Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 29: Cardio and Core/Plank and Burn

 

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to 30 Day Challenge Day 29! Today got a bit wonky so I didn't get to film as planned. I had a great core workout planned (which you will see soon). Even though I didn't get to film the new workout I am sharing one of my favorites: Plank and Burn!

I was able to get in a 4 mile run and some archery today so I stayed active. I also posted a list of 15 ideas for Active Rest Days. 

In this workout, I alternated jump roping with 15 different plank variations to work the entire mid-section and back. Being able to do the plank with proper form results in more than just stronger abs, it also improves the strength and resilience of your low back. This helps prevent injury, and relieve low back pain. 

If you aren't sure if you have proper form ask someone, look at yourself in a mirror or have someone take your picture while you hold plank. 

Although this is an incredibly effective exercise, it is often performed inaccurately. 



During Leg Lift Plank don't allow the back to arch.
Maintain a strong core throughout the movement to support the low back
and activate the glutes. 
I hope you all enjoy this workout. Remember, if you don't have a jump rope you can substitute high knees or mountain climbers in between planks. 

Have fun!
Melissa

PS I am seeing a lot of requests for another challenge! What type of challenge would you like to see?


*Plank 50 seconds per exercise, Jump Rope 30 seconds between each exercise. 
The entire routine takes 20 minutes. 

1. Forearm Plank
-Jump Rope
2. Right Side Plank
-Jump Rope
3. Left Side Plank
-Jump Rope
4. Chatarunga Plank
-Jump Rope
5. Rotating Plank (on the forearm)
-Jump Rope
6. Knee Drop Plank
-Jump Rope
7. Plank Jack
-Jump Rope
8. Elbow Tap Plank (right)
-Jump Rope
9. Elbow Tap Plank (left)
-Jump Rope
10. Leg Lift Plank
-Jump Rope
11. Plank Crunch
-Jump Rope
12. Side Plank Hip Lift (right)
-Jump Rope
13. Walk the Plank 
-Jump Rope
14. Side Plank Hip Lift (left)
-Jump Rope
15. Plank Step
-Jump Rope

Sunday, March 30, 2014

30 Day Challenge: Day 28: All Around Fit-Running Cross Trainer


Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Day 28 of the 30 Day Workout Challenge! I really enjoyed this workout. It's a nice combination of strength, stretch, and cardiovascular challenge. It's a great full body workout, and it is also a good cross training workout for runners. 

I have posted two alternate cardio options below for those of you that don't run. You can pick the one that appeals to you the most, or alternate each round with a different cardio challenge. 

I repeated this workout 3X and added some weights for rounds 2 & 3. I also picked up the speed for the last 5 minute interval to a 7.2 min/mile pace (8.2 mph on the treadmill) to increase the challenge.  

I hope you enjoy the workout! 
Melissa

PS Don't forget to check in after your workout: FacebookInstagram or Twitter


Equipment: Gymboss Interval Timer

1. Runners Lunge Kick (right)**
2. Runners Lunge Kick (left)**
3. Dive Bomber
4. Bicycle
5. Forward Fold Leg Lift (right)
6. Forward Fold Leg Lift (left)
7. Side Plank Pushup
8. Leg/Hip Lift
9. Curtsy Lunge Kick (right)**
10. Curtsy Lunge Kick (left)**

*5 Minute Run or Cardio of Choice
(**I used a 20 lb dumbbell on these exercises during rounds 2 & 3)

Repeat 1-3X

6 Minute Jump Rope Cardio Blast:


Alternate 5 Minute Cardio Blast:

All Levels: Max Reps during each 50 second interval, 10 seconds of rest between exercises. Followed by 1 mile run, or 5-10 minutes of cardio of choice. 

1. Frog Hopper
2. Curtsy Lunge Twist (right)
3. Bicycle Abs
4. Curtsy Lunge Twist (left)
5. Jumping Jack Pushup

Bored of Your Exercise Routine? 15 Fun Ideas for Active Rest Day

How many times have you heard people say exercise is boring? Sometimes you need to switch up your routine, get out of that rut and try something new. 

It can become easy to put in the same exercise DVD every day, or go to the gym and do the same workout on the same machines. If you've been following my blog for a while you know I switch my workouts up every day. I like the challenge of new experiences. I especially like Active Rest Days. 

Active Rest Days are days when you aren't doing your "normal" workout routine, but you're staying busy, getting your body moving, and having fun!

Here are some ideas to make your active rest day more fun! If you have some ideas I haven't mentioned please post them in the comments below or on my Facebook page!


Hike or Trail Run
1. Go Hiking or try a Trail Run. Going outside can energize you! You can go alone or with a group of friends. Do a quick search to see if you have any outdoor organizations in your area. We have a company nearby that hosts a variety of hikes and outdoor activities from Yoga Hikes, to MicroBrewery Hikes and everything in between. It can also be a good way to make new friends!


Go To a Park and Play
2. Go to a Park and Play! (While you're there you can try my Quick Playground Workout). 
If you have kids, nieces or nephews, they will be thrilled if you join in on the fun and play with them! 
When my niece and nephew come over we enjoy "Playing Yoga," going to the park, and "Warrior Training." When we play yoga we take turns demonstrating a pose and having the others try it. Kids make up some fun (and challenging!) moves if you give them the chance! Warrior Training is basically fun exercises we do together to build up strength like their favorite superheroes. 


Go Swimming
3. Go Swimming! Swimming is a fantastic workout for your entire body. It's low impact, great for your cardiovascular system and it's fun!
Go to the Zoo
4. Go to the Zoo. You get to meet animals and spend the day walking. 

Ice Skate or Roller Skate

5. Go Ice Skating or Roller Skating. It's fun, and you can go with a group of friends! You can burn as many calories as you do jogging and it's a full body workout. 
Dance!
6. Go Dancing. It doesn't matter what type of dancing you do! Put on some music, get moving and have fun! Swing Dancing is one of my all time favorite things to do. 

7. Go Rock Climbing. You can do this inside a gym or outdoors. It's a challenging (but fun!) full body workout. Search for rock climbing gyms near you. 


Zip Line
8. Go Zip Lining. It's fun, it's an adventure and it can be physically challenging! Check out the video below for our zip line experience, and you can glimpse just a few of the obstacles we got to conquer along the way. We took my mom for her birthday and she loved it!
video



9. Go On an Adventure Tour. You might be able to find local tours for caving, spelunking, white water rafting, rappelling, or a variety of other fun activities! See if you can get a group of friends together for an adventure! 

Ride a Bike
10. Go on a Bike Ride. I love bike riding, it's fun, relaxing, you get to be outside and explore. Sometimes when Jesse is doing a hard run I bike next to him to help him keep pace. It's a fun way to get moving and enjoy yourself. If you don't have a bike look into bike rentals. Our city has downtown bike rentals, and most of our local parks rent bikes as well. 







11. Rent a Kayak, Canoe, or Row Boat. We live near plenty of rivers and lakes so this is one of our favorite warm weather activities. We also love to kayak and stay active when we go on vacation. It's a lot of fun, it's challenging, and it's a great core and arm workout. 


12. Go Boating and/or Parasailing. Be open to new experiences. They can energize you, make you feel alive, and challenge you in ways you don't expect!


13. Play Mini-Golf or go to the Driving Range. This is another of our favorite warm weather activities, and a good one to do with friends. 

14. Play Frisbee Golf. It's a real game, with rules and everything! One of our state parks has a Frisbee Golf Course set up. You hike through the woods as part of the course. You can always modify and play in an open field with friends. 


15. Bring your Yoga Practice Outside. Remember, your workouts don't have to be confined to your house or gym! Be creative, just getting into a new environment can stimulate your mind and body in new ways. 

In conclusion: Be Silly! Don't be afraid to have fun and get a little bit goofy! Try something new and different. What's on your to-do list? 


30 Day Challenge: Day 27: Yoga Flow and Stretch

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Day 27 of the 30 Day Workout Challenge! It's a yoga flow and stretch. It's quick (20 Minutes), but it will feel great to do some yoga. Stretching has been scientifically proven to improve muscle gains. Making yoga and stretching a normal part of your routine can help prevent injury and promote faster healing. I filmed this routine a few months ago, but I will be going through it again today. 

With yoga (and any exercise) it's very important to listen to your body. You want to challenge yourself, but you never want to bounce in any poses (for example trying to touch your toes: reach as far as you can, but don't bounce up and down to stretch further). 

Also, your balance can vary from one side of your body to the other. I have better balance standing on my right foot than my left. Everyone is different. Challenge yourself. 

I included an inversion in this routine. In the video I talk about supporting the pose through your arms. You do not want to put pressure through your head. If you don't have the strength to do this yet keep building up to it. 

If you have uncontrolled or poorly controlled high blood pressure, neck problems (herniated disks, etc), or glaucoma skip the headstand. 

Health is more important than attempting to do a yoga pose or exercise. :) 

Enjoy the workout!
Melissa


PS Don't forget to check in after your workout: FacebookInstagram or Twitter






Saturday, March 29, 2014

30 Day Challenge: Day 26: 23 Minute HIIT



 Hi Everyone!

This is Workout #26 for the 30 Day Challenge! This workout kicked my butt! Make sure you warm up (jog in place, do some walking or jump rope) to get your body ready to work hard. Warming up increases your ability to maximize the effort put out during the workout, and improves the calorie burn. 

This is an intense workout. The breakdown is similar to the breakdown I use in my Boot Camp classes. If you are just starting to build up your endurance and strength, or find that this is to intense you can substitute rest or marching for the high knees between rounds. You can also shorten the intervals. 

HIIT workouts are one of the best ways you can burn fat while maintaining your lean muscle mass. This allows you to keep your shape and strength, while improving your metabolism. 

Today is the last day to enter my Gymboss Interval Timer giveaway! You can enter HERE for a chance to win one of 5 Interval Timers: Gymboss Interval Timer Giveaway!

I hope you enjoy tonight's workout!
Melissa

PS I love feedback on how the challenge is going for you so be sure to check in on FacebookInstagram or Twitter




Equipment: 
Gymboss Interval Timer and a chair, bench or stability ball to put your feet up on for decline pushups.

Max Reps During Each 60 second interval, 30 seconds of High Knees between exercises. 

*Beginners start with 30 seconds of max reps, 15 seconds of rest (or high knees) between exercises. 
*HIIT workouts are very intense. Push yourself, but also listen to your body. 

1. Decline Pushups
2. Double Squat Jump
3. Burpee
4. Reverse Hook Crunch
5. Spiderman Plank
6. Frogger
7. Lunge Jump
8. Surfer
9. Single Leg Frogger
10. Temple Tap Abs
11. Frog Hopper
12. Curtsy Lunge Kick (right)
13. Curtsy Lunge Kick (left)
14. Rotating Side Plank Crunch
15. Squat Twist

Repeat 1-3X

Friday, March 28, 2014

30 Day Challenge: Day 25: 15 Minute Dumbbell Sculpt


Hi Everyone, 

Are you ready for today's 30 Day Challenge workout? Today's workouts is a 15 minute Dumbbell HIIT routine. This workout can be repeated for time or reps. Or you can challenge yourself to a round of each. 

Have fun! See you tonight with a new workout!

 Don't forget to check in on Facebook and enter my giveaway contest for your chance to win a Gymboss Interval TimerYou can enter HERE: Gymboss Interval Timer Giveaway!

I hope you guys enjoy the workout!
Melissa


Equipment: Gymboss Interval Timer and a Chair. 
Max reps 10/50 (15 rounds)
or
Beginner: 10 reps
Intermediate: 15 reps
Advanced: 20 reps

1.  Plank Row

2. Squat and Press

3. Tricep Extension

4. Lunge Row (right)

5. Lunge Row (left)

6. Dumbbell Swing (right)

7. Dumbbell Swing (left)

8. Split Squat (right)

9. Split Squat (left)

10. Romanian Deadlift

11. Dumbbell Heel Press & Curl

12. Wood Chopper (right)

13. Wood Chopper (left)

14. Warrior III Curl (right)

15. Warrior III Curl (left)

Repeat1-3X

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

30 Day Challenge: Day 25: Improve Your Rear View


Hi Everyone, 

I have a brand new butt/lower body workout headed your way for the 30 Day Challenge. In the mean time this is one of my favorite workouts for sculpting your tush. This workout incorporates exercises that have been scientifically proven to be the most effective at activating all of the muscles that make up your butt. The number one, BEST, exercise for your butt is the one legged squat. It's tough, but I show some variations in the video. 

This workout will help lift, and shape your bum and thighs. 

I will work on getting the newest workout video up when I get home from work. :) Don't forget to check in on Facebook and enter my giveaway contest for your chance to win a Gymboss Interval Timer

I hope you guys enjoy the workout!
Melissa




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

1. 1 Leg Squat (right)
2. 1 Leg Squat (left)
3. Plie Squat (with or without weight)
4. Step Up (right)
5. Step Up (left)
6. Plie Jump (with or without weight)
7. Warrior 3 Crunch
8. Heel Press/Extension (right)
9. Heel Press/Extension (left)
10. Pendulum Squat
11. Romanian Deadlift
12. Weighted Squat

Repeat 1-3X




Tuesday, March 25, 2014

30 Day Challenge: Day 24: 15 Minute Cardio HIIT


Hi Everyone!

Today's 30 Day Challenge Workout is a 15 Minute Cardio HIIT. I love these quick, intense workouts. I was dripping sweat by the end, and I knew I got in a great cardio workout. This style of workout will help improve your endurance, power and VO2 Max. It's also a great fat burner. 

Bender Fitness' first giveaway is happening now! Enter for your chance to win 1 of 5 Gymboss Interval Timers

The winner gets to pick the color of their choice. I have been loving my interval timer, so I am really excited to give you guys a chance to win one. 

You can enter HERE: Gymboss Interval Timer Giveaway!

I hope you enjoy tonight's workout!
Melissa

PS I love feedback on how the challenge is going for you so be sure to check in on FacebookInstagram or Twitter



Equipment: 
Gymboss Interval Timer set for 15 rounds of 10/50

1. High Knees
2. Jump Squat
3. Mountain Climber
4. Ropeless Jump
5. Lunge Jump
6. Frogger
7. High Knees
8. Side Lunge Hop 
9. Russian Kicks
10. Ropeless Jump
11. Warrior 3 Hop
12. Pop-up
13. High Knees
14. V-Up Hop
15. Burpee

Repeat 1-3X

Monday, March 24, 2014

30 Day Challenge: Day 23: Core Galore


Hi Everyone!

Today's 30 Day Challenge Workout is all about the midsection! This is a stability ball workout, but I have also posted an equipment free workout option below. 

I like variety in my workouts, so it was fun to incorporate the stability ball into tonight's routine. Stability balls increase the balance challenge aspect of the workout, which in turn increases how hard your core works during each movement. Your stability and balance originates in the core. 

As soon as I finish writing this I will be hopping on the treadmill to get in 30 minutes (around 4 miles) of cardio. I am slowly building my running mileage back up to prepare for some races this spring and summer. I think it's about time I went for a new running PR. :)

In other news.....
My very first giveaway starts at midnight tonight! 

Enter for your chance to win 1 of 5 Gymboss Interval Timers. You can enter HERE: Gymboss Interval Timer Giveaway!

I hope you enjoy tonight's workout!
Melissa

PS I love feedback on how the challenge is going for you so be sure to check in on FacebookInstagram orTwitter


Equipment: 
Gymboss Interval Timer set for 15 rounds of 10/50
Stability Ball

1. Low Ball Pull
2. 3-Way Situp
3. Butt Lift
4. High Ball Pull
5. Twist Crunch
6. Decline Pushup
7. Elevated Hip Thrust
8. Arch Tap
9. Ball Pass Hip Lift
10. Back Bend Situp
11. Butt Pull
12. Reverse Crunch
13. Decline Spiderman (right)
14. Decline Spiderman (left)
15. Ball Rotation

Repeat 1-3X

Alternate Equipment Free Workout:

All Levels: Max reps during each 50 second interval, 10 seconds rest between exercise. 

1. Right Plank Step
2. Left Plank Step
3. Up Dog/Down Dog
4. Bicycle Abs
5. Toe Tap Situp
6. Cross Plank (right)
7. Cross Plank (left)
8. Bicycle Boat
9. Temple Tap Abs
10. Knee Tap Plank Crunch

Repeat 1-3X

Sunday, March 23, 2014

30 Day Challenge: Day 22: Kick It Up a Notch (15 Minute HIIT)


Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Day 22 of the 30 Day Workout Challenge! This was my birthday workout, and I thought it was a lot of fun. 

One round of this workout takes 15 minutes, but it can be repeated up to 3X. This is a very dynamic routine, with plenty of kicking, punching and jumping. As with all of your workouts you get out, what you put in. So focus on form, and committing to the full range of motion for each movement. Listen to your body, but push yourself through the workout. 

I only got in one round of this workout, but I paired it with a 4 mile run, and 1 mile walk.

I got to wear my new workout outfit from Affitnity. New workout clothes always motivate me to get moving and get my workout done. Plus this sports bra is definitely one of my new favorites. It's ridiculously comfortable. 

Thank you to every person who left me a Happy Birthday wish this weekend. It gave me a huge smile to see all of the wonderful comments, and to see how many people I share a birthday with (Happy Birthday to all of you!)

In the spirit of my birthday I want to announce my very first give-away! 

5 Lucky people are going to win their very own Gymboss Interval Timer! I will be announcing the details soon so be sure to check back!




I hope you all enjoy today's workout! This week is going to be fun!
Melissa

PS Don't forget to check in on FacebookInstagram or Twitter after your workout!



Equipment: Gymboss Interval Timer set for 15 rounds of 10/50
or
10 Reps Beginner
15 Reps Intermediate
20 Reps Advanced

1. Hop Side Kick (right)
2. Hop Side Kick (left)
3. Side Lunge Punch
4. Round Kick (right)
5. Round Kick (left)
6. Uppercut Squat Jump
7. Table Kick (right)
8. Table Kick (left)
9. Side Lunge Punch
10. Jump Kick (right)
11. Jump Kick (left)
12. Uppercut Squat Jump
13. Lunge Kick (right)
14. Lunge Kick (left)
15. Side Lunge Punch

Repeat 1-3X
Let's Kick Your Workout Up a Notch!