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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bodyweight Series: Squats

Lord, Please Make My . . . Smaller/Bigger/Tighter
We as women are a pretty self-conscious bunch, especially when it comes to our bodies. There's always something on our person that we want to be smaller.  Or bigger.  Or tighter.  Or rounder.  Regardless of what change in shape, size, or texture we want, I would venture to say that {in my non-expert opinion} I think I know exactly which body part we all want to change.

The Batootie.
 The butt, bum, derriere, trunk, badonkadonk, bottom, tush, rear, or in my family's case {thanks to my dad's Polish background...} the doopa. 

When You Wish Upon the Butt Genie
Whatever it is that you affectionately call your posterior, I doubt that you would call it strong.  That’s probably not something you would have thought to wish for if the Butt Genie were to show up on your front door step.  Why should you want a strong butt? Because a strong butt means a smaller, tighter, non-jiggly butt…which I KNOWis what you want!

The Butt Genie would like to make your wish come true! With a wave of his hands and an “Abra, Kadabra, Alakazaam!”, he gives you…

The Squat
Squats are the essence of functional movements for us bipedal people.  We squat to pick up children and dropped keys.  We squat when going from a sitting to standing position. Heck, my 1-year-old squats constantly as he has recently started walking and loves taste testing everything on the floor {I pick it up, it goes in my mouth, I drop it, I pick it up again…}

Squats are vital in maintaining healthy backs, knees, and hips. And butts!  It’s a simple yet super effective move to strengthen your entire core, increase mobility and flexibility, and lift, lift, LIFT that doopa!

I can honestly say that I have definitely noticed a huge difference in my tush and hamstrings in only a few months’ time of doing squats on a regular basis.  It’s easier to pick up my boys, grab things off the ground or in low cabinets, and do yard work.  Going up two flights of stairs every day at work is cake. 

My pants fit way better in the back side.  I have one pair of work pants that make me chuckle because I can’t actually say they’re bigger in the butt on me now.  Truth be told, they’re actually tighter around the upper part of my butt and loose in the bottom part.  I just laugh and think, “My butt may be getting bigger…but at least it’s more lifted!” 

So let’s drop it!

•Start with feet shoulder width and slightly toed out.
•Keep the head up.
•Maintain the lumbar curve of the lower back.
•Keep the midsection tight.
•Send the butt back and down.
•Keep the pressure on the heels.
•Delay the knees forward travel as much as possible.
•Lift the arms as the butt drops down.
{Thighs should drop “below parallel”}
•Squeeze the glutes and hamstrings to rise.
•Stand tall at the top*

Squat Variations

Add weight to your squats by using a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebell, child, dog, bag of sand…anything!  The front squat allows your torso to remain more vertical, but the movement does not target the hamstrings and glutes as directly as the back squat.

Same as front squat but instead of weight being in the “front rack” position, the weight is behind.  Typically, one should be able to back squat a higher weight load compared to their front squat.  This movement targets quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and abs.  However, back squats can be a little more taxing on your spine.

Dubbed the “ultimate core exercise” by CrossFit’s Greg Glassman, the overhead squat is an extremely challenging movement.  Elbows are locked out as you hold the weight up while you squat.

This one really tests your balance!  I couldn’t do these just a few months ago. I tried last week for the first time and was super stoked that I could do them without falling over and feeling like a fool.  You can start by using a chair to help you balance.  To make it more challenging, try to get your butt as close to the ground as possible.

Lots of love, Dawn


Friday, July 19, 2013

No Boundaries. Stop stereotyping.

She's such an inspiration! 
Ladies, don't be afraid to lift, climb, push, drag, carry,  pull, & swing. Push yourself to a new fitness level, eat more, lean out  and build muscle! 
You're not going to look like a guy unless you're taking some sort of drug supplements. I promise. 
Strong and muscular women is the new "skinny" right?! ;) 
 ~Inspirational and motivational thoughts coming your way, with love from Mel! 

Read this awesome article! 

Burn of the Day {7.19.13}

It's one hour and 20 minutes of torture, but your body will thank you and reward you for it! Take breaks as needed.... It's Ok, I promise! 
Stay fit and healthy ladies (and men) by exercising and eating healthy! Still allow yourself your cheat meals/drinks and still enjoy the pleasures in life, but in moderation! ;) 

My post-workout omelette: four egg whites, one yolk, fresh basil, green onion, grape tomatoes, red bell pepper, minced garlic, cooked with EVOO, topped with one small avocado. It was so delicious and very satisfying. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kicked My Own Butt! (7.16.13)

I was in Canada for 10 days on a missions trip with my church youth group. I brought my workout clothes thinking I would actually have time to workout. Who was I fooling?!?? There was absolutely no down time to workout. 

My days started at 5:30am waiting in line to take a shower. My days didn't end until around 1:00am. I was literally running on fumes each day. 

After driving 20 hours back home (I drove 16 out of the 20 hours),  I decided to take another two days off to SLEEP! Oh how I missed sleep and my own bed. 

With that being said, I took 12 days off from working out! That's a lot when you're used to working out 5-6 days a week. My motto for my workout this morning, was "go big or go home." I had a love hate relationship with my workout today, but I'm so glad I did it. 

Keep moving friends! Even though I was walking non-stop on my trip and we even went on two hikes, it still wasn't good enough! Our bodies need to do more than just walking. 

Mel's WOD/BOD:

Burn of the Day 7/16/13

Good morning! I used my barbell for the overhead squats. If you don't have a barbell, you can use any weights...a kettlebell, dumbbell, son, or daughter! Be creative! Or you can do squats without the added weight. Post time to comments!

Workout courtesy of
Image courtesy of