Workout Wednesdays: Arms

Arms are what I struggle with the most. I always find it hard to come up with workouts to do. Below are some arm exercises that are fairly simple, and can help you gain a little bit of extra muscle.

Front Dumbbell Raises

For this exercise start with the dumbbells in down in front of you. Raise one hand up in front of you and then lower it back down, and repeat with the other hand. Do 3 sets of 20 on each arm to start.

Tricep Overhead Press

You can use either a dumbbell or a weighted exercise ball for this one. Start with your weight lifted above your head and your arms completely stretched upward. Then bend your arms back behind your neck. Do 3 sets of 15 to start.

Dumbbell Squat and Press

Grab 2 dumbbells for this exercise and start with them raised to your shoulders, squat down keeping the dumbbells in the same position, then when you stand up raise the dumbbells up above your head. Start with 3 sets of 20.

Standing Hammer Curl

For this grab two dumbbells. Simply curl your arms up in the motion as shown in the above picture. Do 3 sets of 30.

Dumbbell Step Up

These are very simple. As shown in the “Get Leggy with it” blog post, it is the same step ups except this time you have weights in your hands. Do 3 sets of 30.

Hopefully these will help you build up that arm muscle you have been working on. Until next time lovelies.

Workout Wednesdays: Make That Booty Work

It’s that one thing that people look at when you back is turned. Not your hairstyle, or shoulders, or outfit. But your booty! We’re all aware of it too. Ladies, when we go shopping the only reason we buy jeans or shorts is because they make our butt look good. Deny it all you want but it is the truth! Men, not really sure what your thought process is when you buy jeans. However, in a swimsuit it is a different story. While jeans give you a little lift, swimsuits do not help you whatsoever. THANKFULLY, there are exercises that workout those muscles and give you that fine booty.

Wide Squats

Wide Squats are like a regular squat except your legs are spread farther apart, and more at your sides rather than in front of you. Do 3 sets of 20.

Bridges

For bridges, start out with your back flat on the ground and your knees bent up. Lift your back and butt into the air while keeping your arms, neck, head, and feet flat on the ground. You could also keep only your heels on the ground and I tend to feel more if I do this. Do 3 sets of 25

Donkey Kicks

The name and image describe this exercise pretty well. Start down on all fours, and do a kickback motion with your leg. Do 3 sets of 25.

Side Leg Extensions

These start out in the same position as the donkey kicks, but instead of kicking in a backwards motion, raise your leg out to the side as seen in the picture. Do 3 sets of 25.

Workout Wednesday: Get Leggy With It!

The feeling in your legs the day after a leg workout is the worst and also the best feeling. It is nearly impossible to walk, however you also know that you put a good workout in the day before. Below are some of our favorite (not) leg workouts.

Wall Sits

These bring back memories of middle school volleyball. It was either 1 minute wall sits or running laps. When doing a wall sit properly your legs should be at a 90 degree angle, and you don’t want to have your hands or arms resting on your legs. Holding this position for 20 seconds is a good goal to start out with.

Lateral Lunges

The above picture illustrates lateral lunges very well. Simple bend one leg while stretching the other in an outwards position. She is holding weights, which is an optional step. Do 3 sets of 25 on each leg.

Lateral Leg Raises

Lateral leg raises are fairly simple but you can get good results from them. Lay on your side and while keeping one leg on the ground, raise the other up as illustrated in the picture above. 3 sets of 25 on each leg is a good starting place.

Step Ups

Most gyms have equipment for doing this exercise, but if you are doing it at home you could use a stepping stool as well. Step up onto your surface with one leg, and then switch and do the same with the other. Do 30 with each leg, and repeat at least 2 times, but 3 sets will show better results.

Squats

There are many different forms of squats. If you do not have actual equipment (or just aren’t strong enough to do squats with weights like us), you can do the without any equipment. Start standing straight up and bend down until your legs are at a 90 degree angle. Keep your hands out in front of you for the best results. Do 3 sets of 25.

