Full Body Strength Training HIIT Circuit

This is a full body workout. It’s a high intensity, quick rep workout. You are only doing 20 seconds work, so go ALL OUT for those 20 seconds. There are supersets, separated by a set of 10 burpees.  You want to work on your form, while keeping a steady pace.

Complete 4 rounds of each set of exercises before moving onto the next. Before moving onto the next superset, you will do 10 burpees.  Perform each of the exercises for 20 seconds, with a 10 second rest in between. While the burpees aren’t timed, be sure to push yourself and complete them as quickly as possible.

For this workout you will only need a set of dumbbells (appox 10-12 lbs) and a stability ball (optional).

SUPERSET 1: Shoulder Press and Upright Row

Shoulder Press:  Sit on a bench, holding 8-10 lbs dumbbells in each hand. Start with the weights up at your shoulders with elbow bent and palms facing forward. Press the dumbbells straight up and lower back to start. Keep a steady but controlled pace.

Upright Row: Stand holding a sandbag or barbell in front of you, arms straight and in front of your thighs, palms facing your body. Raise the weight up to your chin, by bending your elbows out to the sides. Slowly lower back to start and repeat. If you don’t have a sandbag or barbell, complete the same move holding a dumbbell in each hand or a kettlebell.

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10 Burpees (see pics)

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SUPERSET 2Floor Press and Flys

Floor Press: Lay on the floor with knees bent, holding an 8-10 dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders, elbow pointed out. Press the weights straight up over your chest, and lower to start. This can also be performed with your upper back rested on a stability ball (see pic). You can also use a barbell for this move as well. Balancing on the ball will engage your glutes and abs.

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Flys: You can perform this move on the stability ball as well, or you can lay on a bench or ugi ball. Use a lower weight (5-8 lbs). Hold weights straight up above your chest, palms facing each other. With a slight bend in your arms, separate your arms and lower them out to the sides, then raise back to start.

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10 Burpees

 

SUPERSET 3: Mason Twist and Bicycle Crunch

Mason Twists: Sit with your knees bent in front of you (feet raised optional),holding a kettlebell, medicine ball or dumbbell in front of your chest. Rotate your torso and lower the weight down to your left hip, then back to center. Repeat to the right and continue alternating sides in a steady but controlled pace.

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Bicycle Crunch: Lay on your back with your hands behind your head, knees bent above chest. As your straighten your right leg, crunch and reach your right elbow to your left knee. Switch legs and reach the opposite elbow to the opposite knee and repeat alternating sides.

 

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SUPERSET 4: Push-ups and Tricep Extensions

Push-ups: Perform pushups however you’re most comfortable. Start on your hands and feet, and lower to your knees if needed. To make the move more challenging, rest your feet on a bench, stability ball or ugi ball.

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Tricep Extensions: Stand holding a 3-5 lb dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent so that the weights are yo by your ribs. You should be standing slightly hinged forward. Extend both arms straight back and return to start, keeping your arms tight to your body.

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10 Burpees

 

SUPERSET 5: Curls and Hammer Curls

Curls: Perform a basic bicep curl, sitting or standing. Start with your arms straight, palms facing forward. Curl the weights up to your shoulders and lower slowly and repeat.

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Hammer Curls: Perform curls again, but start with your arms straight and turn your wrists so that your palms face into your body. Maintaining this position, curl the weights to your shoulders.

 

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Body Weight Circuit (w/ Step)

All you need for today’s workout is a step. If you don’t have a step or bench of some sort, you can still do this workout without one. The step adds resistance to the exercises, so you get more out of it. For some of these moves you can use a less stable surface to balance on to make it more challenging (i.e. stability ball, ugi ball, etc) I will explain how you can implement these more in the descriptions below.

Complete 4 sets, resting 15 seconds between exercises and 1 minute between sets.

Alternating Leg Push-ups (12 reps) – Start in push-up position with feet on a step. Do a push up and raise one leg straight up at the same time. Lower the leg as you come up and repeat alternating legs. To make this more challenging, place your feet on a stability ball or ugi ball (see pic). However, if the move is too difficult, do the push-ups without lifting your leg.

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Elevated Burpees (12 reps) – Stand a couple of feet in front of your step. Crouch down, kick feet back and up onto the step into plank position. Do a push-up (optional), then come up and jump feet back forward and stand and do a jump. This can be done, of course, without a step.

