Exercise Routines

Change Your Workout to Keep Your Metabolism on Fire

Change your workout to keep your metabolism on fire

rock climbing

I am the first to admit that I love routine. I hate squats; I love deadlifts. I hate running a mile, but I love sprints. Having such strong love-hate relationships with working out can lead to a set routine over a long period. Is routine bad? No. Not really. You found what you love. You are staying busy, physically active, improving your health and even lowering your risk of certain diseases like Parkinson's. I would not say that was a bad thing. However, your body becomes conditioned to the same routine, and you will not see the same results you said when you first started the routine. 

What should you do?

Change things up. For example, I am a big proponent of HIIT. People who do hiit often do the same exercises over and over. For example, jump squats, burpees, mountain climbers and ice skaters. Again, props to you for staying active. HIIT is tough, and good for you. Change it up though! Do sprints, rowing, spinning, kettlebells and make things more challenging. I do not enjoy HIIT at all, so changing things up can help to make it less repetitive. Right now I switched from sprints and jump squats to rowing. I am forever trying to build a booty, and what I love about rowing is I feel the fire directly in my glutes versus my entire legs. 

Another thing I need to watch out for is that I love doing the same lifts. I love doing deadlifts, stiff leg deadlifts, and shoulders. Good for me, right? But it is important to hit the same muscles and muscle groups from different angles. For example, rather than only doing the same shoulder routine

Shoulder Workout

Overhead press on machine
Dumbbell overhead press
Lateral raises
Front raises
Upright row

That's a good routine, in fact, I use it a lot. Too much. I may be training shoulders often, but it is important to keep in mind I am only gaining strength and size in the direction I am moving in. The shoulder is a ball and socket joint, which means you should not be training in simple back and forth movements. Repeating the same exercises is just as bad because you are not training your muscles to their full potential. 

Rotator cuff injuries are very common, so it is important to do your mobility before and after, as well as to not over tax your rotator cuff. 

Mixing up exercises with resistance bands, changing angles and adding plyos will help to make your workouts more effective, efficient, thorough and over well-rounded. 

Varied Shoulder Workout

1. Mobility
2. Handstands with push-up if possible
3. Front raises prone on incline with resistance bands
4. Pull resistance bands apart while in front of body
5. Lateral raises with resistance bands - leaning 

Now Go Do It!

Changing up angles and switching from dumbbells to bands is good to do from time to time. I also think it's great to get out and be active for your workout. Go rock climbing! So, maybe you can try indoor rock climbing before you hang off a cliff. On second thought, yeah why don't you go ahead and started with a harness as well. The point is to try new things! You will not be an expert when you start a new activity, but that does not mean it is not working your muscles in new dynamic ways and challenging you mentally as well as physically! Go hiking! I would choose a shorter but more intense hike, for example. Stay functional and have fun!! 

Let me know how it goes! 

Get Rid of Your Muffin Top Now


Get Rid of Your Muffin Top

Really, getting into and staying in shape is about 80% diet and 20% nutrition. It is not the same for everyone, though. Some people are genetically gifted and are muscular even though they do not work out and eat like crap. For the rest of us, we have to work for what we have, and it is too easy to slip into unhealthy eating patterns. Never forget that muscle increases your metabolism and ability to burn fat. What does this mean to you? If you want a faster metabolism and burn fat while you sleep, rest and eat, then gain muscle. Lift. Part of that is building a core, in fact, you should develop your core first before you begin lifting. Other than diet, here is an ab program to get your core into shape.


Workout 1


1.     Knee ups

a.     Hang by your hands if possible, pull knees to chest

b.     Get on an elbow support (captain’s chair), pull knees to chest

This exercise works your rectus abdominus, which are the most popular of all core muscles. The rectus abdominus is the 6 pack. This particular exercise works the lower abs the most.

2.     Russian Twists

a.     From a V position, feet off of the ground, twist your body side to side. Hold a medicine ball that weighs at least 10 lbs. Ensure the weight touches the ground with each twist.

b.     From a V position, leave you feet on the ground. Twist from side to side. Touch the ground with each twist.

