Don't Tie Your Shoes with Your Gloves On

Extra_SnowPass I recently bought a slim-fitting, water-proof, technology-savvy pair of gloves. These gloves are sleek! I mean, I barely know I am wearing them. They fit snug, but not too tight. They keep my fingers warm and toasty, one at a time. They cover my wrist adequately and even allow me to touch the screen of my iPod or iPhone to change the music or Podcast I'm listening to while out running or what-not.  The first time I used them to go running I put them on before I laced up my sneakers. I thought it would be no problem, tying my shoes with these fabulous gloves on. I barely notice them and can articulate every finger sufficiently. It's almost as if I'm not wearing gloves at all.

Almost.

Until I actually tried to tie my shoes. My fingers didn't have the adequate grip needed to secure each lace acceptably. The laces kept fumbling around in my hands and slipping through my grip. I was able to tie my shoes, well enough I guess. They stayed tied for almost the entire first mile. But my planned run was 5K, so they didn't quite do the job. No matter how fancy, sleek and perfectly fitting my gloves were, they limited my shoe-tying potential. They allowed me to tie my shoes, yes, but not to the best of my ability, or in a way that was long-lasting.

Who reading this has made some health and fitness goals for 2016? I highly prefer the word goal to resolution, personally. Maybe it's the connotation the word "resolution" elicits. But I feel much more capable and much less stress when I set goals compared to resolutions. You?

If you are one of the many who do set health and fitness goals for a new year, are you then also one of the 92% (according to research shared on forbes.com) who never attains them?

Maybe it's because you have been tying your shoes with your gloves on.

Maybe in your pursuit of your goals, you have bought new shoes. You ordered a cute workout outfit (my favorite lately have been from fabletics.com). You purchased a new workout program. You joined a gym. You got an accountability partner. You even bought a fitness tacking device to keep track of your calories and/or your steps.

Well done!

All of these things are not bad. In fact, they will help you - in the short term. Similar to how my shoes stayed tied for the first mile of my run. I was capable of tying my shoes with my gloves on. I got the job done, well enough. But I just had to start all over a mile into my run.

I lost momentum.

I lost my focus.

And I lost time.

This is very much how our health and fitness goals go when we attempt them on our own, without giving them to God. Without asking for Him to be a part of it all. Without getting on our knees and asking Him to be our focus, for His will to be our momentum and for His outcome to be achieved - not ours.  Being health and fit is a good goal. It enables your body to do the work that God has in mind just for you! It makes doing whatever it is you are called to do, easier. Being healthy and fit looks different on every individual. There is no standard by which to measure yourself other than God's Word.

Instead of comparing yourself to your friend, ask yourself if you've been a faithful steward of YOUR health. Galatians 5:25b-26 (the Message translation)

......let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.

Instead of attempting a certain race, diet or program that worked for your coworker, ask God what suits YOU! This reminds me of the story of David and Goliath. You might recall that Saul, thinking he was being helpful, put his armor on David. But that did not suit David. It was not the way that would work for him. 1 Samuel 17:38-40:

Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. 'I cannot go in these,' he said to Saul, 'because I am not used to them.' So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

When we attempt to do it all on our own, or a way that worked for our friend/spouse/worker/neighbor, having faulty motives and selfish ambitions - we will NEVER BE SATISFIED. Nor will we achieve the goals God has in mind for us. And His goals are so much greater than anything we can possibly imagine! When we attempt to do ANYTHING without Jesus, ultimately we fail. At first it may seem like it's working - just like when I tied my shoes with my gloves on. Sooner or later you will need to start all over.

But with Jesus, ALL things are possible.

Every single thing that is good and pleasing to our gracious Father in heaven and in step with the Spirit.

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the gift of health. Lord God, help me to never take this for granted. You created me and because of You I live, breathe, move and have my being. Help me to give my everythings to you. I know when I surrender to you my entire life, I am safe and secure and will be successful. Forgive me for the times I feel I can do it on my own, when I think I don't need you, or when I feel I don't have to "bother you" with the smaller things in my life. When your hand is orchestrating the big things and the small things - they are all big things. Remove from me all selfish ambition, vanity, pride, loathing, or any other hurtful feelings I have when it comes to my body and my health. Creator and Redeemer, equip me, daily to be a faithful steward of my body, mind and soul. Let my decision-making process be rooted in my love for you and my desire to glorify you with ALL that I am. In Jesus' name I pray, boldly and confidently. Amen.  

