Move of the Week: Modified Inverted Row

Hi guys!

Sorry for the hiatus this morning.  I admittedly succumbed to peer pressure last night and stayed up later at the hotel bar than I intended to.  I didn’t have too much to drink, but I had a really good night with my co-workers.  It was fun getting to know the folks I hadn’t met until this trip, and there were just a lot of laughs had!

Here’s where we spent the majority of our night:

However, last night’s fun in the lounge didn’t seem as fun this morning when my wake up call came ringing at 4:00am so we could get to the airport on time for our 6:00am flight.  Woof.  I not only get cranky when I’m hungry, but I get cranky when I’m tired too.

Flights home were pretty standard.  Airport eats today included a banana, an egg white & cheddar breakfast sandwich on a skinny wheat bagel, and a nuts/dried fruit mix for the plane ride itself.  Once we finally landed after a very bumpy flight, I was happy to be home, happy to have a few hours of downtime this afternoon, and was even happier that Tim had the afternoon off so we could catch up before my class tonight.  With my crazy schedule lately we haven’t had much quality time, so when I got home we headed over to Cityside and just hung out for a bit.  I had a big Cobb salad with no bacon for lunch, but it was just okay.  I also tried to have a beer or two but really wasn’t feeling it too much today.  As you guys know, I’m not normally a weekday drinker and did let myself indulge a bit more than usual this week!

Around 6 I headed home for week five of class (the class is over the phone), and I’m now ready to eat dinner and then faceplant.

But first, this week’s Move of the Week!

Modified Inverted Row

Looooove this move!  I’m new to it, so I’ve started out with the modified version which means my feet are flat on the floor with my knees bent instead of keeping my legs straight out in front of me.  I did try to do that first and it was too hard, so now I’m determined to build up!

Plus, this gem is great for me to make sure my shoulder muscles stay balanced.  If you’re a new reader to Fitness & Feta, last fall I went through a really not so fun shoulder impingement injury that came about because I was working certain shoulder muscles more than the others.  The inverted row is a great rear shoulder and upper back strengthener.  So if you are like me and love your pushups and bench presses, it’s really important to incorporate moves like the inverted row as well so the muscles on the front side of your upper body won’t overpower the weaker ones in the back.

Here’s how you do it!

Step 1

Start by lying supine on the floor with your shoulders under a secure barbell.  Grab the bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip.  Make sure to keep your arms completely straight.  Bend your knees 90 degrees, keep your feet flat on the floor, and lift your hips to form a straight line from shoulders to knee.

Step 2

Pull your shoulder blades back, then pull with your arms to lift your chest to the bar.  Make sure to keep your core tight!

Step 3

Pause, then slowly lower back to the starting position. That’s one rep!

For a circuit strength workout that incorporates this move, click over to this post and check it out.  It’s from Tina at Best Body Fitness, so I can’t take credit for it!  I did this in a pyramid style so for Set 1 I did 15 reps, for Set 2 I did 12 reps, and for Set 3 I did 8 reps.  I must say, these were so challenging to me and I had to stop during the set of 15 and then start up again.

If you try these out, let me know how they go!

Anyone ever tried these before?  Does anyone have any other favorite rear shoulder / upper back moves you’d like to share? 

I’m off to order Naked Pizza for dinner.  I’m in DIRE need of some grocery shopping after being on the road this week, but I’m leaving that to tomorrow’s agenda.

Night, friends!

Naked Pizza: Free Pizza Giveaway!

Morning, friends!

Sorry for my weekend hiatus.  I needed a break from the internet.  I’m back though, and with some exciting stuff for your Monday morning.  Weekend update to be posted later this week.

If you’ve been following Fitness & Feta for a while, you may remember some of my previous posts about Naked Pizza (click here and here), or seen them on my Bars & Restaurants Page.  I really enjoy ordering from Naked, so I was pretty excited about the chance to work with them for some promotional opportunities!

You might be asking yourself what Naked Pizza is all about.  Well, I got to find out on Friday night by visiting Naked at their Brighton location – right down the street from me!  For all you Boston folks, they offer a Brookline location in Coolidge Corner as well.  I learned that the company actually began with the name “World’s Healthiest Pizza” when it was founded in 2006 as a means for providing affordable and healthy pizza to Hurricane Katrina survivors in New Orleans.  Since then, they’ve obviously changed their name and also opened 23 more locations throughout the United States.  The franchise has plans to open 3-4 more U.S. locations in 2012.

Naked Pizza first caught my eye back in February 2011 when it opened its Brighton chain.  Clearly I was intrigued by the signs boasting all natural ingredients and the marketing tactics geared toward consumers seeking healthier alternatives.  Healthier pizza?  Could it be?

Okay, maybe the giant green sign flashing the word naked at me had something to do with grabbing my attention too.

