Showing posts with label Beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beauty. Show all posts

Celebrating Valmont at Langdon Hall

Celebrating Valmont at Langdon Hall

About a year ago I started to notice some fine wines on my forehead. It didn't cause me too much alarm, I had just turned 36 and figured this is all part of the aging process. Fast forward a few months and those lines went from fine to thick and started to worry me. How could I have aged so quickly in such a sort period of time? Whatever the reasons, this lead me on a crusade to protect my skin from further damage, which is why when Valmont Cosmetics and Langdon Hall invited me to come and celebrate their recent collaboration, I jumped at the chance!

My Summer Lipsticks


I've been testing out a few lipsticks this summer and noticed that no matter the outfit or occasion I found myself going back to just three lipsticks. 

Estée Lauder Fall Preview Event

I'm currently on holidays from my full-time job and while I do have a road trip coming up next week (stay tuned for those details soon) AMH and I decided that for the first week of vacation we would stay close to home with the kids and do a few things in Toronto (like last night's Blue Jays game!) Earlier this week I headed into Toronto for the morning to attend the Estée Lauder fall preview event. I was so excited because a. I finally had time to head to an event and b. that it was with Estée Lauder, a brand I have been using since I graduated from drug store skin care and make up in my teens.

Summer Beauty Buys

summer beauty

Summer beauty tends to be more relaxed than in the other three seasons. There is a greater focus on caring for your skin and in the world of make-up, little pops of colour are all you need. I truly believe that great skin starts from within. It is always important to drink your eight glasses of water a day but did you know that you will actually need more during hot summer days? I add two more glasses on really hot days and even more if there is a cool beer or other alcoholic drink in the mix.

My skin noticeably changes with the seasons and so far this summer, my skin has been all over the place.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair and Revitalizing Supreme Review

Estee Lauder Anti-Aging

Caring for your skin is a lot like saving for retirement - it's best to start early but that's not to say that starting at any point is too late. Especially when there are skin care products like Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair and Revitalizing Supreme on the market.

Ralph Lauren Romance

Perfume review

I've never met a contest I didn't enter and last week, I finally won something! I've been following Dave Lackie editor in chief and found of BEAUTY The Guide a luxury beauty digital magazine, and frequent guest of CityLine as their beauty expert, for quite some time.

My Sephora Custom Makeover Experience


Over the weekend I stopped by my local Sephora to take part in a custom makeover and to learn about some new skin care and of course, make up! I came a little late to the world of make up, I didn't start wearing any until around the time I turned 30. And truth be told, I was actually pretty intimated by Sephora and the ladies inside. So, how did all that change?

My Favourite Face Masks

Face masks from Sephora

I feel so lucky to have a Sephora just down the street from me (my wallet does not feel the same way) and I just can't help but to run in when ever I am near by. Lately, I have become totally addicted to masks - cleansing masks, moisturizing masks, even lip masks! I wanted to share with you my favourite face masks at the moment and to let you in on a really big pro tip - You're probably using one of them wrong. 

My Winter Skincare Products

Last November I worked with Langdon Hall's Spa Director to share some winter skin care tips. I have taken much of Julie's advice and have been trying out different products to help my dry skin. Today I am happy to report that I have found quite a few winter skincare products that work for me, so I thought I would share with all of you!

Winter Skincare

Each new season is an opportunity to asses our skin care regime. With winter quickly approaching, right now we need to focus on how that will affect our skin. Open windows have been replaced with blowing hot air and that shift can cause our skin to dry, making it look less vibrant than it should. This season is unique in that almost every skin type deals with some degree of dry, itchy skin during the winter months. I myself am a near constant sufferer of dry skin and while I do love winter, I dread what it does to my skin. I started to do a little online research and then quickly remembered that I have a fabulous resource, the lovely Julie, Spa Director at Langdon Hall! I reached out to ask if she wouldn't mind taking part in a Q&A on the subject of winter skincare and she happily obliged (thanks Julie!).   

AER Blowdry Bar

Today I am getting all nostalgic for my time spent in London this spring. Could it be I'm craving a return trip? The fact that The Youngest is headed to London next week (lucky kid)? Or...could it be that I am missing the best blow dry bar that I have ever been to? Yup, that's it. The last one. AER Blowdry Bar has been on my mind for a little while and since I can't visit them in person, I thought I would relive my experience! 

