A Proper Cool Down

This is going to be my last post for my #workoutwednesday series. I thought it was a good idea to close it out with a cool down routine, which is often the most overlooked aspect of exercise, although it is equally as important as the warm-up.


The Importance of a Cool Down

A cool down takes place after a workout with the goal of slowly getting the heart-rate, breathing, and body temperature back to its pre-exercise state. A proper cool down usually lasts for about 5-10 minutes, and should start off with some low-intensity exercises followed by stretches.

The benefits of cooling down include

  • Bringing the body’s physiological state back to normal
  • Reduces the risk for muscle cramps and spasms
  • Helps to offset some muscle soreness
  • Aids in muscle recovery
  • Removes waste build-up (like lactic acid) that occurs during physical activity
  • Prevents dizziness and fainting after exercise


How to Cool Down

Step 1: Light Activity

The first part of a quality cool down should start off with about 3-5 minutes of light activity. This can differ depending on the individuals workout.

Here are some examples:

  • After a run you might take a light jog for 2-3 minutes, followed by a 2-3 minute walk.
  • After a spin or bike workout you might pedal on a flat road (light resistance) for 3-4 minutes, followed by 1-2 minutes pedaling with no resistance whatsoever.
  • After a strength training workout it’s a good idea to do 3-5 minutes of dynamic stretching, like we saw in our warm-up routine, or even some yoga poses.
  • After a swimming workout one can swim a few leisurely laps around the pool.
  • Instructor-led fitness classes typically have a warm-up and cool down built into the routine.

Step 2: Stretching

The second and last part of a quality cool down will consist of stretching for another 3-5 minutes. You want to make sure you are focusing on the muscles that were being activated during the workout. In order to incorporate relaxation into my cool-down routine, I like to hold each stretch for 5 deep breaths.

Here are some examples of stretches:

Front Shoulders Stretch 


Triceps Stretch 


Standing Side Stretch


Chest Opener Stretch 


The Forward Hang 


Upper Back Stretch 


Quad Stretch 


Calf Stretch 


Forward Fold

Standing Forward Bend Yoga(1)

Glute Stretch 


Hip-Flexor Stretch  


Lower Back Stretch 


Cobra Stretch 


I truly hope that you all enjoyed this series! The aim of #workoutwednesday was to share some information related to proper exercise, promote a healthy lifestyle, give ideas of some different types of workouts, and most importantly, to inspire you to exercise and take control of your health!

Please keep checking back on this blog for more health and fitness posts, and possibly a new series =).

Enjoy your cool down and don’t forget to incorporate it after every workout. If you are short on time, modify; something is always better than nothing.

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A Dynamic Warm-Up

For this weeks #workoutwednesday I decided to talk about warming up. Your warm is just as important, maybe more so, than the actual workout itself. Therefore, it’s imperative to understand the importance of warming up for the body and which types of warm-up exercises are best.

The warm-up is meant to gently prepare the muscles for physical activity by increasing heart-rate and blood flow. It is also a means of mentally preparing for the upcoming workout. A warm-up is the best way to loosen up the muscles and prevent injury.

About a decade ago, static stretching, which requires holding a stretch for about 8 or more seconds without movement, was considered to be the best way to warm-up before sports or any type of physical activity. However, we now know that dynamic stretching, which is a combination of stretching and movement, is in fact the most effect method to engaging the muscles before physical activity.

Through a mixture of stretching and light cardiovascular activity, dynamic stretching will activate the muscles, improve range of motion, and enhance muscular performance.

Here is a quick dynamic warm-up that can be done before any type of workout. You will perform each exercise once for 30 seconds each.


Knee Highs 

Glute Kicks 

Alternating Knee Hugs 

Alternating Ankle Grabs 

Alternating Leg Kicks

Walking Squats

Lateral Lunge Stretch


Knee Highs

Start by standing straight with feet hips width apart and arms hanging down by sides. Jump from one foot to the other while at the same time lifting the opposite knee as high as possible. You should be jumping onto the balls of your feet and arms should be swinging in motion with the movement. You may move forward while you perform this exercise or remain in place.


