[Terra Core Series] 30-Minute Upper Body + Cardio Tabata Challenge

[Terra Core Series] Upper Body + Cardio Tabata Challenge

It's time for another Terra Core workout today here on the blog!  You guys, I love love love this piece of equipment.  It's pretty much an all-in-one on the go gym that's so incredibly versatile.  If you haven't checked out my previous posts, read more about the Terra Core here in my intro, and if you're looking for another TC workout, try this 15-minute plyometric EMOM workout for your lower body.

Today's workout is all about the arms and upper body, along with some sneaky cardio thrown in the mix.  I love the Tabata style of this workout because it really makes you push yourself, but you get that nice 10-second rest in too.  Ready to work up a sweat??  Here we go!

[Terra Core Series] 30-Minute Upper Body + Cardio Tabata Challenge | In Fitness and In Health

Upper Body + Cardio Tabata Challenge Workout

What You'll Need: the Terra Core trainer and some floor space.  If you don't have a Terra Core, you can substitute a kettlebell and a Bosu ball for the workout (mentioned in parentheses next to each exercise).
What You'll Do: each Tabata round consists of 20 second of work followed by 10 seconds of rest.  You'll do that 8 times through (totaling 4 minutes) for each move, before moving onto the next.  Set your timers and let's get to it!

Overhead Swings (substitute kettlebell swings) - this one is similar to a kettlebell swing, but you're using the Terra Core and swinging it all the way up over your head.  Hold the Terra Core dome side down, and firmly grip the side bars.  Start in a squat position, Terra Core between your legs, and swing it up over your head in one fluid motion, standing as you extend your arms overhead.  Swing it back down between your legs, lowering down into a squat position.  Keep the swings going for 20 seconds, then take a 10 second break.  Do this for 8 rounds.

Hammer Curls (substitute kettlebell or dumbbells) - start standing, holding onto the 'power grip' handles on the underside of the Terra Core.  With arms fully extended to start, perform a bicep curl bringing the Terra Core up to chest level.  Repeat the curls for 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest x 8.

Push Up to Squat + Chest Press (substitute Bosu ball) - start with the Terra Core dome-side down on the ground, with a firm grip on the power grip handles.  Do 1 push up here, then in one quick motion, hop your feet up to meet your hands, and raise into a squat while picking up the Terra Core to chest level.  Maintaining the fluid motion still, press the Terra Core away from your chest and bring it back in immediately.  Reverse the motion back down into a plank, and go on to do another push up.  Keep going in this fashion for your 20/10 intervals x 8.

Upright Rows (substitute kettlebell) - start standing with the Terra Core perpendicular to your body, holding onto one of the bar handles with both hands, dome-side facing away from you.  Pull the Terra Core up toward your chin, flaring elbows out and keeping your shoulders down and back (i.e. not shrugged up towards your ears).  Lower back down to start.  Keep 'rowing' for 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest x 8 rounds.

Pike Push Up to Plank Step Down (substitute Bosu ball) - start with the Terra Core dome-side up on the ground.  Get into a pike position with your hands on the dome and do 1 pike push up, looking back towards your feet, lowering the crown of your head to the dome (shown).  Push back up, then lower your body into a plank position.  From here, step one arm down at a time in front of the Terra Core (shown) so you end up in a plank with the Terra Core underneath your stomach (shown).  Reverse that entire move, so you press yourself back up onto the Terra Core one arm at a time, raise your hips so you're back up in a pike, and perform another pike push up.  Keep going in this fashion for 20 seconds of work, then rest for 10, and back at it for 8 rounds total.

Switch Kick Tricep Dips (substitute Bosu ball) - flip the Terra Core over so it's dome-side down.  Start in front of it with your hands placed on the flat surface.  With one leg bent, and the other extended straight up, perform 1 tricep dip (shown).  Then press yourself back up, and as you do so, push off the foot that's on the ground, switching feet mid-air (shown), to land back down on the other leg (shown).  Do another tricep dip here, then repeat the switch kick.  Keep going for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off x 8.

Suitcase Carrys (substitute kettlebell) - start holding the Terra Core by one of the bar handles with the dome facing out.  Keeping your upper body in one vertical straight line, walk forward.  Your body will want to compensate for the uneven load by leaning over to the side that isn't holding the Terra Core.  The key is to engage your abdominal muscles and trunk to keep your spine vertical.  Keep walking forwards (and turn around to go back the way you came) for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off x 8.  Alternate sides each round. 

Whew!  How'd that workout go for you?  Hopefully you worked up a sweat and are feelin' the burn in your upper body! 

