#093RR Exercise: Why Bother?

Lots of people don’t exercise. You might be one of them. (Don’t worry, there are a lot of you.) In this episode, we’re going to try and convince you that it’s worth your time. Already exercising? We’re going to tell you which workouts are worth your time and which workouts are like tossing your time and energy down the drain. Plus, we discover a remarkable crouton in “Best Choice”.

Links in this episode: Our "Stress" episode, Mayo Clinic on Exercise and Depression, Fitness Blender free online workout videos, Daphnie’s HIIT It! classes





#171 How to Do a Pull-Up

Pull-ups are one of those exercises that it feels like only Super Fit people can do. But there’s got to be a way for normal people to learn if they want, right? Daphnie reveals her deep dark pull-up secret and gives us her three step plan to building up to doing a pull-up of our very own. Plus, we reveal the “healthy” foods we won’t eat in “Real Talk”.

Links in this episode: Difference between pull-up and chin-up grips, Good images of the back muscles, How to use a pull-up assist machine





#162 Master the Weight Machines

Lots of us are paying for gym memberships where we show up, walk past all of the weight machines we don’t know how to use, and hang out awkwardly in a corner using hand weights. That’s fine! But if you want to up your level of gym mastery, Daphnie explains how to correctly use some of the most common machines at your gym, which ones she loves, and which are, in her words, “completely useless”. Plus: we get angry in “Rage Box”!

Links in this episode: Photos of most of the machines we mention, Ad we discuss in “Rage Box”

#159 Push-Ups

Push-ups! They are very hard, but people keep telling us to do them. Daphnie explains why they are so difficult (there’s an actual reason!) and why you should do them anyway, with lots of tips on correct form and approximately 100 variations so you don’t get bored. Plus we talk mushroom coffee in “This is Crazy, Right?”

Links in this episode: Join us on Patreon! Form videos for regular and modified push-ups, tricep push-ups, and 31 push-up variations, Four Sigmatic Mushrooms, Paper on the research into mushrooms



#155 Squats and Lunges

There are two essential exercises you can’t escape when you strength train: squats and lunges. Daphnie explains why they matter and how to do them properly, and Joanna makes her come up with approximately one billion variations because no one likes a boring workout. Plus, does Daphnie really eat cookies for breakfast? We find out in “What Your Trainer Eats”.

Links in this episode: Form videos for squats, lunges, sumo squats, side lunges, curtsy lunges. Daphnie’s favorite breakfast cookie recipe.



#145 Calves

The more times you say it, the less it sounds like a word. Calves. Callllllvvvves. Caffs? The point is, we’re talking about the muscles of your lower leg. Daphnie explains the anatomy of the calves, why they’re important, how to strengthen them, and whether or not we can really change how they look. Plus: injury prevention tips!

Links in this episode: The anatomy of the calf, Video instruction on how to do calf raises, How to foam roll your calves and how to foam roll for shin splints



#144 Listener Questions

You asked for it! This week, Joanna and Daphnie answer questions from listeners, covering everything from avocados to spinning to what to do when you can’t motivate yourself to do any exercise besides yoga. Plus, Daphnie gets posh in “What Your Trainer Eats”.

Links in this episode: Two episodes from our archives that we mention: “Is it OK to Want to Lose Weight?” and “Building a Workout”, Fitness Blender free online workout videos



#139 Chest Muscles

Like pushing doors open? Picking up groceries? Getting up from the ground? Then you LOVE your chest muscles! Daphnie explains how our pecs work, how we can strengthen them, and how to know if you may have hurt them opening a sticky window. Plus, we talk pancakes in “Best Choice”!

Links in this episode: Punky Brewster bust clip, Our episodes on Backs and Building Functional Strength, Video on foam rolling your pecs, Form videos: Push Up, Dumbbell Chest Press, Tricep Dip, Chest Fly

#136 Hamstrings

Hamstrings aren’t just sitting there waiting for dads to pull them while playing touch football at Thanksgiving. They’re one of our biggest muscle groups! Learn how they work, when we use them, why we injure them so often, and what to do to prevent it. Plus, Daphnie gives us her current favorite smoothie recipe in “What Your Trainer Eats”!

Links in this episode: More about hamstrings including some good images, Our episode on headaches with Jan Mundo, Daphnie's current favorite protein/collagen powder.
Form videos: deadlifts, bridges, hamstring curlfoam rolling your hamstrings.

#131 Quads

Quads are one of the biggest muscle groups in the body, but do you actually know what they do? Daphnie says most of us are quad-dominant, and “not in a good way”. This week, she explains the role our quads play in everyday mobility and suggests some of her favorite exercises to keep our muscles balanced. Plus we give poor Daphnie a heart attack in “This is Crazy, Right?”

Links in this episode: Graphics of the quads, Our past episodes on How to Build Functional Strength, Injuries and Prevention, and Recovering from Injuries. Form videos: leg extensionstanding quad stretch, foam rolling quads

#128 Push Yourself

Anyone who works out knows the feeling of the dreaded plateau: you feel like you’re just going through the motions, you’re bored, and you have a sneaking suspicion that your workouts aren’t actually...doing anything. This can really get in the way of making exercise a regular part of your routine, but motivating yourself to work harder is difficult (for obvious reasons). Daphnie convinces us it’s worth it and helps us figure out how to do it safely.