Glute Kicks

Start by standing with the knees close together and arms by the sides. Flex your right knee behind you so that the heel of the foot touches (or comes close to) the glutes. Then lower the leg back down and do the same thing with the opposite leg. You may do this at a faster (almost jogging in place) pace, or you can do one leg at a time and do more of a stretch pace. You may also move forward while performing this exercises or remain in place.

Alternating Knee Hugs 

This exercise is similar to the high knees only it is performed slower and more like a stretch. Start by standing tall with feet under hips and arms by sides. Lift one leg to bring the knee as high up as possible while grasping it with your hands and hugging in towards the body. Lower and repeat on the opposite side. This can be performed while moving forward or while standing in place.

Alternating Ankle Grabs

This exercise is similar to the glute kicks only it is performed slower and more like a stretch. Start by standing with knees close together and hands by the sides. Flex your right knee behind you while grabbing the ankle with the right hand and squeezing it closer towards the body to close the knee joint. You should feel this stretch in the thighs. Lower the leg and perform on the opposite side.

Alternating Leg Kicks

Start by standing with the feet shoulder width apart and arms by your sides. Engage the core and kick your right leg forward with flexed feet as high as you can (hip’s height is advisable) while reaching the opposite arm forward to meet the toes. Lower the leg and bring the arm back to the starting position then perform on the opposite leg. This can be done moving forward of by standing in place.

Walking Squats

Start with feet together and hands by the side or on hips. ‘Walk’ the right foot out to the side until the feet are about hips distance apart and perform a squat. Then, using the same leg you stepped out with, push back to the starting position. Repeat with alternating legs.

Lateral Lunge Stretch

Start by standing tall with feet hips-width apart and hands on hips. Step out with your right foot and shift your weight over the right leg while holding the leg at a 90 degree angle. Push with that same leg to bring yourself back to the starting position. Repeat with alternating legs.

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The Ladder Workout

This week for #workoutwednesday we will do a ladder workout. A ladder workout is a type of workout that focuses on gradually increasing or decreasing the difficulty of the exercises. It is a great way to build up endurance and strength. Due to a few requests this workout can be done at home and requires zero equipment.

Because all of these exercises have been featured in my previous workouts there will be no description at the bottom. If you do not know how to perform any exercise, YouTube is a great tool.

To complete this workout, perform each exercise down the list back-to-back. There is a short rest incorporated into the workout but remember to go at your own pace and take a break any time you need to.

5 Push-ups

10 Burpees

15 Crunches

 20 Jumping Jacks

25 Squats

30 second rest

25 Squats

20 Jumping Jacks

15 Crunches

10 Burpees

5 Push-ups







1. http://media3.onsugar.com/files/2014/10/31/677/n/1922729/f5a12f7fbcd52af8_Basic-Push-Up.xxxlarge.jpg

2. http://www.munsterbootcamp.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/knees-pushup-munster-bootcamp.jpg

3. http://www.smartfoodandfitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Burpees.png

4. http://31.media.tumblr.com/c07f5137b8a54faa06ba920de03cd77f/tumblr_inline_mx41bxukVQ1rdu2za.png

5. http://www.dietsinreview.com/images/cache/450x300_Jumping-Jacks.jpg

6. http://www.rockwallrectech.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Air-Squats.jpg






A Morning Yoga Routine

Yoga is a full-body workout that really incorporates a great balance that is hard to find in other exercise routines. It encompasses both physical and mental strength, endurance,  flexibility, balance, and relaxation all in one. It’s quite near impossible to hit all of those elements together in any other form of workout. Since we’ve been focusing a lot on endurance and strength training I thought it would be nice to take it a little slower this week with a morning yoga routine.

This workout is meant to flow so you should move through each pose back-to-back with no rest in between. If you wish you may repeat this sequence up to 4 times. So grab bottle of water and lets hit the mat!


