Easy at Home Workout

Happy Holidays everyone! I'm off to Ontario now, but I wanted to give you guys a great, quick and easy workout at home. It can be done with or without exercise equipment to keep it simple :)

Can't wait to see you all back in the studio Jan 8th!

xo

Kara

Before you start this exercise I used a gym mat, or yoga mat, weights (5-10lbs), exercise band. Again, if you don't have access to these don't worry about it. Using your body weight is more than enough! For these exercises do one minute of each. The second time through then do forty five seconds of each, and lastly the third time do thirty seconds of each. Try for 3 full rounds of the circuit.

Wide to Narrow Squat

Place band around thighs above knees. With legs hip width apart lower into squat with weights at your side. Then step legs out wider then hip width and lower into deep squat with weights in between legs. 

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Single and Double Leg Drop

Laying on your back. Lift your chest slightly and lower one leg down towards the mat. Draw navel to spine as you lower your leg and fire deep abdominal muscles to pull leg back towards body. Repeat with opposite leg and then lower both legs together. As you draw legs back up to body you can lower shoulder and chest down to mat. 

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Glute Bridge with Chest Press

On back with knees bent. Ankles under knees. Keep tension with band in knees at hip width apart. Then lift hips, draw navel to spine and fire your glutes as you press weight above chest.

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Plank Booty Kick

Move into plank position. Joint over joints. Use your whole body in plank and keep tension with the band. Then fire with one leg and squeeze up into booty kick. Repeat on opposite side.

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Band Bicycles to Toe Tap

Laying on your back raise your knees above your hips, and have your legs at a 90 degree angle. Then draw opposite leg and elbow together as you curl up. Use your core to pull up. Then repeat on the other side. Then bring knees back together and tap toes down towards mat. 

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Band Burpee

Start by reaching tall with legs and hips width apart. Lower into a deep squat and jump back into a strong plank position. Jump feet back to hands then stand up, and repeat. Keep tension through the band as you repeat. 

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12 Days of Christmas Exercises

On the first day of Christmas Santa Kara gave to me...

A squat with overhead press on the down phase of the squat. Sit back into your heels and push your booty behind you. Imagine you are sitting back into an imaginary chair. Press your arms over head. Keep chest proud and shoulders draw down and back. No scrunching your neck and shoulders. On up phase create length and stand back up talk with core engagement.

Do 25 of these today when you wake up, on your break at work, while the baby is sleeping, while watching netflix or during any free time you have today!

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Second Day of Christmas

Today we are doing a plank jack. Start in strong plank form. Press up into your shoulders slightly. Relax your chest. Engage your core, glutes and quads. Press back into your heels. Then jump your legs out wider then your mat. Keep hips and buns down. Keep your shoulders over your wrists. Then jump back into strong plank form

Do 30 of these today when you have some free time or make some free time! It’s only 30 you can do it!

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Third day of Christmas

On the 3rd day of 12 days of fitness I give you the “L curl up”. This a challenging but effective abdominal workout. Laying down, keep your head and shoulders relaxed. Press your legs out into the shape of an L while engaging through your deep abdominal muscles. Waking up the transversus. Then draw navel to spine with an inhale and curl up with your upper body. Eyes to the thighs as you come up. Then exhale and draw navel deeper. Imagine up and under the rib cage. And release down as you exhale. Modification for this is to keep the lower leg on the mat if the abdominals feel overloaded. You shouldn’t feel this in your lower back. Take your time and match your breath to your movement. This will help with correct abdominal engagement.

Do 3 rounds of 10 each side of these today. Roll out of bed and get in a core workout before you start the day! Enjoy!

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On the fourth day of Chistmas

Day 4 brings some heat! Try this single deadlift to T-pose. Standing tall, shoulders back and chest proud you can start to hinge at your hips to lower forward. Keep a micro bend in your stabilizing leg. Kick your back leg behind you engaging through your glutes. Keep your core engaged and hips scissoring towards each other. Try and not let your hips tip to the one side. Draw through your core and slowly start to draw back up. Firing up your glute on the stabilizing leg.

Do 20 reps on each leg x 4 rounds. It won’t take much to feel the burn on this one. Keep up with your workouts!

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On the fifth day of Christmas

Day 5 is for your core! We are doing a plank pulse and spicing it up with an alternating ankle tap. Start in strong plank position. Then pulse your hips back and reach one hand to opposite ankle. Then draw back to strong plank position and switch to other side. Flow your breath, move slow and controlled to keep strong form.

