by M.E. Coffey
To improve your overall health and wellness try this simple but effective workout. Do each exercise for 30 to 45 seconds. Rest 15 to 30 seconds between each exercise.
1) Squats - butt back as you sit down, thighs parallel to floor, keep chest forward, push thru heels to stand up and squeeze butt cheeks together tight at the top, yes it matters!
2) Push Ups - on your knees or with hands on a counter, anyway you want, it's all good! Place hands under shoulders or a little wider, bend elbows and bring chest towards floor or counter, exhale as you push back to starting position.
3) Reverse Fly Squeeze - stand tall, arms out in front of body shoulder height, palms up, shoulders away from the ears, keep arms straight with thumbs pointing back, bring arms back and actively squeeze your shoulder blades together.
4) Plank Knee Touch - Plank position on forearms, body is straight than touch knees carefully to floor and back up to straight plank position.
5) 4 point reach and extend - knees and hands on floor, back flat parallel to floor, extend right arm reaching forward as you extend left leg back pushing thru heel, hips stay pointed towards floor, reach and extend, alternate right side and left side.
Circuit through one to three times. Aim for three or four times per week to help build functional base strength and body awareness, while burning unhealthy calories and building healthy lean muscle.
by M.E. Coffey
When you want to lose weight and start an exercise program it can often seem like a daunting task. But don’t let that overwhelm you, the key is to establish an exercise routine for the majority of your week so it becomes a habit.
And, strength training should be part of your routine since it builds up muscle and defines your body in a way that strict cardiovascular exercise can't do.
As you establish your routine it helps to write down your workouts and meal choices so you have an honest picture of how you're doing during the week. And if you have a slip up don't worry just get back on track again.
Here's a guideline on how to organize your exercise routine:
Monday: 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise
Tuesday: 30 to 45 minutes of strength training
Wednesday: 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise
Thursday: 30 to 40 minutes of strength training
Friday: 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise
Saturday: 30 to 45 minutes of strength training
Adjust the days to what works best for your schedule, but the key is to stick to your routine so it becomes a habit. Like brushing your teeth. Or drinking coffee!
Enjoy the process, and recognize the value of your hard work. Dedication and commitment will help you move forward towards a healthier happier you! Be your motivation!
by Mary Ellen Coffey
Four things to keep in mind when walking is your cardio workout:
One: walk 30 to 45 minutes three days a week to increase your energy and metabolic rate. This helps to reduce excess body fat and releases endorphins, the feel good chemicals in your brain.
Two: walk faster 30 seconds to one minute to increase heart and lung health. This helps to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease by lowering high blood pressure and high cholesterol and increases lung capacity.
Three: skip a few times during your walk and swing your arms higher. This helps to strengthen the skeletal system which helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and helps to increase joint range of motion.
Four: walk after eating breakfast, lunch or dinner. This helps with digestion by allowing your food to process better.
By Mary Ellen Coffey
What does this mean to you? Do something every day that brings you closer to your goals.
I have many goals, I think we all do, goals are not just a one or nothing kind of thing.
One of my many goals, especially as I age, is to move well, and stay as strong as I can for as long as I can.
One way I do that is through exercise. And I like to be efficient, so I’m all about functional fitness training which keeps me strong to do the things I love to do without running out of gas too soon!
So, one of my goals is functional training most days of the week for 30 to 45 minutes.
And that’s a reasonable goal I can happily meet. Plus cardio, don’t forget cardio!
Are you doing something today to bring you closer to your goals?
By Mary Ellen Coffey
Let's face it, exercising is somewhat time consuming, and sometimes a little hard, but when you take on a consistent strength training routine, and you work towards strengthening the muscles required to squat, push, pull, press, hinge, rotate, and move in all directions you're essentially helping your body to move more efficiently.
Imagine looking over your shoulder to back up your car, or change lanes, and you pull a muscle in your neck because you weren't able to rotate your torso enough, or possibly you just don't know the correct way to rotate your torso without pulling into your neck.
Or, maybe you bend down to pick something up off the floor, and hurt your back because you didn't brace your core first. Maybe you don't know how to brace your core, or the correct way to bend down. One of the great things about strength training is that it teaches us body awareness, which in turn, improves the way we move our bodies.
Inefficient movement, and weakness in one area of your body could negatively impact another area of your body. But, a consistent strength training program will assist in balancing out your muscles while improving your ability to perform your daily and favorite activities not only longer, but injury and pain free.
So hit the gym, or workout at home, and start your journey towards strength, health, vitality and proficient movement!
by Mary Ellen Coffey
1) The more you move the more you lose. Unwanted fat calories that is. Work towards burning at least 250 calories a day through exercise, and cut 250 waste calories from your diet, and you could conceivably lose 1 lb per week.
2) The more active you are the stronger you get. Your body is made to move, so move often. Lift weights to build lean muscle and walk, run, bike, hike, or do whatever activities you enjoy, and challenge yourself cardiovascularly. Sweat and breath heavy. Discover all you can do!
3) Exercise is good for you, so stick with it long enough to experience the benefits. You'll feel better not only physically, but also mentally. You'll sleep better, have more confidence, and start to eat healthier once you establish an exercise routine. Inactivity contributes significantly to that sluggish feeling while regular exercise rewards you with more liveliness.
4) Focus on healthy eating. Healthy food choices will naturally help you feel better overall. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and get in the habit of drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning to rehydrate and jump start your system.
