Category: Workout

Twenty-Minute Total-Body Kettlebell Circuit Workout

Thanks for dealing with my small panic attack last night. Today I actually haven’t sat down to study at all yet. Go figure. I had big plans to try to make time to sit down and study after I ran. Both of those things didn’t happen, but I did eat dinner tonight with my boys. Shrimp nachos can get me to skip a lot of things.

Earlier today, M and I went on an all-day adventure buying school supplies. I got him a book bag and some lunch containers and I snagged a few small things for my classroom, too. I still can’t believe it’s almost time for him to go to daycare and for me to go back to work. Did summer even happen? Not so sure about that one.

Anyway, since I don’t have much else to say, I thought I’d share the kettlebell workout I completed on Monday.

kettlebell circuit

It was super quick, a ton of fun, and required minimal equipment. I’d say that it was definitely a huge success, considering time for fitness has been pretty limited lately. Oh, and remember, I’m no M.D. so check with your doctor before switching up your routine too drastically. Have fun!

total body kettlebell circuit



And now for a breakdown of the moves:

Side-Step Swings: Grab the kettlebell with both hands and perform a basic kettlebell swing. When the kettlebell is heading down towards your feet, step the to the left; then, when the bell is heading up, bring the right foot to meet the left (standing up straight). Continue swinging and side-stepping for 20 total reps, 10 reps each way.

Windmills: Hold the kettlebell in your left hand and stand with feet a little further than shoulder width apart. Raise the kettlebell overhead and turn your right foot to about a 45 degree angle. Keep your eyes on the kettlebell as you shift your weight and begin hinging at the waist. Keep the left arm extended overhead as you bend forward and reach toward the ground by your right foot with your right hand. Continue for a total of 10 reps before switching sides.

Deadlifts: Stand with the kettlebell between your feet on the floor. Squat down and grab the handle with both hands while keeping your back flat. Make sure you squat as low as you can while still ensuring your shins are vertical and your hips are higher than your knees. Keeping your core engaged and your glutes tight, lift yourself back up to standing. Continue for a total of 10 reps.

Half Get-Ups: Grab the kettlebell with your left hand. Lie on your back with your left leg bent and your right leg straight. Hold the kettlebell straight up overhead. Without taking your eyes off the kettlebell or bending your left arm, roll onto your right side and prop yourself up on your right elbow before straightening it completely. Reverse the move to return to the starting position. Continue for a total of 10 reps before switching sides.

Spider Drags: Position yourself into a forearm plank with the kettlebell resting next to your right arm. Lift yourself into push-up position, one arm at a time. Reach your left arm under your right arm, grab the kettlebell, and drag it to the left side. Return to the forearm plank and repeat for a total of 20 reps, 10 for each arm.


I tried to do that circuit as quickly as I could and was sweating up a freaking storm by the end. I love how kettlebells turn every workout into a true cardio session. Makes me feel less lazy when it comes to skipping runs. Right now I’m being super productive by watching that movie about talking Legos. Hopefully you’re doing better at life than I am tonight. ;)

Work Out With Friends: #PropelFit Stair Circuit Workout

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on Behalf of Propel. I was compensated and all opinions are my own.

Good morning! As y’all may remember, I’ve been working to complete monthly fitness challenges chosen by Propel. This month was all about getting sweaty with people who love you enough to ignore how gross you are. That’s right, your friends are there for you no matter how much you smell. A few weeks ago, I went on a trail run with a few of my favorites. This time, I chose to tackle a stair workout with my husband.

propel

That’s right. I suckered him into a morning workout just like I suckered him into marrying me. I’m getting really good at this. The one thing I haven’t mastered? Getting him to be enthusiastic about selfies. One day, old man, one day.

selfie

Our workout history is totally hot and cold. We ran together for a while, but I tended to want to run longer distances while he wanted to whoop my butt with speed workouts. We tried lifting together, but our home gym is just too small for two people to comfortably move around. The one thing we always agree on is a new challenge. He came with me for a SUP workout, because it was totally new to both of us. I think that’s the key for our fitness relationship to work: excitement. We are much more likely to enjoy ourselves when it’s difficult or new for both of us. When one of us can clearly beat the other, it’s not as fun. We might be a tad too competitive and I might happen to be a sore loser. Yes, that was me willingly admitting that I always lose, Ryne. Mark that one down because it will never happen again.

