Glute Activation Workout {with resistance bands}

Happy Good Morning! Who’s ready for some workout gear talk? Victorem mini loop resistance bands are my most recent obsession!
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These small but mighty little bad girls have a ton of different uses but one thing that I love to use them for is glute activation {basically warming up those butt muscles so you get the best workout and get that booty pop we all want!}
Quick Glute Activation Workout:
Place mini resistance band around your calves or right above your knees. I like to use the medium or heavy. Lets be real this workout BURNS and you don’t have to use resistance if you don’t want to.
25 Donkey Kicks {per leg}
  • Start on hands and knees
  • Flex right foot and press it up towards the ceiling or sky.
  • Squeeze Glutes
  • Lower the knee without touching the floor and repeat the lift.
  • Once you’ve completed the reps on the right leg, switch legs.

25 Fire Hydrants {per leg}

  • Start on hands and knees
  • Raise your right thigh out to the side, keeping the hips still.
  • Squeeze Glutes
  • Lower your thigh with out touching the floor and repeat the lift.
  • Once you’ve completed the reps on the right leg, switch legs.

25 Leg Extension {per leg}

  • Start on hands and knees
  • Flex right foot and press out straight behind you at hip level.
  • Pulse leg towards the ceiling or sky
  • Squeeze Glutes
  • Lower the knee without touching the floor and repeat the lift.
  • Once you’ve completed the reps on the right leg, switch legs.

You should will be BURNING by the end of this workout. I SWEAR I see after only a week!

In my opinion this is a great workout on its own, it doesn’t have to be a pre workout. You could easily to 2-3 more sets and a have ridiculous amount of muscle burn…you know that hurts so good burn…my fave!

I love doing these workouts in the morning, it gives a wonderful boost to the start of the day!

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Victoria Gear Hip Bands and Mini Loop Resistance Bands!

Happy Good Morning and Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Have you ever been so excited about a piece of workout gear or equipment you just can’t wait to use it again?

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That is EXACTLY how I feel about my Hip Bands and the Mini Loop Resistance Bands from Victorem! I cannot get enough of them, they are amazing!
Of course I’m going to tell you all about each set because I want you to be just as obsessed as me… but first…

I’ve never had anything like either of these bands before so I had no idea what to expect so I anxiously awaited their arrival. Wouldn’t you know the day they were set to arrive we were literally the last delivery of the day…past 9pm…ugh! I was so exhausted from the day but I couldn’t wait to rip into the box to check out all my goodies! I received the Hip Bands: Set of 3 and the Mini Loop Resistance Bands: Set of 5 two sets, {each set comes with a black carrying bag!}

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I can’t even tell you how excited I was when I opened everything! Even though I was EXHAUSTED I could not wait to use them…so I did! That first night I did…

Walking lunges and Squats with this little bad girl:

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Legs lifts with this small but might little lady:

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Honestly I was shocked at how much resistance each of these bands had, guys seriously I went to bed with sore glutes and thighs…which I loved!

I use both sets every single day and will be taking them on all our up coming vacations!

I thought about making a video but there is a bit more jiggle then I’m ready to share…I hope you understand ❤
Ok let me give you some more specifics on each set!
I love these! The mini loop bands are just like regular sized resistance bands but they are resized to fit perfectly around your legs and give you awesome resistance you didn’t know you were missing!
This set comes with five bands:
Extra Light
Light
Medium
Heavy
Extra Heavy
With the five different resistance levels you can add as little or as much resistance as you want to a TON of different exercises. Simply pull a loop up to above your knees, calves or ankles and get moving!
A few of my favorite works outs with these bands are…
Leg Lifts: 
  • I started out using the medium band but currently have been using the heavy and extra heavy!
  • Lay on your side with the band around your ankles, squeeze your butt and lift the top leg about 10-14 inches lower and repeat. I like to do 25-30 reps per leg and 2-3 sets.
  • Back Leg Lifts (I use the light band for this)
  • Start on all fours with band around your feet (I like to position it around the archea of my feet) extend one leg behind you. Lift the leg to hip level and then slowly lower it back down. I like to do 20 reps per leg and 2-3 sets.
Squat Side Kick:
  • Stand with legs hip width apart with band around ankles
  • Squat as normal the as you stand kick one leg out to the side,
  • lower leg and repeat squat and kick with the other side.
  • I like to do 20 reps per side and 2-3 sets
Bent Over Lateral Leg Raises: 
  • Start with a band of your choice right at or above the knees, on your hands and knees. Hands directly beneath your shoulders.
  • Place one of your legs straight out your side as show. Correct your balance with your other knee.
  • Tense your glute, raising that leg out until it is straight out to your side. Hold for 2-3 seconds.
  • Slowly lower it back down
  • I like to do 20 reps per side and 2-3 sets

