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Good Morning!

Sunny weather has arrived and we're nearing the end of May so that means it's finally "safe" to plant flowers! I found an hour to myself last week so I quickly took off to buy my flowers. A bit anxious to plant flowers for the first time at our new house, I completely filled up the back of my truck with plants and rushed home to get them in the ground. I was working rather quickly, and noticed my back was starting to hurt.  I was bending over from my hips and not squatting down properly.  This is a common movement mistake! So just a reminder for everyone: If you're planting flowers, or picking up the kids or the countless toys, or a suitcase, or simply picking up something you dropped, don't forget to use your legs and squat.

Squatting 101
The Squat is a basic primal movement. Ever watch a toddler pick up something from the ground? Their natural instinct is to pick things up from a squatting position.  As we grow older and taller, we tend to forget this motion and bend more from the hips putting added pressure on our backs. Try to remember to squat more often. Need a squat refresher? Here are the basics:

With feet in a wide stance, toes pointed forward, sit back. Your rear end should protrude out like you are sitting down in an invisible chair. Stay steady and strong as you squat deeper and try to keep your weight on your heels. The wider you put your feet the more it works your glutes and hamstrings (the back of your legs) and the easier it will be for you to stay stable. If your feet are a little closer, you will work your quadriceps a little more intensely (the front part of your thighs).

Make sure your knees are in line over your toes. Don’t let your knees cave in to the center, engage your inner thighs and quads.

Keep your chest lifted, shoulders down, abs tight. Make sure your spine is in proper alignment. Make sure you aren’t arching your back or scrunching your shoulders up around your neck. Pull your belly to your spine and contract your abs.

Look straight ahead or find a point of focus in line with your eyes. You don’t want to round your neck or look down at the ground.

Get deep. Depending on your hip flexibility, you may be able to squat pretty low – try for quads parallel with the floor.   If your flexibility isn’t yet to that level, that’s okay. Just remember that flexibility is something you can work on to improve. Aim for parallel which will deeply engage your thighs, hips and glutes.

Have a great week!
-Meryl
We're training this week in Sloane Park just behind Rockland Mall. 
Bootcamp Baby meets Tuesday and Thursday from 10:30-11:30am
The Heat meets Wednesday night from 6:30-7:30pm
Please let me know ASAP if you're coming.

Peach Cobbler
(Gluten free, sugar free, and still delicious)

Preheat oven to 350

3/4 cup finely ground oats (pulse in a blender)
2 packets of Stevia
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp unsalted butter cut in small cubes
1 tsp lemon zest
Using fingertips stir together until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Then add 1/2 cup almond milk and stir to form a dough. Set aside.

3 cups sliced peaches
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 packets of Stevia
Stir together and pour into an 8 in square baking dish or pie plate. Using 2 spoons, dollop small lumps of the dough on top of the peaches.
bake for 40 minutes - until crust is crisp and golden.

Enjoy!
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