12-Minute Abs On Fire Workout

12-Minute Abs On Fire Workout | In Fitness and In Health

Happy #FitnessFriday to you all!  Today's workout is one I've had in the works for a while now, and I'm really exited to finally share this!  I've done this format in my classes many-a-time, and this combo in particular left everyone exhausted in the best possible way [insert evil instructor laugh here].  This one's great if you're short on time - 12 minutes is all you need.  My favorite part about it is you don't need any equipment at all besides a soft surface to lie down/kneel on.  You can do this outdoors, indoors, at the gym, at home, traveling, probably even on a plane if you were so inclined.  (Hey... I've done it, haha).

Before we get started, I'm trying out something new(ish) here on the blog.  I've recently been getting into making playlists on Soundcloud (I'm probably the last one on earth), and the songs on my workout mixes pump me up so much for the gym, so I wanted to start sharing them with you here.  I've included my most recent compilation here in this post, but check the blog sidebar on the right for updated ones when I have them.  My gym music tastes are usually electronic/dubstep/techno remixes (fair warning: there are some swears).  Hope you like it! 

12-Minute Abs On Fire Workout

12-Minute Abs on Fire Workout

What You'll Need: just about nothing! If you want an exercise mat, go for it.  Otherwise, just a soft surface on the floor for your back and knees. 
What You'll Do: each exercise you'll do for 1 minute, with 30 second breaks in between every set of moves (of which there are 4).  You'll add on each subsequent move to the end of the preceding move in each set.  So... 
Set 1 = start with the first exercise for 1 minute.  Then rest for 30 seconds.  
Set 2 = exercise #1 again for 1 minute, and go immediately into exercise #2 for 1 minute with no break. Then take a 30 second breather.  
Set 3 = 1 + 2 + 3 (all 1 minute each) + 30 second rest
Set 4 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4* (all 1 minute each) 
*exercise #4 in this workout is done on each side.  I'll leave it up to you whether you want to do the full minute on each side or 30 seconds each.

Heel Touches - lie down on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms straight reaching for your heels.  From here, engage your abs by lifting your upper back and shoulder blades off the floor/mat.  Rotate laterally so you alternate touching the back of each heel, as shown.  Keep it going for 1 minute, trying to engage your abs the whole time.  Trainer Tip: the closer your heels are to your butt, the easier this is; the farther away they are, the more difficult.  I want you to really have to REACH for those heels, but if you need a rest briefly, bring your feet in closer to your butt for a few seconds.

In & Outs - stay on the floor, legs extended with hands by your sides, elbows on the ground as shown.  Bring your knees to your chest (and chest to your knees), using your abdominals to pull your legs in and chest up (your hands don't do any pushing here).  Elbows should come off the ground, but hands stay planted.  Keep 'em going for 1 minute. Trainer Tip: if you want to increase the intensity, take your hands off the floor and extend them overhead and reach for your toes on the way up.

Scissor Pulses - start on your back, with your legs in an L (both straight, one hovering over the floor and one up in the air).  Keep your legs in that L and pulse up twice towards the foot that's raised, trying to get your shoulder blades off the mat if you can.  Once 2 pulses are done, switch legs, and do 2 pulses up on the other side.  Keep alternating for 1 minute, 2 pulses each side before switching.  Remember to keep the leg that's parallel to the ground hovering and not resting on the floor.

Leaning Oblique Twists (each side) - alright, you have a choice with this one.  Stick with either 30 seconds each side, or do a full minute on each side... Let's start on the left side.  So you'll kneel down on your left knee, and extend your right leg out straight.  Place your right hand behind your head and lean to the left so your body forms a straight line from neck to toe (as shown - you'll feel your right obliques engage here).  From this position, twist your torso to bring your right elbow down towards the floor (shown).  Bring yourself back up to that starting position, maintaining that straight line from neck to toe (keep that spine straight).