 

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Shaming Yourself Into Shape

GuiltFitness In 1999 I ran a marathon. My one and only full marathon. I was in college working toward a degree in Fitness Management. I enjoyed running. I enjoyed exercise classes. I dappled a little in the weight room even. Plus I was learning how to help others be healthier and fitter and more and more about technique, execution and efficiency of movement as the semesters progressed. So, in my mind,  a logical next goal for me was running a marathon. Or so I thought.

Looking back now at the girl I was then and the shape I was in - physically, mentally and spiritually - I can say that running that marathon was NOT a good decision for me. I am not regretful. I don't wish I didn't run it. But I do wish that I could go back and tell that almost 22 year-old she was worthy. She was loved. She was beautiful.

Yes, I heard these words from my family and my boyfriend (now, husband). Yes, I heard these words from my Pastor as he told me how much Jesus loved me. Yes, I heard these words from my friends. I was even SHOWN generous love by so many. I was surrounded by so many people who loved me just as I was. Yet, I didn't let it sink in. I didn't let it settle in my inmost thoughts and feelings. I didn't let it brew in my being. Instead I allowed hurtful thoughts to consume my mind. I allowed self-pity to erode my self-confidence. I allowed self-loathing to mask my steady discontent. Every. Single. Day.

On the day of my marathon instead of being stoked that I was running in Ireland, that I just got to eat and dance the night before at Trinity College in Dublin, that I was scheduled to take a train trip the next day to see the Cliffs of Moher, and that my body was healthy enough to run 26.2 miles, I was caught up in the fact that I felt fat in my pants. That I wish I looked like my roommate (who was in her 40s and was running her 5th marathon). That I was nervous about what my hair looked like (it was raining and I just didn't know what to do about that). That I probably shouldn't eat the fish and chips because it'll just make me bloat.

As I look back now, I can identify these behaviors and processes of thought to be an attempt at shaming myself into shape. Friends, if that is how you are getting in shape, let me tell you from first-hand experience that that is NOT a sustainable way to stay in shape. You may get there - I mean I was capable of running a marathon and by all outward appearance looked like I was "in shape". But that type of mentality and motivation to exercise will only leave you feeling hollow. Feeling small. Feeling as if your efforts are NEVER. ENOUGH.

A few examples of shaming yourself into shape would be:

  • to force yourself to exercise today because you overate yesterday
  • to exercise with the sole intent to transform your body to look like someone else's
  • to exercise in order to offset all of the other poor lifestyle choices you make
  • to use exercise as a means of punishment
  • to use exercise as a means of control

An analogy I like to use for this method of getting in shape is if you were to somehow feel better and more forgiven by the amount of guilt you bear for something bad you did. That you only feel worthy of forgiveness because you wallowed in guilt and shame for a few days and felt rotten about yourself for your actions, yet you never brought this guilt to the cross of Jesus - never recognizing that this guilt is inherently wrong. Never coming to the realization that you can do NOTHING to affect Jesus' forgiveness other than reject it.  He forgives you regardless of how guilty or not guilty you feel for your sins. Just like exercise benefits your body despite your faulty motivations. But you miss out on making it an act of worship when all you care about is what you look like, or what number the scale reads or how your body compares to every other woman's body you see. You fail to use your exercise as a means to bring God glory, instead you want to bring attention to yourself. Even if it's negative attention. Self-loathing is still self-worship.

Shame, hate and a case of "I have to's" are powerless to help you get healthier and fitter.

Choose love.

Choose joy.

Choose gratitude.

Choose kindness.

Choose thoughtfulness.

Because that's what Jesus chose for you. The Psalmist reminds us in Psalm 139:14 that God's works are wonderful! That includes you and me! He then says that "I know this full well". I want you to ask yourself, do you know it full well? Do you know that you are wonderful in the eyes of the King of Kings, the Master of the universe, your Father in heaven? Or do you feel you have to exercise in order to be wonderful? I want you to reverse that way of thinking. You get to exercise because you are wonderful! What a way to praise Him.