Rollerball Fragrance

My summer16 scent Tory Burch // Fall scents Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black & White

I am a fragrance lover. I remember asking for my very first bottle of perfume, Cher's Bob Mackie, it was Christmas and I was 8 or 9 years old. I remember being even younger than that and smelling the bottle of Polo Ralph Lauren (the big green bottle) of cologne my mom bought for my dad. The smell of musk and leather always makes me feel like a little kid. I wear perfume even if I am just getting up to do laundry. It's a habit, part of my morning routine and for a few seconds of everyday I have a little moment of luxury all to myself. I like to change my scent with the seasons and it has been an expensive habit, until now. Enter Rollerball fragrance.

Fall Polish

While I don't get out for manicures as much as I would like, I do make an effort to paint my nails every week. I don't have a set day for changing my polish but rather I make time when the need arises (meaning last week's polish is all chipped). Last night was just such a night and while removing my summery pink, I reached for one of my all time favourite fall polishes, Essie's Bahama Mama. It's such a deep plum and absolutely perfect for fall. It works well with white, black and grey clothing (standard fall neutrals) and I love how the colour changes slightly from a vibrant plum in the sunlight to a deep, almost black shade in the dark. It's a very moody colour and perfect for those of us that are wishing fall weather would hurry up! But, dark shades are not the only fall polish colours I wear and this season is bringing us many light coloured offerings!

Langdon Hall Spa

On the Canada Day holiday I spent the most luxurious morning at the newly opened Langdon Hall Spa. I visited my IG friend Julie, the spa director at Langdon Hall, for a tour and was then treated to a much (much!) needed mani/pedi. 

Interested in a tour of the new spa space? Of course you are! Let's go! 

For those who remember the old spa space (still pretty, but small) this new space is large, bright and calm. Every detail has been meticulously chosen to enhance your sense of relaxation.

 I'm starting our tour with the room I was most excited to see - the couples massage room! AMH and I had a couples massage at our resort in Cuba and I've been itching for another one ever since. At first I thought it might be weird to have massages laying beside each other but when it comes right down to it, I would prefer he be there! I know my fellow couples travellers out there feel the same. It's a quiet moment for the two of you to relax and connect while a certified RMT does their work. There are also rooms for individual massages for those days when you want to Treat Yo' Self. 

Moving to the next series of rooms (interesting fact - all the rooms are named after types of birds) is the facial rooms (another room I need to visit in the very near future!). As you might expect, Langdon Hall uses only the best products for their clients. The spa uses Valmont products from Switzerland to illuminate, and moisturize the skin. There are also several anti-wrinkle treatments including a Valmont collagen eye mask (I need that in my life!). 

The first thing out of my mouth was "Julie, what does this thing do?". It is quite the apparatus! Julie informed me that this is the Vichy aroma rain scrub and I've never wanted to try something out so much in my life. You receive a full body exfoliation while lying under the Vichy waterfall. A lovely moisturizing cream is then gently massaged into your skin. How incredible does that sound?!? They even include a relaxing hair treatment. Now that really peaked my interest. A few salons I have visited over the years offer a quick scalp massage during washing and I swear it is the greatest feeling in the world. The spa offers a head relaxation treatment that I am seriously considering as a treat to myself after I get through the next few extremely hectic weeks. 

Next stop on our tour was the water therapy area that includes a whirpool, steam room and sauna. All spa visitors are welcome to enjoy these areas, including an exercise room, walking trails, tennis courts and croquet lawn and the vegetable and flower gardens, that I previously toured and highly recommend. 

I caught a lucky break and was able to snap a photo of the whirlpool during a quiet moment. There were a number of guests enjoying this whirlpool and I'm happy to report that I spent a solid half hour relaxing in the water while enjoying the view. The outdoor space just off the water therapy area is equipped with loungers to sunbathe (never forget the SPF friends!)

The sauna and steam rooms were fun to use for a few minutes, but they are much too hot for me. I have been known to have my hands swell in extreme heat so I only stayed in each one for a few minutes. My husband loves saunas and I just know he would get a lot of use out of this room!

