Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How to Feel Like a Badass in the Gym | Favorite Exercises

Do you ever get into a workout slump where you are kinda in-between programs and don't really know what to do when you get to the gym? I definitely have! I usually get this way after finishing a program or if a program starts getting a little too complicated. What I mean by complicated is that moves/exercised for the program require more equipment than my gym has, not that it means lifting heavier.


When these days pop up, there are a few exercises that always make me feel like I crushed a workout. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about How to Feel Like a Badass in the Gym so I thought I would add onto the series and share these exercises today!




1. Squat

I never used to be a fan of these/never did them. I really think this was a mixture between fear and uncertainty. I also used to think a lot about what people thought of me in the gym. Now I am lucky enough to not really care that much BUT what really helped me was starting with low weight and working my way up.

Wide-Stance Barbell Squat
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Wide-Stance Barbell Squat
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What has also helped me with my confidence with squats is stretching. I used to feel like I could never get low enough or that I was always just a little too tight in my hamstrings and hip flexors to do the squat properly. Now before every workout, I warm up for 3-5 minutes. After warming up, I stretch out especially in my arms and lets. I find that stretching during the workout/in between sets really helps with soreness as well. I have found that this has immensely improved my form and i have been able to lift more as well! Squats are compound movements so while you are working your legs, you are also stimulating other muscles as well.

2. Tricep Kick Back

Tricep Dumbbell Kickback
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Tricep Dumbbell Kickback
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This is a move that I have also come to love. I don't do it 100% like this photo shows but it is pretty close. While I do like some other tricep moves, this one is the one where I feel it the most. It allows me to really connect my mind to the muscle. I have seen some notable growth with my triceps and I believe adding this move to upper body days have helped. I usually super set this exercise with the next one.

3. Cable Bicep Curl

I have been working on my biceps for I don't know how long. I have always had a weaker upper body (what woman doesn't?!) so I have focused on it for about the last year or so. One of the exercises that I love to do for biceps in the cable bicep curl.

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I started out doing both arms at a time but I found that it was hard to really focus on the mind-muscle connection. I started doing one arm only and have found that I can make the connection a lot easier than if I do both. The importance of this exercise is to really focus on the bicep and to take the shoulder/back out of the workout.

4. Single leg deadlift

Now this exercise is a doozy! I normally end my workout with this move as it really helps to stretch out the hamstrings and really focus on stabilization. I usually use this as a burnout exercise as well. I will pick a little lighter of a weight and go until I really feel the burn...and then a little more :)
Kettlebell One-Legged Deadlift
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Kettlebell One-Legged Deadlift
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I don't always use a kettlebell for this exercise but I have used it plenty of times. This exercise gets a little harder the heavier you go, I think anyway. Since you are only using one leg, you also have to work on stabalization to make sure that you don't fall over. IF you do, don't worry! I have done this so many times it's unbelievable. Some days you are all balanced out and some days you are not. That is just the way it goes!

So there you have it! The top 4 exercises that help me crush a workout that I don't have plans for!


Question for you:

What are your go-to moves when stuck in a workout rut?

Linking up for Wild Workout Wednesday and Thinking out Loud.