Doing 3 sets of 25 is a good amount especially if you are just starting up. As you move along in your fitness journey you can add more reps to each set. I would suggest going up in increments of 5.

Let us know some of your favorite leg workouts below. Until next time lovelies!

ABS-olutely Stimulating

Everyone dreams about having a six pack, but reality is that most people don’t. I wish it was as easy as laughing so hard that the six pack would just form, but unfortunately it is not. Here are some ab workouts that I like to do (and that will hopefully lead to that six pack I’ve been dreaming of).

Reverse Crunches

Reverse crunches are crunches…in reverse. Rather than bringing your head up to your knees you bring your knees back towards your head. If you are a beginner, crossing your legs will make this exercise less straining. I typically do 3 sets of 25.

Russian Twists

Most of you have probably heard of these as they are a fairly common ab workout. You bend your knees and raise your feet slightly off the ground, and twist back and forth. You could also use an exercise ball to work your ab muscles even more. I typically do 3 sets of 40.

Penguins

The name of this exercise says it all. You bend your knees back and tap the sides of each feet with your hands, and it really does feel like you are waddling like a penguin would. If you put your feet so that they are touching, it works your abs better. I will do 3 sets of 100 (50 each side).

Crunches

Most people already know how to do these. The picture shows it pretty well. I do 4 sets of 25.

Side Crunches

When first introduced to these in high school, my best friend said she felt like a ‘fish out of water’ while doing these. The main goal is to get your legs and shoulder off the ground as illustrated in the above picture. I do 2 sets of 25 on each side.

Leg Raises

These are my least favorite exercise. It is pretty simple and there is not much to explain. You lay flat on your back and lift your legs slightly into the air and hold it there. I usually try to hold it for 1 minute, but I usually take a rest at 30 seconds.

Hopefully these exercises will help you get those abs of steel. What are some of your favorite ab workouts? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time lovelies!

Workout Wednesdays: Flex Those Pecs

Let’s be real here. Everyone always finds it sexy or fun to be able to do this.

Who doesn’t? However, it will not happen over night. Hard work, exercising daily, and eating right. And just like with any other goal… commitment.

Unfortunately, our chest exercise knowledge is basic and we are at a beginner level. So what we ended up doing was asking one of our friends to give us a few beginner chest exercises, to which he happily agreed. Eventually, we hope to get to heavier weights and more challenging exercises.

Wisco Girl 4 Beginner Chest Exercises

Push Ups

Keep your body in a straight line throughout the movement.

3 Sets 10 Reps 30 Second Rest

Image From Pop Sugar

Incline Dumbbell Flyes

Slowly lower the dumbbells to the sides and when you feel a stretch in your chest, bring them slowly back up. Be careful not to go too far or you may hurt yourself.

3 Sets 10 Reps 60 Second Rest

Image From Miss Athletique

Bodyweight Dips

Make sure your torso stays perpendicular to the ground. Keep this posture throughout the movement. Be sure to lower yourself as far as possible.

3 Sets 10 Reps 60 Second Rest

Image From Fitness Purity

Dumbbell Bench Press

Lower the dumbbells to where they are outside of your shoulders then push them back up.

3 Sets 10 Reps 60 Second Rest

Image From Womenly

What level are you at? Any pointers for these beginners in their muscle building journey?

Until next time lovelies!

The Beginning of Your Yoga Journey


First off, the differences between the two. Yoga is a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation. On the other hand, meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.

Even though yoga and meditation are two different things, they do go hand in hand. Both of these practices are ancient, abopted by Western culture around the 1980s and soon became extremely popular.

Yoga

Although there are many different variations of yoga, the benefits still remain the same.

Back Pain Relief

Yoga sessions once or twice a week can help with discomfort and back pain. Through various stretchs, poses, and/or exercises, your back muscles will experience greater flexiability and agility with an added bonus of increased core strength.

Assist with Arthritis Management

Slow, easy paced yoga forms help relieves tension, as well as pain in joints or muscles. A few specific forms of yoga, such as Iyengar and Bikram help withh rheumatoid arthritis.

