Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Your Way to Fantastic Abs: Melissa Bender Fitness

Hi Everyone!

This day only happens once every 4 years, so in honor of Leap Year we are doing the "Leap Your Way to Abs" workout. 

In the video I forgot to show the equipment free variation for the ball pull-ins. If you don't have a stability ball go into a plank position and bring your knee to your elbow before returning to plank. Alternate legs. 

Tomorrow starts a brand new month! I love March because it marks the beginning of Spring (plus it's my birthday month!) So look for lots of new workouts. I can't wait until it gets nice enough to start filming a few outdoor workouts. :)

See you tomorrow,

Beginner: 10 reps
Intermediate: 15 reps
Advanced: 20 reps

Bonus: Do 10 minutes of cardio! Check out one of the cardio video workouts, run or jump rope. I ran a mile on the treadmill, and added in some extra jump squats to bring it up to 10 minutes. :) 

  1. Deep Knee Bend Jumps
  2. Ball Pull Abs
  3. Butt Kick Squats
  4. Side Plank Hip Lift (right)
  5. Side Plank Hip Lift (left)
  6. 1 Leg Pulse Jumps (right)
  7. 1 Leg Pulse Jumps (left)
  8. Handstand Kick (or down dog pushups)
  9. Ab Series (right, left, through, hip lift=1 rep)
  10. Leaping Mountains
  11. Burpee

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ham It Up! All About Hamstrings: Melissa Bender Fitness

Hi Everyone,

Tonight's workout really focuses on your glutes, hamstrings, triceps, arms, shoulders and back. It's another tough one. I have been really upping the ante with the last few workouts. They are very intense. 

After finishing this workout I did one mile on the treadmill (it took 7 minutes, and 4 seconds). I wanted to add an additional quick cardio blast. You can run, jump rope, do high knees, or the 10 minute cardio from the Bombshell Body Fat Burn workout. 

Enjoy the workout. Move as quickly as you can from one exercise to the next to really optimize your burn during and after the workout. 

Have fun!

Ham It Up!

Beginner: 10 reps
Intermediate: 15 reps
Advanced: 20 reps

Add 5-10 minutes of cardio after finishing this workout to really maximize your fat burn. 

  1. Tricep Leg Series (right)
  2. Tricep Leg Series (left)
  3. Burpee
  4. Right Pulse Lunge Jump
  5. Left Pulse Lunge Jump
  6. Spin Jacks
  7. Heel Tap Squat Jumps
  8. Hydrant Lift (right)
  9. Hydrant Lift (left)
  10. Booty Push (right)
  11. Booty Push (left)
  12. Cross Step Down Dog (right and left=1 rep)
  13. Lifted Leg Cross Reach (right)
  14. Lifted Leg Cross Reach (left)
  15. Jumping Side Plank
  16. Frog Squat
  17. Tricep Reverse Sit-up

Monday, February 27, 2012

Go Hard Home Workout: Melissa Bender

Hi Everyone,

Today’s workout is intense! I interspersed the reps with cardio blasts on my treadmill to maximize the burn. I interspersed mile runs in between the reps. If you don’t have someplace to run, or access to a treadmill, I recommend doing the 15 Minute High Intensity Cardio Fat Burn workout, or the 10 Minute Bombshell Fat Burn workout along with this workout. You could also chose to do 5 to 10 minutes of jump roping during the cardio burst sections of the workout.

Push yourself and go hard the entire time! Move through the reps as quickly as possible, while focusing on maintaining proper form.

Let me know what you think of the workout, and how long it takes you to get through it. I will post the breakdown the way I did it below. If you are doing one of the cardio workouts I have linked above you can do it at the end of the workout, instead of in between.

Have a great night,

Go Hard or Go Home Workout

Beginner: 10 reps
Intermediate: 15 reps
Advanced: 20 reps

Cardio Burst: I did a 1 mile run (7 minutes, 40 seconds). You can do 5-10 minutes of jump roping, or wait and do a cardio workout at the end.

