How much water should we be drinking? by Laura Scanlon

Hi guys,

I recently teamed up with Image Magazine Ireland to write a blog post on “How much water should we really be drinking”. This is a great question and there is no one size fits all especially if you bring exercise into the equation. Click the link below to find out more.

Fitness Fact or Fiction: How much water should we be drinking?

“Drinking enough water is crucial for your health, your organs and your mind,”
Dehydration is a common side-effect of our busy lives, and Scanlon pointed out that we should look no further than our own bodily functions when trying to gauge how hydrated we are.
— https://www.image.ie/life/fitness-fact-or-fiction-should-you-drink-more-than-3-litres-of-water-a-day-if-you-exercise-146811



4 Movements to Loosen the Hips by Laura Scanlon

Tight Hips

They say the hips dont lie and this is very true if you have a desk job or travel a lot. The iliopsoas is the strongest group of muscles in the hip flexors, it connects the spine to the femur. The more you sit the more the iliopsoas shortens. For example runners who have desk jobs will find their hips become very tight when they go to run after sitting all day so they need to do necessary movements to make the hip flexors more fluid. While I have touched on this subject before in previous blog post “Run Better In Just A Few Weeks” It is an area that all people should spend time on, whether they are active or inactive.

To make it simple and something you can start to improve today, add these 4 movements into your daily routine.

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4 Movements to loosen the hips

Crescent Lunge on Knee

Crescent Lunge on Knee is typically a yoga pose but I love to do this movement as a warm up exercise. This movement provides a deep stretch for the hip flexors, groin and legs and opens the front of the body including chest and shoulders.

  1. Begin in a plank position with hands directly below shoulders.

  2. Step your right foot between your hands and gently lower your left knee down to the mat.

  3. Tighten your abdominals & glutes as you reach arms straight overhead and bend front knee to a 90 degree.

  4. Exhale and deepen forward into the lunge, bending the right knee more if possible. As you do, your left hip comes closer to the floor.

  5. Breathe and hold 30 seconds. Repeat both sides


Glute Bridge Hold:

Great for opening up the hip joint as well as strengthening the glutes.

  1. Lie faceup, arms extended by your sides, knees bent so that your feet are flat on the floor.

  2. Press through your heels to lift your hips up and walk your feet in a few steps toward your body, keeping your feet and knees hip-width apart and your feet directly underneath your knees.

  3. Interlace your fingers underneath your body and press your fist into the mat.

  4. Hold for 15-30 seconds and low down slowly.


Runners Lunge:

The runner's lunge is a deep stretch for the hips, hip flexors, groin and legs. It allows you to rest your hands on the floor so that you are able to sink the hips deeper into the stretch to achieve greater benefits.

Begin in a plank position with hands directly below shoulders.

  1.  Step your right foot forward to the outer edge of your mat next to your right baby finger.

  2. Relax through your hips and back, letting them sink toward the ground.

  3. Breathe and hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides.




Low Squat Hold:

Great movement for stretching the inner thighs and hips.

  1. From a standing position place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, feet flat on the floor, toes facing out. Your torso should be upright.

  2. Place your hands in prayer position in front of your chest, elbows pointed out to the sides.

  3. Use your elbows to press your knees open.

  4. Move around in this low position keeping the knees pushed out.

  5. Hold for one minute


Make a conscious effort to add these movements into your current regime. Always ensure you have warmed up the muscles before stretching. I would recommend at least 2 rounds of all 4 exercises.

Laura x

Resistance Band Activation Exercises by Laura Scanlon

Lower Body Resistance Band Activation Exercises

Why Activate?

In previous blog posts I have spoken about improving your running and injury prevention through certain exercises. Now I want to talk to you about the importance of glute activation exercises. You may have heard trainers use the term “fire up the glutes”, well this is because the glutes basically go dormant throughout the day due to sitting for long periods etc. When we are moving we are not technically activating them as to activate the glutes we need to contract the glute muscles. ( see my activation test below)

We need good strong glutes not only for running but for basic everyday movements of life. Injury and lower back pain can be another cause of inactive glutes. When a person is injured, their body mechanics can change. This can lead to some muscles working overtime, while others, like the glutes do the opposite. Very active people like runners can have inactive glutes from working at a desk all day and then heading straight out for a run without doing activating exercises.

How to Activate?

  1. Stand facing a wall and place you hands on the wall

  2. Lift your right leg behind you without bending the knee

  3. Purposely squeeze your glute at the top then lower your leg back down

  4. Try it again without squeezing the glute (this shows you when you are not activating the glute).

  5. See the difference between active and inactive? good ;)


Improve your overall fitness by activating the glutes

Below are a few lower body and glute activation exercises - essential pre run or pre weights. First 2 can be used as warm up movements. We are focusing on keeping tension on the band the whole time, ensure you squeeze the glutes. These moves really get the glutes & legs fired up. Search my website for previous blog posts on this topic with more resistance band exercises to incoporate into your fitness routine.




1. Jumping Jacks 60 seconds
2.Jump Squat 60 seconds
3. Standing glute kicks X 20 each side (hold something for stability if needed) .
4. Quarter squat side step X20 each leg
5. Fire hydrant + bird dog X 20 each side
6. Side shuffle ( keep distance between legs) X 10
each side

7. Quarter squat + calf raises X 20

Simple Home Bodyweight Exercises by Laura Scanlon

Hey guys, 

I love creating simple home workouts for you. Below are 6 bodyweight exercises that you can do any place, any time, no equipment needed. Great for new Moms at home who are looking to get back slowly into exercise.