Do 10 reps on each leg x 4 rounds. You now could pare this workout with the last 4 and have a full body bodyweight workout. Get your workout in! Christmas is coming...lol. Enjoy!

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On the sixth day of Christmas

Day 6 is for your core too! Here we have Single and Double Leg Toe Taps. This one sure gets the Abs shaking. Start by leaning back into your elbows. Draw your shoulders down and keep your chest proud. Draw knees into chest. Then breathe in and engage those deep abdominal muscles. Draw navel to spine and drop one foot down. Exhale draw foot back up. Repeat same pattern on other side. Then both legs together. Take your time and move with control. This will really challenge your abdominals. Quality over quantity!

Do 8 reps on each leg and 8 together. Then rest and do 3 more rounds. Now that your up and reading this, sneak it in! Before work or waking up the kids:) Starting the day with a little movement and heat is energizing and motivating. No better way to get going for the day! Have fun:)

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On the seventh day of Christmas

Day 7 is for the back and booty 🍑 Laying on your back bend your knees. Make sure knees are over top of ankles and knees are hip width apart. Draw in engaging through your core and lift up through your hips. Squeeze your glutes. Also take your arms straight overhead as you lift up your hips. Then draw arms and hips back to the mat.
 

Do 25 reps. Then rest and do 3 more rounds. Fit this one in before bed tonight! It takes not much space, you can do it right beside the bed or watching a show this evening. Make time for your fitness!
 

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On the eighth day of Christmas

Here is a Single leg Plank Pulse to Climber. Start in strong plank position and then press one leg back as you pulse back. Then draw the lifted leg down towards your opposite elbow as you lower back into plank. Try and get as much length out of your body as you pulse back, press your leg up as high as you can. On the down phase make sure to engage your core as you come down and bring the knee in.

Let’s try 5 rounds of 8 each side today! Keep following along with my workouts and get this one in before any holiday festivities this weekend!

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On the ninth day of Christmas

Here is your workout today. Reverse Lunge to Knee Drive. Standing step back into lunge and then on up phase drive the back leg up into a knee drive. As you press your knee up draw your arm straight up overhead. Then trying to stay balanced drive leg right back into lunge. Step in down in between if needed. Have a good workout!

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On the tenth day of Christmas...

Follow along with my daily exercises for the next 2 days. Share your photos and videos with me and be entered in the 12 days of Fitness draw🎉

Sunday Funday! Today was busy:) Got chores and meal prep done today! I love having a productive Sunday. Here is a workout you can do before bed. All you need is a wall. Today’s exercise is a Wall sit with front raise. Keeping your upper body against the wall make sure you lower to 90 degrees with your legs. Make sure your knee are over your ankles. Then take arms straight and pull up to shoulder height. Lower back down and repeat. Draw your core in as you lift your arms up. Flow your breath and try and stay in the wall sit for the whole time. •
Do this for a 60 second hold and repeat 2-3 rounds. You can do it! Keep up with your daily workouts and in no time you will have created a regular habit:)
 

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On the eleventh day of Christmas 

Follow along with my daily exercises, one more day to go! Share your photos and videos with me and be entered in the 12 days of Fitness draw🎉

Got a case of the Mondays? I’ve got the cure. Get your body moving and get the energy flowing. Exercise always makes me feel better on a Monday:)

Today’s workout is a Side Plank Hip Dip to Side leg lift. It’s a challenging one. You can chose to do the same movement with the bottom leg bent and your knee on the mat. To start the workout, line your elbow under your shoulder. Joint over joint support. Then line your hips to your ankles in a straight line. Draw through your core and squeeze your glutes to lift up through your hips. When you come into strong plank position then lift your top leg up into a lift. Lower your leg down and then your hips to the mat. Then repeat:)

You have to both sides this one! Do 2 rounds each side and 10 reps of each lift. Have fun! 