  1. Side Lunge Kick (right)
  2. Side Lunge Kick (left)
  3. 1 Leg Deadlift (right)
  4. 1 Leg Deadlift (left)
  5. Lunge Jumps

Cardio Burst: I did a 1 mile run (7 minutes, 34 seconds)

  1. Scissor Ab Combo
  2. Angel Abs
  3. Leg Lift/Hip Lift
  4. Butt Shake/Hip Twist
  5. Bicycle Abs

Cardio Burst: I did a 1 mile run (7 minutes, 30 seconds)
  1. Pushups
  2. Oblique Drop (right)
  3. Oblique Drop (left)
  4. Ball Pull In/Glute Squeeze
  5. Rotating Side Plank

Note: I did 3 miles of running during the workout. I maintained a pace that I could hold while talking, but one that still had me working. If you don’t want to run or jump rope try one of these cardio burst workouts:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Full Body Beginner Workout: Melissa Bender Fitness

Hi Everyone,

Marie came over for another workout today. She brought her gorgeous son, Liam with her. When he got tired of watching us, and wanted some attention I decided to include him in our workout. :) He loved it, and I got to play with an adorable baby so we were both happy. 

Marie has gotten a lot stronger, and has been losing both pounds and inches since starting her fitness bender. She did a great job in today's workout, and was able to do the intermediate number of reps for everything except the Lunge Kicks (which she did 10 of). So she has really improved a lot in a short period of time. 

If you're on a more advanced level repeat this workout 2-4 times. It took us 15 minutes exactly to go through this workout once. 

Enjoy, and have a great day!


Beginner: 10 reps, 30 seconds timed
Intermediate: 15 reps, 45 seconds timed
Advanced: 20 reps, 60 seconds timed

Repeat 2-4 times. 

  1. Lateral Jump Squat
  2. Heel Push Right (timed)
  3. Heel Push Left (timed)
  4. Crossing Leg Reach Right
  5. Crossing Leg Reach Left
  6. Lunge Kick Right
  7. Lunge Kick Left
  8. Down Dog Leg Lift Right
  9. Down Dog Leg Lift Left
  10. Zombie Situps (or Baby Situps!) (timed)
  11. V-Scissor Reach 
  12. Mountain Climber (timed)
  13. Half Moon Rotations
  14. High Knees (timed)
Special thanks to Marie and Liam for joining us today! 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ultimate Body Weight Workout: Melissa Bender Fitness

Hi Everyone,

Today's workout is a tough one! This is a major calorie torcher, and it will help tone your entire body.

It took Jesse and I 31 minutes, and 40 seconds to complete the entire workout. Make sure you warm up before doing this one so you are getting the ultimate burn right from the start. This is a high intensity workout with a lot of different cardio burst exercises interspersed throughout. 

The benefit of HIIT workouts is increased calorie burn in shorter periods of time, among other things. I will be writing a blog post about the other benefits of this style of workout soon. 

Enjoy the workout, and have a great day!

Ultimate Body Weight Workout

 Beginner: 10 reps, 30 seconds timed exercises
 Intermediate: 15 reps, 45 seconds
 Advanced: 20 reps, 60 seconds
 *Unless otherwise noted

  1. Burpee (Beginner: 5, Intermediate: 8, Advanced: 10 reps)
  2. 1 Leg Jumping Pushups (Beginner: 5, Intermediate: 8, Advanced: 10 reps)
  3. High Knees (timed)
  4. 1 Leg Squat Right (Beginner: 5, Intermediate: 8, Advanced: 10 reps)
  5. 1 Leg Squat Left (Beginner: 5, Intermediate: 8, Advanced: 10 reps)
  6. Lunge Jump (timed)
  7. Mountain Climber (timed)
  8. Bow Pose Kicks/Prone Hamstring Curls (Beginner: 15, Intermediate: 25, Advanced: 30 reps)
  9. Jump Squats (timed)
  10. Runners Lunge to Balance/Warrior 3 (right)
  11. Runners Lunge to Balance/Warrior 3 (left)
  12. Pendulum Squat
  13. Oblique Drop (right)
  14. Oblique Drop (left)
  15. Plie Jumps (timed)
  16. Side Plank with Leg Lift (right)
  17. Side Plank with Leg Lift (left)
  18. 3 Part Abs
  19. High Knees
  20. Diagonal Lunge Reach
  21. Burpees  (Beginner: 5, Intermediate: 8, Advanced: 10 reps)
My reps for the timed exercises (60 seconds)
40 Lunge Jumps
130 Mountain Climbers
46 Jump Squats
32 Plie Jumps

Total Time: 31 minutes and 40 seconds

Keep track of your time, and number of reps so you can see yourself advancing, growing more fit, and stronger each time you repeat this workout!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fat Meltdown: Melissa Bender Fitness Workout

Hi Everyone!