This exercise works the obliques, which are the long and lateral muscles between the rectus abdominus and lats. Obliques are most noticeable when you twist your torso.

3.     Banded chest press (complicated set up)

a.     Tie a resistance band to a pole behind you. Standing inside the band, press the band forward at chest level.

b.     Use lighter resistance band

Serratus muscles are on your side running along your ribcage. Punching, pushups and particular variations of each can give you defined serratus muscles.

Workout 2

1.     Leg lifts

a.     Hanging from a bar, legs straight, raise them to touch bar. Do not swing, use your abs to control your contraction and prevent your body from swinging.

b.     Hanging from captains chair, legs straight, raise them as high as possible

Rectus Abdominus

2.     Side jackknife

a.     Laying straight on one side, contract your obliques to bring your top leg and arm to touch.

b.     Pushup to plank - lay on one side, push up to a side plank position


3.     Rotating punches

a.     Holding dumbbells alternate sides twisting and punching at a 90 degree angle from original position

b.     Alternate punches without using weights, twist body 90 degrees each time



There you have it! Run through each set four times with a quick breather in between. Do each set twice a week and you will be on your way to a sexy and strong core! It is important to build your core before you begin lifting weights, so if you have not started a core program yet, start this now.





I was speaking to a very close friend yesterday who suggested I switch to a subscription based website, that is when I realized I have not communicated the services I offer. Marketing 101…fail. This fitgirlkoa.com site you are on is great. I love it. I can communicate recipes, workouts, tips etc, but it is not how I train clients. I utilize www.totalcoaching.com. There is also a totalcoaching app you download to receive your workouts and track everything straight from your phone.

Total coaching sends you workout plans that I create for each individual client, with video animations to accompany each workout. The site also delivers nutrition plans straight to you. You can communicate with me through the site, and also track your own progress. You can track what days you workout, how hard the workouts are and what notes you have about them.

The site allows me to generate reports based off of your progress, training, nutrition, custom data and more. The reports help us track your progress, but also to keep you motivated. When you are able to fit into pants you have not fit in for year you are motivated to keep moving forward. These reports are another motivational tool. You can never have enough.



Check total coaching out and see if you would like to try a four week phase!



Exercises: No Core!

Exercise without engaging your core!


 How to NOT work your core

How to NOT work your core

How to do a leg workout without working your core….too much


Why on earth would you want a workout that does not workout your core? Who does not want a flatter stomach or washboard abs? Well, it is not necessarily that you do not want washboard abs, but you may have had an injury, surgery or even childbirth. Whatever your reason, there are reasons why you would choose to not work your core, at least for a bit. We all know the importance of a strong core, so hopefully you this is a short-term situation. Eventually you will need to work your way around your situation. For example, how do you work your lower body if you have knee pain? It is possible; you just have to be creative.


I recently hurt my ribs and it hurts to twist, lean or engage my core too much. I can engage it a bit, just about everything requires a degree of core strength. But, because of the pain I thought I would not be able to do a complete leg workout, however, I tried it and I was able to do six exercises, which is more than enough to constitute a complete workout. Again, this may engage your core a bit, there is really no way around it, but the engagement is fairly minimal.

First, a tip. Waist trainers or weight training belts take pressure off of the back and core. Unfortunately if you have an injury it may hurt too much to wear one.

Isometric exercises can be great for the core, but if you choose the right exercises you can minimize core involvement too!

I was able to do most leg machines

Glute pushdown on the assisted pull up machine

Hip abductor

Hip adductor

Calf machine

Squats with cable machine

            Using a straight bar, squat facing the machine and holding the straight bar

Leg press

Only the machines designed to place your body in a V position

If any of the exercises engage your core too much try body weight exercises. If there is any pain discontinue immediately.

Chairs against a wall

            Hold position for a minute

Calf raises

Body weight squats


Glute pushbacks from hands and knees

For reference, exercises I was not able to do

Cable abductor and adductor




Angled leg press