Tree Pose (Vrksasana) 

Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Plank Position (Phalakasana) 

Yoga Push-Up (Chaturanga)

Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Warrior I (Virabhadrasana)

Cat-Cow (Marjaiasana & Bitilasana)

Child’s Pose (Balasana)


Tree Pose (Vrksasana) 


Start in Mountain Pose with feet shoulder width apart and hands on hips. Inhale and bring the sole of your right foot to your inner calve or thigh. Exhale to reach the arms overhead. Stay here for 5 breaths, then repeat on the other leg.

Forward Fold (Uttanasana)


Begin in Mountain Pose by standing with feet shoulder width apart and hands on hips. Take a deep breath in and then exhale as you hinge at the hips to bend forward, sucking in the belly. Bring hands flat onto the ground right by the outer edges of the feet. To modify you may either use a yoga block or keep the knees bent. Stay here for 10 breaths.

Plank Position (Phalakasana) 


From forward fold, inhale and lift the chest up and look forward to straighten the spine, then exhale and step back one foot at a time until you are in a full plank position. Hands should be flat on the ground directly under the shoulders, feet hips distance apart. Squeeze the abs here and be sure to keep the body in a straight line. Hold for 5 breaths.

Yoga Push-Up (Chaturanga)


From your plank position, keep the elbows close by your side and directly over the wrist, then exhale and slowly lower the body to hover a few inches above the ground. Fully engage the body and squeeze the abs. To modify you may drop down to the knees. Hold this position for 3-5 breaths.

Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)


From Chaturanga, inhale and bring the chest forward and straighten out the elbows until they are directly under the shoulders. Switch from tucking your toes to pressing the tops of the feet on the floor and keep drawing upward through the chest. Lift the torso and legs a few inches off of the floor. To modify you may slightly rest the thighs on the floor. Hold for 3-5 breaths.

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)


From upward dog, exhale and press back into down dog by lifting the tailbone upwards towards the ceiling. Curl the toes under and re-position the body so that the feet are hips distance apart and weight should be evenly distributed between hands and feet. Draw the sit-bones back towards the wall behind you and try to press the back heels into the mat for a nice stretch along the hamstrings. The ears should be aligned with the upper arms and let the head relax but do not let it dangle. Stay here for 5 breaths.

Warrior I (Virabhadrasana)


Here is where you finally get to relax those arms! From down dog, inhale as you lift the right leg high then exhale and step it forward in between the hands. Spin the left heel inwards so the foot is flat and the toes are pointing slightly out. Exhale as you lift the arms up above the head, bringing the body into a deep lung. Relax the shoulder blades down the back and allow the bent knee to come slightly forward over the right ankle. Square the hips towards the front of the room and stay here for 5 breaths. Then, inhale and switch to the other side simply by pivoting around and bending the left leg forward to lung on the other side. Hold here for another 5 breaths.

Cat-Cow (Marjaiasana & Bitilasana)


Shake out the legs and make your way back down to the mat. Start on all fours (tabletop position) with the knees directly under the hips, wrists directly under the shoulders, toes tucked under, and the spine in a neutral position. Inhale deeply, then exhale and make your way to the cat position by tucking in the chin and arching the spine towards the ceiling. Engage your abs and think about pulling the belly button in and up. Then, inhale and begin to enter cow position by arching the back in the opposite direction, releasing the abs and fixing your gaze up towards the ceiling. Repeat the Cat Poses on your exhales and Cow Poses on your inhales for 10 breaths.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)


From tabletop position inhale deeply, then exhale and, leaving your feet where they are, pull the tailbone back and lower the torso over the thighs. Lengthen the spine by pulling the ribs and tailbone away from each other and reach the crown of the head away from your shoulders. Keep the arms extended in front of the body. Hold for 10 slow and deep breaths.


















Full Body Bootcamp

Happy #workoutwednesday everyone! Today’s workout is a Full Body Bootcamp! This workout can be done anywhere with just a small pair of dumbells. As with many HIIT workouts, we will be focusing on a mix of cardio and strength. HIIT is a great, fast and efficient way to burn a significant amount of fat. It’s great for days when you just don’t have the time to put in, as these types of workouts can be done at home and in as short as 10 minutes. To do this workout you should perform each exercise down the list one time with minimal to no rest in between. Once you have completed the list you may rest for 60 seconds then repeat for a total of 3 times. Remember, if you are a beginner you can start off with 1-2 times, but don’t be afraid of the challenge!

