8 Minute Abs

This is a quick 8 minute core workout. Complete as many rounds of these moves as possible in 8 minutes. For each move, focus of keeping your core tight. Keep a steady pace, so that you utilize your core muscles as much as possible and burn more calories. Keeping tension on the muscle for longer periods of time, helps to gain lean muscle and definition – so rest only if needed.

Set a timer for 8 minutes and complete the following as many times as possible:

Windmill (right) – 10 reps
Windmill (left) – 10 reps
Scissor Crunch – 10 reps/side
Crab March – 10 reps/side

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Windmills (left/right) Holding a weight in right hand, stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width, rotate left toes outward and raise right arm above head, keeping eyes on the weight. Shift hips to the right as you lower your left hand to the floor, keeping you chest lifted. Keep body as flat as possible and keep torso still. Shift pelvis to center and distribute weight evenly to both feet as you come back to standing. Complete reps then switch sides.
For an added challenge, hold a weight in each hand.
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Scissor Crunch Lay on your back with legs straight. Scissor your legs by lowering one to just above the ground and the other toward your chest and crunch up, reaching your arms to each side of your leg. Lower your back down as you switch legs and repeat, keeping legs and shoulders lifted throughout.
Crab March Get into reverse tabletop with your hands under your shoulders and back straight (facing to ceiling). Keeping your knees bent, lift your left knee toward your chest and tap it with your right hand. Lower and repeat lifting the right knee and tapping it with the left hand. Continue alternating sides, keeping your hips lifted.

 

 

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Pendulum Workout

This is a 10 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) workout. There will be 4 exercises, of which you will complete as many times as possible with the time given. 3 of the moves are pendulum moves, which require core strength and balance. For all exercises in this workout, keep you core tight and strong, to get the full benefit of the workout. A tight core also helps to give you balance and proper form for these exercises. This workout you will definitely feel in your legs and core.

Set a timer for 10 minutes and complete the following moves for as many rounds as possible, resting only if needed.

Plank Pulls – 10 reps
Pendulum Swing – 20 reps
Pendulum Chair Squat (Left) – 10 reps
Pendulum Chair Squat (Right) – 10 reps

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Plank Pulls Place a dumbbell or small weighted object to the left side of your torso and bring your body into a full plank position with your hands directly below your shoulders, abs tight. Shift your weight to your left hand as you grab the weight with your right hand and slide it under your body to the right. Transfer weight onto right hand and repeat with the left, pulling the weight back to the left. I like to use my 25 lb sandbag (like shown in the picture), which you can drag on the floor instead of picking up.
plank-pull-thru
Kettlebell Pendulum Swing This exercise reinforces the loading of the butt and legs and the activation of the lats. start in your swing stance, using a heavy kettlebell. A heavier kettlebell is easier to use during the pendulum than a lighter bell, the more weight the more it counterbalances your hips. Grab the kettlebell with 2-hands and swing the kettlebell explosively between your legs as you’re hinged forward at the hips (like a traditional KB swing). Swing the weight back forward in a floating motion (using your lats, not your arms to swing it forward), as the kettlebell swings to the front stay low and sit back and down (instead of standing up). Tighten your glutes, keep your shoulders down (do not shrug) and your back straight in a hinged forward-like squat. Now use your arms to swing the weight back between your legs as your weight shifts back forward. Repeat staying low with a neutral spine. If you lose neutral spine, lower your weight.

Here is a video on this move, skip ahead to about the 2 minute mark: http://www.sweatfactor.com/blogold/low-impact-cardio-exercise/

Pendulum Chair Squat (left/right) Stand on your left leg, hands together at your chest. Squat down and lift and cross your right leg over your left knee. Pause, then straighten out of the squat and swing your right leg straight out to the side. Lower back into the squat, bringing the right leg back to cross over the left knee. Try to stay balanced on your left leg throughout. After reps, switch legs.

I couldn’t find a pic of the entire move, but I found one of what the squat part should look like, and then the swing.
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pendulumchair

10 Minute Intense Upper Body Workout

This is a 10 minute workout, meant to fatigue your upper body. Start with a challenging weight for each exercise, one that fatigues your muscles by the end of the given reps. As the workout progresses, decrease weight as needed with each round. There are 3 exercises that you will do as many times as possible for 10 minutes straight.

The purpose of starting out with heavy weight, is to maximize your muscle usage and burn because the workout is so short. Take as minimal breaks as possible, to keep an elevated heart rate and to increase calorie burn.