Our tour was coming to an end and Julie asked if I would like to see the new event space, The Firshade Room. I jumped at the opportunity to see this space, especially since it was all set up for an event later that day. Can you picture this space with soft candle light? What a perfect place for a special reception! I turn 40 in a few years, this make the perfect place for a birthday party! 

We ventured outside to the see the Summer House. It was being set up for the Canada Day BBQ later in the day. It rained in the morning but luckily for all the party guests, the sun come out just in time to celebrate this special holiday. 

Our tour was over and it was time for my treatments. I changed into my swimsuit and used the available spa robe and slippers. The change room had lockers to store your belongings, two bathrooms, two showers and any toiletries you night need including an assortment of hair care products from the much loved hair care line, Living Proof. 

After spending some time in the water therapy area, I grabbed my robe and headed to the spa waiting room. There are many chairs and loungers in the room along with water, tea, coffee and little nibbles to enjoy while you wait for your treatment to begin. 

I made myself right at home by sitting under a blanket with a nice cup of coffee and a magazine. 

Time to see the space that I spent the majority of my time in - the manicure and pedicure room!

Now earlier I said that I was in much need of a mani/pedi and that was true for two important reasons. The first, my last mani/pedi was when I got married 13 years ago (I know, I know, for shame) and the second is while in London we managed to walk a million miles and I had blistered every part of my feet. I know, TMI, but that's real life people. I have to say, now that I know what I am missing I may just have to turn this into a regular visit. At the very least I will from now on have a pedicure at the beginning of the summer and before tropical vacations. The foot and leg message, the scented bubble bath, the nail polish application that was perfectly applied. It was so indulgent and I loved every minute of it!

The manicure seats are just beside the pedicure space. Perfect for those looking for a full treatment day! My manicure was as excellent as my pedicure and they sent me home with my nail file and two bottles of nail polish. 

I feel so lucky to live near Langdon Hall, it makes visiting so easy! And since its only a little over an hour drive from Toronto, it's an easy visit for you too! Even Drake loves to visit Langdon Hall. He had his photo taken for his new album Views during the winter and the staff are still buzzing about his visit (yet they won't spill any gossip. Good for Drake. Bad for me). If you are looking for a weekend getaway, or a day at the spa (which I highly recommend) contact the Langdon Hall team at 1-800-268-1898 and I promise they will take care of everything. 

I want to thank the Langdon Hall staff, including my very talented esthetician Lisa, for a wonderful day. And to my dear friend, the lovely spa director Julie, for taking me on a tour of your beautiful new space and hosting my visit. 

{Guest Post} Crystal Reia of Your Health -Your Choice - Finding Your Motivation After Vacation

Our favourite guest blogger, Crystal Reia from Your Health -Your Choice, has returned from her sun filled vacation in Florida, happy to have you back Crystal! Today's blog post is something I know we can all relate to, jumping back into the swing of a health lifestyle after an indulgent vacation. It's so difficult to get back to working out and eating healthy after spending a week or two relaxing and drinking pina coladas! But it has to be done, so without further ado, here is Crystal sharing her advice on Finding Your Motivation After Vacation. xx Rox-Anne

As you all know, I was away last week on vacay with my hubby! It was way overdo (like 8 years overdo!) and I definitely indulged til my hearts content (ate and drank things I do not normally) and had a lot of fun and much needed rest. We travelled to New Smyrna Beach, Florida and met up with our good friends at their condo. We did managed to get in some beautiful 10k walks on the lovely beach there too so I wasn't completely sedentary. It was amazing being able to just walk to most places instead of driving. We even did some yoga on the beach one day and did a fun plank challenge to see how long we could hold for! LOL My friend and I held 4 minutes! Woot! Woot! WTG Brian!

Now we are back home and yes I have to admit I am dragging a$$ mid-week. Monday I had talked myself into getting back to the grind and going full speed ahead. Honestly I felt good despite being tired from the travel – I went right back to my healthy eating, prepare some awesome meals and I taught 5 classes that consisted of some outdoor activity (walking, jogging, hill sprints, bench lunges, push-ups) and some indoor activity (weights, HIIT and stretch) as well as ended my day with my yoga-stretch class... all felt great until the next day! LOL Yes I CAN BARELY MOVE! Haha

I love a good sore – but it was definitely extremely intense and I’m still feeling the aftermath today. So it seems that I jumped the gun a little too quick after my break!?! Aghhhh!