Migraines Be Gone

For those who search for alternatives to combat headaches or migranes, yoga and meditation can help. Yoga is an excellent exercise to do to help prevent them or to help with an existing one. If able, the bridge pose is most beneficial. It helps relieve the tension in the neck and shoulders, areas that can cause a migrane.

Meditation

Meditation has become highly popular in managing stress levels. There are several different types of meditation that have become popular and they all share the same benefits as well.

Emotional Improvement

Since meditation requires deep relaxation, coming out of your thoughtful state leaves many feeling refreshed. It is encouraged to look at the postive aspects of your life and focus only on that. So after the 10 minutes, you are feeling more up-beat and positive.

Stress Management

The main reason many people practice meditation is the benefits of reduced stress levels. Regularly meditating helps reduces the stress responses that happen in the brain throughout the day. So the more you meditate, the better you handle and react to stress which is a huge bonus when it comes to high blood pressure.

Better Concentration

With helping to manage stress and improve emotions, obviously you would be able to concentrate better. BUT, meditaiton also helps increase levels of gray matter concentration in the brain. So it is an added bonus, leaving you to regulate and process emotions more effectively, help with your memory, and boost your learning ability.

Overall, meditation and yoga have many benefits. By combining meditation and yoga you can get even more of the benefits from the two. What are some of you favorite yoga poses? Let us know in the comments! Until next time lovelies!

From the Gym to Mother Nature

Now that spring has sprung in the Midwest, it’s time to start doing workouts outside rather than having to be cooped up in the gym. Here are some tips for working out safely as well as a couple of outdoor workout options.

Running Outdoors

When running at night make sure to wear reflective gear such as a yellow safety vest or even a blinking light. This is important so that when cars are driving past they can clearly see you. Do not wear black when running or walking at night. They make lights that can attach to your shoes, or even something like a headlight would work. They are hands-free and will help keep you safe.

Another good safety tip for running at all outdoors is to have a running buddy. This not only means you will not be alone, but you will also have someone to talk to and push you through your jog.

Hiking

Hiking can be a super fun workout activity when the weather is nice. If you decide to go on a hike make sure you are well prepared, especially for weather changes. Even if it is a nice sunny day, you never know when the weather may decide to change. Make sure to pack appropriate gear such as extra socks, warmer layers of clothes, and a plastic rain poncho that can easily be packed into any size bag.

Another important hiking tip is to bring plenty of water and food. You want to make sure you stay hydrated, as well as keeping up your energy level. Granola bars are a simple and small option to pack into your bag. If you are hiking a new trail that you are not familiar with, it is especially important to bring extra food and water in case the hike takes longer than you imagined it would. A compass, paper map, and walkie talkie are also good options, especially when you are not familiar with the trail.

Outdoor Events

Finding fun outdoor events in your area are always a good change of pace. Here in Wisconsin they have the Bubble Run, Color Run, Terrain Races, and Tough Mudder. Some of these events are nationwide, and other are local only. A quick search on Google can turn up the fun runs, walks, or other exercise related events in your area. You could try them out with your friends, family, or just by yourself. It will a good substitute for your normal everyday workout routine and a good change of pace!

Who Else Wants to Enjoy Their Workouts?

When people say they love working out, you always ask about their routine…and it turns out to be crazy. So crazy that if you tried it you would surely die. The first thing I ask is ‘how can you enjoy that?’. At first, they didn’t. They hated it but they stayed focused on their goal, walking away from each workout with a major sense of accomplishment. And now, it is like breathing. However, in those grueling early days, there were a few things to help them get through to the next day.


Setting the Mood

Finding the right music for your workouts is important. It helps you get into the mindset of ‘yes, I can do this’ and gives you a positive outlook. It does not have to be one specific type of genre either. Country, pop, rock, heavy metal, it all depends on your personal preferences.