5) Get plenty of rest. Be proactive in doing all you can to prepare for a good night's sleep. For greater success develop some kind of routine to calm yourself before bedtime such as reading, meditating, or deep breathing. Find something that works for you, and do it. Numerous studies show that lack of sleep can get in the way of your health and wellness, so find a way to clear your mind and practice it daily.
written by Mary Ellen Coffey
When I don’t exercise regularly, which can be anything from walking to strength training, I feel achy and lethargic. I personally don’t like feeling that way, so I exercise.
Regular exercise strengthens my bones, firms my muscles, clears my mind, and improves my heart and lung health. Plus exercise helps me to eat healthier and stay at a healthy weight.
Exercise helps me take care of me, and it can help you take care of you❤️
I'm all about efficiency and results, so my particular training method to strengthen bones, firm muscles, and improve heart and lung health is kettlebell training.
This is one of my own personal kettlebell workouts:
10/10 kettlebell rack reverse lunges
15 kettlebell swings
2/2 turkish get ups
10/10 plank shoulder taps
10 goblet squats
12/12 lunge one arm rows
Three rounds. Stretch. Good times!😅💪
Find a training method you enjoy, and go for it. Do it for you!
As a fitness professional it's my job to educate clients as well as train them. And I take that job seriously. But, as we all know there are many different personalities among us, and we certainly can't help those who won't help themselves. Sometimes it makes more sense for some people to participate in group fitness classes instead of hiring a personal trainer.
Personal training is not for everybody. First off, it's expensive, and requires a commitment to keep that appointment with your trainer two or three times per week. You and your trainer are a team, and your exercise routine needs to be a reasonable priority in order for you to succeed.
Those who are willing to learn, are excited about getting fit, and are open to experience all that functional strength training has to offer will not only benefit the most from personal training, but will begin to enjoy a life long journey of healthy living.
I trained a new client recently who was negative, not enthusiastic about exercising, and didn't want to do some basic body weight exercises that were appropriate for her. She insisted I needed to do "other things" with her first, so she "could build strength before doing these exercises." She had a puss on her face throughout the entire training session, and acted as if I was bothering her. Any trainer reading this knows exactly what I'm talking about because we've all experienced it.
The body weight exercises included the stationary lunge (holding on for balance with modified range of motion), a hip hinge pattern, and a box squat. The hip hinge pattern could be a little too technical, but I modified it, and she was doing fine until she abruptly decided she didn't want to do it anymore.
She wasn't happy about doing box squats because, she said "my legs are big enough, and I don't want them any bigger." I try to educate her by saying squats will help firm up your leg muscles, and therefore lean them out instead of making them bigger. She gives me a weird look, clearly she's not convinced...
I'm at a point in my career where I can pick and choose who I train. I need to be a good fit for the client just as the client needs to be a good fit for me in order to succeed. I've had many personalities to deal with in the past which has helped me to narrow down my clientele. I'm very passionate about what I do, and can help those willing to learn, so I work with clients who are committed, serious, and will benefit most from what I have to offer. I'm not a gentle trainer meaning I won't coddle, indulge, or help you find excuses.
I'm also not a physical therapist, chiropractor, massage therapist, counselor, psychiatrist, medical doctor, cheerleader, babysitter, nutritionist, dietitian, or yes man. And I can't diagnose. I'm a personal trainer, a fitness professional, and I help those willing to help themselves through reasonable and safe strength training movements.
Most people hire a trainer for their expertise, to help guide them toward their goals, and to help them make a commitment to exercise. I can teach you how to exercise properly, help you build muscle, burn body fat, lean out, get stronger, move better, and improve your cardio respiratory function. My responsibility as a trainer is to teach you how to exercise safely, help you to develop an exercise habit, and then prepare you to go out on your own with the confidence, and ability to stay committed to your exercise routine.
When you acknowledge the importance of a consistent exercise routine, and take control of your own health and wellness, whether that's working with a trainer, taking group fitness classes, or exercising on your own then that's when I know I've done a good job.
Certified Personal Trainer
by Mary Ellen Coffey
There are endless safe and effective ways to get a great workout on the rowing machine. When you go to the gym however, nine times out of ten you'll see people rowing incorrectly. There is a technique to it, and unlike the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike you can't just jump on the rower and row. Well you can, but you won't get the most from your workout.
Efficiency matters, so don't waste your time.
What it is: rowing is a drive, or push with your legs, a hip hinge back slightly with your torso (11 o'clock position), and a pull with your arms. The drive movement order is legs, body, arms.
Reverse it on the recovery, by letting your arms straighten, hip hinge forward slightly with your torso (1 o'clock position) then bend the knees until your shins are vertical. The recovery movement order is arms, body, legs.
On the recovery your knees do not bend until the handle passes over them, and your back stays straight on both the drive and recovery with your lats engaged. Let this become one continuous movement, legs, body, arms, and arms, body, legs.
Workout tip: Interval your workout by rowing for 5 minutes then get off the rower and complete a body weight movement.
Row 5 minutes
10R 10L reverse lunges
Repeat 6 times for a total of 30 minutes on the rower and 60 reverse lunges.
Get your workout done in 30 minutes! But you do need to warm up first, so at least 10 minutes of mobility and dynamic movements before the workout.
30 Minute Kettlebell Workout:
5 kettlebell goblet squats
20 swings (light)
15 swings (medium)
10 swings (heavy) - 45 swings total
5R/5L plank one arm rows
10 floor chest presses
Repeat 4 times. Foam roll. Stretch.
Useful practical information and a workout or two...