I was finally able to solicit the help of my brother to take some pictures of me doing exercises for your learning pleasure. He really didn't want to since he's a busy lad and also thought it was kind of weird to take pictures of me doing stuff on the stability ball in the apartment, but he was kind enough to step up to the plate and help a sista out. Unfortunately, my camera was out of battery so rather than make him wait for the worst camera battery in the world to charge, I asked him to use my blackberry. Therefore, these pictures aren't the most amazing quality, but the point is that you'll (hopefully) learn a new exercise and that's the reason for this blog: to spread the fitness love.
The exercise of the day is a total body exercise (because why waste your time by working only one body part when you're pressed for time with your amazing holiday plans). I'm also demonstrating this in my apartment (aka your typical East Village/New York shoebox) to show you that this is an exercise you can do anywhere, in any space. In the first photo you might notice that I'm laughing at the ridiculousness of the size of my kitchen. My foot is literally a centimeter away from touching the fridge.
Here's what you do:
1) Grab a weight (anywhere from 3 to 10 lbs) and place in on the floor next to the stability ball. You'll need to center your weight on the ball first and holding the weight as you do that might throw off your balance. A lot of my clients get frustrated just trying to center themselves first. If this is the first time you're doing this exercise, it might take you a second to figure out your weight placement.
2) Lie on your side on the ball and stack your feet. Make sure the edge of your foot is pressed into the mat/floor.
3) Grab the weight as you connect your elbow to the ball.
4) If you can, lift your top leg up. If it feels as if you are going to fall backwards off the ball, just keep your feet stacked.
5) DON'T cock your head like I'm doing in the picture. Keep your head in alignment with your body and your neck long. I'm showing you what not to do (that was totally my intention while taking this photo...totally...)
6) Curl the weight up toward your shoulder and curl your wrist toward your body.
7) Release and repeat.
8) Again, don't copy my head and neck alignment in this exercise...ugh.
Perform this exercise for 10-15 reps on each side, 2-3 sets. You will be focusing on your biceps, abductors, glutes, and core in this exercise. To stay balanced, you will really have to concentrate while you work every muscle in your body.
Try this Peppermint Pie from Hungry-girl.com!
HG's Candyland Peppermint Pie
4 sheets (16 crackers) chocolate graham crackers
2 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown)
1/2 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1 small (4-serving) box Jell-O Sugar Free Fat Free Vanilla Instant pudding mix
3 cups Cool Whip Free, thawed
3 tbsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 standard-sized peppermint candy canes, lightly crushed, divided
Optional topping: Fat Free Reddi-wip
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
To make the crust, crush graham crackers in a food processor or blender (or place in large sealable bag and crush with a meat mallet). Transfer crumbs to a bowl and set aside.
Place butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, about 15 seconds. Add to the bowl of graham cracker crumbs and mix until uniform.
Spray a pie pan with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute crust mixture along the bottom of the pie pan, using your hands or a flat utensil to firmly press and form the crust. Press it into the edges and up along the sides of the pan.
Bake crust in the oven until firm, 8 - 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To make the filling, combine condensed milk, milk, and pudding mix in a large bowl. Mix well. Fold in Cool Whip until smooth. Gently stir in chocolate chips and about 3/4 of the candy cane pieces.
Once crust has cooled completely, evenly pour filling into the pan.
Refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 2 hours. (Overnight is best.)
Sprinkle pie with remaining candy cane pieces. If you like, top with Reddi-wip just before serving. Dig in!
MAKES 8 SERVINGS