Kicking Lunge (6 reps/leg) – Start with one foot back on step, hands clasped in front of chest. Lunge down then come up and kick back leg forward. Bring leg back into another lunge and repeat. Complete all reps then switch legs. To challenge your balance, place your foot on a bosu ball, medicine ball or ugi ball. Or, if this is too challenging or you don’t have a step, you can do this same move with both feet on the ground. When lunging, be sure that your knee doesn’t bend past your toes.

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Knee to Elbow Plank (6 reps/side) – Start in plank with feet on step. Crunch right knee under your chest toward the left elbow. Straighten leg back and up, not lowering it and repeat. Complete all reps then switch legs. Again, make this more difficult by placing your feet on a bosu ball, stability ball or ugi ball. Keep your back in a straight line, and don’t let your hips droop.

Kicking Triceps Dip (12 reps) – Place your hands on a step with knees bent. Kick leg up as you lower down into a tricep dip. Lower your leg as you straighten your arms. Repeat alternating legs. Be sure that your elbows bend straight back. You can do this on the floor if you don’t have a step.

Shoulder Press (6 reps/leg) – Start in downward dog position with feet on step, hands on the ground and hips lifted up toward the ceiling. Lift one leg and do a shoulder press, bending elbows out to sides. Torso should be at 45 degree angle from ground. Lower your leg and repeat lifting the other leg, and continue alternating legs. You can also do this with your feet on the ground. (see pic)

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Leg Elevation Abs (12 reps/side) – Lay on your back with your feet on step, arms at sides. Lift hips and kick one leg, keeping it straight up and back. Lower leg so it nearly touches down and raise it again, keeping it straight. Do all reps with hips lifted, then switch legs. To make this more difficult, place your feet on a bosu ball or ugi ball.  And you can also make it more challenging by having your leg on the step straight with hips lifted. You can also do this without a step, and keep one foot on the ground. Try to keep your hips lifted so that your body is in a straight line from knee to shoulders.

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Quick Abs

If you’re looking for a quick but effective ab workout, these 2 moves are all you really need. They focus on your entire core!! Do these as supersets – move from one to the next immediately and rest 30 seconds between supersets.

Do as many supersets as you’d like, aiming for 3-5 supersets total.

Straight-Leg Crunch (15 reps) – This move will really work your upper abs.  Lie faceup on the floor with your legs extended in the air, perpendicular to your upper body. Extend your arms toward your feet.  Contract your abs to lift your shoulders off the floor as you reach with your hands toward your feet. Reverse the motion, but don’t return all the way to the floor; stop just short and begin your next rep. This allows constant contraction of the abdominals, and you will certainly feel it a lot more.

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Bicycle Crunch (20 reps) – This is a classic ab exercise that works the entire core, especially those pesky lower abs and obliques.  Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and feet lifted off the floor.. Place your hands lightly behind your head. Simultaneously crunch up and cross your right shoulder toward your left knee while pulling that knee in toward your chest and straightening the right leg. Alternate from side to side keeping your shoulders lifted the entire time; once to each side equals one rep. The lower your straight leg is to the floor, the more you will engage your lower abs and the harder the move will be. Make sure that your lower back stays flat on the ground.

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Fat-Burning Kettle Bell Workout

The kettle bell is a great piece of equipment to have in your workout plan. It builds muscle, while making you sweat. Not sure why it’s so effective…but it is! This is a workout of 8 exercises that all involve the kettle bell. Try to do these at a steady pace, so you get the full benefit of the workout.

Do each of the moves for the given time, taking minimal rest between. Complete 2 sets, taking a 1 minute break in between sets. If you do not have a kettle bell, you can use a dumbbell. Use a weight that is challenging – but start out light if you are new to using a kettle bell. At the end of the workout, complete a 2 minute stretch.

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Halo (30 seconds/direction) – Hold a kettlebell upside down by its horns with both hands, arms overhead. Keeping your shoulders down, chest forward, and abs tight, rotate your torso from the waist in a circle to the left. The kettlebell should make small, controlled “halos” overhead. Repeat for 20 seconds (about 6 circles), then switch directions.