I thought it was important to share with you all that when you take a break from training and come back, you should really ease back into it. Be careful not to overdo it your first week back. If you have the motivation to jump in (which is awesome – because many do not right away) be careful of the superman/superwoman syndrome – which is what I had Monday! If you lift too heavy or overdo it physically you could find yourself injured rather quickly and then have to take a step back...In my case I think it was just the intensity I went at my first day back. So even though I don’t let my age dictate the things I can do, I need to remember that even I as a trainer can overdo it at my age... it’s not like it was when I was in my twenties!!

And if you find yourself on the opposite end of the spectrum where you just can’t seem to drag yourself to the gym or your workout after your holiday... maybe you need to call a friend and go for a walk to just get active again or invite a friend to a fitness or yoga class. I find that going it alone can be hard, but if you have support around you it can help you get back on track again. I am that support for many clients – so it was nice to hear them say they were happy I was home again :)

Short and sweet post today but thought it was important to share nevertheless!

Hope you all have a fun and fit week!


Crystal Reia
Your Health-Your Choice


Yoga Videos

If you are following our favourite health and fitness guest blogger, Crystal from Your Health-Your Choice, on Instagram (@urhealthurchoice) you know she is on vacation enjoying the Florida sunshine (smart girl ran away from the snow and ice storms we keep having in Southern Ontario). So today I thought I would share a few of my favourite yoga videos.

Crystal convinced me to try a yoga class after I complained about being tense all the time. I begrudgingly decided to take one of her classes. I have always been an active person, playing sports and running, so I thought yoga was only slightly more difficult than a nap. Boy, was I wrong. Now yoga is the only way for me to feel centered and comfortable in my own skin. I love yoga so much I even take my yoga mat with me on vacation! When I am not able to take classes with Crystal (like right now because of my school work load) I turn to a few yoga videos and I thought I would share them with you all!

Mandy Ingber is probably best known as Jennifer Aniston's, and other big name celebrities, yoga instructor. The video has two options, one with Mandy walking you through the poses, and the other without any instruction. I used the instruction version until I knew the moves and now I play the DVD on mute while playing an Apple Music chill playlist. 

This Jillian Michaels yoga video is designed to make you sweat! There are days when I just want a nice stretch and then there are days I want to work hard. This DVD is perfect for those days! I can't confirm the "lose up to 5 pounds a week" comment but I think if you stuck to this video everyday and tracked your calories, you probably could! 

Are there any yoga videos that you are currently loving? 

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

My new Bobbi Brown Cosmetics
I have never been a make up girl. In fact, I didn't start wearing make up on a daily basis until my mid 20's. It's not that I didn't want to wear make up, quite the opposite. I wanted to wear make up but I found it to be intimidating. A trip to Sephora would overwhelm me and I would leave empty handed. There was so much to know (what brand do you like, what products do you need, what is your skin tone and type) and everyone there was always wearing a ton of bright make up. Not exactly the simple, natural look I was going for.

So what's a girl to do? Well this planner did research. And lots of it. And you know what I found? The Internet is an incredible place with You Tubers teaching simple make up techniques or masters teaching the art of contouring and strobing (that's the new thing). I have tried different cosmetic brands and for years I wore Dior (I still swear by Dior's DiorShow mascara). After more than five years with Dior, I was thinking of expanding my make up knowledge and wanted to learn a few more techniques. Enter Bobbi Brown.

I was looking for a new blush and highlighter so I started with Google. Lo and behold Bobbi Brown's You Tube channel popped up. Bobbi Brown is a well known make up artist and a celebrity favourite. I was familiar with her but not so much with her line of cosmetics. I spent a good hour watching her how-to videos (I'm including my two favourites below) and knew I found the make up that matched my skill and style. Simple applications with elegant results. "For Bobbi, makeup isn’t about changing how a woman looks, it’s about celebrating and enhancing her natural beauty. Bobbi believes that with the right tools, skills and products, every woman can become her own makeup artist." I just love this quote from Bobbi's You Tube channel!

