mountain Climbers 4 sets 20 reps each leg

Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers

  1. Start in a press up position so your hands are directly under your chest at shoulder width apart with straight arms on top of the medicine ball. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles
  2. Lift your right foot off the floor and slowly raise your knee as close to your chest as you can.
  3. Return to the starting position and alternate with your other leg.

Toe Touches with Medicine Ball 4 sets of 20 reps

Toe Touches

Toe Touches

  1. Lay flat on your back pressed to the ground or a mat. Tuck your pelvis in to make sure that your abs are engaged.
  2. Hold the medicine ball above your chest. Raise your shoulders off the ground, crunch, and touch your toes with the medicine ball.
  3. Hold for 10 seconds and lower down to starting position. Repeat
capris:  Miss Mesh Capri   shoes:  Nike Free Connect  
tank:  R  un Fever Tank   sports bra:  Fly Girl Crop

tank: Run Fever Tank 
sports bra: Fly Girl Crop

Thank you Cotton On for sending me this awesome monochrome gear to work out in. 

Tank: Race Fever Tank // other option

Capri: Miss Mesh Capri // other option

Sports bra: Fly Girl Crop // other option

Shoes: Nike Free Connect // other option

Photography by my incredible husband: Encarnacion Photography

DO // How to turn your new year's resolutions in life resolutions

As I was sitting here thinking about writing a blog about how to throw your hair in a bun, put some gangsta rap on, and handle it! I thought to myself, how does one really do that? I’ve always been a pretty ambitious woman when it came to checking things off the list, but I have been known to also been known to overthink and analyze every little situation in life. I’ve come to learn that I’ve done this more to myself since I became a mother.  

Often times in a mother’s life the idea of being needed by someone can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Every conscious effort and decision is based on someone else's needs over your own. You have to balance out the needs of your children's dreams and your husband's dreams while trying to find the balance to take care of your own needs and dreams. And by doing this we have a tendency to set our needs aside in order to make sure that everyone else around us is taken care of. After having my second daughter 6 years ago, I began to feel guilty for wanting to put own needs before theirs. Somehow I felt that carving out time to work out or wanting to eat healthier was taking away from my family. In some it was taking some time away from them, but it was a small fraction compared to what was really being stolen from them: a mother who was happy with herself and capable of loving others because she was able to show herself love first. 

More on my 5 tips on how to turn your new years resolutions into life resolutions are on the Lucy Activewear Blog


DO // Just start

By Encarnacion Photography

By Encarnacion Photography

I frequently get messages from people asking me "how to get started" or "what did you do to start?" I wish the answer was just as simple as "Just Start" and in some truths it is.

My fitness journey was a beginning to an end of years of self hate and depression. At 15 I was diagnosed with depression. In my teens I battled days of highs and lows and thoughts of suicide. As an adult I slowly swept a lot of these emotions under the rug as I started to piece my grown up life together. The moment I became a mother nearly 11 years ago, my body image changed. Naturally I gained weight due to my pregnancy, but months of working out and dieting got me no where near to what I was pre-baby. I gained 15lbs of which I couldn't lose. That feeling of failure began the snowball affect that lead me to the start. After my 2nd daughter was born make changes occurred, but health and fitness became the least of my concerns as a married mother of 2. I had a full time career, a business I owned with my husband, and a social/business life I was trying to maintain. The creative lifestyle of a wedding photographer is one that involves tons of food, wedding cake, wine, and lots of cocktail networking events. Needless to say I lost balance and control of my eating and spiraled into an out of shape, overweight version of myself.

Over the years I covered up this depression fairly well, but there were moments I would be hiding in my closet or in bed crying because I hated myself, I was so disappointed in myself. At the time I didn't know why until I was getting ready with my oldest daughter. She complimented me on how pretty I looked and I immediately snapped back at her telling her I was ugly and fat! The look on her face is one I will never forget. I just crushed her world and truth she knew about the one woman who stood for everything she believed in. The pain in her eyes was exactly what I needed to see in order to realize what was driving me to this unhappiness.

It was then when I reached out to someone I knew who hired a fitness coach. Now I've had trainers in the past, but none that gave me nutritional and fitness guidance. Those two things paired together equal the results you want to achieve. There's no magic pill, no quick fix, no 30 day solution. This entire thing was hard work. I have definitely wanted to give up, quit, and run back to some of my old lifestyle. But I knew that in doing that I would again lose a part of me that I was trying to gain, my self-confidence.

The reasons why people start their fitness journey are always different for the person themselves, but often times the why is what sets the motion for how. For me, I took one step, one leap of faith into the unknown. I started not having a weight loss goal, I set no expectation for myself, except that I wanted to be better than I was yesterday and stronger for tomorrow. So with that mindset I just went for it, I continued to go for it, and now I refuse to quit.

You may ask me how to start, my answer may be as simple as "just start."

 

LIFE // Changing your mindset

Some of the most frequently asked questions I get is: "How did this journey start? How did you shift your thinking and change your mindset?"

My answer: The switch definitely didn’t happen overnight. I was diagnosed with depression at 15 and have had some really rough memories and experiences with trying to find my self worth and create self love for myself. There were definitely happy moments in my life as an adult and moments of low and in some ways because of my career forward lifestyle I was too busy to entertain some of these “low moments”. I became a mother almost 11 years ago and when that happened even more physical changes happened with my body that added to some of the “mental darkness”. I gained stretch marks, my body composition changed even more so, and at that time my mindset was “great I’m a 21 year old with stretch marks, loose skin and loose midsection, and a busy career with no time for my health.” Growing up my family was never healthy eating focused (I’m Filipino) or active lifestyle focused. So working out, eating healthy was never a priority for me. As my life got busier I became more and more unfit and more overwhelmed with life. I don’t think it was until my second daughter was born where it all hit me even more. I buried a lot of the feelings with life an didn’t realize what was the root cause of the unhappiness until a moment and experience I had with my daughter

Finding what made me happy took some trial and error and just working through the emotions. I’m currently married to an amazing man, have a wonderful career, and a thriving business with my husband, but was struggling internally and mentally. When I stopped to reflect what it was that was making me unhappy I realized it was my self image. I hated what I saw in the mirror and that self hate seeped into all areas of confidence in my life. My perspective on work, my marriage, hanging around certain friends, and even being around my kids was so skewed because of how I felt about myself. Lacking the confidence in my own skin really affected my mindset. It was so toxic. 

I think it takes searching high and low in all the wrong places to find what the answer is. And sometimes we run from it because its almost unbelievable or even sounds seems so superficial to say “I’m unhappy with how I look and feel.” I think its because we have so many people in the world who love us despite our own flaws, but because we can’t find the same reasons why people are so attracted to our hearts, the cause of unhappiness is hard to admit.

In some ways I did wake up one day and say I’m fucken over it. I need to change and jumped head first. I hired a fitness/health coach who helped me focus on that area of my life. The moment I started to work on that particular part, all other areas fell into place. It was incredible to see the changes. I focused on tackling an area of my life where I felt I was failing miserable with and slowly over time that began the chain reaction that set the course of my lifestyle changes. There are still moments of self doubt that I have to fight and moments where I’m not as mentally strong, but learning to make the conscious decision to do your best to make the strides forward has helped the daily battles. 

One of the things I tell people is:  stop searching for all the reasons to start, the answer is in the mirror right in front of you. It's important to love yourself enough to care about your health. Do something daily that is active and practice building a strong body, physically and mentally. 

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