Anyway, our workout took place at the amphitheater by the river. Such good scenery, don’t you think? Ignore the stairs of death.

stair workout

We were sweating before we even got started. It was ridiculously hot out, so we took a Propel break before coming up with a game plan for the workout. Any excuse for a delicious hydration break, am I right? I just tried the Cranberry Lime for the first time this month and now I’m hooked. It’s like a little party in a bottle, complete with house music only I can hear. Don’t worry about it. It’s normal.

Once we settled on a workout, we were ready to get started. Our plan was one person sprint up and down the stairs twice while the other did a body weight move on the ground. You couldn’t stop until the “runner” was back down for the second time.

Photo Jun 22, 10 18 27 AMphoto(86)

We started with push ups, which cracks me up because I pretty much just had to plank the whole time. My push up game is weak, y’all. I would have done “girl” push ups but the ground grinding into my knees wasn’t all that pleasant.

push up

Next up was different crunches and sit up variations. That one seemed so easy, but I swear I was so tired that anything would have been difficult at that point.

crunches

Finally, we busted out some air squats, which may or may not be the most embarrassing thing ever. When families would walk by, I felt like I was droppin’ it in the club. Only, you know, without being able to actually dance. I have no rhythm, but that’s a story for another day.

squat

I can’t really remember how long it took us, but I remember sweating like a beast so I guess it was long enough. I thought we would end it with a Propel chugging selfie, but Ryne said that was lame. He will cave one day, just wait. But really, nothing has ever tasted so good in my life. Work hard, drink… hard? Eh. We’ll work on that.

propel

So there you have it. I worked out with my husband and we didn’t kill each other. I ran stairs and I only tripped a few times. I drank my favorite drink and only took one or three embarrassing pictures while doing so. Basically, it was a lot of fun and I have a feeling we’ll be back pretty soon.

Question: Do you enjoy working out with your significant other? I’d love to say “Always!”, but it usually doesn’t pan out. We end up working better together when it’s mutually challenging or we have our personal space. We’re five-years-old like that.

Total-Body Stability Ball Circuit Workout

Good morning! Since getting back from Orlando, I haven’t felt like leaving the house much. Yesterday I made it to the grocery store and felt like a freaking champ.

twitter

I’m convinced that the secret to a happy life is setting the bar extremely low for yourself. What? It totally works. Every tiny accomplishment then deserves a celebration. Oh, and I stocked up because we are seriously cracking down on the budget, so we’ll be eating at the house for the remainder of the month. Hold me to this, y’all!

The only other thing I might have left the house for was a workout. Lucky for me I had everything I needed at home: a stability ball and a few minutes to myself. Sometimes the only chance to work out comes when the kid is napping away, so it’s nice to be able to get a solid workout in at home.

stability ball push up

People have asked me a few times what my favorite equipment for the house is, and the answer is usually a stability ball, a mid-weight kettlebell, or running shoes. You can do so much stuff with just those three items. I’ll have a kettlebell workout to share soon, but until then I’ll share my favorite stability ball circuit! It looks simple, but if you focus on form and move quickly from one move to the next, you’ll be feeling it. I promise. Just remember that I’m definitely not your doctor. I’m just sharing what works for me.

stability ball workout



Now for a breakdown of the moves:

Squats: Holding the ball in front of you, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees over your toes. Keeping your spine straight and abs tight, begin bending at the knees. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground (or lower) and then drive through your heels to stand back up. Remember: don’t arch your back, make sure your knees track your toes the entire time, and keep your weight in your heels.

Push Ups: Lie face-down on the floor with your shins resting on the ball. Press your palms into the floor and lift your chest until your body forms a straight line. Lower your chest to the floor. Lift yourself back up into the starting position. The further the ball is from your ankles, the easier the push up will be. Remember: don’t arch your back and try to get your chest as close to the floor as possible before pushing back up.

