Friday, April 12, 2013

The Lower Body Workout

It's time to "kick-butt!" Literally. Today I'm showing you a dynamic workout to rock your thighs, hamstrings, and butt! Here's the lower body workout!

lower body workout
Top: // Pants: Nike // Shoes: Nike // Kettlebell: Target

  1. Wide-stance squats: Begin in a wide squat with your feet pointing outward at a 45-degree angle. Hold a kettlebell or weight at chest level (if you like). Lower your body into a squat until your knees make a 90-degree angle.
    • Targets: quads, hamstrings, glutes
  2. Single-leg deadlift: Hold a kettlebell and balance on one leg. Slowly lower your upper body and lift your opposite leg, keeping your body and extended leg in as straight of a line as possible.
    • Targets: hamstrings
  3. Double lunges: Stand with one foot in front of the other and lower your body down so that your front knee forms a 90-degree angle. Instead of just coming up like normal, do it twice, in a down-up-down-up motion. You can also go just half-way down on your second one, making these one-and-a-half lunges.
    • Targets: quads, glutes, hamstrings
  4. Donkey kicks: With your hands and knees on the ground and your back in a straight line, extend one leg as far back and up as you can. Make sure to squeeze your butt at the top.
    • Targets: glutes
Try do do all of these for a minute (or do 20 reps of each) and repeat the set 5-times. Here's to rock-solid booties, killer legs, and getting fit!

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Playground Workout

Normally I show you workouts that can be done at home or at the gym—but not today. Today, we're thinking outside the box. This is one of those workouts for people who are tired of the norm, and who really want to get outdoors and get it done. It's also great for anyone within running distance to one of these little parks, or for a mom (or dad) who wants to get their sweat on while playing outside with the kids.

Are you ready for it? The PLAYGROUND Workout!

playground workout
Shirt: c/o Samson Wear // Capris: Champion // Shoes: Nike Air Icarus

  1. Single-leg squats: Start with one leg planted on the ground, and one leg up on a platform (or bench) behind you. Keep your chest up and lower your body until your front knee makes a 90-degree angle over your ankle, and then slowly stand back up.
    • Targets: quads, hamstrings, glutes, hips
  2. Pull-ups: While hanging, lift and lower your body, keeping your body as still as possible to avoid swinging. You may have to bend your legs at the bottom so they don't hit the ground. 
    • Targets: lats, shoulders
  3. Tricep dips: With your arms behind you on a bench or platform, keep your elbows close to your torso and lower your body until your elbow creates a 90-degree angle.
    • Targets: triceps
  4. Hanging leg raises: While hanging and keeping your upper body still, squeeze your core and lift your legs to a pike. When you bring them back down, try not to swing your body. This can also be done with bent knees for knee raises.
    • Targets: core, hips
  5. Box jumps: We're doing these onto a bench instead of a typical "box" at the gym. Begin standing and swing your arms, lower your body into a squat and jump with both feet up onto the bench. Hold that ending squat position for a moment before jumping (or stepping) back down.
    • Targets: quads, hamstrings, calves
    I did 10 reps of each exercise (though the pull-ups were really hard and I had to pause in between), and repeated the set 5 times. Then, I ran a couple loops around our neighborhood and called it a day. That's my kind of workout!
      Also, the shirt I'm wearing says "Never Give Up" on the front and is the motto of Samson Wear, a Christian & Idaho based clothing company that features inspiring and encouraging messages on each product.

      I got to sit down the other day with the owner, Rocky, and listened to his inspiring story. The guy has seen so many ups and downs. He went from living in a huge home to losing almost everything (including a divorce with his wife). At his lowest point, he had to cram himself into a 100 square foot tree house, was very overweight, and almost made a decision to end his life—and then he found God. Now, he's the owner of this innovative company, he travels all over to give his testimony, and he is one fit dude. I'll be showing clothing from his company in many upcoming fitness posts, and if you're interested in checking it out, click here!

      Think you'll give the "playground workout" a go?

