Fit2B Beginning

Fit2B Beginning (Again): Week 6

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Whew, finally Week 6. It took me forever and a lot of breaks to get to this. But It feels good to get somewhere.  As we get ready for some big changes and transitions, exercise has often been on my mind, but rarely fits into my schedule.
Kelly’s Floor Core

So this workout big time depressed me. Not because I couldn’t do it, though it did require some concentration. But because as soon as I laid down and gently engaged my abs, with a little counter pressure from my hands, I could feel the deep, sagging trench that is what’s left of my abdominals.  Sure I’d love to have a flat stomach again (lying down gives the illusion of this) but I don’t want it to be concave in the middle.  Deep separations are discouraging to deal with because they seem to take the longest to heal. I also find any workout that involves lying on the floor the whole time to be very difficult because my kids try to tackle me. So it’s a rare choice for me for several reasons.

Plain ol’ Pilates

Still not loving this one, but I was able to add some weights this time. I think I’ve gotten so use to full body workouts, that this one doesn’t feel like enough bang for my buck.

Balanced

This workout felt a bit easier than last time, which was encouraging. I always remember it being harder and longer than it actually is. This is a nice workout, with some weights so it does give you that extra punch, but I would not describe it as high intensity. For under 20 minutes I felt like I was gently pushing my limits without over taxing myself. I felt energized, not exhausted and I could still engage my core afterwards.

Pelvic Floor Connections

I found this workout encouraging, mostly because despite my seemingly immoveable diastasis, my pelvic floor seems to be in decent shape. But a review is always helpful. Definitely take Beth’s advice and write down the exercises so that once you learn them, you don’t need to watch all the teaching portions of the video anymore. They are very informative, but repetitive once you know the routine.

Kelly’s Total Body Toning

I won’t be labor this further, since I’ve reviewed this workout recently. Love it, love it, love.  It really is total body. If I had to pick only a handful or workouts that I would do for the rest of my life, this is one of them.

Tabata

I forgot how much I love Tabata. Yes, it can feel repetitive but I see it as ideal for moms. It’s intervals so you can stop and change a diaper, wipe a nose or stop a fight without totally throwing off your whole workout. It also helps if you are still getting back into shape because there are breather breaks built in. I’m looking forward to moving on to the other, more advanced Tabata workouts as I get stronger.

 

Three New to Me workouts for my two Bonus Days

Hipster Chair Routine

Another new routine I’ve been looking forward to. Usually I think of chair routines as too easy. This one is a little more work, but definitely still a good workout if you are working your way make to exercise again. It is listed as a M (moderate) workout, but I definitely think it leans easy, so don’t be afraid to try it out. You can use the chair more or less for balance, depending on what you need.

Scarf it down

This is definitely an unusual workout, but it’s a short, fun add on to something else. You could even do it alone if you only have a couple of minutes. It’s mostly stretching but there is a little more to it than that.  I look forward to trying it again.

21 Tone Up

I have been so excited to try this workout, and this is the first time I’ve felt strong enough to attempt it. It’s simple, and it gets the blood pumping. It’s just 7 series of upper and lower body movements, each done for one minutes, repeated 3 times. So kind of like Tabata but with a different structure. It doesn’t take up much space (and doesn’t include any equipment if you don’t want it to). I’ll definitely be coming back to this one.

 

I’m not sure if I’ll be moving forward, or just doing a little bit more work before trying Fit2B Advancing, we’ll see. (I’m anxious to get to the new 6X6 path and some other new workouts in the challenging category, so that may keep me motivated and moving forward).

I’ve had a lot of setbacks this time around. If you feel like that yourself, be encouraged, just keep trying. Eventually your body will begin to heal and get stronger. It won’t always feel this hard. (I’m talking to myself here too).

 

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

A. A. Milne

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If you need a little more help; rehab rather than just fitness, check out the Summer Sale from The Tummy Team.