Knee Tucks: Lie face-down on the floor with your ankles resting on the ball. Press your palms into the floor and lift into push up position. Carefully use your feet to roll the ball into your body, keeping your core engaged the entire time. Stop when your knees reach your chest. Slowly roll the ball back to the starting position. Remember: While your feet are helping you roll the ball in, your abs should be doing all the real work!

Hamstring Curls: Lie face-up with your calves resting on the ball and your arms palms-down at your side. Squeeze your glutes and raise lower body until you form a straight line from shoulders to toes. Bend your knees and squeeze your hamstrings to roll the ball toward you. Straighten your legs to roll the ball back into the starting position. Remember: you should really feel this in your hamstrings, your torso should be straight, and your hips should never drop.

Tricep Dips: Lie face-up with your calves resting on the ball. Place your palms into the floor by your hips with your hands facing forward. Push yourself up until your arms are extended. Bending at the elbows, lower yourself towards the floor. Extend your arms to bring yourself back up. Remember: keep your abs tight and focus on really pressing into the floor to lift yourself up.

Side Leg Lifts: Kneel down and rest your side against the ball, with one arm reaching over the ball and touching the floor. Extend the leg furthest from the ball and touch your toe to the floor. Keeping your torso straight and still, raise the extended leg until it is parallel to the ground (or higher). Slowly lower the leg to the starting position. Remember: squeeze your glutes, slowly raise and lower your leg, and keep your abs tight.

Ball Passes: Lie face-up on the ground holding an exercise ball with your arms extended over your head, your knees bent, your feet off of the ground. Contracting your abs, lift your upper body and place the ball between your feet. Lower and straighten your legs and bring your upper body back to the floor with arms extended above your head. Lift your upper and lower body again and pass the ball from your feet to your hands. Remember: lift your upper and lower body using your core and try not to go off of momentum.


Today I still feel a little like a homebody, but at least we have a backyard to play in now. Finally, after two years at your house, we have a patio and grass back there. Life changing. M is definitely a fan.

outside

If you need us, we’ll be hosing random stuff off all day. See y’all tomorrow!

Question: If you could own only one piece of fitness equipment, what would it be?

Friday Favorites: Happy Fourth + Lower Body Workout

Happy Fourth of July! I’ll be spending a day that celebrates freedom trapped in a car. Didn’t quite plan that one out, huh? Since I’m traveling today, I’m not really going to be able to do all the fun Independence Day stuff that I’d like to be doing. What better way to move on than to sit here and talk about it? ;)

 

Themed Foods

Hands down, the best part of the holiday is the food. The more red, white, and blue you can fit into the menu, the better. Berries make that ridiculously easy. It’s like nature intended them to be used at summer barbeques. Jello shots are also a good option. Obviously. Either way, you better be getting your fill of themed food.

red-white-and-blueberries-with-coconut-whipped-cream

 

Themed Clothing

I have yet to run a 4th of July themed race, but I am dying to get the chance. One year I’ll figure out a way to make it happen. Until then, I’ll just dress up all by myself. My neighbors might judge me, but that’s okay. It’s all for you, America. Keep on keepin’ on.

janji

 

Themed Workouts

I’ve done the same lower body workout for the past three years for the 4th, so it’s a keeper in my book. I call it “Salute Your Glutes” because I can’t stand to not be cheesy. If you haven’t gotten a workout in today, feel free to try this one out. It’s body weight only, so you can basically do it anywhere. Bonus points if you stop and complete it during a party wearing American flag socks. You know you want to.

Oh, and PS: I’m really nervous about posting this for some reason. I want to get into more detailed workout posts (especially after all of this NASM stuff is all up in my brain) but I also feel like a total loser. If this is the last time I should ever do this, let me know. It’s just way too fun to pretend to be Jillian Michaels in my backyard. Minus the ripped physique, of course. Anyway, here is my little PicMonkey workout creation:

salute your glutes lower body circuit



Marching Bridges (8-12 each leg):

Lie down on your back with your arms down by your sides, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Contract you glutes and raise your hips off of the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees, do don’t let your back arch. Once you are in position, alternate lifting each knee just as if you were marching. Remember: you should feel this in your glutes, not in your lower back or your thighs. Work on your form until your booty is doing all the work!