Anyways, chatting with Sarah at Naked Pizza on Friday during my visit was really cool.  Not only was she super nice and welcoming, but I could tell she takes pride in working for Naked.  That definitely says a lot about a company.  Sarah gave me the run down on why exactly Naked Pizza is a better food choice over some of your other typical za joints that strip the nutrition right out of their highly processed pies.

First of all, “naked” means natural.  As in, there aren’t any additives, preservatives, colorants, or chemicals in their crust, sauces, or cheese.  They also don’t add sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or hydrogenated oil to any of their products.  The restaurant claims that their pizza is  “simply an honest diversity of all-natural, whole food ingredients that taste better and ARE better for you.”


  • CRUST:  Contains 10 different grains, including oats, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, teff, spelt, tapioca, and 2 types of wheat.  It’s also made up of prebiotic agave fiber and probiotics.  They offer their regular Ancestral Blend®, the skinny Ancestral Blend® crust, as well as a gluten-free option for all you Chronie’s/Celiacs out there.
  • SAUCE:  The all natural tomato sauce is spiced and herbed, with no added sugar or citric acid.
  • CHEESE:  The real Wisconsin mozzarella cheese is 100% natural and rGBH-free.
  • MEATS:  The pork, chicken, and beef are free of any type of growth hormones or antibiotics.
  • VEGGIES:  All natural with no additives!

This was really interesting to learn because obviously I knew that pizza made with all natural ingredients is a healthier option than Domino’s, but I never knew all these details behind it!

Aside from pizza, Naked also sells breadsticks and salads, but I had never tried either before.  Tim and I have had the Sonoran and the Superbiotic pizzas,  but on Friday we left with a large “Rajin’ Cajun” skinny crust pizza (Sausage – only on half, Chicken, Garlic, Bell Pepper, and Onion) and a side of Cheesy Breadstixx (Tasty mozzarella and cheddar, chewy Ancestral Blend® pull-apart bread with prebiotics and probiotics).  I think I liked the toppings on the Superbiotic more (Artichoke, Spinach, Bell Pepper, Mushroom, Garlic, Red Onion, Cilantro), but definitely a bigger fan of the skinny crust!

While we were waiting for our pizza to be made, I got to take a little tour of the kitchen!  One thing that really stood out to me was the care going into the pizza making.  I noticed the fresh dough and how clean the toppings station was.  I don’t think all pizza places can claim the same!

Tim and I were really excited about our food and a lazy Friday night in.  Thanks, Naked Pizza!

See?  Told you I was excited. 🙂

But enough about me.

Now it’s YOUR turn to be excited for Naked Pizza’s FREE GIVEAWAY:

Naked Pizza has generously offered to give away a $20 gift card to one lucky reader of this post!  Pretty awesome, huh?

I’m offering a few different ways to enter this contest.  You can choose to do one step or all of them, but you have to leave separate comments for each entry in order for them to countAnd you have to do #1. 

  1. Go to the Naked Pizza website and decide what you think your favorite pizza would be, then leave a comment on this post telling me what your ‘za of choice is!
  2. Subscribe to my blog via the “Follow Me!” section in the right sidebar.
  3. Like the Fitness & Feta Facebook page here.
  4. Like the Naked Pizza Facebook page and/or follow Naked Pizza on Twitter.
  5. Post about the contest on your own Facebook page, Twitter, or blog and include a link to this page.

I will be announcing the winner on Wednesday morning.  Good luck!!

P.S.  Since I took my weekend hiatus from the internet, here are three days worth of Be Thankful Challenges:  I am thankful for spontaneous weekend getaways, great sales, and of course – good pizza!

Fun Ladies + German Apple Cake = Great Night!

Happy Friday!!

Last night I had some friends over my apartment.  What a fun night!


There was vino, Shipyard, and Slesh’s drink of the week – The Grape Cognac Cocktail.

And lots of yummy snacks to go alongside them!

Winner = Cristin’s spinach artichoke dip.  All natural from Stonewall Kitchen and she used all low-fat or fat-free ingredients.  Score!


For dinner we ordered from Naked Pizza.  As you guys know from one of my first posts on Naked Pizza, I love it because it’s all natural and better for you than regular pizza.  Also, one of my friends has celiac disease and we wanted to make sure she could still join in the deliciousness with some yummy gluten-free options.

Note:  Cute Halloween plates.  Thanks Bridge!


Remember in yesterday’s post when I said I baked an apple cake for dessert?

Here it is!  I got the recipe right off the Honey-Pot Hill Orchards flier I picked up when I went apple picking last weekend.

This recipe was really easy to make since pretty much all it takes is mixing everything together in a big bowl!


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups chopped apples
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


  1. Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Bake in a 13 x 9 pan at 350 degrees for 45 – 55 minutes.  Recommended check in at 40 minutes.
  3. May frost if desired or cut into squares and serve with ice cream.


Really yummy.

Thanks ladies for coming over!

Question of the Day:  What are your plans for the weekend?

Later 🙂