In case you missed it, the women’s health and fitness movement is in full swing, with many women jogging, hiking, filling the local gyms, and participating in lifetime sports in your locale.
If you’re already grabbing your endorphin fix every day, you might try the workouts below for a change of pace. But if you’re waiting for the right moment to begin a fitness journey, this is a great place to start, especially with National Women’s Health and Fitness Day on September 26th.
We gathered a mix of workouts for you from Shaklee Pure Performance Team members Jamie Corkish (Shooting, 2008, 2012, gold medal), Amanda Elmore (Rowing, 2016 gold medal), and Brianne McLaughlin (Hockey, 2010, 2014, silver medals). Try one or all of these workouts to pump up your day!
Jamie Corkish: Busy Working Mom Workout
Many of you are busy like me: 50-hour work weeks, school to notch that MBA, and chasing around our 14-year-old in multiple sports with a 3-year-old in tow. Oh, and volunteering for most of our kids’ activities and a couple of nonprofit organizations. Instead of thinking that a short workout isn’t worth it, believe that any workout or activity is better than none. Here are some of my busy-life favorites:
Cycling: I can ride my bike to many places, so I hitch up the bike trailer and ride my 3-year-old to preschool, then ride on to work for a great morning and afternoon ride. Of course, the possibilities are endless—I can put in some miles on a bike anywhere in the neighborhood or nearby.
At Home: I love the convenience of a rowing machine and weight lifting/resistance machine at home. I can fit in a quick 15–20 minute strength circuit (a quick internet search will produce several for your specific weight machine), and then I throw in a rowing session between lifting sets. I pull a fast cadence for short distances, and a slower, longer cadence for long distances. If I don’t have time for strength and rowing, choosing one is perfectly acceptable. If you’re not sure where to start with a rowing workout, check out Amanda Elmore’s workout below, or visit the Concept2 workout site, which provides a daily workout; I don’t have to think of a workout—they just post it for me!
Body Weight Exercises: I admit, sometimes I’m so squeezed I can’t even wedge in my weight machine or rowing. So, I do some quick body weight exercises: abs, push-ups, squats, dips on a chair, burpees, and so forth. I’m increasing my heart rate and getting the blood flowing. I also stand at my work desk instead of sit; it’s a small thing, but with a busy lifestyle, I’ll sometimes take anything I can do to feel like I’m taking better care of myself.
Amanda Elmore: Stroke Rate Workout
Have you ever seen the rowing machine at the gym and felt super intimidated? Or maybe you finally convinced yourself to sit down but have no clue how to get started or what any of the numbers mean? I’m here to help.
The ergometer rowing machine, or “erg,” provides a great whole-body workout without a lot of impact on the joints. You sit while working out—who wouldn’t love that? Most people think rowing is mostly an upper body/arm workout, but it’s actually working your core and legs more than anything. With good technique, you will brace your body so that when you extend your legs all the power goes into the handle. Here’s a short workout to get a taste of the erg without overdoing it.
This workout makes use of stroke rate (SR), the little number in the top left of your erg screen. This is a measure of the number of strokes per minute. When we won our gold medal in Rio in 2016, we pulled a 36 SR, but we normally trained around only 20 SR! Training at a low rate teaches your body to be powerful, controlled, and efficient, and to get the most distance on the water per stroke. Try to keep your stroke rate at the prescribed number while pushing as hard as you can with your legs.
- First, a 5–10 minute jog around the block or on the treadmill
- 10 lunges each leg to get the glutes firing
- 10 toe touches to get my back warmed up
- 10 standing torso twists
- 10 air squats
Start with a 5-minute easy erg run, and note your stroke rate.
Do 8 sets of 2-minute pulls, with intervals of 2 minutes of rest between each set. For every 2-minute set, control your stroke rate to these exact numbers:
1) 20 strokes per minute
During the 2 minutes of rest, walk around to stretch out your muscles. When the stroke rate starts coming down, seek to attain the same distance with fewer strokes per minute.
My favorite way to cool down is with deep breathing to relax my muscles and sympathetic nervous system. I do 4–5 deep breaths at a time while holding these poses:
1) I lay on my back with my feet up on a chair and a ball squeezed between my knees. Gently, I engage my hamstrings to raise my butt off the ground. Take 4–5 deep breaths holding this position.
2) Cat pose. On hands and knees, I curve my back and breathe deeply 4–5 times in this position.
Brianne McLaughlin: Core, back, glutes:
My workouts have changed quite a bit since retirement and mommy-hood. True, I get a lot of exercise chasing my toddler son around, but I also like to focus on those body strengths that have a tendency to disappear on me! With every exercise, I focus on stabilizing my core and strengthening those abs, as well as getting that backside back to where it used to be! I’ll pound out a quick circuit like this one and get as many rounds in as I can:
Single Leg Split Squat, 10 each leg: Put your back leg up on a couch or chair and squat down until your front quad is parallel with the floor.
Dips x 20: Sit in a chair with your hands on the edge of the seat. Push your butt off the edge and dip down as far as you can go and back up again.
Single Leg RDL x 10 each leg: Use any weight you have in one hand held in front of your body. Bend forward at the hips keeping your back straight. If your weight is in the right hand, lift your left leg back.
Fire hydrants x 20 each leg: On all fours, keep your knee bent and lift your leg to the side (think dog greeting a fire hydrant).
Hibberty-Jibberties x 10: Sit up, bringing right knee to chest and back down. Repeat with left knee. Repeat, bringing both knees to chest for one rep.
Side Plank Hip-Ups x 30 seconds: In side plank position, lower hips to the floor and back up again.
Lastly, I finish my workout with some “Carter” bench presses. My son Carter is just about the right weight (and wiggle) to make me really focus in order to lift him up and down while laying on my back—to hilarious giggles by both of us.
Your workout options are endless. At the very least, take Jamie’s advice above and get out there, even if you only have a few minutes. Your health and fitness deserve center stage today and every day!