Set a timer for 10 minutes and complete the following exercises as many times as possible:

Step and Swing – 20 reps
Shoulder to Shoulder Press – 12 reps
Lateral Raise – 10 reps

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Step and Swing Perform a kettlebell or Sandbag swing while alternate stepping side to side, swinging the weight between your legs as you come to center with legs apart. Elevate the weight and switch hands as your feet step together. As you step to the right the bag should be in your right arm, swinging under your legs. Step back together as you bring the bag up and switch hands, then step to the left as you bring the bag down between your legs with your left arm. Repeat alternating sides (each swing = 1 rep).
Shoulder to Shoulder Press Hold a sandbag, dumbbell or barbell on your right shoulder with ends facing forward and back. Gripping with both hands, lift the weight up and over your head to the other shoulder. Repeat pressing shoulder to shoulder, using your legs for momentum if needed. If you find yourself arching your back, use a lighter weight.
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Lateral Raise Stand with a slight bend in your knees, your low back slightly arched, chest out and midsection tight. Hold a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip outside your thighs. Raise the dumbbells out to your sides in a wide arc, keeping your elbows high while maintaining the slightly bent elbow position. Raise the weights to just above shoulder level, then lower under control. Be sure to not shrug your shoulders, so that your lats are doing the work. If you find yourself shrugging your shoulders, lower your weight.
Dumbbell-Lateral-Raise-Muscle-Performance

Sweat and Get Lean Total Body Workout

This workout uses different weight and body weight exercises with cardio intervals in between. Take your time with the weight rep intervals, and push yourself on the cardio interval. Take minimal rest between each exercise, resting 1 minute between sets (you will complete this workout 2 times).

The cardio intervals will be burpees and kettlebell/sandbag swings.

Complete 2 sets of the following workout, resting 1 minute between sets.

Burpees – 15 reps
Dive Bomber + Cross Knee Tuck – 10 reps
Burpees – 15 reps
Pulse Squats – 30 reps
Burpees – 15 reps
Narrow Squat Jumps – 20 reps
Kettlebell or Sandbag Swings – 30 reps
Reptile Pushups – 10 reps/side
Kettlebell or Sandbag Swings – 30 reps
Lunge & Rotate – 10 reps/side
Kettlebell or Sandbag Swings – 30 reps
3 Part Abs – 20 reps
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Burpees Do with push-up and jump for as many as possible. If needed remove push-up.
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Divebomber + Cross Knee Tuck  Do a dive bomber. When coming back up to start position, transition to plank and bring your right knee to your left elbow, then your left knee to right elbow. Return to dive bomber start position and repeat.divebomb  kneetuck
Pulse Squats Position your legs in a wide squat position with your toes pointed out about 45 degrees. Hold a dumbbell with both hands, it should be positioned between your legs so that the dumbbell ends face front and back. Keeping your torso upright and your stomach tight, lower down into a deep squat. At the bottom of the squat, engage the glutes and feel your weight in your heels. In a quick and deliberate rhythm, continuously lift and lower your body a few inches (in a pulsing motion). Make sure to keep pressing through your heels. Pulse for all reps.
Narrow Squat Jumps Start with legs shoulder-width apart. Jump up as high as you can into the air and land in a squat position. Immediately jump back into the air and continue for all reps.
Kettlebell/Sandbag Swings Hold weight with both hands in front of you, legs shoulder width or wider apart. With straight arms, squat slightly and bring the weight back between your legs, and push through your heels as you swing the weight forward and up to in front of your face. Squeeze the glutes and squat again as the weight comes down to back between your legs as you repeat in a continuous motion. Be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and use your legs and core to lift the weight.
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Reptile Pushup Start in push-up position. Bend elbows and bend your right knee towards your right elbow (turn toward it slightly). Push up straightening leg and lowering back to start. Repeat alternating sides.
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Lunge and Rotate Stand holding a 5-10 lb weight straight out at chest level with both hands. Lunge with left leg forward, bracing abs and twisting to the left. Twist back to center, step back and repeat with the right leg and twisting to the right. Repeat alternating sides.
lungetwist
3 Part Abs Lay with your arms stretched out behind you, legs lifted straight up above your hips. Spread legs into a V and crunch up bringing your arms between your legs. Lower your shoulders and bring legs back together, then lift hips up with straight legs. Lower hips, then lower legs toward the ground, raising them back up before they touch the ground. Repeat sequence. (V-crunch, Hip lift, Leg lower)

8 Minute AMRAP – Legs and Core

Here’s a quick 8-minute AMRAP (as many reps/rounds as possible) workout. Push yourself for the entire 8 minutes to complete this workout as many times as possible. Take a quick break when needed, but work your ass off for just 8 minutes to get the most out of this workout.