High Knees:

This gives you the benefit of sprinting without the space requirements. They’re simple to do, just sprint on the spot, driving your knees and your hands upwards alternatively. I like to use the heavy band and do this workout for 1 min. 1-3 sets.

There are truly a ton of different workout you can do with these little bad girls but I will let you find some of your faves!

These come in multiple color schemes you can grab them HERE or click the color scheme you like below!

Victorem Mini Loop Resistance Bands – Set of 5

Victorem Mini Loop Resistance Bands – Set of 5

Victorem Mini Loop Resistance Bands – Set of 5

Hip Bands: Set of 3

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Oh my gosh I love love love love these! I’m obsessed!

This set comes with three extra wide fabric Bands (think extra wide elastic but way more durability) Just like the set above these babies fit perfectly around your ankle, knees or thighs and give you some serious resistance! The thick elastic band does not slip or roll during a workout so no stopping to adjust and ruining your pace, plus they are beautiful!

Here are a couple of my favorite workouts…

  • Donkey kicks: Place preferred band around your calves or above knees. I like to do 25 reps per side and 2-4 sets.
  • Reverse Lunges: Place preferred band above knees. I like to do 30 reps per side and 2-3 sets.
  • Squats: Place preferred band above knees and when I squat I like to press my knees out for a little extra burn! I like to do 50 squats and 2-3 reps.
  • Side Steps: Place preferred band above knees and literally walk from side to side. I like to walk to the left 25 steps then back to the right 25 steps and do 2-4 sets.

Both band sets are spectacular for:

  • Walking: With the band right above the knees begin walking (the more resistance in the band the deeper the burn) I like to take 20-30 steps then either turn or walk backwards. I do 2-3 sets
  • Side steps: Stand with legs slight apart with band above your knees a leading with your head thigh step to the side keeping the band tight the whole time. I like to step direction 10-15 steps then go back the other direction. I like to do 3-6 sets.
  • Squats:  Stand with legs hip width apart and squat. I like to do 50 reps and 2-3 sets
  • Walking Lunges: Stand with legs about hip width apart and band above the knees. Begin walking lunges. I like to do 25 lunges before I turn and walk again. I like to do 3-4 sets

These four pretty basic workouts alone will give you a burn you didn’t know you’ve always wanted!

These come in two different color schemes and you can grab them HERE or click the color scheme you like below!

 Hip Circle Resistance Bands

Resistance Hip Circle Band

 

I love these both styles of bands and HIGHLY recommend getting both sets!

Oh DUH! You probably want to know if I have had results, it’s only been about 2 weeks since these little bad girls arrived, but I can honestly say I am defiantly seeing results in the mirror…for sure there is more toning and definition every day! With absolute certainty I can tell you my legs are so much stronger and I feel the muscles more and more every day!

In all honesty I absolutely believe you will benefit from these no matter what your fitness level is…from ultimate beginner to hard core gym rat! These with give you the added resistance you never knew you always wanted. I rarely say “you need to go get this now” but guys honest you totally do!!

Connect with Victorem:

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Keep an eye out for my hip band glute activation post this week! 

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED

THE GIVEAWAY!!!!! 