New activewear brand alert: XXIV Active

XXIV Active Sprint Tights

The tights I'm wearing in today's workout are made by XXIV Active (24 Active), an up-and-coming activewear line, which debuted with some awesome high-waist leggings & matching bra sets back in late-2016.  They have a small but amazing selection, which is steadily growing.  (I'm eyeing these gorgeous bordeaux colored 7/8 tights now!)  The ones shown here are really comfy.  They're a bit too high-waisted for my liking (easy fix though - I just rolled them down a little), but I think they'd be perfect for the crop-top/high-waist legging trend that's going on in the yogi world.  The 2-tone mesh at the back of the knee is a nice touch, too, and with mesh popping up everywhere now, they're perfect.  If you like jumping on activewear brand bandwagons early, check these guys out - you'll be hearing big things from them soon!

Readers: chat with me!  What's your favorite way to work your abs - bodyweight exercises?  Equipment?  What athleisure trends are you loving lately?  Thoughts on workout playlists being included here?  What music genre gets you pumped to work out? 

Hydro-Inertia Training: The Kamagon Ball + a Total Body Circuit Workout

Hydro Inertia Training w/ the Kamagon Ball + a Total Body Circuit Workout

This post is sponsored by Fit Approach on behalf of Hedstrom Fitness, makers of the Kamagon Ball.  While I was compensated for my time, the workout and all product opinions (as always!) are my own. After learning more about hydro-inertia training, I'm really excited to share this with you! 

HELLOOOOO BLOGOSPHERE!  It's been exactly 6 months since my last post here on the blog (more on that in an upcoming post), but I am alive, doing well, and ready to get into it with today's unique workout using hydro-inertia training! 

What is Hydro-Inertia Training?

Well, it's exactly as the name implies: you use a vessel filled with water as your resistance during your training, and the water's inertia creates an unstable resistance that's more challenging for your abs, core musculature, and overall stability.  I had the pleasure of testing out this Kamagon Ball recently, and wow, I can tell you that adding this piece of equipment to a workout creates a whole new experience!  All you do is fill it to the desired amount of weight (measured out in lbs on the side of the ball - see photo below), screw in the cap, and you're ready to go!

Kamagon Ball by Hedstrom Fitness

What are the benefits of Hydro-Inertia Training and using the Kamagon Ball?

Using an unstable resistance like water inside a ball creates a more functional training regimen as opposed to picking up a static weight or resistance band.  I'm quickly becoming a fan of it, and the Kamagon Ball, for many reasons:

  • Hydro-inertia with the Kamagon Ball creates instability within all ranges of motion instead of just postural
  • Functional training aspects: picking up children and animals isn't a stable motion, and neither is using the Kamagon Ball
  • Safer to use than most resistance training equipment: created with soft but durable plastic instead of metal (e.g. kettlebells, free weights, barbells, etc.)
  • Easily portable

As with any new piece of equipment, there will be drawbacks in addition to the benefits.  I only saw two minor drawbacks with the Kamagon Ball, though.  The first being that it's not easy to adjust the weight very quickly if you needed to like it is with a set of kettlebells or dumbbells (you'd have stop your workout to pour out water or add more to it).  The second drawback is that unless you're watering plants, refilling your dog's water bowl, or otherwise have a second purpose for the liquid after your workout, it seems like a waste of water to me.  But that's easily fixed with the previous suggestions.

Okay, enough details about the ball - onto the workout!  Let's get our bodies moving!

Kamagon Ball Total Body Circuit Workout | In Fitness and In Health

Kamagon Ball Total Body Circuit Workout

What You'll Need: an exercise mat and a Kamagon Ball filled with water to your desired weight (1-13 lbs for a 9" ball; 1-45lbs for a 14" ball - I have the 9" version and used 12lbs for this workout). Note: if you don't have a Kamagon, you can use a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell.
What You'll Do: start with circuit 1, do each exercise for 1 minute, cycling through 3 times, trying not to take breaks until the third round is done.  Repeat for circuits 2 and 3, resting only between circuits if you can.  Repeat the whole workout 2 or 3 more times depending on desired intensity.

Circuit 1: Legs & Butt

Squat to Overhead Press - start standing with your feet about hip width apart, holding the ball at chest level.  From here squat down, sitting back on your heels, and driving your butt back behind you.  Reverse the move back up to standing and as you stand, press the ball up overhead. Keep going for 1 minute.  Trainer Tip: if you want to challenge yourself here, you can isolate each leg and do single-leg squats with an overhead press.  If you do this, go for 30 seconds on each leg.