Side-lying Leg Lifts (8-12 each leg):

Lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of each other, your head resting on one arm, and your body forming a straight line. You could also rest on your forearm and sit more upright, like I did. Whatever works for you. Tighten the top thigh to lift that leg in the air. Hold it there for a moment. Lower your leg and repeat. Remember: it is important that you are using your thighs to lift your leg. If your thighs aren’t burning enough for you, add a resistance band or ankle weights.

Donkey Kicks (8-12 each leg):

Start on your hands and knees with your knees below your hips and hands below your shoulders, kind of like a dog. Just saying. Keeping the core muscles engaged, slowly lift the left leg. Your knee should stay bent at 90 degrees as you press your foot up toward the ceiling (or sky…). Alternate legs until you complete all reps. Remember: don’t let your back arch, keep your abs tight, and don’t rotate your hips. Keep everything as “square” as you can.

Star Jumps (8-12):

Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart or closer and your arms slightly bent at your sides. Squat down and then jump back up as high as possible, while extending completely (spreading your arms and legs out like a star). Land back in the position you started in and repeat the process, with smooth transitions between each position. Remember: while these should be performed quickly, form is still critical. No twisted ankles, please.

Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat (8-12 each leg):

Lift one foot and place it on a bench or other seat-height flat surface behind you. The top of your lifted foot should be touching the bench. Squat down, while keeping your abs contracted and your chest up. Lift back up and repeat the process until you’re done with all the reps for one leg. Switch legs and repeat. Remember: As with all the other moves, form is so important. Don’t let your front knee go past your foot, keep your core tight, and be careful while balancing. If you are struggling, just practice with your back foot touching the ground. No sense getting hurt, y’all.

Well I better go! We’re hopping in the car and heading to Orlando today. Don’t worry, you guys. I’ll be stalking all of y’all via social media, so at least I’ll pretend to be partying it up.

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Marching Bridges (8-12 each leg):

Lie down on your back with your arms down by your sides, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Contract you glutes and raise your hips off of the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees, do don’t let your back arch. Once you are in position, alternate lifting each knee just as if you were marching. Remember: you should feel this in your glutes, not in your lower back or your thighs. Work on your form until your booty is doing all the work!

Side-lying Leg Lifts (8-12 each leg):

Lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of each other, your head resting on one arm, and your body forming a straight line. You could also rest on your forearm and sit more upright, like I did. Whatever works for you. Tighten the top thigh to lift that leg in the air. Hold it there for a moment. Lower your leg and repeat. Remember: it is important that you are using your thighs to lift your leg. If your thighs aren’t burning enough for you, add a resistance band or ankle weights.

Donkey Kicks (8-12 each leg):

Start on your hands and knees with your knees below your hips and hands below your shoulders, kind of like a dog. Just saying. Keeping the core muscles engaged, slowly lift the left leg. Your knee should stay bent at 90 degrees as you press your foot up toward the ceiling (or sky…). Alternate legs until you complete all reps. Remember: don’t let your back arch, keep your abs tight, and don’t rotate your hips. Keep everything as “square” as you can.

Star Jumps (8-12):

Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart or closer and your arms slightly bent at your sides. Squat down and then jump back up as high as possible, while extending completely (spreading your arms and legs out like a star). Land back in the position you started in and repeat the process, with smooth transitions between each position. Remember: while these should be performed quickly, form is still critical. No twisted ankles, please.

Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat (8-12 each leg):

Lift one foot and place it on a bench or other seat-height flat surface behind you. The top of your lifted foot should be touching the bench. Squat down, while keeping your abs contracted and your chest up. Lift back up and repeat the process until you’re done with all the reps for one leg. Switch legs and repeat. Remember: As with all the other moves, form is so important. Don’t let your front knee go past your foot, keep your core tight, and be careful while balancing. If you are struggling, just practice with your back foot touching the ground. No sense getting hurt, y’all.

Well I better go! We’re hopping in the car and heading to Orlando today. Don’t worry, you guys. I’ll be stalking all of y’all via social media, so at least I’ll pretend to be partying it up.