Well, this is a post I never thought I’d have to do

Oh my god, I can’t stop laughing. I had someone post on my progress pictures that I had been stealing a girl from Tumblr’s identity. He told me that these were Lucymissedtheboat’s pictures and that if I wanted to steal some, it’d be better to choose someone with less recognisable tattoos! I deleted the comment just in case someone notices that but doesn’t see this response post, but it was very humorous, especially considering…

Lucymissedtheboat and Fitterstrongerbetter

I am both Fitterstrongerbetter on here and Lucymissedtheboat on tumblr!

I appreciate the person trying to protect my identity, but seeing as it was from myself, I had to laugh and quickly draw up that sign so I could defend my innocence. It really is a small world for someone to have found my fitness blog separately from my tumblr and recognise me.

While I had the camera out, I thought I might as well introduce my dear readers to my running buddy, Atreyu.

It’s so hard to take photos of dogs with the flash on without making them have lasers for eyes, but he still looks cute as always. Some of you say you’re impressed by how fast I do my runs in, if this is the case then think how much of a bad ass my dog is for keeping up with me every step of the way despite being roughly a foot in height!

If you want to check out my tumblr, please bear in mind that it’s NSFW and has a lot nude pics (not mine!!) so discretion is advised.


10 awesome abdominal exercises

side bridge exercise1) The side bridge

Great for glutes and also shoulders, this one is done by lying on your side and propping your upper body up on the weight of your elbow closest to the floor, hand on hip with arm closest to ceiling. Have your knees bent for balance and lift your hip off the ground. For beginners, aim for between 3 and 10 seconds and slowly build up to 60 seconds as you get stronger. Remember to repeat on each side.

2) Scissor kicks

Lie flat on your back with your arms fully extended and on the floor, lift your legs with a slight bend in the knee so your heels are roughly six inches above the floor to get into the starting position. With knees still slightly bent lower one leg so the heel is about two or three inches from the ground and raise the other leg at a 45 degree angle. Repeat by switching right and left legs into upper and lower positions. Remember to breathe throughout because this one is a toughie!

3) Reverse crunch

There are many variations to the crunch and this is one of the most highly regarded out there for working your abs healthily. Start with your legs extended on the floor and arms at your sides, palms flat on the floor unless you are advanced, in which case you can do as the picture shows. Move legs up into the air with knees bent so your legs are at a right angle, thighs perpendicular to the ground and while inhaling, lift your legs towards your upper body, allowing your pelvis to roll forwards as you raise your hips off the ground. Allow knees to go as far as you can manage safely without straining or losing form, hold for a few seconds and exhale as you move your legs back to the right angle shape they were at before. This is a reverse crunch and boy, will you feel it!

superman plank

4) Superman plank

A great variation to the normal plank. Get into the normal plank position, on your elbows with your lower weight on your toes. Move your upper body up one arm at a time so your arms are fully extended, spread your fingers to help spread the surface area. While inhaling, raise your left arm and extend out in front of you with the top of your arm level with your shoulder and your right leg up in the air so it is level with your back. Breathe throughout while holding this pose for the desired time, then exhale as you lower your limbs back down into the arms extended plank. Repeat with right arm and left leg.

butt up exercise

5) Butt up!

Begin in a plank position with your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle. While arching your back outwards slightly, raise your butt up to the ceiling, squeezing your abs tight – in this exercise you will need to breathe out as you raise up and inhale as you come back down into the starting position. Remember to not let your back collapse down towards the floor as you go back to the starting position.

ugi twist

6) Ugi twists

Begin sat with your butt on the floor, bearing your full weight on it as you lean backwards with your upper body and raise your legs off the ground, this is your starting position. Bend one knee and contract your leg towards your hips, keeping the sole of your foot level to the ground. As you do this, with a ball/cushion/whatever you have that’s easy to hold, twist above the hip to touch the ground with your object, holding it with both hands (see picture). Twist your upper body back to the centre and extend your leg back out to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg and side. In regards to keeping your balance, doing this move quickly is best as opposed to slowly but make sure you do not lose your form.