I completed 4 rounds + 13 reps of this workout.

Set a timer for 8 minutes and complete the following back to back:

Suitcase Squat  – 5 reps/side
Weighted Sit-up – 10 reps
One-Leg Row and Tuck – 10 reps/wide

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Suitcase Squat (left/right) Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by sides, holding a dumbbell in right hand. Lower into a squat bringing weight as close to the ground as possible and repeat.Complete reps then switch to the left hand.
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Weighted Sit Up Start laying down with legs straight and holding a dumbbell with both hands back over your head. Sit up- keeping the reaching with the weight toward your feet. Bend your knees slightly if needed. Lower back to star, bringing the dumbbell back toward the floor behind you.
One Leg Row and In (left/right) Stand holding a dumbbell/kettlebell in your right hand and put all weight on your left leg as you raise your right leg behind you as you hinge forward and hold the weight straight down from your chest, left arm reached out past your head for balance. Row the weight toward your chest bringing your elbow back as you bend your elevated leg tucking the knee toward your chest. Lower the weight and straighten your leg back behind you. Repeat keeping all weight on your standing leg and leaning forward. Complete reps then switch sides.

AMRAP Workouts – What the Heck? And Why?

You may or may not have heard the term “AMRAP” workout, but it’s a very effective way of exercising. If you partake in CrossFit or HIIT workouts, then you probably have done one. AMRAP stands for “As Many Reps/Rounds As Possible” – and the workout is exactly as it sounds. You are given a set amount of time (i.e. 20 minutes) and you complete as many rounds or reps of a given workout as possible. There are MANY benefits to this type of workout, and it’s one of my favorite types.

What is it?

Like a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout, in AMRAP workouts you are given a set amount of time for your workout. The only difference is that with AMRAP workouts there’s no allotted “rest” time. You pace yourself and take short breaks when needed, but the primary objective is to push yourself to complete as many reps or rounds of the workout as you can. And, when you perform the workout again, you push yourself to beat your previous completed reps or rounds. CrossFit gyms use these workouts, and it pushes you to get as many or more reps in than your classmates.

Why do it?

One of the biggest benefits of these workouts is time. If you are like me, and can’t spend an hour or 2 at the gym, having a shorter set time to workout makes it easier to fit a workout in. I can break a major sweat with just a 5 minute AMRAP workout, because I’m maximizing the time I have – and usually the shorter amount of time you have, the more you’re able to push yourself. Which brings me to my next point/benefit of these workouts: maximum effort and more motivation.

In essence, you’re training your body to do more work in a set amount of time. It’s also a way to motivate you to progress with each workout. As mentioned before, you push yourself to do better with each workout, so your intensity, strength and endurance builds with each workout. The harder you train, the more fat you burn, and the fitter you get.

Ordinary endurance programs and gym workouts typically incorporate low intensity exercises that, even though performed for longer periods of time, do not put as much stress on the body. In cases of high intensity exercises like AMRAP, when compared to ordinary fitness exercises, the lungs and heart are thus more challenged to meet the demands of the body.  This forms the basis of all benefits derived from doing as many reps as possible. Doing as many reps as possible, cause sudden increased demands for oxygen in many tissues of the body, especially the skeletal muscles. In order to meet these demands the whole respiratory system, the lungs in particular, work harder than normal. When continued over a period of time, this type of increased loading causes positive changes in the work capacity of the lungs. For me, this is a huge benefit because I am limited in my cardio activities due to asthma and knee problems. But with AMRAP workouts, I can push but pace myself. Over time my endurance gets stronger, because my lungs are adapting to the demands of these workouts. And studies have shown that increased respiratory capacity not only increases the amount of work one can perform, but also is a great help in certain diseases such as asthma.

The biggest benefit for most people is the decreasing of body fat. When exercising, initially your skeletal muscle uses glycogen stores for energy. But in high intensity exercises, once your skeletal muscle can no longer utilize glycogen to keep up with the energy demand, it uses fat stores. So the harder you push yourself in a short amount of time, the quicker you start burning fat. So by doing short but intense workouts each day you will start to see your body lose fat and become more toned. With this fat burning comes added muscle and muscle strength! High intensity training puts greater loads on the skeletal muscles as compared to conventional training. This results in increases in inherent muscle tone and greater strength the muscle can produce when contracting.

Sample Workout

To get an idea of what an AMRAP workout is like, try this one out.

