Exercise Spotlight – Body-Weight Wall Squat

Sick of doing just regular squats to strengthen your quadriceps and hamstrings? Or do you feel like there is a part of your squat that is weaker than another?

Then the Body Weight Wall Squat is the exercise for you!

This targets your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core while not allowing you to cheat through the squat by using your momentum (don’t lie we have all done it before).

Goal: 5-10 reps per workout (make sure you pause 5 x total per rep for 5-10 seconds each)

Too easy? Add weights, increase your reps, or increase your pause time!
Too hard? Decrease your reps, decrease the pause time, but do not decrease the amount of times that you pause during the exercise!

Stay tuned! I will continue to post more exercises and videos aimed to tone and train!

This blog and blog post are not to be used for diagnostic medical purposes or medical advice, they are for educational purposes only. Prior to starting an exercise routine make sure you consult your doctor to ensure that you are healthy enough to exercise. 

Exercise Spotlight – Hip Raise

The Hip Raise is an exercise TRIFECTA! It targets your glutes, hamstrings, abdominals, and lower-back muscles (well I guess that’s a quad-fecta but you get the idea).

Add this to your weekly/daily workout routine to increase the strength of your hamstrings and tone up those trouble spots! I call it the cellulite busting exercise, because it hits all the places where that tends to hide out. Bonus… it requires no equipment what-so-ever!

Goal: 3 sets of 15 reps (make sure to hold the “up position” for at least 3 seconds up to 5)

Too easy? Place your arms out to the side instead of by your hips. Add some weights to your hips and perform the exercise OR hold a piece of paper between your knees and do not let it drop!
Too hard? Decrease the reps and/or sets. Raise your hips as high as you can… even if they are an inch off the ground you are starting to strengthen those muscles.

Stay tuned! I will continue to post more exercises and videos aimed to tone and train!

This blog and blog post are not to be used for diagnostic medical purposes or medical advice, they are for educational purposes only. Prior to starting an exercise routine make sure you consult your doctor to ensure that you are healthy enough to exercise. 

Arginine Containing Foods

Are you training for an endurance event? 

If so try increasing your intake of Arginine to boost your exercise capacity, improve your endurance performance, and improve your body composition by increasing muscle mass.

How can it do such wonderful things you might ask?

Arginine increases Human Growth Hormone, which in turn increases blood flood and mitochondria biogenesis (creation). Mitochondria are involved in the creation of ATP, which is your muscles’ energy source. Since the body is using more energy to create more mitochondria to produce more energy… it burns more glucose (without effecting insulin) and fat, improving body composition by increasing lean muscle.

Arginine is also a precursor for Nitric Oxide (NO), which has been studied to help increase the endurance threshold by vasodilating blood vessels and allowing nutrients to flow throughout the body more freely, increasing oxygen delivery to the tissues.

But I am not saying go pick up a supplement today! No way… you can increase your intake of Arginine by the food you consume.

Top 4 Arginine Containing Animal Sources:

  1. Turkey – has the highest amount
  2. Pork Loin
  3. Chicken
  4. Dairy

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Top 6 Arginine Containing Non-Animal Sources:

  1. Pumpkin Seeds – 4th highest source
  2. Soybeans
  3. Peanuts
  4. Spirulina – blue/green algae if you didn’t know, add it to a smoothie
  5. Chickpeas
  6. Lentils

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If you can eat at least 1-2 servings per day of Arginine containing foods you will be well on your way to maximize your workout goals!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 4th year naturopathic medical student at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio or my LinkedIn. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

Naturopathic Medicine & Sports

Come hear me speak at PSU about Naturopathic Medicine and sports, two of my PASSIONS!! Event description and link to the event details below.

Naturopathic medicine focuses on treating the whole person, preventing disease, teaching our patients, and helping everyone become the healthiest versions of themselves. It is widely accepted that physical activity can decrease a variety of illnesses and conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and even depression to name a few. But what happens when you are trying to be active, but get injured or are “too sore” to go back out the next day? That’s where natural medicine can help. Learn how to utilize natural techniques to increase your tolerance to exercise, improve recovery times, and focus your exercises to maximize your health gains and improve your quality of life. Using naturopathic medicine modalities such as exercise prescription, nutritional/herbal supplementation, nutritional changes, and physical medicine techniques including massage, chiropractic manipulation, cupping, and more you too can become a natural athlete and take steps towards becoming the healthiest version of YOU!

More info about the event here!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 4th year naturopathic medical student at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio or my LinkedIn. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

Summer Home Strength Workout

I got out early from class today and decided to get a work out in, but I didn’t feel like going into the gym… I wanted to work out and lay by the pool (it is still hot here ya know). In lieu of my normal lifting schedule… this is what I did to change it up!