 

Dear Heavenly Father: God I love you. I love how you have surrounded me with Your love from the day I was born. Lord God, forgive me. Forgive me for not recognizing this love, for refusing this love and for ignoring this love. God, the evil one knows my weaknesses and he preys on them. Guard and shield me from all of his attacks, schemes, lies and seductive ploys . Let your love shield me from the despair of low self-esteem, of self-loathing and self-worship.  Lord God, my body is a beautiful work wonderfully and carefully crafted by You. You have given me a unique purpose and a unique body, unlike anyone else's. Forgive me when I don't see it for what it is and wish for what it isn't. Lord God, Creator of the universe, I know You know me intimately. I know you love me because You sent your Son, Jesus to save me. Lord, thank you! Thank you for loving me, even when I don't love myself. Thank you for filling me with your love and showering me with your grace and mercy. Instead of shaming myself into shape, Lord, equip me with the desire and will to steward my body into shape.

 

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Why I Cried After my First 5K in 2015

  PicMonkey Collage

Sometimes, exercise is just exercise. It's work. It's unemotional. It's uncomfortable. Just another check to make on your to-do list. And a begrudgingly made check at that. But sometimes. SOMETIMES. It's. So. Much. More.

Let me tell you the story about my first 5K on 2015. This is not a story about how I crushed my PR; or how I increased my running cadence; or broke in my newest Newton shoes. Not even about how many calories I torched based on a new Fit Bit reading. It's about how at the end of it, I was crying. Even during the final 100 yards or so, bawling. Not because I hurt so badly or because I was so upset with myself and my time, but because I felt so OPEN. So convicted. So redeemed. So amazing.

You see, I love running. LOVE it. It's fantastic. But this year, I told myself that I wanted to try to NOT run and see how that affected my body - a little exercise physiology experiment on myself. Now, mind you, I had been running in some capacity since I was about 17 years old. I'm not going to share with you how old I am. Just know that I have been running for more years than I have not been. In an attempt to spare myself from getting cut from the volleyball team in high school when I was a Senior, I opted to run with the cross country team instead. I didn't actually run in races with them, but I ran with practices once and a while - whenever I felt like it. And I would run by myself at home. My dad has always been a runner. He would go running almost every night. When I got old enough to drive, he would run for a certain amount of time and then have me come pick him up. This was before cell phones and GPS tracking or Garmins, so I would just drive on the route he typically took until I found him. I never really understood until I started running myself why he never wanted to just run out half the distance and then run back. If you run, I think you can relate too. He and I used to participate in the Walleye Run in Fond du Lac, WI every summer while I was in college and then a few years after even. We even ran on the morning of my wedding day. I got married in December.

Deciding to NOT run this year was kind of a big deal for me. Because of my history of running and how much a part of my life it was, but also because now my husband is a runner. A TRUE runner. In fact, he participated in the Boston Marathon this past April. Granted, I think it's a bit belittling to say that he's a "true" runner compared to me being what, a false one? But I think you understand what I mean. Running is a HUGE part of his life. The rhythm of our family is set by his running schedule. He is very much engrained in the running culture and a lot of his decisions are made through the lens of "how does this affect my running?". So yes, my NOT running this year affected him too. Not in a direct way, or even a way he may admit, but it did. It affected us.

But let's talk about Sunday. That was the first time I went running all year. ALL YEAR! It was the end of June.

Summer is so seductive. It makes me want to run, rollerblade and paddle board all my time away. Be that paddle boarding is only something I've researched and never actually attempted yet, and my roller blades are a bit small (darn post-pregnancy feet), I decided I would go running. I kind of forgot all of the reasons I told myself I wasn't going to this year. I started off feeling a bit clumsy and awkward. My gait was off, my stride length and foot strike were not the most efficient and my breathing was labored. I wanted to quit not even a half mile in. But I kept going. I had a little NeedtoBreathe playing on my iPhone and the weather was beautiful. As I continued on, I felt better. I started praying. Asking God to help me. An utterly selfish prayer. Just wanting to keep one foot in the front of the other. As I continued on, God was telling me stuff. He was asking me tough questions. I didn't actually hear Him, but the thoughts that came to my mind were from the Spirit, I do not doubt this for a second. I heard questions like, "why did you really stop running?", "what do you have to prove?", "why did you give up something that brought you joy, something I made you capable of doing?". As these questions became harder and harder to answer, the run became easier and easier - still not very pleasant, but easier. As I was being exposed to my selfish motives and being made aware of my need to prove a point (to whom I'm not sure), I felt a surge of adrenaline and strength. This strength was not my own. My legs were weak and my lungs were burning, but I felt a sense of strength that can only come from the true source of strength. I also felt vulnerable. And hot tears welling in my eyes and then crashing out in waves over my cheeks and falling off my chin. I leaned into it. I used that exposure and adrenaline and vulnerability to increase my stride length, to quicken my pace and to become more efficient. I used it to take on these tough questions and address the true reasons behind my decision to not run in 2015. Because of this run, I was able to be honest with myself. I was resentful of my husband's success in running. I am so incredibly proud of him, don't get me wrong. I am also his biggest fan and supporter. But I was resentful that running came so easy to him. I had been running for more years of my life than I hadn't and he , after just 3 years of running qualifies for and runs the Boston marathon! Who does that?

