15-Minute Low Impact Legs & Glutes Workout (perfect for quiet spaces!)

15-Minute Low Impact Legs & Glutes Workout (perfect for quiet spaces!)

Before we get into today's workout, I want to welcome all new readers to the blog, especially those visiting today from the blog hop hosted by Kristy of Runaway Bridal Planner.  I am participating in a health & fitness blog hop this week, which is a fun way for bloggers to connect and learn more about each other.  Whether you're a brand new reader, or have been subscribed for a long time, I'm so happy you're here!  To make what's already a pretty long post a little bit shorter, I'd like to point you towards the re-introduction I gave back when I participated in this hop for the first time.  That post has been updated since it was written, however I encourage you to check out the About Page and Fun Facts to learn a bit more about me and the blog.

Okay, now onto the fitness!  Today's workout was inspired by recent travels where I wanted to work out, but didn't want to disturb the other house guests or neighbors with a lot of jumping around.  This lower body workout is perfect for quiet spaces like apartments, hotel rooms, or even just the next room in your house.  You don't need any equipment to do it, so it's great for doing at home or on the go, and it's only a quick 15 minutes.  Keep reading for the details!

15-Minute Low Impact Legs & Glutes Workout (perfect for quiet spaces!)

15-Minute Low Impact Legs & Glutes Workout

What You'll Need: just some floor space and an exercise mat if desired.
What You'll Do: go through each exercise for a total of 1 minute (broken up into various segments described below).  Repeat the 5 exercises 2 times through for the full 15-minute workout.

Lunge-to-Kick Sequence (30 seconds each leg) - start standing and step forward with your right leg into a forward lunge.  Get as low as you can.  Push yourself back up to standing and immediately do 1 front kick on the right leg.  Then step out to the right into a squat.  Push yourself back up and immediately kick that leg out into a side kick.  Now step your right foot back into a backward lunge, push back up, and do 1 back kick on the right.  Keep the pattern going on the right leg for 30 seconds, then switch to the left.

Square Pattern Squats with Lunges (15 seconds each position) - I think looking at the graphic for this one might be more helpful than words since this description is lengthy, so bear with me.  Picture an imaginary square on the floor.  In each corner, you're holding a low squat with your legs and feet together.  The horizontal sides are wide stance squats, and the vertical sides are lunges (the leg that's forward in the lunge is the one that's on the outside of the square).  Each position is held for 15 seconds, for a total of 2 minutes.  So, for example, start in the top right corner of the square and hold a squat for 15 seconds with your feet and legs together.  Next, step out to the left into a wide stance squat and hold for 15 seconds.  Now bring the right foot in and hold a low squat for 15.  Step back with your right leg and hold a lunge for 15.  Step your left foot back into a low squat again and hold... so on and so forth until you complete the full square and wind up back in the top right corner (or wherever you started).  Feel the burn!

Runner Stance Heel Touches (30 seconds each leg) - fair warning: the burn creeps up on you in these babies!  Start in a runner's stance lunge - crouched down, finger tips lightly touching the ground, your right leg forward with all your weight on it, back leg extended back straight, toes lightly touching the floor with hardly any weight on that leg.  From here, and maintaining the crouched down position, bring your back leg forward so your left toes lightly touch your right heel.  Extend your left leg back out again, remembering not to shift any weight backwards as you do.  Keep bringing that left leg in and out for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

Side Plank Leg Lifts (30 seconds each side) - get into a low side plank on your elbow with your top leg bearing all the weight and your bottom leg extended slightly in front of you, foot flexed.  Maintaining a strong plank position, lift and lower your bottom leg.  Keep going for 30 seconds on one side, then switch to the other.

Inside Knee Press + Pulse + Hold (10/10/10 x 2 each side) - this move involves very little actual movement, but you'll feel it in your leg adductors (inner thigh muscles) all the same.  Lie on your back with your left leg extended out straight (foot hovering over the floor for some abdominal engagement), and your right leg bent to 90หš.  Put your left hand on the inside of your right knee.  Staying in this position, press your hand into your knee and your knee back into your hand (both adding resistance to the other).  Press for 10, then pulse the movement (small quick presses) for 10 seconds, then hold the press for 10 seconds.  Repeat that once more on the right leg, then switch to the left.

Remember to go through that one more time for the full 15-minute workout.

Readers: chat with me!  How often do you train your legs?  Do you incorporate more plyometric/cardio components to your leg training or do you stick with strength training (or a combo)?  What are some of your favorite bodyweight leg exercises?  If you are new to the blog, how do you like it?  Any workouts that you might try?

10-Minute Ab Burner Workout (no equipment needed)

10-Minute Ab Burner Workout (no equipment needed!)