I stoked!! I have partnered with Nick at Victorem and together we are giving away not one, not two…not even three set but FIVE sets of the Mini Loop Resistance Bands! I couldn’t be more thrilled to have this awesome opportunity to giveaway something I love so much! Click on the images below and follow the prompts to be entered in this great giveaway!
The winners will be selected on March 1st and contacted via email so be sure your email is correct. Winners have five days to respond before they forfeit and another winner is selected.
I want to extend a HUGE Thank You to Nick at Victorem!!

*Although Victorem did send me some gear as a thank you, I did not agree to give a positive review no matter what I really thought and I was not compensated for this post.  All thoughts + opinions are 100% my own. ALL images are © The Life in Bloom & Victorem.

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Back in the saddle again…FINALLY!

Hey lovelies!!!!

Whoa, well long time no see! I had planned to be back in the blogging saddle sometime in January…well as you can see that didn’t happen…its life right?

Today I am back, Yay!

After my last post I received countless emails (seriously a lot, whoa!) from readers telling me that they love the idea of me reviewing/sharing more than just fitness and health related. One thing that really stood out in so many emails was the positive feedback I received about mentioning the possibility of posting about beauty products including reviewing makeup.

So starting next week I will be sharing some of my most favorite beauty products! Don’t worry I’m not abandoning ship on fitness and health at all! So keep an eye out for some fun new posts and maybe some beautifying  blog changes!

Please take a few minutes to Connect with me

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SHARKS Chalk Pastels ebook from Southern Hodgepodge GIVEAWAY!!!

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. See my full disclosure policy.

Art for All Ages

Last fall I introduced you to our favorite art curriculum: A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels from Southern Hodgepodge? {read it here!} Since starting the curriculum our ENTIRE family loves art…especially pastels! We love all the Southern Hodgepodge pastels ebooks…but…my kids were beyond thrilled when they found out we had gotten a brand new pastels book about…SHARKS from the lovely Tricia Hodges!!! The Sharks Pastels was the perfect addition to our under the sea unit study we are doing for the month of September! But I couldn’t make my little wait until we started our study, so we broke out the pastels and went shark crazy!

Shark Art Tutorials

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There are a bunch of different Sharks you can draw when you purchase a copy of the book, like…

  • Great White
  • Hammerhead
  • Zebra Shark
  • White (or black) tip reef shark
  • Night Shark
  • Flying Sharks
  • Shark Fin
  • Cookiecutter Shark
  • Goblin Shark
  • Whale Shark

How to Draw a Great White Shark!!

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Supplies:

  • Sharks e-book
  • Pastels
  • Paper {either white or construction. My kids really like using blue or black paper for their Shark drawings}

I would also recommend having hairspray {this will set you little artists art work and prevent the chalk from getting all over EVERYTHING. Also, have a wet wash cloth or hand wipes nearby for dirty hands!

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There are so more AMAZING Chalk Pastels books from Southern Hodgepodge…trust me you WILL want them all!

  • Sharks chalk pastel arch for all ages e-book
  • A simple start in chalk pastels e-book bundle
  • chalk pastels through the seasons e-book
  • a seasonal starred in full chalk pastels e-book
  • a simple start in Christmas chalk pastels e-book
  • a simple start in chalk pastels: winter Olympics e-book
  • a seasonal start in spring chalk pastels
  • chalk pastels: art at the beach

There are also some really great bundles!

Art  for All ages complete e-book bundle – includes:

  • a simple start and talk pastels
  • chalk pastels through the seasons
  • a seasonal start in fall chalk pastels
  • a simple start in Christmas chalk pastels
  • a seasonal start in spring chalk pastels
  • chalk pastels are at the beach

Chalk pastels through the seasons e-book bundle – includes:

  • chalk pastels through the seasons
  • a seasonal start in fall chalk pastels
  • a simple start in Christmas chalk pastels
  • a seasonal start in spring chalk pastels

Help for homeschool e-book bundle – includes:

  • a simple start and chalk pastels
  • chalk pastels through the seasons
  • help! I’m homeschooling!
  • Return of the routine

You can buy SHARKS! and all the other wonderful Chalk Pastel books here!