hanging leg raise exercise

7) Hanging leg raise

There are plenty of variations on this exercise, but we’ll go with the one pictured here, minus the leg twist. Using a dip station or similar weight-bearing gym equipment. stand central and place your hands on the bars. If it is above your waist, you will need to push your bodyweight up in order to extend your arms, but if it’s a dip station, you won’t need to worry about exerting yourself to get your arms straightened out.  With your arms straight have your legs stretched out and straight at an angle just over 90 degrees, making your body an L shape (pictured). Inhale as you raise your legs with your knees bent, bringing your knees to touch your chest, hold for a few seconds while breathing normally and exhale as you straighten your legs back out so your body is back to the L shape. Repeat for desired reps. If you are losing form, do less reps.

lower back curl

8) Lower back curl

This one’s easy to do and great for your abs. Lying with your torso flat on the floor, arms by your sides and leg weight supported by tucking your toes under as if you were doing a plank exercise (see picture), inhale as you lift your chest up off the ground. Hold that position and don’t allow your shoulders to slouch and keep your chin parallel with the ground. Exhale and slowly return to the starting position with control.

dumbbell side bends

9) Dumbbell side bends

Good for your abs and those pesky love handles you’re dying to shift! Stand straight and tall with your desired weight dumbbells, one in each hand. Keep your abs tight and exhale as you lower one dumbbell towards your knee, allowing your torso to lean from the hips over to that same side. Make sure you keep your weight evenly distributed on both your legs and while inhaling, slowly return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

cross body crunch exercise

10) Cross body crunches

 Lie flat on your back with your knees bent at a 60 degree angle, feet flat on the floor, hands loosely behind your head. As you exhale, curl up and bring your shoulder and elbow on your left side across your body while lifting your right knee to touch your left elbow. Contract your stomach muscles as you are doing this and think about reaching with not just the elbow the shoulder too. Inhale as you slowly return to the starting position – keep it controlled and don’t collapse in a heap! Repeat with the right elbow and left knee.

Tip – when doing the alternating exercises, remember to work each side evenly!

Enjoy these exercises, do them with correct form and don’t strain yourself. Please note I spent a long time sourcing images of the movements and writing quick guides on how they are executed, so if you do use this on your blog/site, be sure to mention fitterstrongerbetter. Thanks!

Images are not my own and are credited when source is known.

It’s A-Okay if you need a rest day

Image source unknown, found via LighterPortions.com

Fitness freaks and athletes alike often beat themselves up when they don’t feel up to exercising one particular day that is not their usual rest day. It’s pretty easy to see why, I often notice on the internet things flying around with quotes such as “the only work out you regret is the one you don’t do!” which is meant to serve as inspiration, but sometimes it’s not as helpful as you’d think.

The odd thing is, it is absolutely fine to give yourself a break if you need one, so long as it is not an excuse to procrastinate. I’m having a down day, I’m worried about many things that are affecting my mood and the first rainy day in over 10 days probably isn’t helping either.

I was pretty psyched about the idea of working out this morning, but as the day’s gone on, I’ve realised that I’m just not feeling up to it. Yes, work outs improve your mood, but I’ve already had some cardio today by riding my horse for an hour. She does wonders for my wellbeing and even she couldn’t lift my bad mood for long today, as soon as I drove out of the gate and back home, the mental grey cloud returned.

I’m generally a very positive and upbeat person, I’ve even been told my attitude is “sickening” in the past because I’m so bright and optimistic. So it is unusual and takes a lot for me to have a bad day and I’m not going to beat myself up about it, nor beat myself up about not exercising. There is always tomorrow and so long as I eat what I had planned to eat today, minus the protein shake, I will be fine.