I still continued my research of new make up brands to try but I inevitably found my way back to Bobbi Brown's You Tube channel. There are so many videos meant to educate you on different techniques with varying results. So feeling confident that I knew what I wanted, I headed into Sephora (don't worry, I don't feel intimidated in there anymore...until they ask me a question that I haven't researched :) and purchased...

Bobbi Brown Blush Nectar is the perfect flush colour for my cheeks

and Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Rose I love the pinky-golden look it gives my face.

I am on day five of applying these products, along with mascara and eyebrow pencil, each morning and I love them. I like wearing foundation but during the week I am usually running out the door to get to work so I skip that and just apply blush to the apple of my cheeks with a kabuki brush, brushing upwards to my temple. Then using a very cheap powder brush (I've got my eye on this upgrade) I swipe a light amount of the Shimmer Brick on top of my cheek bones. Then I mix a little and apply to the spots of my face the sun would hit - forehead, bridge of nose and chin. It adds a touch of colour and some luminosity. 

This is the first video I watched and it made me want to buy Bobbi Brown products. Such an easy to follow video!

This video convinced me to buy the Shimmer Brick. I have added a little of the Shimmer Brick to my eyelids in place of eye shadow and so far I am loving the look!

I'm so pleased that I found a cosmetics brand that understands that make up is designed to enhance your natural beauty. And I'm quite pleased that I no longer feel intimated going into a Sephora and (gasp!) I actually kind of like it in there now! I do like that they give out little freebies and the aestheticians are able to make recommendations. I will be back this summer to check out one of their recommendations, Bobbi Brown's bronzer to add a little sun kissed glow to my skin. 

Have you tried Bobbi Brown Cosmetics or watched her You Tube videos before? What do you think? Please tell me I'm not the only one that was once intimidated by make up application. How did you overcome this fear? Let me know in the comments below!

{Guest Post} Crystal Reia of Your Health -Your Choice - Move of the Month


You do not need a bunch of fancy equipment to get a great workout! Did you know that many of your regular household items can be used to aid in a good home workout? No excuses right?!?

Today I’m going to show you a few of my favourite towel exercises that you can do right in the comfort of your own home with a small hand towel or two to give yourself a great full body workout. All you need is a slippery surface, such as a hardwood floor, a couple of small old hand towels and a yoga mat. Many of my clients can tell you how intense these can feel; you will be surprised what a great workout it can be!

1. 1-Legged Squat with Straight Leg Towel Slide to the Side (Right and Left)

Standing parallel with one foot on the towel, squat and slide the foot sideways keeping leg straight. Tips: Keep weight mainly on the side that is squatting (supporting leg) and back into your heel as much as possible (you should be able to see your toes if you peek down); engage your abdominal muscles to support the lower back; ensure hips stay square to front and sliding leg is in line with your other foot; use your supporting glute, hamstring and inner thighs to pull the straight leg back up to standing position again. Try a set on the Right and then a set on the Left for 45-60 seconds each side.

2. 1-Legged Lunge with Towel Slide to the Back (Right and Left)

Same as above only slide foot back behind the hip – heel will lift naturally off the towel and ball of foot will push back.

Tips: Ensure your weight is back into heel as above and knee is directly over the ankle on the supporting side when lunging; engage abdominal muscles and squeeze your glute, hamstring to pull straight leg back to standing position; watch your posture throughout. Try a set on the Right and then a set on the Left for 45-60 seconds each side.

3. Towel Push-Ups / Chest & Tricep (Sliding Right and/or Left)

Kneeling on a folded yoga mat, place one hand on the towel and the other on the floor. This exercise can be done modified on the knees (as per video) or on the toes in full plank position.

Tips: As you slide the hand outwards, bend both elbows into a chest push up position and then pull back and squeeze chest muscles as you return to start position. Then complete a tricep push-up keeping elbows tight into ribcage; Keep abdominal muscles pulled in away from the floor and breathe naturally. Try a set on the Right and then a set on the Left. 8x each.