Jump Squats - start standing again with the ball overhead, as shown.  From here, jump your feet out wide and lower yourself down into a squat, reaching the ball down to the floor as you lower.  Immediately jump back up to standing, bringing your feet together, and pressing the ball up overhead again.  Continue for 1 minute.  Trainer Tip: for a lower intensity/lower impact option, get rid of the hop, and step your feet out wide into a squat and back in instead.

- repeat circuit 1 twice more -

Circuit 2: Arms & Back

Single-Arm Biceps Curls (30 seconds each arm) - in a standing position, hold one handle of the ball with your arm is straight.  From here, do a biceps curl, bringing the ball all the way up to your shoulder and right back down.  Remember to keep your elbow close to your ribs, your wrist neutral, and focus on only moving your forearm (not your shoulder joint).  Do 30 seconds on one arm, then switch to the other side.

Upright Row - start standing, feet hip width apart, slight hinge forward in the hips (as shown), with the ball lowered so your arms are straight.  From here, pull the ball up towards your sternum, focusing on squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.  Continue for 1 minute, maintaining a neutral spine throughout.  Trainer Tip: if this one is a little too easy for you (it was for me), hold the squeeze at the top of the pull for 5 seconds before releasing.

- repeat circuit 2 twice more - 

Circuit 3: Abs & Core

V-up Crunches + Hold (30/30) - start lying down on your back, legs out straight, ball extended overhead.  From here, bring your feet and hands up at the same time to meet in the middle, forming a V with your body.  Try to keep your back flat during this (i.e. keep the spine straight).  Touch the ball to your shins, and lower back down slowly.  Continue the V-ups for 30 seconds, then hold the V-sit position for the last 30 seconds.  Trainer Tip: if the V position is too challenging, bend your knees slightly and touch the ball to the tops of your shins.

2-Pulse Slow Bicycles - these are like normal bicycles except we're slowing them down and adding a pulse between each.  So every time you bring that ball up to meet your knee, pulse once, then slowly reverse the move to the other side and pulse again (so the ball touches your knee twice on each side).  Don't rush these - I really want you to feel your abs working here!  Continue alternating pulses on each side for 1 minute.  Trainer Tip: try to keep your shoulder blades off the mat/floor as much as you can throughout the minute.

- repeat circuit 3 twice more -

Remember to keep the workout going for another full round or two if you want a more intense workout today!  (And once you're done - use the water to hydrate your plants, garden, lawn, refill that doggy bowl, etc.)  I hope you guys enjoyed it, and I really hope you'll give the Kamagon Ball a try this year!  It's definitely worth the investment (9" ball will run you $50), and I think hydro-inertia training is something you'll be hearing a lot about in the fitness world this year - it's a bandwagon to jump on!

To learn more about hydro-inertia training, and to purchase the Kamagon Ball, check out Hedstrom Fitness's website here.

Readers: chat with me!  Have you heard of hydro-inertia training before?  Have you ever used the Kamagon Ball or something similar in your workouts?  Do you think you'd give it a try?  I'd love to hear your thoughts, and of course what you all have been up to in recent months!

Upper Body + Cardio Circuit Workout (+ a $150 WishFIT GIVEAWAY!)

Upper Body + Cardio Circuit Workout | In Fitness and In Health

Hi everybody!  SUPER excited to get back to blogging today after a little hiatus, and not just back, but back with a great upper body workout and a HUGE GIVEAWAY!  

First, let's talk about the workout.  This one is all upper body focused (except one exercise that will work your back), and all you need is a stability ball.  I recommend choosing one that's medium sized for you - one that you can lay on top of with your hands and toes comfortably touch the ground, and where, if in a plank position with your legs on top of the ball, it lifts you to a height where your spine is in a straight line.  You'll be in a prone position for all exercises with the ball, and you'll alternate upper body exercises with... wait for it... burpees!  Not as enthusiastic about burpees as I am?  No worries.  There are modifications if you need them, and ways to progress the move if you choose to do so.  Ready to get started?

Upper Body + Cardio Circuit Workout | In Fitness and In Health

Upper Body + Cardio Circuit Workout

What You'll Need: a sturdy stability ball, a mat, and a timer.
What You'll Do: start with exercise 1 on the ball and stay on each exercise for 1 minute.  Go through 3 rounds total.  In each round, you'll add 5 burpees between every exercise.  So, for example, in round 1 you'll start with 5 burpees between moves.  Round 2 = 10 burpees between exercises, and round 3 you'll do 15.  The last round is meant to be challenging - push yourself and don't give up!