Fear was also a reason I had chosen not to run. And how brilliant is it to make any decisions based on fear? Not. I was afraid that my job as a fitness professional was in question because of my lack of success in running, or better, the lack of PERCEIVED success. Why did I measure my success in running against my husband's? His ability to compete in the Boston marathon had NOTHING to do with my ability to run. Yet, I let that lie seep in and take root in my thought process and even affect my decisions.

But.

Praise be to God our Father, our Creator, our Nurturer, our Redeemer for his grace during that Sunday morning run. I was able to let go of the fear and resentment that I felt for over 6 months. I was able to ask my husband for forgiveness and to be at peace with myself and I was able to ENJOY running. Dear sister, if you find yourself comparing your success against your husband's or measuring your worth next to his - DON'T! You don't have to take up running to do this -although I highly recommend it. You can just ask yourself these hard questions and face the hard truths about your relationship. First ask God to show you where you have been comparing or harboring resentment. Next, ask for forgiveness. Then pray about ways to work toward removing or replacing that comparison and resentment.

Then go running.

Okay, that last part is optional.

You see, sometimes exercise can be SO MUCH MORE and THAT's why I love it so much.

KellySignature

10 Ways to Stop Making Excuses

reason2 Most of the time, I think our intentions are solid. We genuinely have a desire to take care of our bodies - plan our meals, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. I think that we generally have a good understanding of what it means to do these things.

But.....

For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. Galatians 5:17

Excuses are made.

"I am too busy".

"I have small children who need me ALL of the time".

"I don't know how".

"I hurt my knee a few years ago".

"I don't like going to the gym".

"Healthy food is too expensive".

"Nothing has worked in the past".

"I'll start later, when my kids are older".

Fill in the blank with whatever is keeping you from actively working towards living a healthier lifestyle.

Valid or not, these are all excuses we use to talk ourselves out of anything that requires works, effort, sweat and being uncomfortable.

I've compiled a list of 10 ways to STOP MAKING EXCUSES and START STEWARDING YOUR BODY WELL.