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On the twelfth day of Christmas

Thanks for following along with my daily exercises, the final day of 12 is here! One more chance to share your photos and videos with me and be entered in the 12 days of Fitness draw🎉

Had to finish off the 12 days with my favourite muscle group to work! Booty! Here is a booty kick. The importance of the booty kick is to fire the glutes to lift your leg up and not use your lower back or hips. Keep a neutral spine and engage your core as you kick your leg back as well. Best part is that you can do these anywhere;)

Do 4 sets of these and 20 reps each side :) Make that booty burn 🔥
 

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You can put these 12 moves together for an amazing workout! Thanks for following along! Happy Holidays!

xo

Kara

Holiday Chill Poses

Take a few moments for yourself this holiday

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We sat down with Susanne Mueller, from at Sus Feed Yourself who is giving us some yoga poses to keep your mind calm and your heart happy over the holidays.

Susanne has been teaching yoga for over 10 years and is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, a bad ass momma to two, a wife, and lover of breaths of fresh air, mountain walks and trips to  wild Vancouver Island. When it's time to rest she visits the island and loves to surf.

Susanne's Journey to listen to her body began here....

as a sensitive soul with a farming upbringing, i was raised with the importance and practicality of getting shit done. there was a lot of love in our family and freedom on the farm, but on some level i noted that emotions weren’t very useful - more so a hinderance - in this practical world. sensitivity doesn’t get shit done.

as i got older, more experiences led me to learn (not very successfully) how to keep it together and hold it all inside. but the emotions still flowed strongly through me.

i began to subconsciously pull myself out of my body in attempt to control life within and around me. my body always felt too uncomfortable, too anxious, too sensitive, too unpredictable. it got in the way.

i managed with the constant tension and nervousness i felt. but eventually anxiety took over. i was trying to get away from it all while my body was trying to pull me back. i stopped listening to my body. i turned to food for comfort and often ate too much to soothe and distract myself.

it was during one of my travels that i landed in a yoga class. i knew this was an answer to my struggle when i walked out of my first class feeling light and calm. finally my journey towards feeling good in my body started. and continues.

i began to see that what i was searching for was the same thing i was endlessly running away from. myself.

i became a yoga teacher and holistic
nutritionist for my own learning and journey. i am grateful for all the teachers, leaders, friends and guides who have showed up along my way. I’m now inspired to support others as they move through theirs.

We know this time of the year gets busy. For many, it brings up mixed feelings. Some overspend, some overeat, others worry whether their gifts are enough for those they love. The food, the travel, the planning and the expectations - it can be a lot.

To help minimize some of the stress over the holidays, here are some poses you can try over the next few weeks. All of them have many benefits including calming anxiety, stress and tension in the body.

The poses all work towards balanced energy levels and relieving fatigue. Ideally you could try doing all these poses once a day or maybe you just try one for a minute. Either way here they are if you need them (first check with your doc to get the a-ok first).


Heart & Belly Breath

Start in a comfortable seated position. You are welcome to sit on a block, or a rolled up towel if your hips aren't very open.

Start in a comfortable seated position. You are welcome to sit on a block, or a rolled up towel if your hips aren't very open.

Find a comfortable seated position. Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Take 3 slow breaths into your belly and feel your lower hand rise and fall. Then take three slow breaths into your chest and feel your top hand rise and fall. Then take 3 (or more) breaths into both hands. Start your inhale into your lower hand, then keep breathing into your lungs. Breathe out from your lungs first, then out your belly. When you are done, place both hands onto your thighs and take a few regular breaths.

Find a comfortable seated position. Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Take 3 slow breaths into your belly and feel your lower hand rise and fall. Then take three slow breaths into your chest and feel your top hand rise and fall. Then take 3 (or more) breaths into both hands. Start your inhale into your lower hand, then keep breathing into your lungs. Breathe out from your lungs first, then out your belly. When you are done, place both hands onto your thighs and take a few regular breaths.

Butterfly Pose

Sit on either the floor or on a block. Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall out to the sides. For tight hips, support the outsides of your knees with blocks/pillows/blankets. Bring your chin to your chest or fold forward from your hips towards the floor. Take long, slow breaths for 1-5 minutes.

Sit on either the floor or on a block. Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall out to the sides. For tight hips, support the outsides of your knees with blocks/pillows/blankets. Bring your chin to your chest or fold forward from your hips towards the floor. Take long, slow breaths for 1-5 minutes.

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Waterfall/ Deadbug Pose

Lie on your back. Place a block or a rolled up blanket underneath your hips. Bring your knees into your chest and lengthen them towards the ceiling. Let them relax slightly. Option to reach your arms up as well, letting them softly dangle like your legs. Take long, slow breaths for 1-5 minutes.   