      Friday, March 22, 2013

      The No-Makeup-Required Workout

      I'm not one to "make myself up" for a workout, so it's kind of surprising that every workout routine I've shown you so far has had photos of me wearing makeup. I'm a workout-first-thing-in-the-morning kind of person, so normally I roll out of bed, throw on some spandex, pack my gym bag and head out the door—no makeup needed. I mean, who's at the gym or out for a run at 6:00 am anyway?

      So today, that's what you get—a no-fuss, no-makeup-required workout routine. Do it at home or do it at the gym—but the most important thing—just do it!

      workout exercises
      Top: Under Armour // Capris: Champion // Shoes: Nike // Kettlebell: Target

      1. Plank rows: Beginning in plank position, squeeze your core and back muscles and lift the kettlebell to chest-level, keeping your arm close to your body.
        • Targets: back, core
      2. Narrow-stance squat: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping the weight of your body over your feet, slowly lower your body down into a squat. If you use weight with this exercise, rest it on the front of your shoulders.
        • Targets: quads
      3. Bicep curls: Flex your bicep and lift the kettlebell. Make sure your elbow stays close to your body and doesn't move when you lift the weight.
        • Targets: biceps
      4. Side plank with a leg raise: While holding a side plank, lift your leg up and down, squeezing your butt.
        • Targets: core, obliques, glutes, hip flexors
      Try doing 20 reps of each of these or do all the exercises for 1-minute and repeat the set 5-times. This is definitely a full-body workout, because you're working your upper body, lower body, and core!

      I hope you get a chance to fit this into your weekend workout, or give it a shot next week—and don't forget—no makeup required!

      Saturday, March 9, 2013

      Saturday Morning Workout

      IT'S SATURDAY MORNING! I know you probably want to sleep in, relax, maybe shop or watch a little basketball... and probably eat lots of chips & sweets and maybe even enjoy a margarita or two. And guess what—do all of it. But between the sleeping in and heading off to enjoy your Saturday, why not get in a quick workout and rev up that metabolism? Let's do it!

      workout exercises
      Sweatshirt: Nike // Top: Under Armour // Pants: Nike // Shoes: Nike // Kettlebell: Target

      1. TPU-KO's: This stands for T-push-up kick-out. Begin in a push-up position. Lower yourself down into a push-up, and when you come up, kick-out one leg and raise the opposite arm to make a T. Finish by going back to push-up position. 
        • Targets: chest, shoulders, core
      2. Upright rows with a squat: Standing with your feet a little wider than your shoulders and your toes slightly pointed out, lower your body to a squat position with the weight between your legs. Slowly raise the weight to chest-level, making a V with your arms. 
        • Targets: shoulders, quads, hamstrings
      3. Mountain climbers: Begin in a push-up position. In a running motion, switch your legs back and forth. I do these in 3-counts so every 3-times my right leg comes up, that counts as one.
        • Targets: core, glutes, shoulders
      4. Oblique side bends: Standing straight up, one hand on your hip and one hand holding a weight, bend to the side, activating your obliques.
        • Targets: obliques
      You can do this in the form of a 10-20-30 workout (10 TPU-KO's, 20 rows, 30 mountain climbers) or do each for a minute. Repeat the set as many times as you like.

      And remember—no excuses! If you don't have a kettlebell, use a gallon of milk! After you're all sweaty and your body is energized, it's time to enjoy your Saturday. Let's get fit! 

      Thursday, February 28, 2013

      Full-Body 10-20-30 Workout

      Top: Thrifted Victoria's Secret // Shoes: Nike Free Run // Pants: Champion

      Hey fit friends! Last week, I showed you how to do a burpee—which is one of my favorite full-body exercises. Today, we're putting it to action in a brand new 10-20-30 workout.

      30 minute workout exercises

      The FULL-BODY 10-20-30 WORKOUT:
      1. 10 burpees: Raise your arms above your head, bend over and touch the ground, jump out to a push-up position, do a push-up, jump your feet back toward your hands and then finish by jumping up toward the sky.
        • Targets: full body
      2. 20 kettlebell swings: Standing with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width and keeping your back straight, lower your body to a squat position (kettlebell hanging down). Squeeze your legs, butt and core when you stand, raising the kettlebell to a 90-degree angle with your momentum. Let the kettlebell's momentum take you back to the squat position, but make sure to always keep your back straight.
        • Targets: quads, hamstrings, glutes, core
      3. 30 bent-over rows (15 each side): Stand in a lunge position with your front leg bent at a 90-degree angle and back leg straight, keeping your back in a straight line. Lower and raise the kettlebell. 
        • Targets: back
      4. 1-minute plank: Hold your body stiff and tighten your core while you maintain this position. 
        • Targets: core
      When you finish with the plank, that's one set. Repeat the set 5-10 times, or until you're totally sweaty and feeling rock-solid! Let's get fit!