I upped the ante with today's workout. I increased my reps from 20 to 30 and it felt great. I was really energized today so I decided to go with it. 

In the video I had trouble balancing on the Speed Skater exercise, so I did it more slowly during the  workout. Adding the balance made it a bit more challenging for me. Also, the leg series on the ball was tough so I split it up (15 reps right, 15 reps left, 15 reps right, 15 reps left). I forgot to time it, so I can't tell you how long it took, but I do recommend timing it so you can challenge yourself to beat your time when you repeat this workout. 

Jesse and I followed our workouts with a delicious dinner of veggie stuffed omlettes. 

Enjoy the workout!

Beginner: 10-15 reps, 30 seconds timed exercises
Intermediate: 15-20 reps, 45 seconds
Advanced: 25-30 reps, 60 seconds

  1. Burpee
  2. Table Kick (right)
  3. Table Kick (left)
  4. Russians (timed)
  5. Side Situp (right)
  6. Side Situp (left)
  7. Squat Tuck
  8. Leg Series (with or without ball) (left)
  9. Leg Series (right)
  10. Speed Skater
  11. Rolling Pushups
  12. Jump Around (timed)
  13. Plank (timed)
  14. Ball Pass Abs
  15. High Knees (timed)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Home Yoga Flow: Melissa Bender Fitness

Hi Everyone,

Today I filmed a yoga workout. It's a basic, full body routine. Yoga is amazing (for a multitude of reasons!) but one of my favorite things about it is that it helps correct any imbalances in your body. You work your entire body, and strengthen areas that you didn't know were weak. It also helps keep your muscles long and supple.

In addition to this yoga flow I also ran two miles today. So I did about 15 minutes of cardio, plus the 25 minute yoga workout.

Enjoy and have a great night.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cardio: 15 Minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Melissa Bender Fitness

Hi Everyone,

Today’s workout is a high intensity interval cardio blast. The entire workout only takes 15 minutes. You can use this one alone, or you can use it as cardio with any other workout. If you don’t have the opportunity to run or jump rope this workout is another option for you.

It really kicked my butt today. I slowed wayyyyyyy down toward the end of the workout. You are going for maximum number of reps during each 50 second interval, but don’t forget to focus on form. It’s better to do fewer reps with perfect form.

Feel free to post the number of reps that you did in the comments section below. It’s really good to keep track, because it’s very motivating to try and do more next time.

Also, if you need to take breaks during the workout do it. There are several times in the video that I paused to shake out my legs or catch my breath. The next time I go through this I will be trying to increase my reps and rest less. J

Enjoy the workout, if you’re feeling up to it pair this one with any of my other workouts for a super intense sweat session.


All Levels: Max reps during each 50 second interval, 10 seconds of rest.
No Equipment Necessary. The numbers in parenthesis are the number of reps I completed during each interval.
  1. High Knees
  2. Jump Kick Right (25)
  3. Jump Kick Left (25)
  4. 3-way Double Mountain Climber
  5. High Knees
  6. Squat Jump (25)
  7. Mountain Climbers
  8. Lunge Jumps (18)
  9. Lunge Kick (right) (12)
  10. Lunge Kick (left) (15)
  11. High Knees
  12. Surfer (21)
  13. Burpee (6)
  14. Low Jacks (40)
  15. Pendulum (60)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Whole Wheat Nutella Brownie Bites

I had a sweet tooth tonight, and I got the idea for these brownie bites from a post I saw on pinterest. The original recipe came from Laura's Sweet Spot. Of course I changed it up to make it a little bit healthier. I substituted whole wheat flour for white flour, and was beyond thrilled with the results! Also, for half of them I crushed up dark chocolate M&M's and sprinkled them on the top. I am sending those to work with Jesse tomorrow. I thought they were sweet enough without the extra chocolate. 