Readers: chat with me!  Have you tried out the Terra Core yet?  If not, do you think it's a piece of equipment you would like to use?  What about Tabata workouts?  How do you like those?  What was everyone up to this weekend?  How are you planning to stay active this week?

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!!

$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
Laughing

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? 

Tank Top Arms Superset Workout

Tank Top Arms Superset Workout

Okay, first off, what's up with this cold(er) weather in the Northeast?!  It's well into April - we should be outside in jackets, not winter coats!  But I promise that warmer weather is right around the corner (right?).  Tank tops and strapless dresses might not be in your regular wardrobe rotation yet, but that's no excuse not to work that upper body to debut once the temps turn up! 

Today's workout involves a pair of dumbbells and 4 different supersets all focusing on either the back or biceps, with some sneaky shoulder work in there too.  As described below, pick a heavy weight.  No 5-pounders here.  Go big.  Ladies, if you want sleek-yet-muscular arms for the summer, you have to pick up the heavy weights.  Remember, "heavy" is relative, so choose based on your own fitness ability.  Ready to get started?!

Tank Top Arms Superset Workout

Tank Top Arms Superset Workout

What You'll Need: a pair of heavy dumbbells for each exercise.  I suggest using a weight that allows you to do 15 reps of each exercise with moderate difficulty.  You don't want to completely fatigue out on the first set because you'll go through this workout 3 times total, but you do want to feel a good burn after last few reps in the first set. 
What You'll Do: go through all exercises 3 times total for the full workout, moving from one exercise to the next with breaks only between supersets if you need them.

Superset 1: 

15 Regular Push Ups - get into a push up position with a weight under each hand.  Keep your abs engaged and lower your chest to the floor performing 1 push up.  Keep your spine aligned and those hands planted under your shoulders.  Do 15 reps.

15 Lawnmowers (each side) - hold a single dumbbell in your left hand.  Keep your body in a lunge-like position with your left leg straight back behind you and right knee bent.  Rest the right elbow on your right knee, and hold the weight straight down so it's touching the floor.  From here, bring that weight up across your chest, turning your torso slightly to the left as the weight comes up, as if you're starting a lawnmower.  Bring the weight back down to the ground.  That's 1 rep.  Continue for 15 reps on one side, then switch.

Superset 2:

15 Slow-Up Fast-Down Curls - just like they sound, you're doing full bicep curls here, but bring the arms up slowly and down fast.  To help keep a cadence, count out a beat of 4 on the way up, and 2 on the way down.  Be careful when you go down to not just drop your arms as fast as you can.  That movement should still be controlled, and leave a bit of a bend in the elbows at the bottom.  Complete 15 curls.

15 Wide Hammer Curls - stand with a dumbbell end to end in each hand, palms facing away from you, elbows at your sides by your ribs.  From here, curl your arms up laterally, so you're bringing the weights out to the side and up towards your shoulders, keeping your palms facing away from you.  Do 15 curls.

Superset 3:

15 Alternating Push Up Rows - in a plank position with a weight in each hand (or near it), do 1 push up.  At the top of the push up, alternate rows on each arm while your body is in a plank (pull the weight straight up to your armpit).  Go back into another push up, and then another set of rows.  Each push up/2 row combo = 1 rep.  Do 15 reps.

15 Bent Over Rows - grab your dumbbells in a standing position, hinging forward slightly at the waist, keeping your back flat (no curvature either way), knees slightly bent, and arms hanging down straight with palms facing you.  From here, quickly lift the dumbbells so your upper arm is parallel to your body, and your shoulder blades come together.  Do 15 reps quickly.

Superset 4:

15 Fast-Up Slow-Down Curls - these are the reverse of the curls in Superset 2.  Bring them up fast (2-count), and down slow (4-count).  Really concentrate on lowering the weight slowly and keep it controlled.  Do 15 curls.

15 Concentration Curls (each arm) - kneel down in a lunge on your right leg, right elbow resting on your knee, left arm holding a dumbbell with that elbow resting on your right hand.  From here, do 15 biceps curls, concentrating on using only your biceps muscles to move the weight (meaning, no swinging of the arm or jerking your upper body to gain momentum).  Do 15 reps on the left, then switch to the right.

Remember to repeat these supersets 2 more times through for the complete workout!  Stay focused on getting those arms ready to bare this summer!

Outfit Details: Sonar capris & tank - Athleta

Readers: chat with me!  What are some of your favorite upper body exercises using dumbbells?  Do you ever do supersets in your fitness routine?  If so, how do you like them?  If not, do you think you'll incorporate them to improve strength?