      / / If you don't like/can't do one of the exercises, sub in something else. Remember—if you don't like it because it hurts, that's when you should avoid it. BUT—If you don't like it simply because it's hard, that means it's probably good for you (i.e. burpees, or my personal nemesis—pull-ups!). ♥

      Wednesday, February 20, 2013

      How To Do a Burpee

      The Burpee. It's an exercise with a funny name, but it works the whole body and can really get your heart rate going! Since I use burpees in my workouts all the time, I thought I'd give you a little breakdown of what it is and how to do it, so that I can use this as a reference without having to break out the steps each time.

      The term "burpee" was coined in the 1930's when Dr. Royal H. Burpee developed the exercise as part of a fitness test. Since then, tons of different variations have been developed and it's become one of the most-used exercises in cross-fit and high-intensity exercise routines.

      Normally, a burpee consists of 4-steps, but today I'm going to show you the way I do it, which adds two small steps and makes not only more difficult, but helps engage more muscle groups.

      Here we go—how to do a burpee:

      how to do a burpee
      Top: Thrifted Victoria's Secret // Shoes: Nike Free Run // Pants: Champion

      1. Reach up: Reach toward the sky, extending your body. If you add the jump in Step 6, you will only do this the first time.
        • Targets: calves
      2. Bend to the ground: Bend down and place your hands on the ground.
        • Targets: hamstrings
      3. Jump out to a plank (push-up) position.
        • Targets: core
      4. Do a push-up.
        • Targets: chest, shoulders, triceps
      5. Jump feet back toward hands.
        • Targets: core
      6. Jump up: Jump up as high as you can. When your feet touch the ground, begin your next burpee (start at Step 2).
        • Targets: quads, calves
      A traditional 4-count burpee consists of Steps 1, 2, 3 and 5 (stand, bend down, jump out to a plank, jump your feet back in, stand & repeat). I add the push-up and jump to make it harder, which makes it a "burpee push-up with a jump."

      Other burpee variations that I like to do include:
      • Long-jump burpees (jump forward like a leap frog instead of up in Step 6, this one is really intense)
      • One-legged burpees
      • Dumbbell burpees (hold dumbbells in each hand while you do the exercise)
      • Pull-up burpees (jump up to a pull-up in Step 6, this one is also difficult and usually turns a couple heads at the gym, so I only do it if the gym isn't too crowded)
      • 8-count burpees (kick your feet out to a Y and bring them back together between Steps 3 and 4).

      If you're a burpee pro, try some of the other variations! More burpee styles can be found here. If you're a beginner, try the simple 4-count burpee.

      I have an awesome 10-20-30 workout that includes burpees coming soon, so keep an eye out. What's the verdict? Are you going to give burpees a shot? Let's get fit!

      Tuesday, February 5, 2013

      The At-Home Workout

      Sweatshirt: Victoria's Secret // Pants: Champion // Shoes: Nike Air Icarus

      When it comes to daily life, I find that my typical day consists of a "go-go-go" mentality. I'm always booked, I always have somewhere to be, and I never seem to have time to just take a break—and I'm not even a mom yet! When life gets a little overwhelming, it can be hard to take a minute to yourself. It can be especially hard to think that you have time to fit in a workout.

      A couple of the most-used excuses I hear are "I don't have a gym membership," or "I don't have time to go to the gym," or even "I just don't have time to workout."

      Today, I'm going to show you a workout that trumps all those excuses. 1) You can do it anywhere—at the gym, at home, in your yard, in your driveway, even in your living room. 2) You can go through this workout just a couple times and it will take less than 10-minutes. All you need to do is get your body moving and you will burn calories—even long after you stop exercising.

