Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Primal At-Home Workout: Core

Mark Sisson doing a plank outsideGyms all across the world are closed right now. Many of us are stuck at home, unable or unwilling to even get to parks and hiking trails and beaches. We’re all homebodies now, and yet the need for physical activity hasn’t diminished. If anything, it’s more crucial than ever that we stay active and healthy, fit and strong.

Today, we’re going to start with core workouts.

The core is, well, the core. It’s the foundation of your body. It’s how strength and force is transmitted to the world around you. It keeps you upright. And, although this might seem unimportant (it’s not), it’s a major component of LGN—looking good naked. Form and function depend heavily on the strength of your core.

You can do this entire workout in one block, sprinkle it throughout the day, or do some of it every day in addition to other training.

Primal At-Home Core Workout

Planks

planks

This is the most basic core exercise. It’s simple (but not easy).

  1. Get in the pushup position, only put your forearms on the ground instead of your hands. Your elbows should line up directly underneath your shoulders. Toes on the ground.
  2. Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abdominals.
  3. Keep a neutral (straight, plank-like) neck and spine.
  4. Create a straight, strong line from head to toes—a plank, if you will.
  5. Hold that position for as long as you comfortably can. Stop short of failure.
  6. Rest for a minute and repeat twice more.

Make them easier:

  • By doing them on your hands rather than forearms (like at the top of a pushup).
  • By doing them on your knees; rest your knees on the floor or an exercise mat.

Make them harder:

  • Slide your elbows forward, so they no longer line up underneath your shoulders. This will increase the difficulty.
  • Add side planks. Hold a side plank on the left side for 30–60 seconds. Switch to the right side and hold for 30–60 seconds.

Watch the video in this link to give you some visual ideas of what to do.

Toes to Bar

toes to bar core exercise

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Hang from an overhead horizontal bar, and touch your toes to the bar. Lift and lower in a slow and controlled manner for 3–5 reps.
  2. If you can’t do the toes to the bar, try just bringing your knees up to your elbows. Again, slow and controlled for 3–5 reps.
  3. If you can’t do the knees to elbows, try bringing your knees up to your chest. Slow and controlled for 5–10 reps.
  4. Do 3 sets, resting for 30 seconds between sets.

Check out the video here for an example.

Hollow Body Rocks

hollow body rocks core workout

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Lie down on your back with your arms overhead and your legs straight out.
  2. Brace your core and lift your legs and arms slightly off the ground, creating a shallow U with your body.
  3. Start rocking back and forth while maintaining that solid shallow U position with your body.
  4. Rock for 20 seconds. Rest for one minute. Repeat twice.

Hands and Feet

hands and feet core exercise

There’s probably a better/more official name for this one, but it’s what I call it.

  1. Sit upright on the ground.
  2. Lift your feet off the floor.
  3. Touch your right hand to your left foot.
  4. Touch your left hand to your right foot.
  5. Keep going, never putting your feet on the ground.
  6. Do this for 20 seconds at a time. Rest for 40 seconds between sets; repeat four times.

Make it easier: Touch your hands to your knees.

Make it harder: Touch your elbows to your ankles.

There you go, that’s the workout. Once again, you can sprinkle these movements throughout the day or do them all in one fell swoop.

How are you training your core these days?

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My Kids’ Favorite Toys + Wikibuy Review

And How To Get The Best Available Deal!

Each product featured below was independently selected and reviewed by me. Wikibuy compensates me when you get the Wikibuy extension using the links provided.

Now that most kids are home from school for the foreseeable future, we’re all thinking about ways to keep them entertained, learning, or just simply occupied. If you’re on the market to add a few good toys to the collection, here are a few of our favorites. I love reading other moms’ toy reviews and often have good luck with the toys and activities they recommend. Once you decide on a few winners, figuring out the best place to shop is a second challenge. This post’s sponsor, Wikibuy, makes the Internet seem a little less overwhelming by helping you find the best price for things you buy. Learn more below!

Here is a list of my kids’ favorite toys that have been winners for ages 1 and 7

Favorite Toys: Age 7

The older Mazen gets the more his favorite toys involve doing instead of just playing. Don’t get me wrong – he still loves a good game of ninja – but it’s been cool to see his “toy” preference morph from trucks to art supplies. I tried to choose toys/activities that have the highest frequency of use and log the most hours of independent focus.