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Fit2B Beginning (Again): Week 5

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I was hoping to be more consistent by now, but truthfully, I’m just barely getting through my workouts right now. (If I don’t quickly get my act together there is no way I’ll be able to review Week 6 next week). It’s not just a matter of building strength, it’s finding time. Because in my head, prioritizing exercise is the right thing to do. But the reality is that the urgent things in my life (baby that needs to nurse or nap, children that won’t stop whining or fighting until they are fed, bills to pay, laundry to do, etc) always seem to get in the way.

Thigh Workout II

It has been a long time since I’ve done this one. Last tried when I was in my third trimester, I didn’t have enough muscle control and flexibility to do the “Thigh Thing.” But now I can, while still keeping my core steady. It’s very encouraging. Yes, it is a tough workout, but not insurmountable if you’ve made it this far.

Plain Ol’ Pilates

While I definitely didn’t find it as relaxing or enjoyable as one of the Pilates in Pajamas routines; this is a good, solid Piilates workout. It reminded me of some of my favorite pre-Fit2B routines.
Kelly’s Total Body Toning

Ah, it’s good to see you again old friend. This is still one of my all time favorite workouts on Fit2B, because in less than half an hour, you get a full body workout with constant core reminders. I was pleasantly surprised how well I was able to engage and squeeze my core almost every time Kelly reminded me too. Yes, my lower back and shoulder blades were a little sore from some compensation, but when I put my hand on my stomach I felt my belly button pull inward almost every time. This is huge. My separation may not be shrinking the way I’d like and my stomach may not look any smaller, but here is an encouraging sign of growing strength. The arm routine section especially taxed my muscles, but sometimes it feels good to know you still have muscles places that feel so jiggly.
Tummysafe Gentle Blend

This is a gentle workout, but don’t confuse gentle with easy. Whenever I come back to this, I’m always struck by how physically demanding it is, while also being slow, steady and gentle. I had to workout, especially the side leg series, but it felt good to move for a longer period of time as well. Getting in longer workouts is so difficult, but it’s also something I know I need to do to grow my strength and endurance.
Daily Double

Totally Transverse

Basic Step Aerobics

Since my DR has not been making the progress I’d like, I was happy to see Totally Transverse back in the schedule. Plus, I’ve been looking forward to doing step aerobics again. I really like Basic Step and I was able to pick up most of the combinations fairly easily, except for the turns at the end, which really through me. (I’ve always found mirroring turns hard). I’ll definitely be coming back to this one. Once you’ve grown stronger, you might even be able to add some light weights to this, for an upper body challenge.

 

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Fit2B Beginning (Again): Week 4

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It’s been a tough week around here. Naps have been scarce, but I tried my best to fit workout in wherever I could.  I realized that if I used proper form, taking clothes from the front loading washer and putting them into the dryer is a great bonus squat routine. I can do belly pulses at a red light. Even belly breaths while rocking a fussy baby is something.

Basic Aerobics IV

I haven’t done this workout since I was pregnant, and it felt so hard then. I tried it with weights for the first time (which had been too difficult for me last time I did it) and it was difficult at times. I tried to focus on my core more than building muscles in my arms. But this is still a great all around workout. If you want something whole body, but don’t have time for something the length of Kelly’s Total Body workout, this is a great choice.
Hold It!

Neither cardio nor relaxing, it’s hard to classify this work out for you. If anything it forces you to focus on engaging your core in various postures with various levels of balance. While not a favorite of mine, it’s definitely worth trying now and again, if only to see how you’ve grown stronger since the last time.
Pilates in Pajamas

This was the first workout I attempted after a bit a break and it was a great way back in. It definitely has a relaxing component but still gets the body moving. I felt it especially helpful on my leg muscles, which in my case, is an area that needs some rejuvenation.
Daily Double

Vertical Core Workout

Balanced

I was pleasantly surprised with this combination. Vertical Core isn’t one of my favorites, but it’s still a solid and short option to put a quick core focus into your workout. I’ve always loved Balanced and I remember it being fairly difficult on my upper body. But I actually really enjoyed it. I haven’t lost as much balance as I thought. I was only using three pound weights, but I was able to do the entire workout without any unplanned rests, though I need have to be very intentional about engaging my core. This workout has a nice combination of upper and lower body without being too challenging. I’ll definitely be putting it back in my regular rotation and increasing the weight as I’m able to.
Bonus cardio for 25-30 minutes on two additional days

