Serving up the Early Bird Combo Special: my Sunday morning with Bertina!

Garage Workout, Strength Training, Personal Fitness, Granada, Nicaragua, Weights,, plank combo

By now you might have noticed that I spend about half of the first hour of any given morning on my hands wrestling with the pure gravity of my own body weight (that is if Bertina hasn’t devised to add on an accessorizing barbell or two).

Sometimes those exercises can be pretty straightforward, but most of the time Bertina will plan something like what is pictured above: perched feet up on a retaining wall for pressure, a leg crunching into my chest, then lifted back up in the air and finally for the coup de grace, a military style push-up (a super Sunday Early Bird Combo Special, not to be confused with a greasy breakfast plate at Denny’s Diner).

Garage Workout, Strength Training, Personal Fitness, Granada, Nicaragua, Weights, warm up

Before we can get that far, there is always some full-body stretching and warming up to do. Which to tell you the truth, now that I am injured, I take this bit very seriously. Once there is a piece of you that doesn’t respond the way that it did but a day ago, or alas, now six weeks ago, you realize how completely fond you were of all your working body parts.

Garage Workout, Strength Training, Personal Fitness, Granada, Nicaragua, Weights, warm up wrists.png

Take a look at these wrist warm-ups that are essential for the kind of work that we are doing on our hands. Really focus on adding pressure throughout each finger and working the stretch around your arms and hands by switching up their positioning. Notice how Bertina has her palms face-up to get a good counter stretch to the back of the wrist.

Garage Workout, Strength Training, Personal Fitness, Granada, Nicaragua, side plank crunches

Warmed wrists are essential for some of our first exercises which will always include several plank options. Today we started with side plank crunches which really call for better balance than I have achieved so far. One side was a complete wobble for me. So much so, that I actually turned over to try my luck at my left side so that I could feel what it was like to be successful at the move. It was significantly better and gave me a sense of how to navigate my right side next. (With practice, I should come up more over my hand).

This is a great exercise on many fronts. Note the weight that one arm is bearing, the core is being engaged for balance and to bring one knee into the elbow for the crunch.  Try doing 10 reps x 2 on each side.

Garage Workout, Strength Training, Personal Fitness, Granada, Nicaragua, Weights, lunges

I am aiming for the best lower body curves of my life, so Bertina always creates a combination of squats and lunges in my routine that utilize hand weights for an extra arm workout.This combo below also included a squat in the center before fully turning in the other direction for another lunge on the other leg.

By the way, you can see that in the first photo I have no weights. Bertina always has me start each exercise with a few practice motions without weights to give me a chance get the feel and groove of the movement without the extra pressure.

Garage Workout, Strength Training, Personal Fitness, Granada, Nicaragua, Weights, frog squats

Sometimes I have to question how it is that while my whole house continues sleeping, I am up moving around in my garage doing exercises with comical names like frog squats. This is especially true later on when I notice in the video playback that Bertina is laughing at me imitating a frog in the name of fabulous curves.

But she is the best and totally pro. Check out the mat she had me slip in under my heels to get more yield out of the exercise.

Not even the frogs know to do that.

(Think of the curves they would have!)