The recipe is super easy, and took only 15-17 minutes from start to finish. It makes 12 brownie bites. 

1 Cup Nutella
2 Eggs
1/2 cup and 2 Tablespoons of whole wheat flour

Pre-heat Oven to 350 degrees. Put cupcake liners in a muffin pan. I used re-usable cupcake liners. 

Step 1:
Mix the eggs and nutella. (I measured out the nutella and then microwaved it for about 15-20 seconds before mixing to make it easier). 

Step 2:
Mix the flour until it is just mixed in, and spread throughout the nutella/egg mixture. 

Step 3:
Scoop the mixture evenly  into the liners. They were slightly more than half way full. 

Step 4: 
Bake for 12-15 minutes. If you want a gooey center bake for 12 minutes, if you want them more cooked throughout go for 15 minutes. 

The results are delicious, and healthier than a traditional brownie. They are also an appropriate size for an indulgent treat. Remember, being healthy is not about deprivation. It's about learning how to find a balance. You should still be able to enjoy food, but it shouldn't leave you feeling sick or guilty. 

Double Trouble: Melissa Bender Fitness Workout

Hi Everyone,
Cydney is back for today’s workout! She was at the gym doing cardio before she came over for today’s workout. She ran 1 ½ miles. I power walked three miles on the treadmill with the incline turned all the way up. I was reading a really good book that I didn’t want to put down while I worked out, so I improvised and got in a great cardio burn while I was reading. I set the treadmill on 4 and the incline on 12. By the time I was done I was dripping sweat.
Cydney and I used Kettlebells for a couple of the workout moves today, but as always I showed the bodyweight variation for the exercises. Hand weights can be used just as well, or even soup cans.
I am planning some high intensity workouts this week. There will be some high intensity interval training, and lots of fat burning. Be sure to check back!

Double Trouble Workout
Beginner: 10 reps, 30 seconds mountain climbers
Intermediate: 15 reps, 45 seconds mountain climbers
Advanced: 20 reps, 60 seconds mountain climbers
1.       Kettle Bell Situps
2.       Side Plank Leg Lift (left)
3.       Side Plank Leg Lift (right)
4.       Hip Lift
5.       Mountain Climbers
6.       Plank Punch
7.       Squat Reach (left)
8.       Squat Reach (right)
9.       3-way Lunge (left)
10.   3-way Lunge (right)
11.   Reverse Situp
12.   Sumo Pushup
Add on 15-30 minutes of cardio and you have a high intensity, full body, fat burning workout. J

Full Body Toning: Melissa Bender Fitness Workout

Hi Everyone!

I have a cold so excuse me if I sound a little funny in today's video. It affected my breathing a bit so I got out of breath more quickly than normal, but it still felt great to workout.

In addition to today's workout I did an outdoor run. It was 4 miles, and it took around 30 minutes. Jesse and I just ran at a nice comfortable "talking pace." By that I mean you should be able to talk to someone the entire time that you are running.

Enjoy the workout, there will be a new one today. This one is actually from last night, but it took forever to upload to youtube!


Full Body Toning Workout
Beginner: 10 reps
Intermediate: 15 reps
Advanced: 20 reps

1.       Russian Twist
2.       Jump Kick Right
3.       Jump Kick Left
4.       Side Burpee
5.       Runners Lunge (right)
6.       Runners Lunge (left)
7.       Surfer Plank
8.       Sumo deadlift
9.       Ball Pull-in
10.   Starfish Abs
Finish your workout with 15-30 minutes of cardio (walking, running, jump rope, high knees, or the Bombshell Fat Burn).
If you aren't going to do the extra cardio repeat the entire workout 4 times.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Tight and Toned Workout

Hi Everyone,
Here’s tonight’s new workout! I also posted a healthy, high protein snack that I tried out tonight, and really liked. Be sure to check that out as well. J
I am going to continue filming “how to” videos, and I want to add a home cardio section so everyone has a variety of home cardio workouts to do. So keep checking back for some of the changes I have in store!
Have a great evening, and enjoy the workout!
PS I will also be posting pictures and a recipe for my favorite omelet (I am sure you’ve noticed I really like eggs!)

Tight and Toned Workout
Beginner: 10 reps, 30 seconds of high knees
Intermediate: 15 reps, 45 seconds high knees
Advanced: 20 reps, 60 seconds high knees
Warm-up: 5 minutes of cardio. Jump Rope, Running, High Knees, Mountain Climbers, anything that gets your heart rate up!
1.       High Knees
2.       Oblique Lift (left)
3.       Oblique Lift (right)
4.       1 Leg Pulse (left)
5.       1 Leg Pulse (right)
6.       Jump Squat
7.       Criss Cross (right)
8.       Criss Cross (left)
9.       Booty Push (right)
10.   Booty Push (left)
11.   Burpee
12.   3 Way Double Mountain Climber
13.   Tricep Jump
14.   Leg Lift Reach
15.   Leg Lift/Hip Lift

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tuna Stuffed Egg Whites: 21 Grams of Protein

Looking for a super easy, low calorie way to feel full and get plenty of protein? Try this!

All you need to do is hard boil a couple of eggs, get rid of the yolk, and stuff it with tuna. I used lemon pepper tuna because I love the flavor, and you don't have to add anything else to it. 

To boil your egg put eggs in a pan, and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil, and then lower the flame. Allow eggs to boil for about 1 minute. Cover and remove from heat. Leave covered for 10-13 minutes.  Drain the eggs, and cover with cool water. You can refrigerate the eggs or eat them as soon as they are cool. 

Quick, easy. 94 calories for two eggs stuffed with tuna. 21 grams of protein. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How to do Warrior 3 Pose/Single Leg Deadlifts with Modifications from A...

How to video for Warrior 3 Pose/Single Leg Deadlifts. Variations from beginner to advanced.

How to do a Burpee with Modifications from Advanced to Beginner

How to do a Burpee, with modifications for all levels. If you have questions post them in the comments below!


Lady Lump Workout: TIme Challenge

Hi Everyone!

Today's workout is a repeat. I am working on some new projects for my blog so I didn't have time to film a brand new workout, but here is one of my favorite older workouts. If you've done this workout before time yourself and see if you can beat your previous time! The first time I did this workout the rep portion took me 20 minutes and 21 seconds. I am going to try to beat that time today. As soon as I finish the workout I will post my time, and we can see if I improved.

If this is your first time through time yourself, and save it so you have a goal for the next time you do this workout!


Lady Lump Workout
Warm-up/Cardio Burst: Jump Rope or high knees
Beginner: 5 minutes
Intermediate: 7 minutes
Advanced: 10 minutes
Beginner: 10 reps
Intermediate: 15 reps
Advanced: 20 reps
1.       Twisting Warrior
2.       Right Twist Kick
3.       Left Twist Kick
4.       Split Squat (right)
5.       Split Squat (left)
6.       Squat Jacks
7.       Down Dog Leg Lifts
8.       Side Plank Drop (right)
9.       Side Plank Drop (left)
10.   Burpees
Cardio Burst: repeat your warm up
Be sure to stretch after your workout! A round of Sun Salutations is a great cool down.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hot Definition: Melissa Bender Fitness Workout

Hi Everyone,
Happy (early!) Valentine’s Day! J
Hopefully tonight’s workout will leave you feeling strong and sexy, and that feeling will last until tomorrow.
It’s a quick intense workout tonight. After I finished this one I hopped on the treadmill and did 2 miles in 14 minutes and 40 seconds. It was a nice working pace, but I know I could have been going faster. The point was to get about 15 minutes of fairly intense cardio after the workout. If you don’t have a treadmill, or don’t want to run outside some other options include: jump rope, mountain climbers, high knees, or the cardio portion of any of my other workouts. Bombshell Butt Cardio
This workout was tough, but I felt great as soon as it was over! Enjoy your Valentine’s Day, and be sure to take a moment and make someone feel special. To me this day isn’t about gifts or candy, it’s about love and appreciation. So let someone know how much you appreciate them, and I hope someone makes you feel that way too.
Have a good night,

Hot Definition Workout
Beginner: 10 reps, 20 reps of scissor abs (you can start with 5 Burpees)
Intermediate: 15 reps, 35 reps of scissor abs
Advanced: 20 reps, 50 reps of scissor abs
Note: Everyone does 10 Burpees in-between exercises. To modify do them from your knees. For a lower impact modification instead of jumping step your feet forward one at a time, stand and drive your knees toward your chest one at a time.
1.       10 Burpee
2.       Forward/Back Lunges Right (forward and backward=1 rep)
3.       10 Burpee
4.       Forward/Back Lunges Left (forward and backward=1 rep)
5.       10 Burpee
6.       Scissor Abs (increased reps)
7.       10 Burpee
8.       3 Way Abs
9.       10 Burpee
10.   Tricep Leg Lift/Extended Plank Knee to Elbow (right and left leg lift, and right and left knee to elbow=1 rep)

Fantastic Butt Shaper: Melissa Bender Fitness

Hi Everyone,
Tonight’s workout focuses on your glutes, and thighs. There will be a brand new workout tomorrow. I am going to try to make up for lost time this week. I had to miss a couple of workouts because I wasn’t feeling well. I’m all better now though!
In tonight’s workout I use weights and a stability ball, but I show bodyweight variations for all of the exercises as well. So you can work out at your level and build up when you repeat this workout in the future.
Have a great night,

Fantastic Butt Shaper
Beginner: 15 reps, 30 for bicycle and hip lift
Intermediate: 20 reps, 40 for bicycle and hip lift
Advanced: 25 reps, 50 for bicycle and hip lift
1.       Good Mornings
2.       Mountain Climber
3.       Ball Tuck (butt)
4.       Ball Pull-in (abs)
5.       Leg Circles (with or without ball) Right
6.       Leg Circles Left
7.       Single Leg Deadlift (Weighted Warrior) (right)
8.       Single Leg Deadlift (Weighted Warrior) (left)
9.       Squat
10.   Bicycle
11.   Hip Lift
12.   Side Lying Leg Lift (left)
13.   L Leg Lift (left)
14.   Side Lying Leg Lift (right)
15.   L Leg Lift (right)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wake Up With a Delicious Fruit Smoothie!

I wanted to make an omlette for breakfast this morning, but found that I was out of eggs. I was not in the mood for cereal, but I had plenty of fresh fruit in the house so I decided to make a smoothie. Healthy, delicious, and nutritious! I often mix up my smoothie ingredients, but here was my recipe for this morning.

Smoothie Ingredients (makes 2 smoothies):
1 Banana
8 Strawberries (medium)
8 Blueberries
1/2 cup greek yogurt
3/4 cup vanilla soy milk
Optional: 1 Tablespoon of honey

3 Blueberries
1 Strawberry
sprinkle of Sliced Almonds

1. Slice the banana and strawberries into the blender.
2. Add all of the other ingredients.
3. Blend until it reaches the desired consistency.
4. Put into a cup
5. Put the Garnish fruit on a toothpick, and slice the bottom of the strawberry so it can rest on the lip of the cup.
6. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

7 Moves to a Sexier Body

Hi Everyone,
Today’s workout is short, but effective. It works your legs, especially your hamstrings and glutes, your entire core, and your arms.
Confession time, I am sick today. I have a fever, and am feeling pretty weak. I probably shouldn’t have worked out at all, but I was feeling better for a little while. I only went through the workout once because I could tell that was all my body could take. I probably should have just taken the day off and rested. The reason I am sharing this is because it’s a “what not to do” story. If you aren’t feeling good don’t push it! It was dumb of me to do, and I’m not feeling so hot now as a result.
Anyway, even though the workout is short, it should still be challenging. Have a great night!

7 Moves to a Sexier Body
Beginner: 10 reps, repeat 2X
Intermediate: 15 reps, repeat 2X
Advanced: 20 reps, repeat 3X
1.       Weighted Warrior (left)
2.       Weighted Warrior (right)
3.       Butt Walker
4.       Heel Tap Abs
5.       Hip Lift
6.       Ab Wringer
7.       Walking Pushups

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Physical Fat Blast: Melissa Bender Workout

Hi Everyone!
We are mid-way through the week! Yay! J
I just finished my workout, and I am feeling fantastic! In addition to today’s workout I did 15 minutes of cardio. I ran on the treadmill and did 2 miles in 14 minutes and 25 seconds. I am trying to re-incorporate more running into my workouts not only to increase my cardiovascular endurance, but because I want to do some more racing this year. Jesse is training for marathons, and we have been having fun running together (on his slow days!) I can’t run fast enough (yet!) to keep up with him on his fast days.
I am going to make a cardio tab for my blog so anyone trying out these workouts at home has options if they don’t have a treadmill or elliptical, or don’t like running outside. Jump roping is also a fantastic way to get your cardio in.
I hope everyone is having a fantastic day! Remember, if you’re just starting out you can do these workouts. Just build slowly, and feel free to comment below if you need modifications for any exercises.
See you tomorrow with a new workout!

Physical Fat Blast
Beginner: 10 reps
Intermediate: 15 reps
Advanced: 20 reps
The first 10 exercises are timed, 10 seconds of rest, and 20 seconds max reps.
Note: If you aren’t going to do 15 minutes of cardio on top of this repeat the workout for some additional fat burning, and body shaping. J
1. High Knees
2. Jump Squat
3. Right Lunge Jump
4. Left Lunge Jump
5. Mountain Climber Cross
6. Lunge Kick (right)
7. Lunge Kick (left)
8. Double Mountain Climber (3 way)
9. Side Jump (right)
10. Side Jump (left)
11. Sumo Pushup
12. Side Plank Low Leg Lift (right)
13. Side Plank Low Lef Lift (left)
14. Extended Situp with weight
15. Get-up with weight
16. Triangle Twist (right)
17. Triangle Twist (left)
18. Reach Through Abs with hip lift (left)
19. Reach Through Abs with hip lift (right)
20. Double Kick Back (left)
21. Double Kick Back (right)
End with 15 minutes of cardio, or repeat the workout.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Proper Pushup Form and Variations

Time and time again I have had women tell me that they "can't" do a pushup. My answer is always the same, "Yes you can! You just have to build up to it!"

The biggest issue I come across is poor form. As you build your strength it is not a problem to start out on your knees. 10 pushups from your knees are doing more for you than 10 pushups with poor form. However, the goal is to start working your way to doing pushups from your toes. If you can even do 1-2 pushups from your toes and the rest from your knees that is fine!

Why do pushups? It is one of the best and most dynamic core exercises out there (think about it, you just made plank even harder, and the whole world has been raving about the benefits of plank pose!) It simultaneously works your chest, shoulders and triceps. Depending on the variation you can also activate different back muscles, and your glutes (pictures below).

Proper Form:

1. Keep your hands in the same plane as your shoulders. They can be out to the side, or directly below your shoulders depending on the variation, but they shouldn't be above your shoulders.

2. Your back should be straight. Your butt should not lift or drop.

3. Your head should be in the same plane as your body.

4. Lift and lower yourself as far as possible. I ussually go down until my chest or nose touch the ground depending on the variation.

5. Keep a nice even pace. Move slowly if you can. It's more challenging!

6. The only thing that should be moving is your elbows!

Pushups can be done anywhere, and mixed up to keep them interesting. You will really reap the benefits of doing this exercise correctly!

The picture below is 1 leg pushups. This really activates your glutes, and works your core and upper body a bit differently. If you want to try a harder variation this is one of my favorites. Note that my form stays the same. Only my arms are moving, and I lower until my chest touches the ground before returning to the starting position.

The picture below is a Monkey Pushup. In this exercise your legs remain straight and you bend from the hips. Again, only your arms are moving, and you lower until your nose touches the floor. Don't be afraid to try new things! If you're starting out remember to build slowly until you are ready to try the more difficult variations!