For this week’s bonus cardio I tried new-to-me routines

Defining Deltoids

I really liked this workout. It’s always nice to see another solid upper body workout with weights for the times when I get bored with Ultimate Upper Body or Insane Upper Body. Plus this is labeled an Easy workout, which means I can still do some weights which I focus on healing my core. That being said, the length makes it a bit prohibitive to do this regularly in my workout rotation. If I’m going to find 30 uninterrupted minutes for exercise (which rarely happens around here) I feel as though I should be working my whole body, not just my arms. That being said I liked it enough that I’ll probably try it again, even if I don’t do the whole routine every time.

Squat Challenge

First time with this workout, and it was really helpful to me. I felt like I do squats pretty well, but this workout helped me fine tune a few aspects of my squat form that needed a bit of correcting. I didn’t think it seemed too hard, until I went down my basement stairs afterwards. Wow, serious wobble in those leg muscles and a core working hard to keep me balanced. While I wouldn’t say it was one of the most fun workouts I’ve done, I definitely need to do this one again.

As the workouts start getting longer, this is getting more difficult. Even if it take me two works to complete a one week rotation of workouts, at least I’m moving forward. Onward to Week 5!

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Fit2B Beginning (Again): Week 3

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Before I begin the review of this week’s routines, here is a quick update on my stats. I have lost some weight, which is not entirely my goal, but a good bonus. I’m almost halfway to my goal weight. Unfortunately, my busyness of our home lately is causing problems with my diet. I’m not eating enough at the preferred times of the foods that I know will power me to healing. (Though I have started Great Lakes Gelatin in my morning coffee, which is supposed to help with fascia healing).

Strength and balance wise, I am seeing some improvement, but it is very subjective so therefore hard to measure. I don’t feel as though I look any different and there is a reason. While I previously saw some healing of my abdominal separation, my DR now measures the same or possibly a little WORSE than it was six weeks after my son was born! Obviously this is very discouraging, but also helps explain why my middle doesn’t look any smaller. I may start trying to splint again at night, since the baby has finally stopped waking up repeatedly to nurse (I previously stopped night splinting because he kept getting scratched by the velcro) and the high daytime temps around here make daytime splinting horribly unpleasant.
It seems like I’ve splinted a lot in the last year; enough that virtually every splint in my house is destroyed. So I’m torn about purchasing yet another splint, but also beginning to question what I’m doing it wrong. But I’m not willing to stop and do nothing, so I’m attempting to incorporate core engagement (and my exercises from The Tummy Team) as much as possible throughout my day and keep on track with my Fit2B exercise.
Kitchen Moves

While this workout is more instructional, it is still a good one. Learning to do little exercises throughout the day is sometimes the only way to make sure you can fit it in. I know that I spent way too much of my day in the kitchen, so I might as well try to exercise while I’m there.
Basic Aerobics III

Don’t I get sick of this workout? Nope. I like that it isn’t super difficult, since I’m still healing my abdominal separation, and that it isn’t very long, since anything much longer than 15 or 20 minutes is difficult for me to accomplish with my crazy little ones running around. There are dozens of harder and longer workouts available but I keep coming back to this one anyway. It’s that good.
Ultimate Upper Body

Wow, my arms really felt this workout. I had forgotten how much strength I lost during the last few months, but I know if I keep it up, this workout is a good one to help me get my strength back. It’s also good if you need to be sitting for one reason or another. (I liked it during pregnancy for this reason).
Wood Floor Workout

This is only the second time I’ve done this workout and my first time when not pregnant. It was better than I remember. It definitely got my heart rate up a bit, but it also had a relaxing quality to the movement. Just watch your balance!
Bonus:

Baby Lift

Holy cow, this is a work out. My baby is about 17 or 18 lbs and it was quite challenging. That being said, my little guy loved it. I has to be extra careful to engage my core and I definitely felt some straining in my upper back, which I know is weak right now.(I also had to take quick breather half way through).