WIN IT!

I have partnered with Tricia Hodges to give one lucky reader a copy of the SHARKS! e-book! Click below to enter!

enterCPRafflecopter Giveaway!

*Giveaway will run from 8/27/14 – 9/7/14  A winner will be selected 9/7/14 – contacted via email friday 9/8/14 *U.S Residents

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Special Thank You to Tricia Hodges & Southern Hodgepodge for providing me with this Sharks! e-book!

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Bottle|Band Review and GIVEAWAY!

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I so excited to share Bottle|Band with you today! First things first:

 

What is Bottle|Band?

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Its a cool silicone band that goes around your water bottle giving it a handle and making it easier to carry! Yay! No more dropping my water bottle!
 
My husband and I almost never run with water bottles because it can feel like too much “baggage”, honestly its really annoying to hold a water bottle while running or hiking! I’m always worried about dropping it! Then at home or at the gym I can’t tell you how many times I have dropped my water bottle on the treadmill…Please tell me that I’m not the only one! 🙂 But, not taking/drinking water is so not good for us! Staying hydrated is so important when it comes to taking care of your body. A little Hydration 101: When you drink water you flush out nasty toxins that are in your body…but there are even more benefits…including metabolism boost, weightless,  beautiful and healthier skin  and most importantly {in my opinion} a healthier heart. When we are working out or just simply being active we NEED to stay hydrated, the problem? There are situations when drinking water isn’t easy…like running or when you are in a workout groove at the gym or at home. However skipping the water a pressing on can lead to dehydration, and the only thing dehydration is good for is making you tired with no energy and possibly sick…NO one wants that…and it can be dangerous!

After chatting with the guys at Bottle|Bands about trying out the Bottle|Bands, I have to admit I was pretty excited! Ooh maybe I would actually take a water bottle on my runs and hikes, maybe I wouldn’t be so worried about dropping it!

When I got my bands in the mail my hubby {who is a hardcore runner} was so stoked and immediately wanted to give them a try, sooooo we did! we were both VERY impressed! The Bottle|Band stayed secure the whole time and was really comfortable to use! Yay! We didn’t have to worry about dropping bottles!

BBBottle|Bands and Kids! I LOVE LOVE LOVE these for my kiddos! They are perfect! Our family goes on walks/jogs every night! Especially in the summer we go through a LOT of water…but whose carrying it you ask? Yep! Mom and Dad! Not anymore!  The kids can just loop there water bottle with a Bottle|Band over their handlebar and we are good to go! Mom and Dad love it and so do the kids!

What I love about Bottle| Band:

  • Its one-size-fits all!
  • It’s very comfortable to use
  • Because of the handle you can hang your bottle on your treadmill, a door knob, or at the equipment at the gym!
  • You can customize your very own band! How cool would it be to get matching Bottle| Band for your kiddos team! Walking or running in a charity event? Get matching Bottle| Band for the whole team!
  • Running in a race? BottleBand is perfect for disposable bottle because once you finished you water you can throw your bottle away and put the BottleBand on your wrist and keep on running unencumbered!
  • Bottle| Band costs about $6!!!
  • Bottle| Band comes in a bunch of colors, with different sayings! Check em’ out!IMG_4035
How to use Bottle| Band:
 

 
I don’t have any CONS at all! The Bottle|Bands fit all the bottle I tried including our ninja smoothy cups {my hubby and I have smoothies in them every morning and they are perfect to take on morning hikes}
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I would highly recommend this product to anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors or at the Gym {home gym included!} The Bottle|Band makes carrying and hanging your water bottle super easy!
 

 

 

 

You can WIN IT

I have partnered with The Bottle|Band team for a Giveaway!!!! Click Below to Enter!

Enter Bottle|Band GIVEAWAY!

