Welcome to my blog! My name is Amanda and I am a Dubai-based personal trainer and yoga instructor with a degree in physiotherapy.
Born and raised in Denmark, I decided to move to sunny Dubai in 2016. I blog about my lifestyle in Dubai, my interests in health and fitness and share my experience going from battling anxiety and being overweight, to becoming a fitness influencer, competing in..
Are you looking for a low back pain friendly glute workout? You’ve come to the right place!
My experience with low back pain
I’ve been a bit quiet lately because I’ve been dealing with debilitating low back pain. For a while, before the pain started, the right side of my lower back has been feeling painfully tight. One morning almost 2 weeks ago, suddenly, while training legs at the gym, the pain intensified. It got worse and worse and eventually it was so bad I couldn’t walk without limping, and getting in and out of my car was excruciatingly painful. I had to take breaks throughout the day and lie down on my stomach, which made the pain decrease for a while and become somewhat tolerable.
The next day the pain had improved a lot. However, I was still on painkillers for the next week. I’m much better now, thank God. I started teaching my yoga classes again after 3 days, being careful with the movements. Something may people get wrong is that, in general, it’s best to be as active as possible when you have low back pain, as long as the activity you do doesn’t aggrevate the pain further.
Since stopping with pain killers I’ve been easing back into the gym. Slowly. Now I can do most things except lifting a heavy weight on my back, which still causes pain and nerve irritation down my right leg. This means I haven’t trained legs since the pain started.
I really wanted to feel the pump again! But I had to come up woth a low back pain friendly glute workout, so I wouldn’t agrrevate the symptoms again.
The solution came in the shape of my MissFit booty builder! (Use code “AL5” for 5% off!)
The Low Back Pain Friendly Glute Workout:
Warm up: 10 min. incline walk 5,5% & 5,5 km/h
A: Sumo smith machine squat*, 1×10 (just bar) + 3×10 (lower weight than usual, a total of 20 kg. on the bar)
B: Seated leg curl 3×12
C1: Banded glute bridge 1×10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
C2: Banded abduction 1×10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
(Descending latter, no rest between sets)
D1: Band kick back on all four 3×10
D2: Band abductions on all four 3×10
It felt good training legs again, even though I had to choose exercises that put minimal stress on my low back. This workout works for me, so if you want to train the glutes but you have to be careful with your back like I do, you can give it a try! Just please listen to your own body and stop if you feel pain.
All these reasons I had to not try and get back in shape right now. To wait a few more months or years. Reasons to wait for the right moment so I would be 100% ready and not risk failure. But I didn’t wait. I knew that there’s never a right time to be ready, and if I want something I have to just go for it now. Do my best with what I have and see how far it takes me. So I booked an appointment and set a date and a goal. Now I’m halfway there. Nowhere near where I planned to be. Am I a failure?
If you’re just looking at how far I’ve come and how far I still have to go and how realistic it is to achieve the goal at this point. Maybe.
After 5 weeks (09.11.18): 78,8 kg.
After 4 weeks (02.11.18): 79,2 kg.
My weight has crept down from 81,2 kg. to 78,8 kg. this morning. But that all happened in the first week. I’ve been pretty much stagnant since then, but you know what? Taking messy action towards something is better than no action at all. I did drop 2,4 kg. and managed to keep them off for over a month. And I will proceed and fight and work hard until I succeed. The early mornings and late evenings and long days on the roads will not make me forget the desire burning inside me. On the 20th of December I’ll proudly do my photoshoot with the physique I’ll have at that time and I’ll be proud of what I’ve achieved.
As late as today I was exhausted after training 5 clients back-to-back. I had a 4-hour break ahead before I would have to be with my last client in the evening, and every cell in my brain and body was begging to just go home and take a long nap. It took a lot of willpower to pull up to the gym and go in. I went to the bike to do my 10 minutes warm-up and told myself that after that if I was still not feeling it, I could go home.
After the warm-up, I still didn’t feel like lifting any weights. But I was doing alright on the bike so I decided to do 30 minutes, then 40, then 1 hour. Then, I went home.
If I hadn’t had this goal and this project in mind, today’s gym sesh wouldn’t have happened at all. So maybe I’m not doing “whatever it takes” but I’m listening to my body and my mind, pushing myself and doing my personal best at this particular time in my life.