4. Towel Mountain Climbers

In full plank position, put the balls of your feet on two separate towels.

Tips: Maintain and isolate your body very still in the full plank as you move your legs back and forth sliding in and out; keep abdominal muscles engaged and pulling in away from the floor. Try a set for 30 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, then repeat.

5. Moving Planks (Single & Double Split Slides, Tucks, Pikes)

Like #4, these moving planks may be done from full plank on the hands (as in video) or modified plank on the elbows if too much pressure on the wrists. I have demonstrated three of my favorites here.

Tips: Same as above, isolate the body as you try the different movements; you can slide the feet separately to the side (out and in) or split both legs at once; just be careful not to arch the back or drop hips and maintain a strong straight alignment through the body; if you lose form it is best to come down and rest.

Tucks: As you pull both knees towards your tummy, be sure to contract the abdominal muscles.

Pikes: Keep both legs straight as you draw your seat up to the sky (like you are folding in half) and contract ab muscles; a great one for lower abs!

Try a set of 30 seconds of each exercise with 15 seconds rest in between sets or more depending on your fitness level.

6. Hamstring Curls (Singles and Doubles)

Lying on the floor (you can fold your yoga mat in half and place both feet on two towels on the floor.

Tips: Engage glutes and come up into a bridge for your start position; do not over arch your lower back – only go up high enough to feel your hamstrings and glutes; try sliding one leg at a time keeping your seat off the floor in bridge – if this is challenging stay with the singles and do a set of 10 on each side. If you want it more intense, try sliding both feet out at once. You may find less is more in the beginning for sliding distance outwards. As you pull the feet back in engage those glutes and hamstrings. This is one intense hamstring curl! You will be surprised at how hard the doubles are! When doing doubles try a set for 30 seconds at a time and then lower pelvis and hug knees into chest and stretch lower back out in between sets.

As you can see there is so much variety you can do with a towel – and these are just a few!

Just need a smooth surface and a yoga mat for your knees or elbows to provide some cushion when needed. Protect those joints!

Have a great week everyone and I’d love to hear from you below if you decide to try out any of the towel exercises above! P.S. I am leaving for vacay this Friday; so I will not be sharing a post next week... we are so excited to be getting out of the cold and into the sun! Talk to you all when I return and I wish you all a wonderful fit and fab week!


Crystal Reia
Your Health-Your Choice


{Guest Post} Crystal Reia of Your Health -Your Choice - Mentality & Attitude Will Make Your Workout

Putting on my coach hat today to talk to you all about mentality and attitude. We can definitely be our own worst critics at times, but are you hindering or helping yourself with these thoughts? Let’s face it, we are hard wired most times to think negatively – if 9 out of 10 people give you a compliment, and one person says something negative to you – what do you tend to focus on? I'm willing to bet you’d be focused on that one negative comment. So I challenge you to turn this idea around - what are you telling yourself before, during, after a workout? Are speaking words of positivity? Or negativity? Are you talking yourself up? Or putting down your efforts?

Our own thoughts can have such a huge impact on how we approach a workout, start our day, eating choices etc. etc. So using exercise as an example (which most people hate to do) your attitude and mentality is the very force that will drive you, motivate you, push you through and keep you going when you want to quit or stay home on the couch. Some will go with the intention of “well I will just show up – that’s half the battle”... and yes showing up is great! LOL but if you are only halfway committed in your mind – guess what? Your workout effort will be too. As I tell my clients, we do not “half-ass” anything. Pardon the pun.

So - are you all in? Not everyone has a coach to talk them through it when things get tough – so re-think the things you are telling yourself. Stay positive, get excited! Because taking the time to get pumped up can give you extra energy – My clients who come in to see me with a positive attitude always give me the most energy and effort and get the best workouts. It’s not about being perfect. If you are 110% committed in your mental awareness, your body will follow suit. Instead of saying “I can’t”... start saying “I can.” Sounds cheesy I know. But try it! Our words / language are very powerful, whether you speak them out loud or internally.