A note on burpees: the traditional burpee is done starting from a standing position, lowering into a squat, placing your hands down on the ground, jumping back into a plank, optional push up, and reverse the move back up to standing with an optional jump upwards.  Here are some ways to modify:

  • Modification: bend your knees into a squat position, place your hands on the ground, step back into a plank, optional push up if you want to, then step back up to starting position. Add the jump as you stand only if you want to.  This version is easier on the joints, and less cardio-heavy, but still keeps you moving.
  • Progression: move more quickly, adding the push up AS you jump your feet back into a plank, not afterwards.  To increase the cardio and leg work even more, add a tuck jump as you reverse the move back upwards.

Plank Walkout Push Ups - start in a plank position with your knees on top of the stability ball, legs straight, abs engaged.  Walk out on your hands to a push up position, allowing the ball to roll closer to your shins/ankles (the farther out you roll, the more your abs will engage).  Do 5 push ups here, then walk your hands back to starting position, keeping your feet up off the ground.  Keep going for 1 minute.

- Burpees (round 1 = 5; round 2 = 10; round 3 = 15) -

Alternating Birddog Plank Pulses (10 each side) - start with your lower abdomen/hips on the ball, right arm and left leg extended straight out.  Pulse your arm and leg for 10 reps, then immediately switch and pulse for 10 reps on the other side.  Keep alternating sides (10 reps each) for 1 minute.

- Burpees (round 1 = 5; round 2 = 10; round 3 = 15) -

Prone Triceps Lifts + Pulse (10/10) - start by lying on your stomach with the ball behind your back, arms extended straight back holding the ball between your palms.  From here, squeeze the ball keeping your arms straight to engage your triceps, and lift the ball up slightly off your back.  Lower back down.  Do 10 lifts, then keep the ball up and pulse for 10 reps, squeezing the ball between your hands the whole time.  Keep alternating 10 lifts and 10 pulses for 1 minute.

- Burpees (round 1 = 5; round 2 = 10; round 3 = 15) -

Reverse Hyperextensions - okay, so technically this last move works your erector spinae muscles and not your upper body, but we'll go with it and give your arms a break.  Start with the ball under your pelvis, hands flat on the floor, chest lowered slightly, and toes touching the floor if you can.  From here, lift your legs up straight as high as you can get them, ideally trying to get your thighs off the ball.  Lower back down to start, tap your toes to the floor (or lower down as much as you can), and raise back up again.  Keep the lifts going for 1 minute.

- Burpees (round 1 = 5; round 2 = 10; round 3 = 15) -

Repeat twice more, adding 5 more burpees to each round.  You got this!

And now that the workout is over... a little fun!


$150 WishFIT Giveaway!

Okay, so you might have scrolled past that workout just to get to the giveaway details, and I don't blame you.  Guys, this giveaway is HUGE and I'm so excited to host it for you!  WishFIT is the gorgeous activewear line from the Australian-based boutique clothing company Wish, who so generously gifted me the leggings and tank I'm wearing in today's workout.  The leggings are a gorgeous abstract floral print, with a mesh insert at the back of the knee and a back zipper pocket.  Lovvvvve them!  I'm loving the tank too - lately I've been all about these low-armhole muscle tanks (anyone else digging these??).  This one fits so comfortably, and is made from really high quality material (not your typical thin cotton t-shirt fabric).  The stitching creates a subtle stripe pattern too, which adds a bit of flare to your basic black muscle tank.

WishFIT leggings

Alright, onto the good stuff!  WishFIT is giving away $150 to one lucky blog reader so you can stock up on some awesome pieces to fuel your fashi-- ahem, fitness goals!  Check out their Instagram page to get inspired!  Details for entering the giveaway are below.  Winner will be chosen THIS FRIDAY, 8/19!  Good luck!  (In case anyone is wondering about shipping costs from Australia - they'll be covered!)  Also, don't forget to tell me how this workout goes for you!

Readers: chat with me!  Do you use stability balls in your training often?  What are your favorite exercises to do with them?  What do you look for in athletic apparel?  Have you jumped on the muscle tank trend?