Because many of the same exercises are being repeated from some previous workouts I have posted I will skip out on the descriptions. I will, however, provide links to YouTube videos for the exercises that are not as well known. Please note that these are not my personal YouTube videos.

Ready. Set. GO!


30 jumping jacks

10 push-ups

30 squat jumps

10 tricep dips

30 high knees

10 DB shoulder press

30 switch lunges

10 DB back flies

30 mountain climbers

10 bicep curls

30 burpees

10 lateral raises 


SQUAT JUMPS – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4s4mEQ5VqU

TRICEP DIPS – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kALZikXxLc

HIGH KNEES – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx5rgpDAJRI

SWITCH LUNGE – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysXybHNtq2Y

DB BACK FLIES – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1U3yZne1jw

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmwgirgXLYM

BURPEES – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZQA08SlJnM

Bosu Ball Stability Workout

Today our workout is going to focus on strength, stability and balance. The only piece of equipment you will need is a Bosu Ball, as that is what we will use for each of our exercises today. Although this is a full-body workout, you will really be targeting the core in order to stabilize and balance the ball during this workout. Note that any of these exercises can be modified by performing them without the bosu ball. This workout can be done in home, at the gym, or outside at your favorite spot in nature.

As with many of the other workouts we have done, this is a circuit workout. You will perform each exercise down the list once, back-to-back, with little to no rest in between. Once you finish the entire circuit you will rest between 30-60 seconds, and will repeat the same routine again for a total of 3 times! If you are a beginner, start by doing the circuit only once and work your way up to three sets. Remember that these routines can be done and modified by anyone, regardless of fitness level. As always, I will post descriptions of each exercise below. I will also paste some links to YouTube videos showing each exercise (note that these are not my personal videos). Here we go:


30 Second Bosu Mountain Climbers 

10 Bosu Push-ups

8 Bosu Burpees

10 Bosu Balancing Squats 

15 Bosu Bridges 

1 Minute Bosu Plank Hold 



Bosu Mountain Climbers – Start in a full (straight-arm) plank with the round side of the bosu ball down on the ground and yours hands on tops of the flat side. With the shoulders staying directly over the hands, begin by bringing one knee in towards the chest, then switch legs. Continue doing this at a fast pace for 30 seconds. Use your abs to stabilize the ball.

Bosu Push-ups – Again you will begin with the round side of the ball down and your hands up on the flat part. With shoulders directly above the hands, perform a push-up just as if you were performing one on the ground. Really squeeze and tighten those abs to keep the ball steady. You may drop down to your knees if this is too challenging. Perform 10 repetitions.

Bosu Burpees – These are just like regular burpees (or should I say death!) only you will be holding the bosu ball the whole way through. Start in a standing position holding the flat side of the bosu ball overhead. Lower it to the floor by putting the round side down. Continuing to grip the flat side, jump your legs straight out behind you into a plank position, then back in and come back to a standing position bringing to bosu ball overheard once again. Complete 8 of these.

Bosu Balancing Squats – Begin with the bosu ball on the ground, round side down. Step your feet onto the flat side of the ball (you may need a wall to help you get onto the ball). Once you find your balance, begin squatting by keeping the weight in your heels and dropping down as if you were sitting in a chair. Go down as far as possible. Note that the ball will shake, this is OK and normal. Tighten your core the entire time for balance and stability. Continue on doing this 10 times.

Bosu Bridges – This time we are going to have the flat side of the ball down on the ground (yayy!)…don’t get too excited yet =). Lay down on your back with your feet on top of the bosu ball, legs bent. Use the heels of your feet to lift your hips up off the ground, squeexing the glutes at the top, then slowely and steadily lower back down. Repeat this 15 times.

Bosu Plank Hold – As if we haven’t worked our abs enough during this workout, we are going to end with a 1 minute plank hold. Perform a full plank with the round side of the ball down and your hands on the flat part and hold for 1 minute.