10 minutes AMRAP:

Kettlebell Swings – 20 reps
Burpees – 5 reps (drop down all the way or with push-up)
Front Squats – 5 reps (~75% max weight)

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Superset Circuit Workout

Superset workouts are designed to give you multiple workouts at once, with little rest in between. You complete each superset for a prescribed amount of rounds and complete the exercises back to back with no rest, only resting between each superset.

This workout consists of 3 supersets. You will complete each 3 times before resting and moving on to the next. This is a total body workout involving weight training, as well as some body movements. Don’t rush yourself, but don’t rest between sets.

Here is a break down of the workout, descriptions can be found below.

Superset #1
3 sets
Reverse Hook Crunch (20 reps)
Bent Over Lateral Raise (12 reps)
Elevated Plank Tricep Kickbacks (12 reps/arm)

Superset #2
3 sets
Shoulder Circle to Crunch (15 reps)
Jump Squats (20 reps)
Weighted Jabs (40 reps)
Skier Swings (20 reps)

Superset #3
3 sets
Sumo Squat Press (15 reps)
Up and Over Presses (12 reps)
Triceps Curl + Knee Tuck (12 reps)
Plank Row to Double Row (10 reps)

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SUPERSET 1

Reverse Hook Crunch (x20) Lay on your back with arms reached overhead or down by your sides and legs straight and extended off the ground slightly. Bend knees toward chest and lift hips off the ground and extend your legs up pushing your feet up and back. Reverse the motion and repeat.

hook crunch
(last part of crunch)

 

Bent Over Lateral Raise (x12) Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, knees slightly bent and hinge forward so that the weights are below your chest. In a controlled motion, raise the weights out to your sides in a wide arc without bending or extending your elbows. Raise the weights until they’re about even with your body, maintaining the bent-over position to reduce body swing, then hold the top position for a count before slowly reversing the motion back to the start.
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Elevated Plank Tricep Kickback (x12/arm) Get into plank with one arm on a step/bench and grasp a dumbbell in the other hand by your side with the weight up by your rib and elbow pointing back. From here extend your arm back into a tricep kickback and then bend back to start. Keep your upper arm still and close to your body. After completing reps, switch sides. You can also do this in plank from the floor (see pic)
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SUPERSET 2

Shoulder Circle to Crunch (x15) Lie faceup on a mat lifting light dumbbells behind your head, palms facing the ceiling. Engage your core and lift your legs off the floor six inches, knees slightly bent. Keeping your arms straight, circle your hands toward your legs until the dumbbells touch behind your hamstrings. Simultaneously lift your head and shoulders off the floor while bending your knees slightly. Extend your legs out and your arms overhead, reversing the motion. TIP: to keep tension on the lower abs, don’t let your upper legs go past 70 degrees.
Jump Squats (x20) Stand with feet hip-width, abs engaged with arms at your sides. Squat down bringing your arms bent in front of you.Jump up as high as you can, using your arms for momentum, and land softly back down into the squat position. Pause briefly and repeat.
Jump Squat 2
Weighted Jabs (20/arm) Start with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand. Bend knees and lean forward from hips, pulling belly in tight. Bend arms, bringing elbows close to rib cage, palms facing in. Extend right arm in front, palm down. As you draw back, repeat with the left arm. Continue alternating jabs in a quick continuous pace, each jab is 1 rep. Keep core engaged throughout.
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Skier Swings (x20) Stand with a dumbbell in each hand (palms in) at your sides,hinge forward slightly with knees slightly bent. Raise both arms straight up and back behind you (skier pose). Swing both arms forward and up as you come to standing. Swing arms back down and back into skier pose, keeping back straight and chest lifted throughout.
skiswing

SUPERSET 3

Sumo Squat Press (x15) Stand with feet wide and toes slightly turned out. Hold a weight in both hands with your palms up (holding the ends of a dumbbell or kettlebell from under it). Squat down, and as your straighten your legs, press the weight overhead. Lower weight and return to squat.
Up and Over Presses (x12) Hold a barbell in front of your chest with palms out. Press the bar up and down behind your head, resting it on your traps. Push the bar back up and over down to your chest. Be sure to not use too heavy of a weight.
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Triceps Curl + Knee Tuck (x12) Lie faceup with knees bent 90 degrees, a dumbbell in each hand, arms over shoulders, palms in. Bend elbows, bringing dumbbells behind head, as you extend your legs out in front of you. Bring your knees to your chest as you straighten your arms back to start, and repeat. You can also do this using a barbell.
Plank Row to Double Row (x10) Start in plank, holding weights, feet wide. Do a row with each arm, hop feet forward with feet together and stand part way and do a double row slightly bent forward, keeping butt back and back straight. Place weights back on ground and jump feet back to wide plank.(1 rep)
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