 

Half Squat (1 minute) – Hold the kettlebell by its horns with both hands in front of  your chest. Shift your weight onto your heels, bend knees and hips, and sit back, as if lowering halfway into a chair. Press into heels and stand back up and repeat.

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‘Round the World (30 seconds/direction) – Hold the handle of a kettle bell in you left hand, arms at sides. Swing the weight around back and pass the kettlebell to the right hand behind you. Continue circling around front, passing it back to left hand. Switch directions after 30 seconds. Keep your torso still and tall, and your abs tight.

 

Kettle Bell Swing (1 minute) – Stand with feet more than hip-width apart, holding the kettlebell straight down in front of you. Sit back into a squat, bringing the kettlebell back between your legs. Then press into your heels, straighten legs, and thrust hips explosively upward to swing kettlebell up to shoulder height. Keep your wrists in line with the forearms…let your hips do the work! As the weight swings back between legs, squat again and repeat.

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Pivot and Point (1 minute) – Stand with feet hip-width apart, palms together (prayer position) with the handle of the kettle bell hooked over your thumbs, arms extended overhead. Pivot on your heels and turn so your entire body faces right side. (Keep head up, shoulders back, abs tight, and back straight.) At the same time, lower arms to shoulder height (base of kettle bell will rest on wrists). Turn back to center, raising arms overhead. Repeat alternating sides. Keep your arms as straight as you can. You will feel this in your shoulders – but resist the urge to shrug them.

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Lunge and Loop (30 seconds/leg) – Hold a kettle in your right hand by the handle, arms at sides, palms in. Stand with right foot 2 to 3 feet in front of left, toes pointing forward, back heel off the floor. Bend knees, and lower into a lunge as you pass the kettlebell under the front leg to your left hand. Then pass it over the leg to right hand as you straighten your legs. Continue for 30 seconds (about 18 loops), the switch legs and pass under the left leg to the right hand.

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Windmill (1 minute/side) – Hold the kettle bell straight overhead in the right hand, left hand down by your side. Stand with legs wide, left foot pointing out slightly and right foot pointing forward. Bend at your waist to the left and lower the hand down your shin toward the ground, keeping your back straight and right arm extended. Keep your gaze up at the kettlebell, unless it strains your neck.  Slowly stand up, using the core muscles to lift. Repeat for 1 minute keeping the kettlebell extended overhead, then switch sides. To make this more challenging, hold a kettlebell in both hands (maybe a lighter weight in the bottom hand).

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Squat Catch and Press (1 minute) – Stand with feet more than hip-width apart and hold the kettlebell handle with both hands, arms extended toward the floor. Sit back into a squat, then press into your heels and stand up. Use the momentum created by the hip thrust to help pull weight up (elbows will bend out to sides as you lift bell). As weight reaches chest height, slide hands down to grab the base of the weight (a slight tossing motion). Press it overhead, then lower it to starting position, sliding hands back to handle and repeat.

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HiitBooty

Today’s workout is a high intensity interval training circuit that focuses entirely on the glutes and hammies. Believe me, you will be feeling this one the next day! You can all of these exercises without weight, if you’re just starting out. Once you get comfortable with the exercises try adding weight. But….I highly recommend you try this with weight if you can! I use my sandbag or 25 lb barbell. If don’t have either of those, you can use a set of dumbbells.

Set your timers for 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest – complete 3 rounds of the 3 exercises

Wide+Narrow Squat Jump – Hold your sandbag out in front (resting on your forearms) or up on your shoulders (see pic). If you’re using a barbell, place it on your shoulders as well. Start with your feet together and lower into a squat. Hop out of the squat, landing with your feet wide, lowering into a wider stance squat. Continue with the squat jumps hopping your feet together and out. Keep your back flat, and land softly when landing in a squat. Also, make sure to keep a steady, continuous pace. You should remain low, with your hips back for the entire time.

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Sumo Leg Lift – Stand with feet about hip width apart, with the weight rested on your shoulders. Lower into a squat, and come up lifting one leg straight out to the side as high as your can. As you lower your leg, lower down into another squat and repeat lifting the other leg. Continue alternating sides, making sure your keep your back flat and your abs in. When you squat, sit your butt back and make sure your knees don’t bend past your toes. This also focuses slightly on the obliques…so make sure to really squeeze when lifting your leg out to the side.