And this approach might not get you a gold medal, but it’ll make you feel pretty good and allow you to focus not only on your physical appearance but also on your work, your school, your family, your mental health or whatever it is that you have in your life, that you need to pay attention to.
Don’t be afraid to take messy action towards your goals and desires. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and as long as you believe in yourself enough to never give up and turn around, you will eventually reach your final destination. So start walking.
The third week of my challenge has passed. I’m still struggling with stress and anxiety, but I was able to cut down on work and hit the gym a lot more this week, and I know that’s how I recover, so I’m feeling positive about the future and this week’s results! I do have a lot on my plate this week with projects I’m involved in such as the Dubai Fitness Challenge and an event for new Danes in Dubai, but I’m excited about being involved in both projects and I’m just arranging my workload as a personal trainer accordingly, feeling very lucky to be my own boss and able to cut back on work when I need to take care of myself for a a little while.
Anyway, that’s not what this blog is about. Let’s get to the point!
This weigh-in was done on Thursday the 25th as I’ve been staying at my boyfriend’s place this weekend, so it’s only 5 days. I did hit the gym a lot and followed my diet plan from 77 Veggie. I’ve increased my daily intake to 2000 calories and on top of that, I’ve been supplementing with extra snacks if I felt hungry. I feel like eating (the right foods) reduces my anxiety, so during stressful times, I tend to eat more to feel better. Being hungry really triggers my anxiety for some reason. To stay fit despite a relatively high food intake, the most important thing to remember is to listen to your body and not overeat, even if you feel like it. Stop when you’re full, make sure your main meals are rich in fiber, protein, and micronutrients and as well for snacks, stick to nutrient-rich foods or splurge on things you really crave. Don’t just eat out of boredom and be mindful about every bite. Sometimes a warm cup of tea (0 calories) can have the same soothing effect as a snack, so if you’re struggling with something similar to what I’m dealing with, my advice is to first try brewing a nice cup of tea before you go look in the fridge.
After 3 weeks (25.10.18): 78,6 kg.
After 2 weeks (19.10.18): 78,9 kg.
The result of this week is that I dropped 300 g., making my total weight loss 2,6 kg. in three weeks. With everything that’s been going on, I think that’s alright, even though know I will have to stick to my diet (and no extra snacks!) this week if I want to actually see some results.
As I mentioned before I’m busy with different events this week, the main thing being teaching a group fitness boot camp class on the main stage in Jumeirah Lake Towers’ Fitness Village this Friday at 4 pm as a part of my involvement in Dubai Fitness Challenge. I’ll also be going to different events all week, on top of running the blog, training my clients and doing my workouts. But I feel good thinking about it. The stress is still lurking right under the surface, but I’m confident it’s under control as long as I manage to work out daily and have enough time to rest between appointments. Luckily having had those issues for so long, I have become very aware of what aggravates and what soothes it, and that becomes a great advantage now.
Since I had more free time this week and know how important working out is for my recovery, I managed to break a sweat every day. A perfect week!
I hit a good balance of heavy strength workouts and active recovery days, so below I’ll share everything I did and who knows, maybe you’ll get inspired to give my week’s workouts a try! All workouts are between 30-60 minutes long, usually 40-45 minutes including cardio.
My 10-Week Challenge, Week 3
Day 1: Glutes
A: Treadmill 5,5 km/h
– 10 min 5,5%
– 5 x 50 sec 15% + 10 sec off
5 min 5,5%
B1: Back squat 3×8
B2: Band side walk 3×15
C: Band Good Morning 3×8
D1: Glute/ham raise 3×10
D2: Jump lunges 3×10 each leg
The past week has been a very challenging time for me. I actually considered taking a full break from all social media for a few weeks, but decided against it because I feel I owe it to everyone to share my struggles, too. Even though I’m in a better place now than I was 7 years ago, I still stumble and fall from time to time, but there’s a lesson to be learned from every bump on the road and I want to share that all of that with you guys! Nobody has it 100% together and the more transparent we can be about our struggles, the easier it is for others to understand and to ask for help if it’s necessary.