  1. Read your Bible. Yes! This is number one. If you have to choose between reading your Bible and exercising because that is the only free time you have for the day, I'll tell you to read your Bible. Every. Single. Time. NOTHING impacts your health like God's living and active Word. #truth 
  2. Get a Success Partner. Accountability is key in all areas of your life. Especially your health. Ideally this person is someone you trust, someone who will say the hard things you need to hear, someone who you love and respect and someone who loves Jesus. You will be accountable to this person DAILY. This person will correct you in love, commend you for your hard work and effort and will NOT condone negative behaviors. She/he will pray with you and for you. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken".
  3. Pray. I've talked about this before in my "5 P's of a Successful Fitness Program". Pray about ways to steward your body well. Pray that the Lord will shield you from temptation yet when it strikes, enable you to withstand for Jesus' sake. So many things get in the way of what we know to be healthy, positive acts of obedience. If we arm ourselves against these attacks with the weapons in Ephesians 6:10-17, we will be better prepared for the daily battle. And in verse 18 it says, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests".
  4. Schedule it in. Just like any other important appointment. AND put that calendar where EVERYONE in the family can see. Come up with a system that works for you and your family - whther this a white board, chalk board, calendar, an app on your devices, a refrigerator magnet - WHATEVER. But don't think that you'll exercise "sometime today". 'Sometime' almost always becomes 'never'.  In order to bust through the excuse of "I don't have time", you have to PRIORITZE the time. If it's not on your calendar, it's not a priority to you. And then own that. If you find yourself always running out of time to exercise, and you haven't scheduled it in, don't continue to say you don't have time. Instead, the more accurate thing to say is, "I didn't prioritize the time to exercise".
  5. Be honest. This ties in nicely with #4 & #2. Be honest with yourself if you are consistently making excuses and finding reasons NOT to exercise or plan your family meals, or get enough sleep, etc. Sometimes these reasons and excuses are valid. Sometimes they aren't. You need to know the difference and be honest with yourself. This is also where having a success partner comes in very handy. If you can't be honest with yourself, she should.
  6. Forget about what others think. You are doing this - living a healthier lifestyle - NOT to please anyone else. If your daughter is worried about you and tells you to exercise more, that's NOT a good reason to start. If your friend has started working out more and asks you to join her, that's NOT a good reason to workout. If your spouse starts to monitor what he eats and cooks healthier meals, that's NOT a good reason to start eating better. All of these are helpful, and it's great to be encouraged by others (I'm a HUGE fan of accountability and), but these reasons should not be your motivation. Find your motivation in CHRIST ALONE. Even for your health.
  7. 10-Minute Rule. This is what I tell the participants in my Solid Strength challenge groups if they lack the  energy and motivation to exercise that day. Give yourself 10 minutes. If you've schedule a 30 minute exercise session and you're JUST. NOT. FEELING. IT! make yourself do 10 minutes. 9 times out of 10 you'll continue and do the entire 30.
  8. Set a bed time and stick to it. I know a lot of you might be throwing things at your computer or phone or tablet, or whatever device you're using to read this right now. This is probably the hardest thing to do. Especially for mom. But it is CRITIALLY important to the success of ALL of your other healthier lifestyle choices. Just like you schedule your workouts, you need to set a bedtime. This is one of my May goals and I'll tell ya', it's hard! Our family's schedule is different every single day and it requires management of my time and PREPARATION. These are areas that I struggle with, but as my family's schedule get busier and the days get longer, I NEED to manage and prioritize my time or I am up way too late and then running on empty, crabby, get the coffee-shakes and am only concerned about when I get to go to sleep. Set a bedtime.
  9. Recognize triggers. If you find that you mindlessly eat while watching TV, stop watching TV. Seriously. Just stop. I did in 2014 and it has FREED UP SO MUCH OF MY TIME!  If you find that you start to mindlessly scroll Facebook or Instagram or Pinterst when you were actually going to get a good playlist on your phone to workout to, STOP - even remove those apps from your phone! (EEK) You will survive, I promise. Make it so that you can only view those sites from your internet provider, not the app. This is HUGE, ladies. Also, TURN OFF YOUR NOTIFICATIONS. For everything except phone calls. If you usually eat while preparing food for your family, pour yourself a HUGE glass of water and any time you feel the urge to taste test, take a drink of water instead. Maybe you associate Bible study with donuts. Make the switch to fruit or even a hard boiled egg or nuts. Just because there's a bunch of sweet treats available at Bible study, doesn't mean you have to eat them. Whatever is the trigger for you, I want you to RECOGNIZE it, REPLACE it or REMOVE it.
  10. Work toward YOUR goals - no one else's. It is understood that you have set goals for yourself (if you need help establishing goals, you can read my blog post about how to do that here). These goals are specific to YOU and your needs, not based on what worked for a friend, or what someone at work is doing. Build a fortress around YOUR focus. This means have tunnel vision. Don't be distracted by what others are doing. This tends to lead to comparison, defeat, pride, resentment or anger. Each of us has been gifted with unique skills and abilities. Work to progress those, not to be something or someone you're not.

I will be praying for you, sister. I know that living a healthier lifestyle is hard. It's uncomfortable and it requires effort, time management and preparation. I also know that YOU ARE CAPABLE. Not by yourself, but because of the Spirit that lives in you. I hope you will start to implement just one or two of these strategies this week. And with each new week of grace, incorporate more. Let me know how it goes! You can connect with me at www.solidstrength.net. I'd love to be your accountability partner.

 

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Resistance Band Workout with Solid Strength

KellyResistanceBand Who knew a band could be such an effective strength training tool?

Ok, I did.