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3 Low Squats + 3 Half Squats + 3 Full Squats – Start with your sandbag or a heavy dumbbell on the ground vertically in front of your, legs are about hip to shoulder-width apart. Squat down and grab the bag/weight and place it on one shoulder and, while staying low, do 3 low squats – knees remain bent as low as you squat up and down (like a pulsing movement). Lower the bag/weight to the ground, then pick it back up and place it on the other shoulder and do 3 half squats – come half way up then back down as low as you can. Lower the weight, and place it on the other shoulder and do 3 full squats – coming all the way up to standing and squeezing the glutes, and lower down as far as you can. Repeat the entire sequence in the same order, alternating shoulders with each set of squats. The only time you should be coming all the way up, is during the full squats. Stay low, keep your legs and abs engaged and your butt back.

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Active Recovery

I came across a great workout in Shape magazine that I had to share….and need to add to my workout regimen! If you’re “too sore to work out” but still want to do something, this is a great routine. Rest and recovery are just as important as knocking out a killer workout.  This active recovery circuit will not only spare your aching muscles, but it will help your muscles recover and prepare your body to accomplish more in your next workout.

Do 1-3 sets of this circuit on an “off day” – all you need is a foam roller (which is also great for aching muscles!)

Slow Cyclone (5 circles/direction) – Stand with your feet wider than hip width apart, knees slightly bent and arms extended overhead w/palms facing in. Keeping your pelvis still, slowly start to reach your upper body and arms to the left, then overhead (extending your spine and looking up), and back and around to the right, tracing a full circle. Complete 5 circles, then switch directions. This move will stretch the muscles in your back, abs and chest while engaging your core.

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Back Extension Chest Opener (5 times) – Stand with feet wider than hip width, knees slightly bent, hands clasped behind your lower back. Extend your spine and arms back, arching backwards as far as you feel comfortable going, pressing your pelvis forward. Slowly return to start and repeat. This is great for back alignment.

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Triangle Twist (3 times/side) – I LOVE yoga, which is great for recovery as well. This is a yoga-inspired move that will help with balance and stretch out muscles in your upper and lower body. Place a foam roller on it’s end out in front of you. Take a wide step forward with your left foot, keeping both feet flat on the floor. Hinge forward from your hips, and bring your chest parallel to the floor (soften your knees if needed), extending your arms out overhead with palms pressed on top of the foam roller. Slowly rotate your torso to the left, reaching the left arm overhead to the ceiling. Try to look up at your hand if it doesn’t strain your neck. Hold for 5 deep breaths then repeat 2 times and switch sides.

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Foam Roller March (20 times) – Lie face-up on the roller so it lines up with your spine, with knees bent and feet hip-width apart and flat on the ground. Extend your arms out to the sides w/ elbows bent and resting on the floor, palms facing up. Brace your abs in tight and slowly begin to march your legs one at a time off the floor. Your knee should stay bent at 90 degrees while you raise it above your hip, keeping your body as still as possible. March at a steady pace, alternating legs. This will engage your core and legs.

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Foam Roller Bridge (3 times) – Turn the roller so that it is perpendicular to your spine and place it under your lower back. Your upper body should be resting on the floor with your knees bent, feet hip width and flat on the ground. Cross your arms over your chest and lift your hips into a bridge pose, squeezing your glutes and lifting your hips with your lower back for 5 counts. Slowly lower your hips and press your lower back into the roller, relaxing your glutes and legs and allowing your back to sink into the roller. Hold for 5 deep breaths and repeat.

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Kneeling Hip and Quad Stretch – Kneel with the roller perpendicular to you on the floor. Step your right foot forward and over the roller, lunging into your leg and shifting your weight off of your back knee. Position the roller under your left thigh in front of your knee, tucking your toes under to lift up into a low lunge. Be sure to avoid putting pressure on top of your kneecap by positioning the roller in front of your knee at all times. If this is a deep stretch for you already, simply stay here and hold this position. For a deeper stretch, bend your back knee and reach back and grab your foot with both hands and hold the stretch. This is harder than it looks, but will give a good stretch to your hip flexors, quads and chest.

