free weights

What Did I Do??

I don’t know what I did in the gym on Saturday morning but whatever it was, I was SO SORE on Sunday! I did a lot of the same weight lifting exercises I rotate in my gym days. There were some planks with leg lifts (maybe that was it?). Burpees and mountain climbers. And I did leg presses…nothing really out of the norm. But my glutes and hamstrings were so sore…like it hurt to sit down and stand up! I haven’t been this sore in a long time.

img_3482

Of course, I didn’t feel sore until the next day so I didn’t do anything to preemptively ward off soreness (like an epsom salt bath). But isn’t that the way it usually works?

I did get some pampering in Saturday afternoon, though. I got a pedicure with a friend and the massage chair felt so good. Neither of us really wanted to leave…

Saturday evening Michael, Logan and I went out to dinner with some friends who are moving to Seattle soon. 🙁 It’s a really great opportunity for them but it’s a bummer for us! We’re going to miss them. Seattle isn’t that far but it’s still kind of a trek going up there (especially with a baby now).

img_3493

img_3489

We went to Iron Horse in Sellwood. It’s one of our favorites. The food is always fantastic and unique and they have my favorite beer on tap! Boneyard Beer:

img_3487

Michael got his usual– steak fajitas. I like to try something different every time we go because there are so many good options and their menu changes pretty frequently.

This time I got Sam’s Burrito. It’s your standard burrito with Spanish rice, pinto beans, sliced avocado and topped with pico de gallo and a spicy avocado sauce. There’s also pineapple salsa in it (which is what sold me on it in the first place). It comes with a side salad with orange and jicama on it. The salad was so delicious! It was light and summery and I loved the jicama on it.

Apparently the burrito was a vegan option. The waitress informed me of that (I thought it was just vegetarian) and she said “you can add some meat to it to un-veganize it”. LOL So I got shredded pork (so juicy) and sour cream. Definitely not vegan anymore. It was so tasty though! I loved the crunchy jicama and the sweet pineapple salsa. It would have been just fine had I left it as a vegan burrito, too.

fullsizerender-2

I ate about 3/4 of the burrito (it was really big!) and Michael ate the rest.

Logan was doing super good at the restaurant and was so fascinated by our friend’s kids (they are almost 9 and 3 years old). He wanted to play with them so badly! It was pretty cute to watch.

We hung out for a bit but it was pretty loud. We decided to walk a few blocks to get ice cream at Dairy Queen. The kids were stoked (and so were the adults, honestly).

img_3490

It was a nice evening and it was good to walk a little in the fresh Fall air. Sorry the pictures are a little blurry. I guess we were a little too excited about the dessert. LOL

img_3492

We sat outside for a little bit and ate our ice cream and then it was time to head home. It was way past all the kid’s bedtimes and Logan was like “I’m out dude, I need to sleep!” and immediately fell asleep in his stroller.

img_3491

We said our goodbyes (boo hoo) and made plans to see them when we go up to Seattle in December.

Sunday I got to sleep in a bit, which felt really nice, especially with how sore I felt. I went swimming (which felt really nice on my sore body) and then sat in the hot tub for awhile–which felt even better. Unfortunately I think it was too late to try and stave it off so I took some Advil, watched Netflix with Logan and used the heating pad. I can’t remember the last time I felt like this!

Finally, if you follow me on Instagram, you can see that Logan was trying to crawl this weekend!!

P.S. I was STILL SORE on Monday!!! What the heck did I do?!?!

Favorite Lower Body Workouts

The secret to fixing bad knees is to strengthen your lower body (for me, specifically, it was the glutes). Read this post:  A Runner and Her Injuries. It has a lot of good physical therapy-type exercises to fix some of those types of injuries. Or this one: R is for Runner’s Knee.

I avoid lunges at all costs. I used to do them a lot and I’d be crippled for days (hamstrings) but I kept telling myself it was a good thing. Then I started having knee issues…too many rounds of physical therapy to count, I stopped doing lunges at the advice of several physical therapists. They all said lunges were not the best exercise for someone with knee issues. So…I stopped. I do sometimes do side lunges, which don’t bother my knees.

Here are some of the standard exercises that I rotate through my weekly weight routines:

Squats

I go back and forth between doing weighted squats with a bar or just doing body squats. Both are very effective and help me a lot. It’s good for your glutes, hamstrings, core strength, helps with flexibility and strengthens your entire lower body. It really is one of the perfect exercises you can do. Just make sure you do it right. I was slightly off when I first started doing squats but a quick chat and demonstration with a trainer fixed that for me.

20120530183534-squat properly

1 Leg Romanian Deadlift

I’ve raved about this exercise many times on the blog. It has helped me a lot with my knee issues and it’s a really good move to incorporate into your gym session. It’s effective and it doesn’t put as much stress/pressure on your back like a regular deadlift can. It works the glutes, hamstrings and hips. Done correctly it’s also a good core workout. What I find beneficial is that it also helps with balance. I notice when I take a break from doing this exercise and then start back up again–balance is gone! But if I do this move consistently in my workouts, my balance improves!

10 Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

Slam Ball

This a fun exercise! I love it and need to do it more often. Like jump squats (see below), this one ALWAYS makes me a little extra sore when I do it. It works your core: abs, back, quads and glutes. You’re basically doing a squat with a heavy ball. It’s such a good workout!

blog-fitlife-040314-3

Leg Press Machine

I started incorporating this machine in my routine after a physical therapist recommended it. He had me do it in a few different ways. First, the normal way–both feet on the platform. Second, he had me practice doing it one-legged. That is a LOT harder than it looks! And it WORKS. It helped my knee stuff so much. It focused the work on my glutes one at a time. I prefer this machine:

upright-leg-press-machine

Over the one that you lay down on. Although, now that I’m pregnant I’m finding it harder and harder to do this machine so I will soon be switching to the leg press machine you use laying down.

Side-Step

Here is another physical therapy exercise that has worked it’s way into my fitness routine. My physical therapist had me do this to strengthen my glutes to fix my knee issues. I found it so beneficial that I kept doing it even after I got better. It’s really easy and all you need is a stretchy band. SideHopsWithRB1

Standing Hip Adduction

Another one that started because of physical therapy…noticing a theme? My knees needed work!! This one strengthened my glutes and hips and helped with overall balance. If the machine at your gym doesn’t have the attachment seen below in this picture, you can still do it. My gym doesn’t have this ankle strap so I just put my foot through the round hand piece. It works because my feet are kind of small.

Standing Cable Hip Adduction

Step Up with Weights

I like this one because it gets my heart beating pretty quick and it’s kind of a full-body exercise. I wanted to include it, though, because I’ve noticed it’s helped me with balance and strength. I do it slightly differently–I step up, then I do a bicep curl, then step back down. You can vary this exercise a lot but it’s a good base if you want something basic. You can use a taller step, you can add more weight, you can lift your leg like the below picture:

DB-Step-up-1

Lots of variations!

Squat Jump

This one will get you EVERY TIME. So be prepared. No matter how many squats you normally do in the gym, do a bunch of jump squats and you WILL BE SORE. I started doing this workout at The Warrior Room and then incorporated it into my own gym routine. Seriously, I don’t know why this one makes me so sore, but it doesn’t matter if I do 10 or if do 50. Same level of soreness afterwards! But you sure feel like a badass when you do it! If you have knee issues, you might want to talk to your doctor first. Listen to your body and stop if it hurts. It rarely hurt my knees, but I was always conscious of it and made sure I didn’t land too hard when I jumped.

Double-Pulse-Jump-Squats-20-Reps

What about you? What are some of your favorite lower body workouts?