Category Archives: Workouts

Best Butt Exercises

Running is a lifestyle…with any lifestyle there will be challenges, especially the challenge of dealing with a small butt. First, I would like to state this article is not for everyone, as some runners have great buns, yet others will have a small or no butt at all. Let’s try this first. Stand up and checkout your butt, take a good look…are you happy with it? Your answer is probably no, don’t worry there is hope.

This will be a two-part blog. The first part will focus on the butt muscles how to enhance shape and gain strength. The second part will focus on the right active wear and jeans to make your butt look the best (still in progress).

The butt is composed of 3 main muscles:

Gluteus maximus –  The largest and most predominate of the three muscles, responsible for hip extension, or moving your thigh to the rear

Gluteus medius – Second largest gluteus muscle, serves as an abductor (lateral movement)

Gluteus minimus – Smallest gluteus muscles, responsible for balance (supporting the body while on one limb)

Remember, the gluteus muscle fibers do not run vertically, instead they wrap around the bone, almost at a 45 degree angle.

Continue reading Best Butt Exercises

Running with bats

OK, I am going to have to set the tone. On a very quiet morning, 5:00 a.m. to be precise, I took off for a run. Dark clouds crowded the moon light, luckily the route that I had chosen was illuminated by streetlights. The streets of Charlotte are dead at 5:00 a.m., no other cars were in the road, so I take advantage by running in the road…against traffic of course.

Everything was going fine, then all of a sudden…WHAM!! Something hit me right on the top of my head. Imagine getting hit with a coconut, or even an apple falling out of a tree. Without breaking my stride I look around for a branch, or anything that could have fallen…nothing…I keep running. As I passed Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral something caught my eye, a bat. But was it a bat or some other flying creature…

Has anyone else every been a victim of an aerial attack while running?

What does a tempo run taste like?

Garmin - Tempo Run Data

During my lunch today, I set out to do my first ever tempo run. Actually, over the last few weeks, I should have been doing tempo runs to prepare for my 10K coming up soon (Cooper River Bridge Run)…either way today was my first.

For those unfamiliar with a tempo run, I would like to break it down, with help from Runner’s World:

A tempo run: is a run at around your 10K race pace (or at about 80-85% of your heart rate or so). Traditionally tempo runs were 20 minutes or so in length, but they vary. It’s often described as being “comfortably hard” — it’s a challenging, but manageable pace. Most tempo runs consist of ten to fifteen minutes of easy running, then the tempo part, then ten to fifteen minutes to cool down.

Now why would you want to do a tempo run?

  1. Tempo runs build speed and teach your body to run at a certain pace.
  2. Tempo runs work by improving metabolic fitness.
  3. Tempo runs teach the body to use oxygen more efficiently by increasing your lactate threshold.

Here was what I decided to do; 2 miles under 7:30, 2 miles under 6:30, 2 miles under 7:30, .5 mile under 6:30. It ended up working really well, the feeling after 4 miles was intense, I wanted to stop, but kept going, and eventually my pace recovered. Here is a link to my Garmin Data

Get out there and try it, great way to mix up your training while building speed.


Roll your core into shape with The Ab Wheel

The Ab Wheel, a simple piece of equipment to strengthen the abdominal area. You can find the Ab wheel online or at your local fitness store for under $9.00. This thing has been around for years, yet I rarely see anyone using them.

While using the Ab Wheel you engage muscles thought your midsection, erector spinae, hip flexors and extensors. This is an exercise that will strengthen your core, but does not burn fat. Be sure to get your cardio in if you are trying to build magazine cover abs.

To begin, put a hand on each grip, kneel down and combine your knees on the floor. Be sure to lock your arms while holding the ab wheel at your knees. Slowly, roll the wheel out away from your knees until your arms are perpendicular with the floor.

Avoid touching the floor. Keep your entire body 2-5 inches above the floor. Return to the starting position by pulling in with your abdominal muscles and arching your back. Keep your arms straight and use your core muscles to return to the starting position again. Breathe in at the start and exhale on the way down. 10-12 repetitions equal one set. Get started!

For a good visual on how to perform this exercise, view this video.


Morning Motivation Starts With Sleep

The hardest part about any task or exercise is starting. This is especially true when waking up to exercise. When the alarm clock goes off, what is your first thought? It should always be optimistic, think of mentally preparing your body for exercise. Second you should determine if your body is ready for exercise- are you sore, do you have any injuries, do you have a race coming up? Third, set your goals and get out of the bed. The longer you lay there, the less likely you will even get up and get started.

Of course the key to starting the morning right is ensuring you get enough sleep.

This seems like a simple task, yet so many athletes get this wrong, or have a misconception of sound sleep. It is critical to achieve between 6.5 and 7.5 hours of sleep per night. Experts challenge study linking sleep, life span.

3 things that help get a good night sleep

  1. No eating 2 hours before bedtime. A full stomach can result in discomfort, causing a restless night. Avoid stimulates 4-6 hours before bed, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine just to name a few.
  2. When you are tired go to bed. If you start falling asleep on the couch at 8:30 go to bed- don’t try to get to sleep at a certain time, just go when your body tells you.
  3. No interruptions. This is difficult if you have children or something else that will awaken you during the night. Turn off all light sources in the room, close the blinds and enjoy the darkness.