And I'm sharing with you today why I think you should get one and a full body circuit that you can do with it - ANYWHERE! You can buy them at almost ANY sporting goods store, Target, Shopko, Walmart or Fleet Farm. Here's a link to the SPRI brand on Amazon.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49AOxyX68cs[/embed]

After an adequate warm-up of walking around your house, or up and down the steps if your knees allow, or even walking in place for 5-7 minutes, complete 2-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of each of these exercises as a circuit. That means to complete one set of each exercise for the desired number of repetitions entirely before repeating any exercises. Rest for two minutes in between sets, but no rest is necessary in between exercises - just the time it takes to transition from exercise to exercise.

1. Rear Lunge with Row - Loop the band around a secure surface like a supportive beam in your basement, or a pole outside in your yard, or a tree; even a door handle would work, or in a door. You could also wrap it around something heavy. I sometimes use the kid's bunk bed vertical beam. Step back with one foot into a lunge position while squeezing your shoulder blades together and pulling handles toward your body. Alternate legs. Repeat up to 12 reps on each leg.

2. Kneeling Hip Ext - Get on hands and knees on a mat or carpeted surface. Place one foot in the handle and secure the other handle in the same side hand. Press heel into band handle and straighten knee joint and hip, keeping leg parallel to the floor. Bring knee back in to chest. Repeat up to 12 repetitions on each leg.

3. Supine Hip Abduction - Lie down on your back bend one knee and place that foot on the floor, while the other leg is straight and the foot of that leg is in the handle of the band. Hold the other handle in the opposite hand to provide the resistance. Straighten that arm out away from your shoulder and slightly overhead. Then move your leg in and out from the hip, keeping the knee straight. Go as far open as you can and then resist "snapping" the leg back in. Repeat up to 12 repetitions on each leg.

4. Unilateral Lat Pulldown - Stand tall with abs braced and shoulder blades pulled down and away from your ears. Wrap band handles around your hand as many times as you need to provide enough resistance. Reach arms overhead and pull one elbow down by your ribs at a time. Alternate arms and repeat up to 12 repetitions per arm.

5.  Scapular Retraction with Band - Keep the same resistance in the band from the previous exercise and bring arms out in front of your body instead of overhead. Pull the band apart as you squeeze your shoulder blades together and move your arms away from each other. Repeat up to 12 repetitions.

6. Chest Press with Band - Wrap the band around your waist or shoulder blades and "punch" arms out and together. Start with hands near armpits and end with hands touching, slight bend in your elbows - out from your sternum. Keep your knuckles facing the ceiling the entire exercise. Repeat up to 12 repetitions.

7. Unilateral Shoulder Press with Band - Stand on the handle or band with your foot. Hold the other handle in the hand of the same side of your body as the foot that is anchoring the band. Stagger your foot position slightly, brace your core and press your arm overhead, bringing your bicep to your ear. Repeat up to 12 repetition per arm.     

8. Lateral Walking with Band - Stand on the band with both feet and hold handles in both hands at your waist. Step side to side about four paces each side. When you step your feet in, be sure to not step feet together, keep them at least hip-distance apart. When you step out, step as far as you can without outwardly rotating your knees. Repeat 12 total 4-pace steps (6 each direction).

9. Upright Row with Band - Stand on band and hold a handle in each hand. Cross the band at knees and pull elbows up and in, no higher than your shoulders. Always keep your elbows on top of your hands and DON'T bend wrists - keep them in line with your forearms. Repeat up to 12 repetitions.

10. Unilateral Triceps Ext with Band - Kneel on the band mid-way from handle to handle, or somewhere to provide enough resistance with one knee. Hold one handle with that side of the body's hand and extend your elbow straight overhead and your flex your triceps, then bring hand back down, without moving the upper arm. This is just a forearm move. Repeat up to 12 repetitions per arm.

11. Biceps Curl  with Band - Stand on the band with two feet for most resistance or one foot for less and perform a standard biceps curl by softening your knees, bracing your core and hinging at the elbow joint to pull band up with hands together. Return hands back to starting position, resisting the urge to want to "snap" your hands back - resist gravity here. Repeat up to 12 repetitions.

Have fun and please feel free to message me with any specific questions about each exercise and, as always, consult your physician before starting any new fitness program or routine.

**Pay no attention to the eclectic music that skips in the background. I MUST HAVE MUSIC WHEN I EXERCISE!

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