4 Sets:

  • Air Squat

  • Static Lunges

  • Push up (scaled)

  • Glute Kicks

  • Side Plank Hold

  • Bird Dog

Scroll down for picture demonstration of each exercise.

Simple movements, yet effective. Targets lower body, arms, glutes, core. 

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Air Squat

20 repetitions

How to Air Squat

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Then engage your core muscles and push out your chest slightly by pulling your shoulder blades towards each other.

  2. Bend your knees and push your butt and your hips out and down behind you as if you were sitting into a chair. Keep your weight in your heels and knees pushed out.

  3. Come down until your thighs are below parallel to the ground, or as far down as you can get them. Make an effort to keep your knees externally rotated (don’t let them fall inward). As you lower down, raise your arms in front of you no higher than parallel to the ground. Make sure to keep your torso upright.


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Static Lunges

10 repetitions (each leg)

How to Static Lunge

  1. Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides.

  2. Take a long stride forward with one foot, pointing your knee and foot in the same direction.

  3. Keep your torso upright and your centre of gravity directly above your hips.

  4. Bend your rear leg until your knee almost touches the ground

  5. Push up and transfer your weight to your forward leg while straightening your rear leg. 

  6. Don't let your forward knee move past your toes. 

  7. Allow half your weight to shift to your rear leg as your rear knee bends almost to the ground. 

  8. Repeat.  


Push Up - 10-12 repetitions

How to do a Push Up on kitchen Counter

  1. Face the countertop and place your hands on the edge, roughly shoulder-width apart. Step your feet backward. Lift your heels up so that your body forms a plank. Don’t let your back round or arch.

  2. Lower your chest toward the counter while keeping your elbows in. Then press your body back to starting position. Do as 10-12 reps and rest.


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Glute Kicks

12 repetitions (each leg)

How to do Glute Kicks at kitchen counter

  1. Stand tall and place your hands on your kitchen counter . Put all the weight in your right leg, keep both legs straight, and lift your left leg directly behind you.

  2. Let your glutes do all the work. Keep your left foot flexed and work on lifting your heel as high as you can without leaning your torso too far forward.


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Side Plank Hold

30-60 seconds hold each side

How to Side Plank hold

  1. Lie on your side, tighten your abs and glutes then lift your hips off the floor, your feet and forearms should be holding you up.

  2. Keep abs tight and head in proper alignment.

  3.  Hold for 30-60 seconds then repeat on other side.


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Bird Dog

12 repetitions (each leg)

How to do Bird Dog

  1. Begin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.

  2. Pull your abs in to your spine. Opposite arm to opposite leg.

  3. Return to the starting position, placing your hand and knee on the floor.

  4. Do 12 reps each side.


 

Stunning set from OTG Active

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Be the best version of you

Anywhere, Anytime workout by Laura Scanlon

Hey guys,

Bodyweight workouts can be very effective. They challenge the cardiovascular system while still encouraging muscle strength development.

This workout is a winner when you have little time and with no equipment needed. I choose the beach after a run to do this workout but you can use the gym or the comfort of your own home.

The Workout:

What you need: space, a stopwatch, water, towel

7 exercises - 7 minutes - 15/30 seconds between exercises.

X3 Rounds = 21 minutes of work.

Exercise 1.

Curtsey Lunge : 1 minute

  • Start from standing, and step your left leg behind you and to the right so your thighs cross, bending both knees as if you were curtsying.

  • Make sure your front knee is aligned with your front ankle.

  • Return to standing, and switch sides to complete one rep.

  • REST 15/30 SECONDS

Exercise 2.

Burpee : 1 minute

  • Put your hands on the ground.

  • Jump your feet back to a push-up position. (Lower your knees, if needed.)

  • Do a push-up (advanced)

  • Jump your feet back to the starting position, and then jump with your hands in the air.

  • REST 15/30 SECONDS


Exercise 3.

Back Lunge Into High knee : 1 minute

  • Step your left leg back and bend both knees to lower your body into a lunge.

  • In one motion, press through your right heel to stand, raising your left knee in front of you to hip height.

  • Pause, then lower back to start.

  • REST 15/30 SECONDS

EXERCISE 4.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS: 1 minute

  • Start in a plank position with arms and legs long.

  • Beginning in a solid plank is the key to proper form and good results in the Mountain Climber.

  • Keep your abs pulled in and your body straight. Squeeze your glutes and pull your shoulders away from your ears.

  • Pull your right knee into your chest. As the knee draws to the chest, pull your abs in even tighter to be sure your body doesn’t sag or come out of its plank position.

  • alternate sides.

  • REST 15/30 SECONDS

Exercise 5.

JUMP CRISS CROSS SQUAT: 1 minute

  • Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart

  • Squat down.

  • As you come up out of the squat criss-cross your feet in the air.

  • Immediately spread your feet apart again to prepare for the next squat. This completes one rep.

  • REST 15/30 SECONDS

Exercise 6.

STRAIGHT ARM GLUTE BRIDGE: 1 minute

  • lift your hip and guide it forward until your body is in the horizontal.

  • hold the position for a few seconds with stretched out arms.

  • afterwards, bring the hip back down without touching the ground.

  • lift and lower the hip several times, hold the position a bit every time.

  • REST 15/30 SECONDS

Exercise 7.

PLANK HOLD : 1 Minute

  • Get into plank position by supporting your body weight on your hands and toes.

  • Hands should be placed directly under your shoulders.

  • Keep your abdominals contracted and your back straight, eyes ahead of you.

  • Hold this position