Tag Archive: HIIT

Work That Booty (and Those Legs!)

This is one of my favorite go-to “Legs & Butt” workouts. It targets different muscle groups in your lower body and incorporates some core action to get the most of out of this quick & effective workout. Better yet, it features 9 different moves to keep you on your toes (pun intended!) and makes this workout feel like it goes by super quick!

Do each move for 1 minute, resting 30 seconds in between. Complete the circuit 1-2x.

  • WARM-UP: Run for 5-10 minutes **Bonus points: side-shuffle for 1 minute on each side. If you’re on a treadmill, set the pace at 3.0-3.5, turn sideways and shuffle for 1 minute. Then turn the other way and shuffle for an additional minute. Be careful and hold on if needed. This awkward-looking move targets muscles in your inner thighs and gets your legs ready for the burn to come.
  • BOSU plank leg raises: Start in plank position, with arms stabilizing on a BOSU. Keeping your abs engaged, raise your right leg towards the ceiling, then lower back to the floor. Continue raising and lowering the right leg for 30 seconds, then switch to the left for 30 seconds. Remember to keep a neutral spine, pulling your belly button in and avoid dropping your hips.
  • Squats: with dumbbells if you have them!
  • Deadlifts: again, with dumbbells!
  • Lunges with medicine ball slams: alternate right and left forward lunges holding a 8-10lb medicine ball at your chest. When you’re down in the lunge, turn to the side of your forward leg and slam the medicine ball on the ground beside you and catch it. Step feet back together and repeat on the opposite side.
  • Hip bridge: lay on your back with knees bent, feet on the floor. Raise your hips up, then lower. Bonus: place your feet on the round side of a BOSU and stabilize yourself during this move.
  • Step-ups: Using a bench or a step about 18 inches off the ground, step up with your right foot, driving through your heel, and follow with your left foot. Step back down with your right and follow with your left back to starting position. Repeat on opposite side.
  • Sumo squats: Like a normal squat, but feet wider than your hips, slightly turned out. Drop down into a deep squat, then return to start.
  • Calf raises: Start with feet parallel, and raise up on your toes, then lower. Repeat for 20 seconds. Then turn your feet out slightly, raise and lower for 20 seconds. Then turn your feet in slightly (pigeon-toed!), and raise and lower for 20 seconds. This one BURNS!
  • Curtsey squats: Start with feet together, then bring right foot behind and to the left of your left foot, keeping your hips facing forward, and lower into squat (like a curtsey). Return to start, and repeat on the left side. Alternate for 1 minute.

I love this workout because it’s quick, doesn’t require a lot of equipment, and it’s tough! Because it’s based on time instead of reps, you can push yourself as hard as you need to make this workout challenging to you. Keep track of how many reps you complete for each move to track your progress in the future. You can always add/increase dumbbells to make it harder too, Completing this set once will definitely get your heart rate up! Do 2 to really push yourself. Remember to cool down and stretch out those muscles when you’re done (especially your calves – yow-za!)

Cardio is a Beautiful Thing

Cardio is one of the most essential building blocks to health & fitness. In addition to enhancing cardiovascular and respiratory efficiency, it burns fat, boosts metabolism, reduces stress, and is a catalyst for the ever-sacred workout-induced endorphin rush. Yay cardio!

Even better yet is that cardio comes in many different forms: running, swimming, dancing, Zumba, cycling, rollerblading, hiking, and team sports, just to name a few. This variety is wonderful not only because it can prevent us from getting bored of the same old routine day in and day out, but it can also enhance the quality of our overall training program. A combination of low-, medium-, and high-intensity cardiovascular training (in addition to strength & flexibility training) is an ideal foundation for getting fit with exercise.

(more…)