If you didn’t know, my husband Dan is a personal trainer. He actually majored in Environmental Studies and worked at an environmental engineering company since graduating college ten years ago. Dan has always been athletic and has had a passion for exercise for as long as I’ve known him. He played all the sports growing up and well into college. Even now he plays on an adult soccer league on the weekends. I’d like to think that Dan had it all figured out once, working his pretty normal job and working out at the gym when he could. Spending any extra time he had with his family. Though looking back there was always something missing. I am pretty sure I was aware of it back then, but too scared to pay it any mind. Brushing it away because I didn’t want to rock our happy little boat. But you know, life happens. Without any warning things happen for no reason and rock your happy little boat whether you like it or not. Leaving everyone gasping for air, trying their best to stay afloat.
Soon after our son Ryan passed Dan had this moment where things for him just needed to change. Our life was upside down and Dan began to realized that feeling happy wasn’t easy anymore. A lot of what was wearing him down was his job. What is a wife to do when your husband isn’t happy? I mean, I couldn’t force him to be happy but I could support him in doing whatever would help him feel happy. So that is what I did! Dan soon enrolled back into school, this time his focus was exercise and personal training. Dan worked so damn hard at his day job and then well into the night on his class work. I had just found out I was pregnant with Mila when Dan finally quit his full time job to pursue his personal training business. I will say, it wasn’t as easy as writing it out now. There were some really hard days where Dan felt defeated and less than. He took a beating as everyone does when they start a new business. Truth be told, Dan is still finding his way. The struggle is real, but so are his smiles and happiness. I’d take happy Dan over anything in this world and seeing him grow into his own has been so incredible. I’m beyond proud of him daily. Because he is a personal trainer I like to ask him a million questions and advice on what I should be doing at the gym myself. Since one of us is always with Mila I work out on my own, but Dan gives me certain work outs to do and walks me through them prior. This way when I am at the gym alone I can do the exercises with confidence and ease. Whenever I share on social media that I’m at the gym I get so many questions asking what exactly I do at the gym. Dan shares a lot of his work outs on his Instagram and Facebook. Though I thought it would be fun to put something together for you all here on my blog! Something that you could do at home or at the gym. These exercises are fairly simple, but if you put them all together and repeat them a few times it equals to a pretty good work out! (We did include a few “bonus” moves that may require some equipment.) This was so fun to put together and we are already planning another. Let us know if you’d like to see anything specific! And if you want a more tailored work out that hits on your personal needs, feel free to reach out to my husband Dan at Saldana Fitness. He offers in person and online training! I may be biased but, Dan is pretty awesome ;)
Our Work Outs Are Below ...
Photos By Lily Ro Photography
Jacqui is wearing all Beyond Yoga
The Prisoner Squat - Do 4 sets of 20 repetitions
The prisoner squat is a lower body exercise with an emphasis on the quads, hamstrings and glutes. This exercise also helps improve upper-body mobility.
How To Do A Prisoner Squat
-Stand in a shoulder width stance with toes pointed slightly outward. Keeping your torso in an upright position, place your hands behind your head while pulling your shoulders and elbows back.
-Lower into a squat position by pushing your hips back and bending your knees until the crease of your hip drops below your knee level OR to a depth that is comfortable for you. Pause at the bottom of the squat, then extend the hips and knees upward, pushing yourself back to the starting position.
-Do not round your back.
-Be sure to drive through your heels and not your toes as you ascend back into the starting position.
-Your heels should not leave the ground.
Seal Jack - Do 4 sets of 20 repetitions
The seal jack is a calisthenics, full body and cardiovascular exercise that primarily targets the quads. The seal jack will also target the; chest, hamstrings, hip flexors, middle back, shoulders, calves, glutes and groin.
How To Do A Seal Jack
-Start with your feet together and your arms locked out and pointed straight out in front of you.
-Jump in the air and spread your feet and arms simultaneously.
-Land with your feet spread and then immediately jump up again bringing your feet and hands back together.
-This completes one repetition.
-Land as softly on your feet as you can.
Ice Skater - Do 4 sets of 20 repetitions (equals to 10 on each side)
The ice skater is a calisthenics and plyometrics exercise that targets the; quads, calves, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and outer thighs.
How To Do The Ice Skater
-Stand on one leg with your other leg bent at the knee.
-Jump sideways as far as you can and land on your opposite leg.
-As soon as you land, jump back sideways to your starting foot.
-Continue back and forth.
-Keep your leg slightly bent when landing on it.
-Use your arms to help propel you as your jump.
-Try to be as light and quick as you can when landing and jumping.
Goblet Squat - Do 4 Sets of 20 Repetitions
The dumbbell goblet squat is a free weights (dumbbell or kettlebell) exercise that primarily targets the quads, calves, glutes and hamstrings.
How To Do A Goblet Squat
-Stand up straight and hold a light dumbbell or kettlebell close to your chest. This is the starting position.
-Squat down between your legs until your hamstrings are on your calves. Keep your chest and head up and your back straight.
-Pause once you get to the bottom of the squat then slowly return to your starting position.
-Keep your head up while performing this exercise.
-You should keep your back straight throughout.
-Experiment with your legs at different widths for this exercise.
-Try doing a partial squat if you can't go all the way down.
Dumbbell Reverse Lunge with Over-head Press: Do 4 Sets of 20 Repetitions
The dumbbell side lunge and press is a free weights exercise that primarily targets the quads, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, shoulders and triceps.
How To Do A Dumbbell Reverse Lunge with Over-Head Press
-Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at your side with arms straight. Feet hip-width apart. This is the starting position.
-Begin by stepping backwards so that your right knee is at a 90-degree angle and your left leg is also at a 90-degree angle.
-Simultaneously as you lunge, you will curl the dumbbells to shoulder height.
-Pause for a moment, then push up from the lunge with your rear leg, while pushing the dumbbells back up above your head and raising your leg into a 90-degree and pausing again at the top. This completes one rep.
-Keep an upright posture throughout the exercise.
-Breathe. Exhale as you push up from the lunge.
-This one was really hard for me, try going as slow as possibly until you nail down the movement.
Dumbbell Bent Over Row - Do 4 Sets of 20 Repetitions
The bent over dumbbell row is a free weights exercise that primarily targets the middle back, biceps and lats.
How To Do A Dumbbell Bent Over Row
-Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Your palms should be facing each other. Bend your knees slightly and move your torso forward by bending at the waist. Your back should be kept straight. It should be almost parallel with the floor. The weights should hang down in front of you and your arms should be perpendicular to the floor as well as your torso. This is the starting position.
-Keeping your torso stationary, raise the dumbbells to your side as you exhale. Squeeze your shoulder blades together while doing so. Once you reach the top, squeeze your back muscles and hold for a few seconds.
-Lower the weight slowly back to the starting position.
Keep your head up while performing the exercise.
-Do not round the back, as this can cause injury.
I like to work the exercises featured above into my weekly gym routine. I also always do about 40 minutes of cardio before or after. That usually is a run on the treadmill, the elliptical or bike machines. Sometimes I'll do a long walk with Mila in the stroller and then follow it with these exercises while she plays and runs around on the grass. I love these work outs here because they are easy enough to do on my own. We'll be sharing more, so let us know what you'd like to see!