So, next time you are on your way to the gym or getting ready for your workout, why not practice a little self positivity; a little pep talk if you will. Go in and be “in the present”, leave your work day or problems outside the gym; commit to the process and know your “why”. Purpose and meaning is everything. If you are “in it” 100% in your mind – I guarantee it will make your workout wonderful and give you a grateful and positive attitude each and every time. Who know’s? Maybe you’ll even fall in love with exercise again! Well a trainer can only hope can’t she? ;)

Short and sweet today! Have a great week everyone!


Crystal Reia
Your Health-Your Choice


{Guest Post} Crystal Reia of Your Health- Your Choice - Proper Planking

Today we are welcoming Crystal Reia, owner of Your Health- Your Choice back for her weekly #WOWWednesday guest post here on Celebrating this Life. Her post, Proper Planking - The Do's and Dont's, is such an important one as almost every workout includes plank at some point and it is imperative that we are holding our plank correctly. I've worked out with Crystal for years now and when she says plank is her favourite exercise, she is not kidding. When I started working out with Crystal I could plank for roughly 15 seconds and now, I can hold for at least two full minutes. I encourage you to try Crystal's advice below and let us know in the comments how long you can hold your plank for! Rox-Anne, Celebrating this Life

Proper Planking - The Do's and Dont's

All my clients know that planking is probably my favourite exercise to do and to give them during sessions and classes– no matter what variation – stationary or moving – beginner or advanced - I still think it’s one of the most effective exercises you can do! But there is a right way to plank and a wrong way to plank... so it’s important that you understand proper technique when performing one.

1. Alignment – When I say alignment, I’m talking in both directions - up and down and front to back. When in doubt, your joints should always line up. Whether you are planking on your hands or elbows ensure that they are lined up directly underneath your shoulders (shoulder width apart); making a straight line from wrist to shoulder or elbow joint to shoulder. This is your base – ensure it is strong and solid. If you have wrist issues, always plank on the elbows. You also need to think about the alignment of your body from head to heel. Think of drawing a straight line from your head/neck, to shoulder joint, to hip joint, to ankle joint. Do not allow the lower back to sag or arch or allow your hips to droop down towards the floor. Instead draw in your abdominals muscles, keep the core tight and the spine as straight as you can.

2. Weight Placement – Weight should be evenly distributed front and back between arms and feet. Feel as though you are pressing your heels away from you and maintain the alignment as talked about above.

3. Lengthen – Feel your neck, spine and legs lengthening in opposite directions. Keep eye gaze down and slightly forward so that your neck can stay in line with your spine. Tucking the chin or lifting the head too high can cause strain for the neck and shoulders. Lengthen your chest muscles and try not to round out your shoulders (this rounded position shortens the chest muscles and can cause problems down the road - this seems to be the sneakiest faux pas I see most often with clients; so it’s one to really be aware of) Instead of putting the tension there, draw it down where it is most effective and put into your abdominal muscles. Engage your glute and quad muscles and lengthen the back of your legs (hamstrings) and do not allow knees to droop down or cave inwards. Feet may be together (I find planking with feet together harder) or about hip width apart. Feel long and lean throughout your plank.

4. Breathe – Do not hold your breath in plank. As you perform the exercise, breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth and focus on a nice fluid breath. It will help you to stay calm and focused during the exercise and get you through the tougher moments when trying to hold for longer durations.

5. Draw In – Your abdominal muscles that is. Do not allow your belly to sag to the floor. Feel as if you are pulling your belly button into your spine as you lengthen your body. Those internal muscles are called the “transverse abdominal muscles” and are your most inner core muscles which are essential in aiding in proper posture and will help you with force or lifting heavy objects in everyday life.

6. Pull the Plug – If you lose form at all, rest, rest, rest. Stop immediately. It takes time to build up strength. Planking must be done with good form, or you can end up with a sore lower back or tense neck muscles to name a few things.

7. Evaluate – Unsure if you are still performing your plank correctly? Ask for help! Ask a trainer at the gym to watch you and give correction if necessary. Once you learn you will be way more body aware and should be able to perform safely on your own if you follow the rules above!

Have a fit and fab week all! What is your favorite type of plank to perform? I’m a huge fan of moving planks. I’m the crazy girl who loves to add plyometrics (jumping) into her planks LOL. I’d love to hear from you!


Crystal Reia
Your Health-Your Choice