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

Core Activation Workout by Laura Scanlon

Resistance band exercises

Hey guys,

After talking about the importance of glute activation (core) in my previous blog post I wanted to share more exercises that can be incorporated in to your fitness regime. Ideally these exercises should be done before a run/weight session to prepare and activate the muscles for optimal performance and for injury prevention.

NB. Always warm up wth body before any type of exercise

What you need is a low to medium resistance band.

2/3 Rounds with 60 seconds rest between rounds:

1. Low elbow mountain climbers X 8 each side

2. Knees to chest - Legs apart X 12

3. Plank Jack X 20

4. High elbow mountain climbers X 8 each side

5. Glute bridge pulse X 20

6. Glute bridge (feet together) X 20

7. High plank glute kicks X 10 each leg

8. Flutter kicks X 10 each leg

4 Week Environ Review by Laura Scanlon

Hello beauties,

I was so excited to get the opportunity to test the Environ NEW Focus Care Range, a premium range of skin care products specially formulated with intelligent ingredient combinations to target specific skin conditions of ageing, dehydration and sensitivity.

It has been 4 weeks since I started using the NEW range and the results speak for themselves.

Benefits of this range

• Focus Care™ Youth+ Range focuses on smoothing and strengthening aged skin.

• Focus Care™ Moisture+ Range focuses on hydrating and nourishing dehydrated skin.I

My Skin

I have never had problematic skin but I am conscious of fine lines and ageing so I started investing in my skin properly from the age of 26. When I moved to South Africa I became very aware of sun exposure and how it can affect the skin not just on the outside but deep into the under layers of the skin, which can lead to premature ageing.

I have been using Envrion for over 2 years now and I would never change brands as this has everything I could need in a skincare brand. Here is my skin before starting the focus care youth and focus care moisture range. The 2 on the left show my skin quite dull and lifeless. The images on the right are two weeks after using the products and you can see a fabulous glow, life and less pigmentation.


Focus Care Youth+ - Avance Elixir

Benefits:

Helps to reduce the damaging effects of UV radiation and pollution on the skin.

  • Assists in maintaining the appearance of a more radiantly youthful and even complexion.

  • Improves skin’s overall tone, texture and appearance by helping to minimise the visible signs of ageing.

The Avance Elixir has been a great addition to my regime. With a silky texture serum, my skin has an instant glow and softness to it. It’s lightweight enough to wear under your make up daily and should be used at night also.

 

Focus Care Youth+ Range - Revival Masque

Benefits:

Helps to minimise the appearance of uneven skin tone and promote the effects of natural skin hydration.

  • Helps to improve the appearance of a firmer, regenerated skin, giving a more youthful appearance.

Truly a wonder. I have never used a product that I felt instant results with. This masque glides onto the skin and absorbs quickly. Feels very soft but clearly working wonders. I Love it! . Leaves your skin feeling moisturized and glowing. I have noticed improvement in the overall appearance of my skin.

Focus Care MOISTURE+ - Hydrating Capsules

Benefits:

Assists in softening and moisturising skin, leaving it looking revitalised and radiant.

  • Contains antioxidants that are proven to combat the visible signs of ageing.

  • Leaves a luxurious, soft and silky after-feel

With summer in Cape Town upon us and extra sun kissed skin, I found these capsules to be amazing at night for extra moisture. Not to mention they feel like actual silk. The sense of moisture acts immediately on the skin and you wake up with a glow and totally hydrated skin.

 

Skin after 4 weeks

Although the lighting is different due to the weather, you can see how my skin is improving week to week. From the dull skin in week one to less pigmentation and more energetic skin in week 4. Always remember to wear a good SPF while using these products.

My Final Comments

  1. I am loving these products as I feel I look visibly refreshed and hydrated.

  2. I feel confident with and without makeup.

  3. I know the products are full of highly researched and top quality ingredients.

  4. I have had no bad reactions to any of the products.

  5. I fully believe in the brand Environ.

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Healthy, glowing skin

Confidence from within.



Laura

xoxoxo

#FocusCareYouthSA #rubybox #FocusOnFlawless