 

It can be discouraging when we don’t see the progress we want, but I try to remember what I heard Beth Learn say once. She said that just because we can’t measure progress doesn’t mean there isn’t healing and improvement going on; only that the technology has not yet been invented to properly track what is going on in your body. She pointed out that it used to be believed that ligaments and fascia didn’t heal, but we are now discovering that with enough time and work, they can. Patience with my body is not a strong point of mine. So if you feel like I do, don’t give up hope. Our bodies can be made whole again, even if it doesn’t feel likely right now.
(For more on this topic, check out Beth Learn’s new blog series, The Unclosed Core),

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Fit2B Beginning (Again) Week 2

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So what on earth happened to me? In short, the only version of exercise I’ve been getting lately is rocking my fussy eight month old and painting and cleaning my parent’s new house in preparation for moving day. (Which as last weekend, yay!) But I am slowly working my way back.  I’m finally making some progress in my weight loss, but my abdominal separation is still stuck at around 2 and a half. So I still have a ways to go, since I’d like to be able to start running again, perhaps train for a fall 10K in 2017. But I want to do the proper work now to make sure I’ve laid the foundation of healing that my body needs.

 

Ankles & Upper Body

This is one of my favorite upper body routines. First of all, because you still get a little bit of leg work. Second, because I don’t sweat much while doing it. Yes, I am one of those mommies who doesn’t get a shower every day, so it’s nice to fit something like this into my schedule at any time. I haven’t done much upper body work (other than holding and rocking the baby) since sometime at the beginning of my third trimester late last summer. That’s a long time. But this was a great start to getting back to it.

 

Transitions

It feels always embarrassing how hard this workout still is. But at the same time, it feels better than doing nothing. It’s short, it hits most of the major areas and it isn’t super cardio if you aren’t up for that. (I don’t usually sweat too much while doing this, so it’s a good choice if you’ll be rushing out of the house and won’t have time for a shower).

 

Walking Workout

This workout was a new one for me and a big surprise. Yes, it is a walk in place kind of workout, but it also has a great arm component that I found decently challenging even without weights. Adding light weight would really super charge this workout when I’m feeling stronger.

 

The Big (Little) Band Workout

I haven’t done this workout since toward the end of my pregnancy, and I love it as much now as I did then. It’s short, but really packed. You can control the difficulty depending on how tough a band you use. I started with a medium band. (I have some laying around from a Pilates VHS, yes that’s right VHS, that I bought years ago).

This works upper and lower body but because it uses bands rather than weights, it’s safer if you have small kids running around while you exercise (mine seem to always gets ahold of my dumbbells) and good if you can’t handle the pressure of weights yet.

This one will definitely become part of my regular rotation and I look forward to more band workouts in the future.

 

Pelvic Floor Connections

While this still isn’t my favorite workout, it is essential when retraining your pelvic floor after pregnancy, childbirth, surgery or injury. After you’ve done it a few times, definitely take Beth’s advice and write down the movements. It has a great educational component, but after doing it a few times, you won’t need that part as much.

 

Mommy and Me III

This was a lot of fun and my little boy cooperated quite well, managing not to spit up on me while I did it.  These workouts are great choices if you can’t workout when the baby is asleep or someone else is available to play with him or her. It’s also sweet though, as my little boy stared up at me most of the workout and ultimately it almost rocked him to sleep. It might actually help if you have a fussy baby who needs to be in motion.

 

I also added some Squat Prep just for a little extra help this week. This is more educational than it is exercise, but like Align it Flat, it is a good reminder.

(I also used Basic Aerobics II for my bonus cardio. But since I just reviewed it last time, I won’t bore you with it again.)

So finally Week 2 is done and I can concentrate on developing consistency in my workouts. Hopefully Week 3 will go a bit smoother.

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