I’m not struggling because of the diet and training, but because it’s been adding to my stress as well. I’ve just been under a lot of pressure lately and had many things to deal with outside of this 10-week project. As you may know, I’ve been struggling with crippling stress and anxiety in the past. (If you’d like to know more you can read My Story: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) And for some reason, I’ve been very sensitive this week, which means it takes very little to make me anxious or sad. It’s just been tough handling everything I normally deal with, but I’ve done it and I’m going to keep doing it to the best of my ability. I’m going to be okay, and hopefully, this week will be better.
To switch off a bit, I went out for dinner with my boyfriend on Monday night, and I’ve allowed myself some freedom with my diet here and there during the week. Weight loss is mainly achieved in the kitchen and diet is SO IMPORTANT, especially when you are busy like me and don’t have a lot of time to train, so I knew this was going to set me back a bit. I know I need to stick to my exercise when I feel like this and I never skip a workout, but instead of going beast mode I train lighter, and on one occasion I did swap a weight session for a walk. All these factors mean I haven’t lost any weight this week, instead, I’ve actually gained 0,2 kg.
After 2 weeks (19.10.18): 78,9 kg.
After 1 week (12.10.18): 78,7 kg.
I don’t see any difference in the pictures and I choose to see this week results as maintaining status quo. I know the reason for my lack of progress so I’m not panicking. Instead, I’m using it as an opportunity to refocus my energy for the coming week. I know what I need to do, and it’s good to see that my overall consistency with the gym and diet is paying off. I had a really challenging week mentally but without messing up all the progress I made in the previous week.
Consistency over Intensity is one of the things I always preach to my clients, because it’s much more important to have a realistic plan and follow it week after week, compared to going too hard in the beginning, only to burn out and take a break. Maybe I should do a more comprehensive blog about this topic, what do you think?
If you’re a frequent reader of my blog, you probably already know about my 10 Week Challenge to become a fitter and heathier version of myself, despite having a cra-aaazy busy work schedule. This first week I wanted to work as hard as possible, but unfortunately, I had caught a cold AND was working 15 hour days so, at the end of the week, I chose to skip my planned glute session and just focus on resting.
That meant I only did two 40-45 minute workouts and a 30-minute recovery walk last week… Not an ideal start to the challenge, but that’s life and it’s not going to make me give up! Instead of creating a caloric deficit by working out, I had to be very strict with my diet and let my diet plan from 77 Veggie prove it’s worth!
After 1 week (12.10.18): 78,7 kg.
Compared to the picture from the first day, the difference isn’t massive, but I’m happy with my progress so far.
Day 1 (07.10.18): 81,2 kg.
After too many years of pushing too hard in the gym and not letting my body rest when it asked for it, I know first hand how important it is to listen to your body. If you’re busy with work, motherhood or whatever takes up your time, you have to prioritize your time carefully! Below is a simple list that shows how I prioritize the basic needs that make a difference when you’re trying to be healthy and get in shape. I make sure I meet the most important needs first before I worry about the next step!
My List of Priorities:
If you’re struggling with your weight and have high stress levels (as most of us busy people do), focusing on exercise and supplementation won’t solve the issue. Instead, it will make no difference or, worst case, make everything worse as you’ll stress out and fatigue your body even more.
The saying “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet” is true, but it’s also true that you can’t out-exercise or supplement your way out of a lack of sleep and rest! So get your fundamental need for sleep met first, and then direct your attention to your diet. Clean it up and make sure you nourish your body in every meal. I’m not saying sugar and precessed foods are evil, but if you’re under a lot of pressure, you should treat your brain and body like a high performing athlete would. Because that’s what you are, in your own way.
And I promise you, If you’re feeling stressed out and like you don’t have enough hours in the day, getting those two factors in check will change how you look and feel, dramatically!
Anyways, that’s how I approach challenging times. I followed my diet, did my 2 short workouts and a 30-minute walk, worked my ass off with my PT clients and went home to sleep at every chance I had. The result is -2,5 kg. on the scale after the first week.
Something I’m incredibly happy with! Especially because I had a bikini photoshoot booked on Saturday morning, that I wanted to look my best for. I think I nailed it, and I’m happy with how the pictures turned out. Fit and curvy!
The pictures are unedited and taken by photographer Jan Teller