Tag Archives | Core

Anywhere Bodyweight Basics

One of the things that I adore about bodyweight workouts? The fact that you can do them virtually ANYWHERE.

On a yoga mat next to your TV. On the carpet of your hotel room. You can even do them by the pool while you’re away enjoying yourself on a fabulous vacation…

They’re versatile, require no equipment, and are a great way to blast some calories and tighten up your core & booty when you only have a few minutes to spare.

You know what that really means? No excuses!

So, without further ado, here are a few of my favorite anywhere bodyweight moves that all fitness lovers should master:

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Low Planks:

  • Benefits – Engages core & glutes
  • Good For – These forearm planks are a life saver if you have wrist issues and can’t quite make high plank work for you
  • Variations – Try low side planks, tapping your toes, or body sawing forwards and backwards a few inches

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Lunges:

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Modified Push-Ups:

  • Benefits – Arm, shoulder & core will all be engaged
  • Good For – Lean, defined arms
  • Variations – This is the modified version of a standard push-up. Your form should be your number one concern, so focus on keeping your core engaged and maintaining a plank-like form while pushing up and down.

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High Plank:

  • Benefits – Strength and balance
  • Good For – Overall conditioning
  • Variations – Try slowly raising each hand and leg while maintaining your balance (called an around-the-world), add in some side planks on each side, or even give yourself a burst of cardio with plank jacks.

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Squats:

  • Benefits – Working your lower body, particularly your quads, hamstrings, and calves
  • Good For – Everything! Squats are one of the best moves you can do – They work your legs, but they also engage your shoulders, back, and abs.
  • Variations – Narrow, plie, sumo, add a kick… They are tons of variations, but be sure to keep your knees from extending in front of your toes when you squat down

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Push-Ups:

  • Benefits – Working your arms and abs
  • Good For – Giving yourself a burst of explosive movement and engaging a number of muscle groups simultaneously
  • Variations – There’s a narrow stance, with your arms kept by your sides {called a yoga push-up), or wide arms with elbows pointed out. Want some cardio? 10 push-ups, 50 mountain climbers – Repeat that sequence as many times as you can without losing your great form!

Do YOU have a favorite core move?

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Gym Goddess – Part III

Welcome to week III of the How to Become a Gym Goddess series (if you need to catch up, here are Week 1 and Week 2).

Source

Note: Check with a doctor before beginning a few fitness routine to avoid injuries.

 

Day 1:

15 minutes of intervals on the elliptical (30 seconds as fast as you can, 1 minute 30 seconds at a fast but manageable pace, repeat for 15 minutes)

100 walking lunges (each knee touching the ground is 1 – try to keep moving for the whole 100 even if you do have to slow down)

20 burpees as quickly as possible (How To – Do level II or III if possible, there are also other variations on burpees that we’ll try later one)

3 x 20 mountain climbers

Stretching

Day 2: CORE!!!

1o minutes of cardio, any machine, moderate pace

5 rounds of:

  • 1 minute plank
  • 30 frog crunchies
  • 30 squat jumps (bend knees, touch ground, jump up, clap at top, repeat)
  • 30 leg lifts
  • Row 100 meters as fast as possible

* Rest for under 1 minute between each round

10 minutes of cardio – Warm down

Stretching

Day 3: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) – Pick a machine and go-go-go

5 minute warm up

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

Repeat for 15 minutes of intervals

Switch machines and repeat for an additional 15 minutes

5 minute cool down (i.e. walking on a treadmill etc)

(Same) Weekend Mini Workout:

To be completed at any point Saturday or Sunday (***Bonus points if you get a workout buddy to join you and race!)

Sprint the length of the street, walk back to your starting point, 5 burpees (how to) – Repeat 10x

Starting w/ your feet together, jump as far as you can & repeat for the length of the street. To the end of the street and back to your starting point = 1, complete 5x

Results: This week wasn’t about change, it was about creating a consistent fitness routine and really trying to make time a couple of days a week to go to the gym even when you’re tired and/or busy. Squeezing in just a small workout can improve your mood and productivity, which is especially important as the holiday season is starting to gear up and your schedule will get more and more hectic.

How do you stay motivated for your workouts? Any tips that always work for you? I like to workout first thing in the morning because in addition to giving my metabolism a little burst, it sets a healthy tone for the day and encourages me to stay on track. I also have to have a great playlist to keep my workouts upbeat. My brother got me the Nano for Christmas last year which is great because it has a clip and it holds such a small number of songs that I update it at least once a week. As for long-term goals, I’ve found that it’s all about giving myself something to look forward to. Like, say, a weekend trip to the Lululemon on Union Square.  (Rachel agrees, clearly) Not only do the promise of Lulu’s keep me going, once I have them I’m doubly motivated to hit the gym because I can’t wait to show them off!

As your workouts are progressing and you’re beginning to feel (and see!) results, you should start thinking about your recovery time. We’ve talked about stretching and rest days to help you stay loose and prepare for your next workout, but your choice of foods immediately before and after a workout can also affect your performance (as, obviously, your food throughout the day can affect your fitness goals in general). Shape shares their tips here, Women’s Health shares their top fitness food picks here and fitness guru to the stars David Kirsch shares his post-workout recovery smoothie here. And if this topic interests you and you’re heading to a book store, definitely pick up any of Brendan Brazier’s Thrive books which discuss this in-depth.

Stay tuned for Week IV!

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