Links in this episode: Laurie Hernandez "I got this" routine, Making Changes with Dr. Amanda Crowell, Improve Your Form

#126 Triceps

Triceps are the muscle that make Joanna the angriest. What do they do, anyway? Why are they so hard to tone? Can’t we just ignore them and they’ll go away? Turns out the answer is no, and Daphnie explains why with tips for building strength in the most annoying of muscles. Plus, we get some cheddar bay biscuits in “Best Choice”.

Links in this episode: Support us on Patreon, Some good images of tricep anatomy. Form videos: push ups, tricep pushups, tricep dip, tricep kickbacks, tricep extension, tricep pushdown, tricep stretch

#120 Flexibility

Flexibility is really valuable in dance and gymnastics, but as you get older it can feel like it’s a consolation prize for women: “She’s not very strong, but she’s flexible.” Daphnie explains why we all should be striving to increase our flexibility regardless of gender or age (and that doesn’t mean being able to touch your toes or doing the splits. Thank goodness.)

Links in this episode: Circus Juventas in Minnesota, Daphnie's foam rolling video from Gothamista, Our episodes on Foam Rolling and Warming Up

#116 Your Butt

As a society, we are obsessed with butts. Kids like talking about them because they have to do with the bathroom. Adults are always panicking about whether their butts are too big or too small. We dance to songs about them and even get butt implants. But at the end of the day, your butt is just a muscle. Or, group of muscles? What is your butt, really? Daphnie explains why your butt is so important. Plus, we discover chickpea pasta in “What Your Trainer Eats”!

Links in this episode: Glute muscle graphicHow to foam roll your butt, Banza chickpea pasta, Banza on Amazon. Form videos for squats, lunges, deadlifts, donkey kick, bird dog, and bridges

#111 How to Build Muscle

Show us your muscles! Fitness media is really gendered: women are told to only focus on losing weight, and men are encouraged to bulk up in crazy ways. So, let’s take it down a notch and talk about how and why normal people should build muscle in a healthy, sustainable way. Plus, we spark joy with a Listener Question.

Links in this episode: Our episode on Bones and Calcium, Marie Kondo’s book on organizing, Donate your prom dresses through WGIRLS

#083 How to Build Functional Strength

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a framework for exercise that didn’t have to do with weight loss? Something that focused on making the rest of your life easier and more awesome? That thing exists and it’s called functional strength training! Daphnie gets us set up to train for functional strength at any age so that we can walk farther, jump higher, and keep going to the bathroom solo. Plus, we investigate Daphnie’s sweet tooth in “What Your Trainer Eats”.

Links in this episode: Squat form, Deadlift formPlank form

#070 Sexy Arms

If we’re being honest, lots of us are going to the gym to try and get sexy arms, but most of us don’t know what to do other than infinite bicep curls. This week, Daphnie talks us through the anatomy of our upper bodies and gives us a few suggestions for how to strengthen our arms (and the rest of our bodies) as efficiently as possible, because who has time for leg day AND arm day, am I right? Plus, we talk trash about Applebee’s “Lighter Fare” menu in “Best Choice”.

Links in this episode: Good images of upper body anatomy, Terry Crews flexing his pecs, Michael Phelps arm flap, Form Videos: Push-ups, Bent Over RowsDa Vinci man that inspired the stretch, Arm stretches, How to foam roll your upper body

#053 Improve Your Form

Many injuries can be blamed on bad form, and most physical therapy is just practicing good form so you won’t hurt yourself again. This week, we’re saving you the time and hassle by talking about how to have good form in the first place! Daphnie offers form tips and tricks for your most common strength exercises and goes on Posture Patrol for you runners out there. Plus, we make sure to chew our food 50 times in “This Is Crazy, Right?”

Links: Terry Crews pec dance, Michael Jackson lean

#046 Olympics Workouts

Do you love the Olympics as much as Joanna and Daphnie do? Is sitting on your butt watching Michael Phelps and Simone Biles inspiring you to try a new sport or amp up your workouts? In this week’s episode, Daphnie tells us how we can use the Olympics as exercise inspiration without totally going overboard and hurting ourselves. Plus, we figure out what to order at the Cheesecake Factory in “Best Choice”.

Links: List of Olympic sports, Freestyle swimming form, Kayak and Canoe in NYC, Rowing form, Dragon boat history, What the heck is Steeplechase?, Daphnie talks Tough Mudder

#039 Building a Workout

We know we’re supposed to “work out” or whatever, but what does that even mean? If we can’t afford a personal trainer, how are we supposed to avoid getting in the rut of doing the same thing over and over? This week, Daphnie lays out how to build a workout plan: what kinds of workouts, how often, and when to pump up the intensity so we don’t plateau. Plus, she ruins Joanna’s Excuse of the Week.

Links: Elliptical video, Fitness Blender free workout videos, Tabata timer