YouTube Videos (in order by exercise)




Lower Body Blast

Today’s workout is a Lower Body Blast! Strengthening of the legs is very important as they are among the largest muscles in the body. Strong legs can translate into increased metabolism and improved cardiovascular health. Let’s start off this #workoutwednesday with a lower body HIIT routine, and next week we will follow up with an upper body workout.

As always, be sure you are familiar with each exercise and the correct form before engaging in this workout. An explanation of some of these exercises is provided below.

The Routine:

30 Jumping Jacks

45 Second Wall Sit

30 Mountain Climbers

45 Second Squat Pulse

30 Knee Highs

45 Second Jump Split Lunges

30 Squats

45 Second Burpees

30 Calf Raises

30 Supermans

60 Second Plank


*It is a good idea to have a set of dumbbells handy as you may want to use them for squats and/or calf raises.

Wall Sit: With your back supported against a wall, feet slightly in front of you and hip distance apart, lower yourself into a squat position and hold for 45 seconds. Your feet should be in front of you enough so that the knees do not go over the toes while in the squat.


Squat Pulse: Stand with feet hips-width apart. Perform a squat and hold at the bottom with arms out in front for balance and perform small pulses up and down (without coming fully up out of the squat) for 45 seconds.


Jump Spilt Lunge: Start in a split stance with a long stride, keeping the front knee directly over the foot and not over the toe. Lower down into a lung keeping the weight in the back leg, then jump up to alternate legs. Continue alternating for 45 seconds.


Supermans: Lie down on the stomach with arms raised straight overhead and keep the gaze towards the ground. Simultaneously lift both of the arms and legs while squeezing the lower back. Hold for a few seconds then lower back down. Keep repeating this lifting and lowering motion 30 times.

1 Minute Hard, 2 Minutes Easy

Today’s workout will focus on running intervals. Interval training or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a type of training technique accompanied by very intense intervals, or big bursts of energy like sprinting or jumping, followed by moderate to lower intensity intervals, followed again by high intensity intervals then back to lower intensity intervals and so on. During the intense intervals a person will typically give 100% of their effort and go all out, and the lower intensity interval is usually refereed to as an active rest. Because these big bursts of energy and shorter recovery periods are keeping the heart rate high, this type of workout burns much more fat in less time than compared with steady-state cardio. These workouts can take as little as 10 minutes and generally don’t last beyond 40 minutes.

HIIT training is great for the body as well as for cardiovascular and metabolic health. However, is it recommended that you limit HIIT training to between 1-4 times per week in order to give your body the proper recovery time.


The Routine (1 Minute Hard, 2 Minutes Easy): Running for 1 minute at a fast pace (close to sprinting pace) then jog or power walk for 2 minutes. Repeat between 5-10 times.


Although it seems simple this workout will have you working up a sweat! These drills are a great way to build up speed and cardiovascular endurance. It is effective for anyone from sprinters to distance runners to people just looking for a quick and effective way to burn fat and build endurance! So Throw on your favorite Nashata running outfit and head on down to the track. Happy #workoutwednesday!

Exercise Ball Ab Routine

Strong abs are about more than just a six-pack. Building a foundation of strength in the core is essential for improving posture and balance. It’s also important in supporting the back to prevent injury or even to help with current back pain. Today, we are going to be working on strengthening the abdominals. Be sure to learn how to perform these exercises and learn the proper technique in order to protect the neck and get the most out of your ab workout. I’ve provided a description of each exercise below. YouTube is also a great tool to use.

This routine consists of four abdominal exercises and will all be done using an exercise ball.


*Perform each exercise back to back, then take a 30 second rest and repeat 2 more times. 

Exercise Ball Crunches (20)

Exercise Ball Oblique Crunches (10 each side)

Crunches with Feet Elevated on Exercise Ball (20)

Exercise Ball V-Pass (10)

Exercise Descriptions:

1. Lie on the exercise ball with the curvature of your back resting on the spherical part of the ball. Perform crunches with arms either by your side or crossed over the chest. Keep the motion slow and controlled, rather than bouncing on the ball. On the way down the torso should curve over the edge of the ball, keeping the head in line with the spine at all times.