Minecraft Uno – Of all the games in our house, this one has gotten the most hours played. The simplicity of Uno is why it wins! There aren’t 100 little game pieces to get lost, it’s easy enough for kids, and it’s fun for adults too. This game has logged so many more hours than all of our others combined because of the fact that card games are easily dropped in purse or coat pocket and taken out to dinner or on trips.

Aquabeads – These are tiny beads that you form into little designs with a bead dropper and then “glue” together with a water squirter. Hands down his favorite craft to date and one of the activities that he has put the longest focus time in. He has made some pretty impressive designs with the beads!

Dinosaur Excavation Kits – This comes as an egg or block of mud and you use water and a tool to chip away at the dirt and uncover dinosaurs, gems and more. Warning: it can get quite messy so use a baking sheet to contain. Mazen LOVES these kits! While they are a one-and-done, he has gotten several of them through the years and loves the digging process. He also treasures the artifacts inside!

Lego Police Station – This is one of Mazen’s longest lasting toys. I think he got it at age 5 and he still loves it. He still loves all of his Legos, but he goes through phases where he’s really into them and then will skip a month. This police station lends itself well to imaginary play more than other Lego sets he has. His friends love it too!

Honorable mentions

Dragon Masters books, art supplies of all kinds, and all of his Melissa and Doug dress up costumes.

Favorite Toys: Age 1

Green Toys Car Carrier – I love all of the Green Toys for their sturdiness and that they’re made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic. This car carrier is perfect for babies who love vehicles. Roll the cars on; roll the cars off; repeat!

Stacking rings – I am all for toys that help babies learn, and these Montessori-style stacking rings are one of Birch’s favorites. He sits and studies them with a look of deep concentration on his face as he loads them onto the rod. Soon we’ll be learning colors as well.

Big Legos – Birch LOVES this Lego set and is already into building towers and stacks. The blocks are big enough that he can easily get them on and off. He plays with these once a day. 

Barn – Technically I didn’t buy this toy because it was a hand me down, but it’s another favorite in our house. Anything with doors that open and close is a hit! The little animals that come with it are fun too, even if they only get put in the barn and then the doors open and they come out of the bar. Over. And over. And over. 

V-tech vehicles – We have about 6 of these and you can find one in Birch’s hands at all time! They sing very catchy songs (trust me, we know all the words and that they have an off switch) and Birch has just started to sing along with the songs! He loves these even without a track and pushes them across our floor all day.

Honorable mentions:

Baby Shark Book, our Thomas the Trains, Old Macdonald’s Tractor

Find The Best Deals On Toys: Wikibuy

Wikibuy toy watch list

When it comes to toy shopping, I’m either supporting a local store and not caring about price or I want the best deal I can find online. I don’t have time to visit 10 stores’ websites to price compare. Plus, when you factor in shipping cost and speed, it’s rarely apples to apples. How many times have you found a lower price and then realized shipping was 3x as much?

Wikibuy does all the math for you.

When I first learned of the browser add-on I was like “wiki whaaaat?” but it’s really quite simple: add the extension to your browser of choice (Chrome, Firefox, Edge or Safari) and when you land on a page you want to price shop, just click on the green W in your toolbar and a happy little window appears with comparable prices – including tax and shipping. The tool searches thousands of websites to compare numbers and give you an apples to apples comparison. Plus there is a crowd sourcing component and millions of users are constantly reporting updates.

But here’s the ultimate kicker for me – it also appears within Amazon!!! I feel like I live on Amazon because of Prime and I only leave for one reason: if there’s a really good price elsewhere. Wikibuy makes that step so much easier!

How Wikibuy Works

Wikibuy also automatically enters coupon codes at checkout, allows you to track prices over time, and lets you accumulate credits by shopping at certain retailers, which can then be redeemed for gift cards.

Get started with Wikibuy here where you can add the button to your browser in two clicks.

Thanks to Wikibuy for sponsoring this post! And good luck to all you parents navigating kids at home.

More toy-themed posts:

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