I have a mixed playlist for different types of workout days. I like to listen to different music depending on the type of exercise I will be doing. For example, if I am running that day, I like to listen to songs that keep me running and that are upbeat. While if I am lifting weights, I like to listen to hard core songs that empower me to keep me going until the end of the workout. Some of my favorite workout songs are:

Running

  • Classic- MKTO
  • Finesse- Cardi B
  • Pretty Girl- Maggie Lindemann
  • FRIENDS- Marshmello and Anne-Marie
  • 90’s Country- Walker Hayes
  • Why Wait- Rascal Flatts

Weights

  • Eye of the Tiger- Survivor
  • We are the Champions- Queen
  • Radioactive- Imagine Dragons
  • Bad at Love- Halsey
  • Gunpowder and Lead- Miranda Lambert
  • Before He Cheats- Carrie Underwood

Floor Cardio

  • Better When I’m Dancing- Meghan Trainor
  • Sorry, Not Sorry- Demi Lovato
  • No Excuses- Meghan Trainor
  • Don’t You Worry Child- Swedish House Mafia
  • T-shirt- Thomas Rhett
  • T-R-O-U-B-L-E – Travis Tritt


Buddy System

A lot of times the hardest part about getting into a healthy lifestyle is finding the motivation to do so. If you are able to find someone who is willing to work out with you, you will always have someone to hold you accountable for getting in that workout or going to the gym every day. If there is someone else involved, you are less likely to just put the gym off or say “I’ll do it tomorrow”. Having a workout buddy also makes the workout itself much more enjoyable, you can have someone to talk to and also new ideas for workouts!


Know Your Limits

There will be those die-hard gym people and are normally the first thing you see when you walk into the gym. How can you not? The girl squatting an amount of weight that would break your legs or the guy full out sprinting on the treadmill for the past twenty minutes. But remember, they did not get there overnight. There are people who go in and automatically go above and beyond what their body is capable of at that point in time. It does more harm than good.

Start out easy. Yes, compared to those gym beasts, it will look so simple that a child could do it but it is essential.

Focus on Yourself. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else at the gym. Everyone, there is at different levels and has different end goals. Do what works for you, and never feel like you’re not working as hard as anyone else there. You are there working out and that’s what matters.

Water. Water. Water. It speaks for itself, stay hydrated in order to prevent muscle cramping, pains, spasms, or slowed growth. Drinking plenty of water can also clean out toxins from your body which will help with natural weight loss.

Set goals. It will help you track your progress along the way. However, setting them weekly or bi-weekly is better than day to day. You won’t see an overnight difference, other than sore muscles. So maybe for the first week(s), your goal would be to run for five minutes out of your total cardio time.

What’re your must-have songs for your workout playlists? Share them in the comments along with any other workout tips you have!

Welcome to Wisco Girl Curves!

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for visiting our blog. We were inspired to create this by our desire to start changing our lives and habits in order to become healthier and more confident with ourselves.

First off, allow us to introduce ourselves.

Hey everyone!  My name is Hana.

I am currently a full-time college student studying Digital Marketing.  I have definitely gained the Freshman 15, and am now working on losing that again and getting back to my pre-college weight.  Being in school and working a part-time job, does not give me time for much else.  I am hoping to change up my diet and substitute my junk food go-tos for healthy options instead.  I prefer at home workouts over going to the gym, so hopefully, we can discover new ways to be active together!

Hi guys! My name is Kelly.

Five years ago, I had a beautiful baby girl. However, I found that getting back to pre-pregnancy weight is harder than I thought. It does not help that most of the time I turn to unhealthy choices for food but with going to school, working, and being a mom, it is very convenient. However, I am very excited to take steps to change my lifestyle and making healthier choices. I am very much looking forward to sharing my journey with all of you!

Hello lovely people! My name is Abby.

I am currently a full-time special education teacher. I just graduated last May from UW-Madison, so this is my first “big girl” job. I used to be very athletic in high school and college, but in the last few years, the idea of working out and staying healthy has dwindled. I decided that this would be the year to change my life around. I’m excited to take this journey, and have you all along for the ride!