I’ve had some confusing experiences with tennis shoes over the past year and a half. I normally wear a size 9 (I know, I have huge feet stop making fun of me) but after running a couple times in a pair of Nikes that I had last year, one of my toe nails turned black. I realized the shoe was too small. So, I upgraded to a nine and a half. Feeling fine at first, I assumed my feet simply became swollen after running a certain distance. Lo and behold, the nine and a half began to feel too snug too. This is when the confusion began to really set in. Did I actually wear a 10? Why has this never happened before?
Anyway, it has been pretty frustrating since I can’t exactly afford to keep buying shoes in the wrong size. So, yesterday I went to Sports Authority and asked a professional to measure my foot so I could finally buy the right pair of shoes. He measured me at an 8. So, as you may assume, I am still confused. I tried on numerous pairs of shoes in different sizes. I was between the Nike Free Runs (which I just saw was listed as one of Oprah’s favorite things! Ugh, should have bought them!) and Nike LunarFly. I ultimately chose the LunarFly’s because I wanted a shoe I could wear in the gym and outside running.
The Nike Free shoes are still pretty cool. They are a running shoe and basically Nike’s equivalent to the Vibram Five Fingers. Both shoes are made for people who like the feel of barefoot running, but also want the safety and stability of a shoe. I wondered at first if theses were just a marketing ploy by shoe companies to trick people into buying a super thin shoe for $100 bucks. But, I’ve read quite a bit of reviews on the Vibrams and people seem to love them. For now, I’ll stick to the LunarFly’s….but I did drop a few hints to my mom for Christmas about the Vibrams… 🙂
After the shoe shopping success (hopefully, I ended up with a 9 and a half so we’ll see…) I hit the gym. It was an upper body workout day with some ab exercises too.
I started with a ten minute warmup jog on the treadmill. Here was my upper body/ab routine:
- Isometric Bicep Curls- These are a pretty good bicep workout that you will definitely feel. If I was starting with my right arm, I would hold my left arm at 90 with my elbow resting next to my body. I would keep my left arm in that position (while holding a weight) while performing the bicep curls with my right arm. Just imagine the left arm is holding a tray of drinks (but really holding a weight, you wish it were a drink!). So that left bicep is working just as hard as the right arm which is doing the curls. I did 15 curls holding a ten pound weight (so again, while curling one arm, the other is holding 10lb. at 90). I did a total of 3 times on each arm.
- Skull Crushers on Swiss Ball- This is a great tricep workout. For this, I used ten pounds and performed the exercise 15 times. Here is a video showing how it is done. My variation on this was that I used free weights and I was laying on a swiss ball. When doing this on a swiss ball, you need to make sure your head and neck are supported by the ball. You don’t want to be straining your neck holding your head in the air.
- Spiderman Pushups-These were pretty tough for me. I did 3 sets of 5 (that’s all I could squeak out). Not only does this work your chest, but also your core, hip flexors, and shoulders. This is a great video on how to perform these properly.
- Isometric Scaption-I performed one set 10x using 10lb., then dropped down to 8lb. for the last two sets of 15. Here is an example of the regular scaption exercise. I did this a little differently than the video. For example, when my right arm was bringing the weight up and down, my left arm was straight up in the air, slightly to my side, holding the 8lb. weight. So, it’s similar to the isometric bicep curl in that one arm is actively moving the weight up and down and the other arm is active, but just holding the weight which contracts and works the muscle.
- Pushup on Swiss Ball- This one is also tough at first. I did 3 sets of ten. Here is a video demonstration. The only difference is I couldn’t perform this exercise without the swiss ball being against the wall. So, feel free to have the ball against something and then try the pushups. If you can do it without the wall then more power to you!
- LI raises on Swiss Ball- These are harder than they look. I started out with 5 pound weights and had to go down to 3. Here are some pictures to demonstrate this exercise. Instead of ending with arms at 90 degrees, from there, I straightened my arms out overhead. That is the hardest part. These are great exercises though for your upper back. Probably a lot of muscles we ignore. I did 3 sets of 8 with 3lb.
- Side Plank with Twist- I did 3 sets of 10 holding a 5lb. weight. Every time I do these, I am sore the next day. Here are some pictures to walk you through it correctly.
- Reverse Crunch on Bench- I did 3 sets of 15. This is a great lower ab exercise. Here is a video demonstration of the exercise.
Well, that was my day! I hope you’ve all had a great weekend!!