Lie on your back. Place a block or a rolled up blanket underneath your hips. Bring your knees into your chest and lengthen them towards the ceiling. Let them relax slightly. Option to reach your arms up as well, letting them softly dangle like your legs. Take long, slow breaths for 1-5 minutes.

 

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Airplane pose ;)

Airplane pose ;)

 Forward Fold

Come to a standing position. Place your hands on your hips and bend your knees. Hinge forward from your hips. Bend your knees deeply so that your belly is resting on your thighs. Dont focus/worry about touching the floor. You could place a block underneath your hands or grab opposite elbow. Take long, slow breaths for 1-2 minutes.

Come to a standing position. Place your hands on your hips and bend your knees. Hinge forward from your hips. Bend your knees deeply so that your belly is resting on your thighs. Dont focus/worry about touching the floor. You could place a block underneath your hands or grab opposite elbow. Take long, slow breaths for 1-2 minutes.

When you are all done with the series of poses, you could end with a few moments of breathing laying flat on your back, corpse pose.

Remember to listen to your body it will tell you what you need. I hope everyone has a happy holidays. I can't wait to spend Christmas in Ucluelet and Tofino. My favourite thing about visiting Tofino/Ukee is the ocean of course. It’s so wild and refreshing. I love rolling around in the waves whether it’s on a surfboard, boogie board or just me and my wetsuit.

 

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Happy Holidays xo Sus

What should I eat before and after a workout?

One of the most common questions I get asked as a Personal trainer is: "What should I eat before and after a workout?"

Regular exercise and workouts are just as important as a healthy eating when it comes to creating a healthy mind, body and soul. But stressing over your pre-workout or post-workout nutrition should never prevent you from working out!

Today, I’m going to talk about pre-workout and post-workout nutrition to help you plan your meals.

Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition For Early Morning Cardio

For those who like to run or do a burst of cardio first thing in the morning: If your workouts are short and low to moderate intensity like jogging or yoga, you may not need anything at all. During this type of exercise your body utilizes mostly fat for fuel, and your own body fat is often good enough.

Figure out what works best for you. Have a glass of water and check-in with your body. If you feel energized without food, don’t force it. I personally use a vega hydrator with electrolytes and this lets my body feel like it has something in my belly. 

However, if you do feel like you need an energy boost or you plan on a longer/more intense workout, grab an easy-digesting carbohydrate. Juicy fruits like berries, apples, grapes or peaches are the best since they offer extra hydration.

What to eat before early morning cardio: Easy digesting carbs (or nothing).

Some examples:

  • 1 piece of fruit
  • a cup of green juice

What to eat after early morning cardio: A well-rounded breakfast such as....

  • Toast with eggs and avocado
  • Scrambled eggs and green onion
  • Green smoothie with protein powder
  • Oatmeal with fruit and hemp seeds

Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition For Weight/Resistance Training or Afternoon Workouts

If you ate a meal within the last 3 hours, your body will use that nutrition to fuel your workout. If not, have a small meal about 60 minutes before you exercise.

Remember: The less time you leave between your snack and your workout, the less time you will have to digest your food. This means you’ll be more likely to get a stomach ache than an energy boost. If you find yourself burping up food during your workout, you didn’t have enough time to digest it. Add an extra 30 minutes between your snack and workout next time.

What to eat before weight/resistance training or an afternoon workout: Carbs and some protein such as...

  • A green smoothie with half a serving of protein powder
  • Banana with peanut butter
  • Handful of trail mix
  • Power balls

What to eat after weight/resistance training or an afternoon workout: A mix of carbs, protein and fat such as...

  • Banana with peanut butter and a scoop of protein powder
  • ¼ cup of dried fruit and 2 hardboiled eggs
  • A tuna melt
  • Salad with protein and goat cheese
  • Green Smoothie with protein powder

Adding anti-inflammatory nutrients after exercise can reduce soreness and assist with muscle recovery. Berries, turmeric, omegas, hemp, chia, and flax seeds are great anti-inflammatory boosters and all blend well into smoothies. I add all of the above or sometimes just a few to my smoothies or bowls to help heal my body. 

If you workout just before dinner: If I finish a workout just before dinner....

I tend to make sure my meal has a good balance of vegetables, protein and healthy carbs to re-fuel for the next day. Always remember to manage PORTION size. 

Use these tips to plan your next week workout plan/nutrition goals!

Kara xx