      So let's get to it. Here's an at-home workout that anyone can do! Directions are below.

      workout exercises

      The AT-HOME WORKOUT: do each exercise for one minute.
      1. Walk-outs: Begin with your arms above your head. Slowly, bend down and walk your hands forward, straightening your body as you go. When you reach a push-up plank position, slowly walk your hands back to your feet, stand, and reach your arms up to the sky. That's one walkout. 
        • Targets: shoulders, core, hamstrings, calves
        • Make it harder: 1) When you reach the plank position, add a push-up. 2) Do the entire exercise on your tip-toes—this will really engage your calves! 3) As you're standing at the end of the walk-out, add a jump instead of just standing. This will really get your heart rate up. 4) Do them fast! You'll be sweating in no time.
      2. Static lunges: Begin with one foot forward. Slowly, lower your body so your front knee makes a 90-degree angle. Slowly stand back up. 
        • Targets: quads, hamstrings, glutes
        • Make it harder: 1) Instead of just standing back up—jump. 2) Jump and switch legs between each lunge.
      3. Push-ups: Begin with your body in a straight line. Lower your body so that your elbows make a 90-degree angle. Push yourself back up. 
        • Targets: chest, shoulders, triceps
        • Make it harder: Between each push-up, as you push back up, try pushing your upper body (or entire body) off the ground. My trainer calls this an "airmail." If you can do it all the way, your hands and feet will be off the ground for just a moment before your next push-up.
      4. Calf-raises: With your feet shoulder-length apart, slowly lift your body up and back down, engaging your calf muscles.
        • Targets: calves
        • Make it harder: Turn your feet inward and outward to target each part of the calf. I like to do 10-straight, 10-inward and 10-outward at a time.
      5. Sit-ups or crunches: Beginning with your legs bent and your arms crossed at your shoulders, lift your upper body up so that your elbows touch (or almost touch) your knees. If you don't go all the way up, that's a crunch!
        • Targets: core
        • Make it harder: When you reach the top, add a twist to the right and left.
      Now, repeat that entire set. I usually go through it 3-5 times, but you can do more (or less) if you like! If you're feeling strapped for time, go through it once right when you wake up (no shoes required), and then do it again before bed. After this workout, I like to follow it with a little bit of walking or running cardio, but if it doesn't fit in my schedule, that's OK too.

      Also, if something doesn't work for you—for instance, if you can't do pushups—sub in a different exercise that you can do. This workout hits every body part, so whatever you take out, make sure the new exercise will target that same area!

      Think you'll give it a try? Twiggy says "no excuses!"

      Thursday, November 1, 2012

      Get FIT with the 10-20-30.

      Headband c/o: Coco and Cocoa


      I will be married in thirty days.

      To say I'm excited would be an understatement.
      That also means it's time to buckle down.

      I'm not trying to lose a bunch of weight,
      or to fit into a dress that's two sizes too small.
      That's not the case.
      In fact, my dress fits perfectly... and I love it.

      I just want to be more fit for the wedding.
      Planning and everything has been taking a toll on my gym schedule,
      and I've been spending a lot more time outside running and walking—
      if I'm able to exercise at all.

      Especially with the holidays coming up, it's time to get fit.
      Running. Walking. Lifting. Cycling. Swimming. Personal training. Calisthenics. Dancing.
      Pick your poison and just do it.
      Who's with me?

      Here's our plan.
      We're doing the 10-20-30.
      1. Pick one intense exercise (sets of stairs, burpees, pullups, box jumps, etc.). Do it 10-times.
      2. Pick one strength exercise (squat, lat pulldown, pushup, etc.). Do it 20-times.
      3. Pick one high-rep exercise (crunches, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, etc.). Do it 30-times.
      Now—repeat the ENTIRE set 10-times.

      I have about 60 of these mini-workouts hand-written on a sheet I take with me to the gym.
      They all are super-intense, but my favorite is usually a burpee (with a pushup & jump)/squat/crunch combo.
      I like to focus each big set so that I hit each muscle group: upper body, lower body, core.
      But—the beauty of this workout is that it can be done at the gym OR at home.
      No weights or equipment required!
      You know what that means? No slacking.

      December 1, here we come!