Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tighten + Tone Tuesday

Happy Tighten + Tone Tuesday! If you follow this blog regularly, you rock! I love hearing your thoughts and helping you learn more about how to create a healthy lifestyle.  You also may recall that I was out of town last week. I had a great time visiting my family! It was hard to leave even though I'll be back to celebrate the holidays and it was freeeezing up in CT. Yup, I have some pretty awesome relatives!

How does my family time relate to Tighten + Tone Tuesday? Well, since I wasn't home and in the midst of my regular routine of fitness classes and the like I decided to take my dad up on his offer to use my parent's gym. Seemed like a great idea especially since it was 30 degrees outside (versus at least 70 degrees here in Houston, TX).  Seemed being the keyword, because I am STILL unable to unpack my suitcase from my workout on Saturday.  The gym broke me!  

OK so maybe I really can unpack my suitcase now, but the last few days have been pretty challenging.  Whatever did I do in the gym? It wasn't any gym rocket science!  In fact, the technique that got me feeling like I need a really good massage (except for the fact that I don't want someone to touch me right now....) is one you can use at home: Single-Arm (or Leg) Training. 

I ended up using this technique because some grunting gym guy (you know the type):


stole my bench when I was using the assisted pull-up machine (if you haven't used this and go to a gym that has one, get on trying it out ASAP).  I was doing a basic dumbbell chest press so I decided to go over to the weight machine circuit and exchange my dumbbells for the chest press machine.

Most weight machines force you to move the entire bar at once.  This one allowed me to move one arm at a time so it was very easy for me to do one set with my right arm and then switch to my left arm.

Boy, do I still feel the difference of isolating the exercise to one arm at a time! Usually weight machines are considered an entry level piece of equipment because they limit your range of motion and can help beginners avoid common form mistakes.  However, even if you are not a beginner it is worth checking out the weight machines once in a while to vary your workout.  One way is the way I chose, single-arm training.  Even if your weight machine is set up to work both arms or legs at the same time, you can always just use lighter weight and move your opposite arm or leg out of the way for the same effect.

How do you practice Single-Appendage Training at home? If you have your own dumbbells or resistance bands, complete the exercise with one arm/leg at a time. Determined face and silly photo evidence optional.... (if you take a photo like this, however, we'd love to see it!)


 Don't have any equipment?   No problem! Try this technique with any body-weight exercise to really challenge yourself.  A basic wall squat can be done with one leg by lifting one foot off the ground while in this position. For your upper body, a one armed or one legged push-up is also an excellent choice.  If you aren't able to do a full push-up yet you can always modify your form and complete it on an incline and try a one-armed version before progressing to a full push-up.

Have you done anything to change your exercise routine lately? What do you think of single-arm/leg training?  Let us know your thoughts by sharing a comment below: