Thursday, May 27, 2010

Up in Arms

Will my arms be this buff when
my children are too old to carry?
I'm feeling a little like Michelle Obama these days. I know, the resemblance is uncanny.

Aside from that, like Michelle, there's a lot of chatter about my arms. Normally I brush compliments like that off and don't take them seriously (I understand this insinuates I think my friends are lying to me).

I'm not sure what to make of it. Not like carrying around a 25 lb. baby is new, considering I've been at that weight lifting move for almost 7 years running.

Three years ago I started doing a "Barbell Strength" class at the gym. And while I noticed a difference in how I felt, I didn't have any arm gawkers. But I've been doing Cross Fit now for about 8 months and that, I believe, is the smoking gun for my smoking guns.

I was so busy being excited about all the new power lifts I was learning (because I like to say I can snatch as much as I like to snatch) that I didn't realize I was creating buff arms in the process. That heavy lifting, apparently, is where it's at, according to the New York Times.

Cross Fit is heavy on push ups and pull ups and they are extremely accessible exercises: you can do them almost anywhere anytime. Here are my five suggestions to get you going:
  • Do push ups and tricep dips in the bathroom while your kids are bathing.
  • Before or after your workout do 10 pushups. It takes almost no extra time and, voila, you've worked on your arm strength.
  • Whenever you're at the park, practice your chin ups, pull ups, flex arm hang or, I dare you to swing across the monkey bars. I guarantee you have forgotten how hard this is.
  • You're laying on the floor playing (fill in the blank here). You're already down there, so work in some push ups, too.
  • If you go to the gym for a fitness class, stop by the pull up machine (yes, such a thing) and ask someone to show you how it works. This will "spot" you and ease you into eventually doing pull ups on your own.
Any other easy ways to squeeze in push ups or pull ups? Now drop and give me 20!


Laura said...

and we don't get a photo of the guns???

Kara said...

OK, Laura, you're right, you all need "hard" evidence. The photo, shot by my 5-year-old, is now up!

Anonymous said...

wow, this is exactly what i have been thinking about. i have ran for years, but when it comes to strength i am a string bean. lately i have been trying to do just what you are talking about and mix in upper body work. So I "bench press" my eight month old (she loves it) and chase my two year old on my hands and feet playing "T Rex." That is a good workout!

Kara said...

Great ideas anon! I especially love T-rex--sounds like a moving "downward dog."

fitneighbor said...

I have had an excessive amount of comments about my arms lately too! Must be the crossfit!

Sophia said...

Great ideas! You can actually get
Tank Top Arms in 10 Minutes a Day

Thanks for this post!