2. This time, you will rest with your back straight on the ball, rather than curving over it (you still want to curvature of your back on the spherical part of the ball, just don’t fall over the edge of the ball). You will keep your hands behind your head, and on the way up for your crunch you will twist to one side, then slowly lower back down to the middle. One the next rep you will twist to the other side, and keep alternating sides each time.

3. Lie on the ground and rest the feet on top of the exercise ball. From here you will perform 20 regular crunches.

4. Lie on your back on the floor holding the exercise ball in your hands with arms straight out overhead and legs extended straight on the floor. In one motion, tighten the core and lift your legs and arms off of the ground to meet in the middle. Pass the ball by placing it in between your lower legs. Squeeze the ball with your legs and lower the legs and arms back down, then bring them both up again and pass the ball back to your hands.

This is a great way to add a little spice to your ab routine. Keep in mind that this routine is between intermediate and advanced. If it is too hard for you, all of these exercises can be down on the ground with no ball.



30:30:60 At-Home Workout

I’ve come across many women who truly want to begin working out but simply don’t know how or where to begin. It might seem as simple as ‘just hopping on a treadmill,’ but in reality when it comes to building the perfect routine, many different factors are at play. First and foremost, it comes down to personal preference. If you enjoy the treadmill, by all means use it. But for many people it’s a boring routine that in the long run doesn’t hold sustainable because the average person generally doesn’t enjoy it, but rather forces themselves to do it. So the most important part of any workout routine is figuring out what types of workouts you like. For a more in-depth discussion on this topic please read my article Do What You Love. Another thing that needs to be taken into consideration is the workout atmosphere. Do you feel more comfortable exercising in your own home? Are you a member at a gym or fitness studio? Or do you enjoy outdoor workouts?

Taking the first step into your fitness journey can seem like an impossible feat. But, with a little encouragement and the right routine, it’s as easy as slipping on your favorite color of your Amin Hijab and getting to work! In order to help make the process easier, I will provide a simple and easy workout routine each Wednesday, inshallah, in lieu of #workoutwednesday. It is my hope that you can benefit from learning how to make fitness a part of your daily routine. I will be providing different types of workouts each week, from at-home workouts with no equipment, to circuit-style workouts and plyometrics, to kickboxing and even some yoga. I would love to hear what types of workout routines you are interested in seeing so please feel free to email me at fitmuslimgirl@gmail.com with what you would like to see each Wednesday!

This week I will provide a fun and simple full body workout routine that can be done right in the comfort of your own home, and the best part is you don’t need ANY equipment! The exercises are pretty simple but if you’re not sure how to perform an exercise you should be able to find everything on YouTube ;).

The Routine:









After completing these three exercises back to back, take a 30-60 second rest then repeat 2 more times. After you’ve gone through each exercise three times total, move on the next set below.







After completing these three exercises back to back, take a 30-60 second rest then repeat 2 more times. After you’ve gone through each exercise three times total, move on the next set below.

REVERSE SNOW ANGELS (lay down on stomach with forhead on the ground. Extend arms straight out to sides with palms facing down and hands off of the ground. With elbows straight, bring arms up towards the ears then back down towards the hips. Keep your gaze towards the floor and the neck straight in line with the spine)


SUPERMANS (lay straight and face down with hands straight overhead and palms facing towards the floor. Simultaneously raise the arms, chest, and legs off of the ground, squeezing the glutes. Then, lower the arms, chest and legs back down to touch the floor and repeat lifting and lowering keeping your gaze to the floor the entire time and lining the head with the spine)


PLANK JACKS (full plank with straight arms; jump feet in and out).

*If that’s too hard you can do a plank on your elbows and alternate knees into sides (like a side crunch).

60 seconds

After completing these three exercises back to back, take a 30-60 second rest then repeat 2 more times. After you’ve gone through each exercise three times total, grab some water and towel off!