This is a post to let you know that it is okay if you need a rest day too, you will not wake up in the morning with 0% stamina or gain 20lbs overnight. So long as you recognise that it is not procrastination in your individual case and you have earned a break, it is more than healthy and you should not feel guilty about it.

If you’re working out today, kill it! If you’re not, do not feel guilty for it and get back on it tomorrow. Whatever you do, look after yourself and remember your mental health is equally, if not more, important than your physical health.

Advice needed from my readers

I’ve been working out regularly since December with minimal breaks and though I’m fitter, stronger and better (see what I did there?!) I’m struggling with visible results.

After thinking long and hard about my diet and exercise regime, I can conclude that this is down to the fact that I’m eating too much. I eat ridiculously healthy, I don’t think anyone could eat healthier if they tried, but I do eat four meals a day.

Since I was a kid, I’ve always eaten before bed every single night. 90% of the time, it’s a bowl of low sugar, whole wheat cereal and 10% a piece of brown toast with natural PB on it if I’m out of milk. However, I have a feeling this seemingly harmless little bowl of cereal is hindering my progress.

It’s always a touchy subject for me to talk about with anyone, because people automatically assume I think I’m overweight. This is as far from the truth as you could possibly get, trust me. My eating habits and mentality towards food is very healthy, but I know, just as anyone who’s into fitness knows, that if you still have a little weight on you, muscle definition will not happen. So by eating supper (the cereal, just in case people think I mean dinner!), I can’t help but feel this is my downfall with my progress.

“Just cut out the supper then!” I hear you cry, but here’s the kicker – I get so hungry come bed time – if I don’t eat, I literally cannot sleep. I will drift in and out of the stage before actual sleep where you have peculiar thoughts and you aren’t feeling quite compos mentis but my sleep will go no further, as if my body prevents me until I eat. If I eat, I then fall asleep easily.

So what’s a girl to do? I eat a big breakfast, a medium sized lunch and a big tea (dinner for my American readers) and yet I’m still really hungry come bedtime because of this habit that I’ve cemented. Does anyone have any recommendations? I mentioned it to a doctor, they then asked me eating disorder type questions *big facepalm* and told me that eating that bowl of cereal won’t harm me so long as it’s low in sugar. I eat the natural appetite suppressants I’ve read about online (healthy fats, apples etc.) and nothing helps. Any advice?

5 Pre-Run Poses for Better Running

90 day difference

yoga - run

Whether you’re donning your first pair of trail kicks or training for your fifth marathon, adding a little yoga to your routine is a great way to amp up your run. Seattle University Village store ambassador, Erin Jasmine Taylor, shows us a five-minute, pre-run Jasyoga sequence that will help warm you up, align your stride and prevent injuries.

five pre-run poses to warm up your engine

For maximum benefit, complete the entire sequence in order and hold each pose for 5–10 deep breaths, engaging the muscles you need and relaxing the ones you don’t.

interlace and fold

opens chest and shoulders, stretches hamstrings

• start by standing hip-width apart. On your inhale, bring your arms overhead.
• exhale as you reach your arms out and back, interlacing your fingers behind you—use a strap or towel between your hands if it’s a struggle. Take a few breaths…

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First run in 3 weeks

Today, as my imaginative title suggests, was my first run in about 3 weeks. While I was feeling really ill, I went on the same run and it was awful, I felt so unfit and tired. Hoping I didn’t feel the same way today, I set off at a more leisurely pace than I had been running at before and completed the 2.3km loop in 20:03 minutes which is pretty good going.

It felt like an assault course with styles to go over, a five bar gate to climb and about 10 furrows in the ploughed field to leap over and I had so much fun, I was really glad that I could manage running again.

Warm up and cool down included, the full time came to 25:59 to walk to/from my house and whatnot.

I was a little concerned with the 5km run in a month’s time that I wouldn’t be able to run it, now I’m sure I can so long as I go out running twice a week. As Borat would say, great success!