*Giveaway will run from 8/15/14 – 8/29/14  A winner will be selected 8/29/14 – contacted via email friday 8/30/14 *U.S Residents

Special Thank You to Bottle|Bands for this FANTASTIC Giveaway! 

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GAIAM Yoga Mat Review!

Hey there all my yogis! I’m so excited to introduce you to my new yoga mat from GAIAM! This is the beautiful Paisley Flower Print 3mm Mat!

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Sunrise Yoga!

I don’t know about you but I use my yoga mat for a whole lot more than just yoga, in fact I use my mat each time I work out! Because of this I am VERY hard on my mat. I use my yoga mat daily for weights, crunches, squats, lunges, planks, Pilates, Tabata, all my HIIT workouts…if it ‘s fitness or relaxation related, my mat is there. I workout for an average of two/three hours a day {excluding walking, hiking and running},I’m not only physically hard on my mats but…ummm….I sweat…A LOT, I know gross but it happens..but…

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IMG_3983Why do I love my GAIAM Paisley Yoga Mat?

From the moment it arrived I was absolutely in love! Not only is it absolutely gorgeous but I love the size and the weight of it {68-Inch x 24-Inch x 3mm}

All my pervious mat have been 5mm, because of this they are thick and bulky when they are rolled. Not so with my Paisley mat! Because it is a 3mm it rolls up very tightly, which I love! It is SO light. Don’t let the fact that it is 3mm deceive you into thinking that means it’s low quality or cheap, that is just NOT the case!  This mat is super sticky…which means it stays put on all surfaces

IMG_3966{it does slightly slide on carpet} because of its stickiness I can hold all my yoga poses without worrying about my mat slipping away! I personally prefer the 3mm to my thicker mats so when I wear this baby out I will for sure be replacing it with another GAIAM 3mm mat!

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Isn’t this beautiful!?

 

 

Common issues with yoga mats:

Cleaning: If you sweat  you will want to clean your mat after ever use {if your workouts are spread out over the day I would recommend cleaning it before your head to bed} If you are not a sweater you should still wipe it down every few days. This mat is superduper to clean, simply wipe it down with a warm soapy rag and let dry. This will help it stay ‘sticky/grippy’ and keep you healthy!

Slipping: If you are a Yogi you know what this means!  Ugh you know those times when you are trying to nail a pose and it feels like your mat is slipping out from under you. In my experience this happens when the mat is dirty {it can also happen if your mat in on carpet} I have had ZERO issue with my mat slipping on wood floors or smooth concrete floors, it’s VERY sticky/grippy. If you notice your mat isn’t sticking as well as it once was try cleaning it, depending on how long it has been you may have to do this a few more times to break through that dirty layer.

Peeling: I have heard a lot about mats or the printed image on the mat peeling {tearing, shredding…ect} I have never had this issue, with my GAIAM mat or any other mat. I would recommend rolling and storing your mat in a place out of direct sunlight since the sun can cause damage to surfaces. Like I mentioned above be sure to clean you mat regularly to pro long the life of it!

Out of the Wrapper Smell: GAIAM mats come rolled and shrink-wrapped. When you remove the shrink-wrap there is a potent rubbery smell {This is very common I have gone through this with every other yoga mat I’ve had – The smell is not a hazardous chemical smell.} The smell can be easily addressed by simply unrolling it and hanging it outside for a little while. {GAIAM recommends taking it out of the shrink-wrap and leaving it for three days to allow the smell to dissolve} I was really excited to use my mat…sooooo… My mat arrived in the early afternoon I unwrapped it and put it on our back deck and left it until evening when used it for the first time. It did still have that rubbery odor but it didn’t really bother me.  I would really recommend however, if you are sensitive to smells that you leave it for 3 to 5 days and each day using the smell will subside.

I would HIGHLY recommend the GAIAM Paisley Flower Print yoga mat {in any of their beautiful prints} to anyone who does anything that requires them to be on the floor even just your knees! This is a wonderful, durable, sticky and all around perfect mat!

You can check out more of the cool stuff that GAIAM has by clicking on the right sidebar image!

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