Upper Body:

  • 3 sets of 10 reps Push Ups
  • 3 sets of 15 reps Bicep Curls (5 lb ‘weights’ – all I had was cans from my kitchen)
  • 3 sets of 15 reps Shoulder Press (5 lb ‘weights’)
  • 3 sets of 15 reps Tricep Dips

Lower Body:

  • 3 sets of 15 reps Squats
  • 2 sets of 10 reps Lunges (right & left leg)
  • 3 sets of 15 reps Toe Raise
  • 3 sets of 15 reps Heel Raise
  • 3 sets of 15 reps Kneeling Kickback (right & left leg)
  • 25 reps of Side Leg Lifts (right & left leg)

Core:

  • 25 reps of crunches
  • 25 reps of toe touch crunches
  • 25 reps of side crunches (right & left)
  • 25 reps of reverser crunches
  • 25 reps of leg lifts
  • 25 reps of lemon squeezersa6de8b13-5157-42e5-a5b9-237710605d86

Now time to relax and take a dip in the pool to cool down!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

Summer Fitness Challenge

This is not really a challenge, but I am working on my level of fitness this summer and wanted to share what I do… The good, bad, and ugly 🙂

Weight Training:

3 sets of 15 reps for the following exercises

  • Biceps curls (10 lbs)
  • Dumbbell bench press (12.5 lbs)
  • Shoulder press (7.5 lbs)
  • Upright row (20 lbs)
  • Squats (70 lbs)
  • Leg curls (20 lbs)

The weight that I was using was about 20% off my maximum. So light weight more reps; heavy weight less reps. 

The following I did without weights (just body weight):

  • Lunges (90 reps)
  • Calf raises (45 reps)
  • Toe raises (45 reps)

Then I finished up with a core workout (25 reps of the following):

  • Crunches 
  • Side crunches (right & left)
  • Reverse crunches (2 sets)
  • Lemon squeezers
  • V-ups
  • Straight leg crunches

Today I am going to bear the heat and go on a hike out in the gorge to mix it up! Pictures will follow…

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

Workout Wednesday – Track Warm Up

As most of you already know, I am the head coach of a high school Track & Field team! Besides coaching specific events in the sport, I have also developed many off-season and pre-season training guides for athletes both in high school and beyond. Since indoor season has officially started and I am beginning to get my workouts together for the team, I wanted to share with you our typical team warm-up.

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My crazy girls and boys track team at districts 2015

This workout can be used as a warm-up to a more extensive running workout or it can be used as a quick cardio/strength work-out by itself as is or by adding on reps to the drills. It is best to do this workout outside, but you can do it inside a gym or long hallway (be careful of others and objects… I have tripped over a desk before while doing this workout indoors and it was not pretty).

Track & Field Team Warm-Up

Warm-Up:

  • Jog 2 laps around a track or infield (0.5 mile)
    • This should be at a comfortable pace approximately 50-60% of your fastest speed. If you are new to running feel free to take breaks to walk, but do not stop moving forward!

Dynamic Stretching:

  • 10 Leg Swings Forward & Backward (right & left legs)
    • Stand sideways next to a wall or fence and grab on for balance. Swing your right leg forwards and backwards 10x feeling a little stretch. Try to swing a bit higher each time. Switch legs and repeat.
  • 10 Leg Swings Side-to-side (right & left legs)
    • Stand facing a wall or fence and grab on for balance. Swing your right leg across and in front of your body and then out to the side 10x feeling a little stretch. Try to swing a bit higher each time. Switch legs and repeat.
  • 10 Arm Circles (forward & backward)
  • 10 Ankle Rolls (right & left, clockwise & counterclockwise)
    • Stand on one leg, place the toe of your other foot on the ground, and roll your ankle clockwise and counterclockwise 10x. Switch legs and repeat.

Dynamic Warm-Up:

Do each of these exercises twice about 20 meters or 60 feet for a warm-up. Increase the distance of each exercise or the reps for more of a workout. 

  • Toe Walks
    • Walk on your toes.
  • High Knee Run
    • Run with your knees reaching at least hip height. Try not to lean your chest back. Focus on being light and quick off your feet.
  • Heel Walks
    • Walk on your heels.
  • Butt Kick Run
    • Run with your knees reaching at least hip height, BUT this time tuck your feet under your body so they kick your bum. Focus again on being light and quick off your feet. 
  • Knee Pull to Chest
    • Walk forward and every few steps grab just below your knee and pull it toward your chest. Feel the stretch. These should be at a relaxed pace. 
  • Karaoke (right & left)
    • Like the grapevine you used to do in school. Side step, over, side step behind. Work on getting quicker and not moving your hips from side to side, this isn’t salsa people!
  • Walking Toe Touch
    • Walk forward and every few steps kick your leg up and ‘touch’ or attempt to your opposite hand to your foot. Feel the stretch. These should be at a relaxed pace. 
  • Cross Overs (right & left)
    • Same idea as the grapevine/karaoke, but there is NO BEHIND step. Just side step, cross over in front, side step, crossover in front, etc…
  • A Walks
  • A Skips
  • B Walks
  • B Skips


3 sets of 50 meter (150 feet) – Builders:

  • Start jogging slow & speed up gradually. You should end the 50 meters at almost your fastest speed. ***Slow down on your toes & gradually to avoid injury***

YOU DID IT!!!! Welcome to the track team!

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Make sure after every workout you take sufficient time to cool down (at least 10 minutes). Jog a little and then do some static standing/sitting stretches.

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.
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Best part of coaching is seeing my athlete’s grow up, learn, and have success! Same goes for medicine 🙂