Shaking My Head

First of all, this week’s post has nothing to do with fitness.  At all.  Second, I was not the one who found it.  One of my clients posted it and I am stealing it from her, so thanks, Hillarey.  With that said, this one was just too good to pass up.  I usually don’t make fun of people on this blog (yeah, who am I kidding??), but I had to with this photo.  It needs no explanation at the end, just make sure and read all of the comments.

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Healthy and Homemade

Lemon Salmon and Lima Beans

Picture of Lemon Salmon With Lima Beans Recipe

Total Time: 40 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 30 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients

1 lemon, halved
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
3/4 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 1-pound bag frozen baby lima beans
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 5-ounce skinless center-cut salmon fillets

Directions

Slice 1 lemon half into 4 thin rounds and set aside. Grate the zest of the other lemon half and set aside; squeeze some of the juice into a bowl and mix in the yogurt and 1/4 teaspoon paprika.

Preheat the broiler. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Add the lima beans, 1 1/2 cups water and the lemon zest; partially cover the pan, bring to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, 1 tablespoon of the yogurt mixture and the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil.

Meanwhile, mix the remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Sprinkle all over the salmon; arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet and top each fillet with a lemon slice. Broil until just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve with the lima beans and top with the yogurt mixture.

Per serving

Calories: 340
Fat: 8 g (Saturated 1 g)
Cholesterol: 81 mg
Sodium: 655 mg
Carbohydrate: 25 g
Fiber: 7 g
Protein: 40 g

Workout of the Week

This week I’m giving you nothing but kettlebell exercises.  We’ve got 5 exercises to do.  We’ve got 20 total reps for each exercise.

  1. Split Jump Exchange
  2. Thrusters
  3. Around the World Squat
  4. Lunge Twist
  5. Renegade Pushups (KB or DB)

Complete 5 Rounds, giving you 100 total reps for each exercise.

WORK HARD!!!!

Exercise of the Week

KB Lunge Side Twist

This week’s exercise takes the classic front lunge and adds a little twist to it (see what I did there???).  You’re going to get the normal lower body work that you would with the lunge, but were adding even more core work into it with the twisting motion and the kettlebell movement.  A great full body exercise for those looking to maximize your workout efficiency.

Front View

As you can see, you want to start with the kettlebell overhead.  At the same time as your lunge, begin to lower the kettlebell and rotate to the same side as you step out with.  On the way up, think to yourself “More Core, Less Arms.”  This will be a little difficult at first because the natural tendency is to use the arms to lift the kettlebell back up over your head.  Once you get your balance down and the hang of the movement, though, try to focus on using both your core and your momentum to bring that kettlebell back to its original position.

Side View

The main thing to focus on here, just as with any other lower body exercise, is the position of the knees and feet.  You don’t have to step out as far as possibly, but go out far enough that your front knee won’t be tempted to lean out in front of your foot.  Two things to take away from this view… The first thing is that once I plant my front foot, my back knee is going straight down to the ground.  No forward movement after the front foot hits the ground.  The second thing to notice is my torso.  I’m not leaning over once I begin my lunge.  Although your twisting, try your best to keep you chin and chest up, which will allow you to keep you body in one straight, vertical line.

There is always confusion as to which cooking oil is the safest to use.  So, for those of you who swear by using oils in your cooking, here is a good graphic for you to follow.

Shaking My Head

Forgetting something there, guy??

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For once, I am at a loss for words when trying to describe my thoughts.  Damn near every dumb, meat-head, tool-bag stereotype is popping into my head right now and chomping at the bit to get out.  For your sake, however, I’ll refrain from letting them all out.  This guy, though, my god.  He’s all sorts of mixed up.  What do you think this guy thinks whenever he walks into the gym???  It’s clearly nothing rational regarding neither his workout program nor his outfit.

First of all, this is not aesthetically pleasing to ANYBODY.  You take out Captain No Squats up there and nobody is going to think this is a good look.  I have never seen anybody, in person, with wider arms than legs.  Again, I’m (nearly) at a loss for words because of how utterly, ridiculously, stupid this guy looks.  For the sake of us all, please, shoot those steroids in your legs next time instead of right into your shoulders.

Second, physically this is not healthy for the body.  This guy is putting MASSIVE amounts of stress on his lower limbs without anything to combat that stress.  Imagine trying to hold up a big screen TV with two chopsticks.  What’s going to happen??  Of course, it’s going to collapse.  The same thing will happen here.  If this guy is to use his legs for ANYTHING other than walking, something bad is going to happen.  There just isn’t enough there to support it.  Your leg muscles are naturally the largest muscles in you body, and they should stay that way.

I can’t even come up with a clever ending to this post.  Mainly because I’m to busy laughing and Shaking My Head.

 

A Bit of a Stretch

This makes stretching seem so enjoyable…

If you’ve heard it once,  you’ve heard it a thousand times.  Static stretching (no movement) before and after a workout will reduce soreness and prevent injuries.  If you have bought into this philosophy, I’m forced to tell you that you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried.  Static stretching before exercise is not only ineffective at injury reduction, but it is almost harmful to the muscles being stretched.  It is, however, beneficial for post-workout, which I will explain later.  First, I want to dispel the rumor that stretching is used to reduce soreness and prevent injury.  It does neither of the two.  Your muscles are going to be sore regardless of stretching, due to small micro-tears caused during exercise.  Research also indicates that those who do not stretch are no more likely to injure themselves as opposed to those who do stretch.

So, why in the hell do we stretch, then??  There is one main reason to stretch your muscles after a workout, and it revolves around neither preventing injury nor reducing soreness.  We stretch, simply enough, in order to increase flexibility.  I know it seems pretty straightforward and simple, but that is the main benefit of stretching.  With increased flexibility, however, there are multiple benefits that accompany.  First and foremost, you’re going to be able to go through increased range of motion on almost all exercises, particularly those involving the lower body.  Adding to that, you will be able to go through this increased range of motion without pain.  If you’ve ever tried to increase your range of motion with tight muscles, you know how painful and annoying it can be.  If you have tight hip muscles, not only will you not be able to get as low on a squat as you need to, but trying to do so will be painful.  With increased flexibility, you can increase that range of motion, and ultimately train muscles harder than you were previously capable of doing.  This will result, as we all know, in stronger muscles and improved performance.

Okay, you’ve gone over the issue of why we stretch in general.  Why, then, do we do it AFTER exercise??  It’s pretty simple, and you can literally feel it in your muscles if you pay attention.  When you start exercises, you feel tight.  Your muscles haven’t loosed up yet.  After exercise, however, your muscles are loose, and much more flexible.  If you were to compare the two situations, your muscles before a workout would be similar to a guitar string, while afterward they would be more like a rubber band (not to that extent, of course).  You see the difference???  It is much easier to pull a rubber band than it is to pull on a guitar string.  When you do pull on a tight muscle, just like a guitar string, it’s very likely that it will snap or tear.  That is the case when you stretch cold, stiff muscles.  They are MUCH more susceptible to injury.  Pulling on the rubber band, however, is much more effective.  The loose, warm muscles following exercise are not only safer to stretch, but much more receptive to stretching, as well.

So, stretching increases flexibility.  DUH.  We all know that.  The timing and execution of stretching, however, are very important to get the maximum benefits of increased strength and improved performance.