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Rolling Cobra (5 times) – Here’s another great yoga-inspired move that combines and abdominal knee tuck. Lie face-down with your shins resting on top of the roller, hip-width apart. Bend your arms and place your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Extend your spine and press down with your arms, lifting your hips off the floor as you extend back and straighten your arms. Take a deep breath in, open your chest, press your shoulders down, and look up. As you exhale, brace your abs in tight, lift your hips up in line with your shoulders and bend your knees in under your hips. You should be in a sort of an elevated all-fours position with your back naturally straight. Allow your legs to slide along the roller from your shins to the tops of your feet. Hold for 1 count, and then slowly roll legs back out and return to extended position. Repeat in a slow controlled motion. This is an awesome stretch for you back and abs.

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Supine Stretch and Crunch (5 times/side) – Lie face-up with your legs extended out straight w/ the roller placed under your calves. Cross your right leg on top of your left, feet flexed. Reach your arms overhead until they touch the floor, right hand stacked on top of your left palm. Brace your abs in tight and slowly lean to the left, pressing your right hip down as you pull your left shoulder towards your left hip. Hold for 1 count and then slowly return to start. Complete 5 times then switch sides. This will stretch and engage your abs.

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Lady Spartacus Workout

This is an intense interval workout (hence the name)! It’s a combination of cardio/plyometrics and weight training. This particular workout will focus mainly on the glutes, legs and abs. All you need is a kettle bell (or a dumbbell if you don’t have one).

Complete 3 rounds of the 10 exercises. Go all out for 30 seconds per exercise, with a 10 second rest in between. After each round take a 2 minute break then repeat.

Alternate One-Arm Kettle Bell Swings – Stand with feet wider than shoulder width apart. Swing the kettle bell down with one arm back between your legs, bending knees. Swing up and snap your hips forward, bringing the kettle bell to chest height or higher. Before bringing it back down switch hands and repeat. Continue alternating hands.

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Dive Bombers – Start in downward facing dog with arms and feet wide, hips raised up to the ceiling. Bend your elbows and lower your head toward the ground, then bring your chest between your arms and up. Your legs and arms should be straight, and chest lifted. (Do not rest your hips on the ground.) Reverse the movement back to start. This should be a fluid motion throughout.

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Plyo Split Squats – Hop left foot forward into a lunge, bringing your right arm forward (like you’re running). Hop and switch bringing the right leg in front into a lunge, while switching arms. Continue at a steady pace.

Alternate One-Leg V-ups – Lay on the ground with legs straight, arms at sides. Swing your arms overhead and simultaneously sit up and lift one leg bringing arms down to your sides. Lay back down to start and repeat alternating legs. Use your arms’ momentum and your core to help you sit up. For a more advanced move, sit up while lifting both legs and reach for your toes. (See pic)

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Plyo Kettle Bell Sumo Squats – Start in sumo squat stance, feet wide and toes out, holding a kettle bell at your chest with both hands. Squat down, then quickly hop feet together and stand up straight and quickly hop feet back out and into another sumo squat (slow squat, quick hop in and out).

Spider Woman Planks – Start in plank position on your elbows, hands together. Bring the left knee to the outside of left elbow and back to plank. Repeat with right knee to outside of right elbow. Continue alternating sides at a steady pace.

Kettle Bell Curtsy Squat – Stand with feet slightly apart holding a kettle bell at your chest with both hands. Step your right foot back and diagonally to the left, and lower down bending both knees. Transfer the weight to your front leg and come back to start. Repeat alternating legs. Make sure that your front foot is pointed slightly outward.

One Leg Table Hip Thrust – Get in table top position with feet hip width apart and hips lifted, hands under shoulders and fingers facing forward. Lower your hips to just above the ground as you kick one leg straight up. Lower the leg as you thrust your hips back up to table top. Repeat alternating legs.

Pyramid Glute Kick Backs – Start in downward dog, arms wide and hips lifted to the ceiling. Bring one knee to chest, then kick it back straight and up and return to start. Repeat alternating legs.

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Star Burpees w/ Kettle Bell Pull-ups – Place a kettle bell on the ground in front of you. Do a star burpee by squatting down and kicking feet back,  then hop feet out wide then back together. Hop feet back forward, and before standing grab the kettle bell. Stand and pull it up to your chin, elbows out. Return kettle bell to the floor as you go into another burpee.

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Take a 2 minute break, and repeat 2 more rounds.