Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Innovative Leg Day Exercises

If you are a frequent traveler like me, or have no equipment and still want to get leg day done, have no fear. There are so many leg and butt muscle burners that can help you get the shape and tone you need without any equipment. Here are a couple:

Donkey Kickbacks
They are called kickbacks so you don't simply kick to the side. Keep your upper body straight and stationary, and try to kick back at an angle just with your leg. Make sure the hips are not jutting up and down so you can really feel this in your bum. Do it for 20 seconds, and repeat 4 times on each side. 


Low Lunge Walks
I bet this doesn't look that tough until you do it. Keep your front leg stable on your heel, straighten your back leg, and lean forward with your fingers touching the floor. For one rep, bring your back knee to touch your front shin and place it back in its original position. Do this as fast as you can. Repeat that for 4 sets of 20 seconds each on each side. 


Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Influenster Refresh Voxbox

So last week I received a ton of items to test out from Influenster. Of course I was happy, but I was more excited to find out that some of the products were things I either wanted to try or already liked. But there were a few items I chose not to try, probably because I don't think I am in the best position to review them. Here is my review on each:
  • Beanitos chips: This I liked. I got two flavors - the white bean with sea salt and the nacho cheese. Each bag contains about 210 calories, which is not bad for a bag of chips. From a health standpoint, I always say stay as natural as possible, so if it comes down to some nuts and a bag of chips, go for the nuts (even these chips). However, compared to other chips, they are made from beans, are gluten free, and contain less sodium. So that's definitely better than a regular bag. For more information about Beanitos, visit www.beanitos.com.
  • CoverGirl UltraSmooth Foundation: I chose not to try this as I am not much of a foundation person.
  • L'Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream: I'm always looking for good travel products so this was great for me. There is some shea butter in it and I really liked the texture on my face. I also read that L'Occitane has a fair-trade partnership with the women of Burkina Faso for the shea butter in the product. I support anyone that supports West Africa so I was sold. For more information about this product, check out L'Occitane.
  • Orgain Certified Organic Nutritional Shakes: Sounds like it may be good. 25g of protein and 150 calories. I just never got the chance to pick mine up from the store (I had to take the coupon to the store to get it).
  • Montagne Jeunesse Face Masques: Who doesn't like a good face mask. It didn't do anything special for my skin, but it felt good to have it on. It's quite cheap as well, so if you are looking for an alternative to the face mask you currently use, try it out.
  • SkinnyGirl Tasty Nutrition Bars: One morning when I was rushing out and didn't get a chance to eat a good breakfast, this really came in handy. The bar was very very tasty. I got the banana oatmeal dark chocolate flavor. At 150 calories, this is a good snack for when you are on the go. SkinnyGirl also carries some great products. Check them out at SkinnyGirl.
  • Listerine PocketPaks: What's funny about this product is that I already use it! I love my PocketPaks and buy them in bulk. They are like mints except they simply melt on your tongue. So if you are headed to that meeting or that date, and what something to freshen your breath really quickly, reach for these. Find out more about where to get them at Listerine.
  • DenTek Flossers and Floss Picks: My brother actually introduced me to these some time ago. You can take the floss picks with you in your purse so that after dinner you can get some flossing done in the bathroom. They are easily disposable and a good substitute for traditional flossing. Find out more about all their products at DenTek.
I hope you found at least one thing you like and want to try out on this list. I had fun testing out the items :)

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Drink More Water in the Winter

We're often told that the heat causes dehydration and so we need to re-hydrate in the hot summer months. But did you know that your body also loses a lot of water in the winter? When it is terribly cold outside, you lose water through your breath as well. It is therefore just as important to hydrate in cold months as it is in hot months.

If you are an avid exerciser, this is definitely doubly true for you as you also lose water when you work out (in sweat). Dehydration can cause your muscles to be fatigued and your body to feel tired. I don't know about you, but my muscles are already always tired and stiff in the winter so the water loss makes it worse.

What should you do to stay hydrated? Drink more water! Also, eat less salty foods that cause you to feel bloated. This is especially important in winter as we tend to go for more comfort foods when it is cold.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Read My Article on Cosmopolitan Magazine

The Nigerian Cosmo magazine has featured an article I wrote about how to get nice abs. We all need a reminder about what to do besides sit-ups so check it out here.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Abs: Standing Twists

People tend to forget a lot of muscles when they work the abs. The obliques are pretty important when trying to get some definition in your abs. 

The up-down movement of the sit-up shouldn't be your only abs strength training. Twist from your midsection and look to the left and the right as you turn. See the video below for a demonstration.


Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Abs Work: Russian Twists

Working on the abs requires working on various muscles in the abdominal region. This is one of the reasons why solely doing sit-ups won't help. Another reason is that you need diet, cardio, and strength training to build better abs, but that is a topic for another day. 

For today, we'll focus on one of the large muscle groups in that region: the obliques (sides of the abs). You can work these by doing a variety of exercises, but one of the really good ones is called the "Russian Twist". 

I will show you two ways to do this exercise: the easier and the more challenging way.

Easier way
Keeping the heels on the floor and the upper body angled back, slowly twist side to side. This twisting motion should come from the waist, not the neck or the hips. Looking in the direction you are twisting towards sometimes helps with this movement.


More challenging way
To challenge your body, do the same exercise with your heels lifted off the floor. However, try to keep the torso in the same position and still twist side to side from the waist, not the legs. Be slow and precise with your movements.


Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Build Beautiful Legs: Hamstring Work

Leg day is my favorite workout day because it hurts so bad, but you feel like you've really worked hard for days after. When you work your leg muscles, it is really important to work your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves to get great muscle definition overall. Today, we are focusing on just a couple of exercises for your hamstrings.

Barbell Straight-legged deadlifts

There are a few important things to note with the straight-legged deadlift. You start the position with a straight back, looking down, with legs straight, and a barbell straight in front of you. Slowly lift up still keeping the back and legs as straight as possible. Keeping the back straight really allows the focus to be on the glutes, and keeping the legs straight allows the focus to be on the hamstrings. Note that you should try to keep a slight looseness in the knees so the joints aren't locked up. Lower back down and repeat. I try to do about 3 rounds of 15 with challenging weights.

Hamstring Curl


I love to show a lot of body weight exercises that you can do anywhere, but this is a machine exercise. To make it a body weight exercise, sit on a chair with your legs in front of you (you can use ankle weights if you have them), and try to put something heavy on your laps to keep your thighs down on the chair. Whether you are on a machine or not, slowly lift your lower legs (below your knees) up and back down. This puts the emphasis on your hamstrings and you should really feel it. Watch the video above for a better demonstration. I do about 3 rounds of 15. Make sure the weight is fairly challenging.

Hamstring Stretch

Of course, when you are done with several rounds of all that, you should make sure you really stretch out those muscles. Above is a great stretch that should help. Bring one knee in front in a low lunge, and lean back with your butt going towards the back knee until the front leg is straight. Really push into that front leg by flexing the toes and bringing the chest towards the knee. That should feel very good. Hold for about 30 seconds and switch sides.

Cheers Eights & Weights!
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