Workout of the Day: Circuit

Circuit:
Modified Pull-ups x 10
Push-ups x 20
Abdominal Crunches x 30
Squats x 40
Mountain Climbers x 50
(perform each exercise back to back with minimal rest, then rest for 90 sec and repeat 2-3 times)

This is a great full-body, circuit-style workout.  Get the heart-rate up and boost the metabolism with this workout that’s sure to leave you soaked and spent.  Enjoy!

J

Featured Exercise- Mountain Climbers

Featured Exercise: Mountain Climbers

Primary Muscles:  Abdominals, Hip Flexors, Cardiovascular System

Secondary Muscles:  Shoulders

The Mountain Climber is a great, multipurpose exercise.  In addition to stressing the abdominal muscles, it is an effective exercise for getting the heart rate elevated.  The abdominal muscles engage to drive the knees towards the chest, with the hip flexors assisting in the movement as well.  The shoulders act to stabilize the upper body during the active movement of the lower body.  Due to the vigorous nature of the exercise, the heart rate is also elevated, making it a great for anaerobic conditioning exercise as well.  Kick-start that body fat loss with this one!  Here’s how it goes:

Starting in a prone position on hands and feet with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, right foot back with leg extended and left knee drawn up to the chest, switch feet in the air, driving the right knee forward and driving the left foot back until you have completely switched foot positions. Repeat this movement at an elevated pace, engaging the abdominal muscles as you drive each knee towards the chest. Keep a regular breathing pattern as you perform the movement.  Perform the exercise for time or repetition number.  Start with 30 seconds without stopping or 50 total repetitions and work up from there.  Make sure that there is no discomfort in the shoulders or lower back.

This is how you create a strong, stable core and burn body fat at the same time.  Enjoy!

J

Featured Exercise: Side Plank

Featured Exercise: Side Plank

Primary Muscles: Obliques, Hip Abductors
Secondary Muscles: Low Back, Latissimus Dorsi, Shoulders

OK.  So you think you have mastered the regular plank.  Well, here’s a new challenge.  The Side Plank is another great body-weight core stabilization exercise to add to your routine.  No equipment needed and it can be performed anywhere.  Like the regular Plank that I featured before, this exercises utilizes just gravity to provide resistance.  As opposed to the deep transverse abdominis and outer rectus abdominis muscles stressed in the regular plank, this particular version targets the obliques (the muscles on the side of the abdomen responsible for side bending and torso rotation), muscles essential to a healthy and stable core.  But due to the total body nature of the exercise, it also enhances muscle strength around the shoulders and hips.  Here’s how it goes:

Lie on your side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder and your legs fully extended and stacked on top of one another.  Draw in your abdomen and lift your torso and hips off of the floor, keeping the back in a straight position.  The only two points that should be in contact with the ground are the bottom elbow and bottom foot.  Keep the neck in line with the rest of the body.  Hold the position for as long as you can, and keep your breathing regular as you hold.  Switch sides and repeat the exercise.  If this version is too difficult, you can switch to the bent-knee version.  The only difference is that instead of extending the legs, bend the knees at a 90-degree angle.  This means that when you lift the torso, the only points of contact are the bottom elbow and the bottom knee.

I hope this exercise adds a little variety to your routine!  Enjoy!

J

Workout: Basic Strength Training

Workout of the Day: Basic Strength Training

So you’ve decided to replace one of those cardio workouts with a strength training workout.  Don’t know where to start?  Try this one out.

Circuit 1
Push-ups x 15
Reverse Lunges x 15 each side
Ab Crunch x 25
(Repeat)

 Circuit 2
Chair Dips x 15
Chair Squats x 15
Prone Cobra x 10
(Repeat)

 Do all three exercises in the circuit back to back, then rest for 60 seconds, and repeat the circuit one more time.  All of the highlighted exercises have been “Featured Exercises” in the past, and have links to instructions.  For instructions on any of the others, just leave a comment and I will be sure to explain.  Push-ups can be on your feet or kneeling, whichever you need.  You can feel free to add weight to the Reverse Lunges and Chair Squats with dumbbells, a medicine ball, or anything that adds weight like water jugs or small children (I have used this one myself).  For a greater challenge, increase the repetitions on some of the exercises, or do 3 sets instead of 2.  Be safe, and always stay within your level of fitness!

J

Workout: Cardio & Abs

Workout of the Day: Cardio & Abs

OK.  How about getting back to the basics:

400 meters (1 lap around a track) RPE 8 (Walking, running, skipping, whatever)
Abdominal Crunches x 25
Mountain Climbers x 50

X 4 (Repeat 3 times)

Cardio and abs mixed together.  A high-intensity workout that should take you less than 15 minutes, but leave you feeling like you did twice that or more.  Click RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) link to see exactly how hard you should be working on the cardio.  Easy to do outside at your local track, or even at your home.  Just head around the block instead of around the track.  Any questions on how to do the exercises, leave me a comment and I’ll get the info to you.  Get outside and get sweating!

J