Today's ab workout takes a quick 10 minutes, but you'll definitely be feeling it before then!  This one mainly targets the obliques, and you'll also get some sneaky shoulder work in with the plank variations.  There are 5 different exercises, alternating between a plank move and a move on the ground.  Each exercise is done for 1 minute (or in some cases, 30 seconds on each side), and you'll repeat the full thing twice.  Ready to work those abs?!

10-Minute Ab Burner Workout (no equipment needed!)

10-Minute Ab Burner Workout

What You'll Need: just a mat and some floor space
What You'll Do: go through each exercise, timing for 1 minute each (or 30 seconds in some cases).  Repeat the full workout 2 times for a total of 10 minutes.

Alternating Knee to Elbow Planks - start in a high plank position, spine aligned.  Bring your left knee out wide and up to reach your left elbow.  Place that leg back on the ground and bring your right knee out and up to meet your right elbow.  Keep alternating legs for the full minute, maintaining a flat back and tight abs.

Side-Lying Oblique Crunches - lie on one side, keeping your bottom arm extended out on the floor and top arm bent with your hand behind your head.  From there, crunch up to the side so your elbow meets your knees.  Continue the crunches for 30 seconds on one side, then switch to the other.  Trainer Tip: if you want to make it easier, crunch up using only your top leg, and keep the bottom leg extended out straight.  Harder = keep both legs straight and "V" up.

Hip Twist Planks - start in a high plank position and rotate your hips to one side, keeping your upper body still and hips high.  Immediately twist your hips to the other side.  Keep alternating twists for 1 minute.  Trainer Tip: remember to keep your hips at relatively the same height (i.e. you're not dipping your hips to the floor, but rather twisting them slightly side to side.

Raised-Leg Russian Twists - sit on the floor with your feet raised, upper body leaned back slightly to engage the abs.  Alternate twisting quickly from side to side for 1 minute, watching your hands as you twist (allows for more torso rotation and therefore more oblique engagement).

Cross-Body Mountain Climbers - one of my favorites!  This one is a little more cardio-heavy but still workouts your obliques just the same.  Start in a high plank and quickly alternate bringing your knee to the opposite side of your chest.  In the pictures it looks like I'm just stepping up, but try to make this more of a cardio move by "running".  Keep going for 1 minute.

Repeat 2 times through for the full 10-minute workout.

MPG Sport bra & leggings; Alo Yoga tank

Outfit Details: sports bra & leggings c/o MPG Sport; tank - Alo Yoga

I got to partner with Mondetta Performance Gear (MPG Sport) for this workout and review a few pieces of clothing.  I'm wearing their cardio cropped tights and tangent sports bra in geo print.  The tights are really high quality and SUPER comfortable.  They're knit compression tights and are completely seamless around the legs, which makes for a snug fit in the best way possible.  The sports bra is a fun black and white geo print pattern, which I'm loving because it easily pairs with colored tanks or black/white for a monochrome look.  It's made for medium support, which it definitely gives (I've tried jumping around in it and it holds up) and it has a keyhole back for more breathability.  Loving these pieces, and best of all, MPG's price point is super affordable.

To shop these pieces and all the other MPG Sport collections (they have these new cut-to-length leggings which look awesome!!), you can check them out on their website here, and on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Readers: chat with me!  What are some of your favorite bodyweight ab exercises?  Do you like planks?  Do you have a favorite plank variation?  How was your weekend?

Disclosure: I was gifted the leggings and sports bra from MPG Sport for review.  This workout and all opinions (as always!) are my own.

5-Minute Ab Blaster AMRAP Workout

It's been a while since I've posted a quick 5-minute workout for you all.  I was short on time at the gym yesterday, so to get in a good ab burn I decided to do a quick AMRAP.  I modified it a bit for the blog here, but the main idea is the same.  Do as many rounds as you can during the 5 minutes, and try not to take any breaks between exercises for maximum ab work in minimal time.  The best part is this workout requires no equipment, so you can do it just about anywhere.  Ready to get started?

5-Minute Ab Blaster AMRAP Workout

5-Minute Ab Blaster AMRAP

Set your timer for 5 minutes and get through as many rounds as you can, trying not to take any breaks between exercises.  Let's work those abs today!

30 Cross-Body Mountain Climbers - just like regular mountain climbers, but instead of bringing your knees to your chest straight on, cross them to the opposite side of your chest.  Each knee in counts as 1 rep.  Do 30 reps total, working quickly.  Trainer Tip: if the running is too much, slow it down to just stepping.

20 Hip Touch Planks - start in a low plank position (on your elbows), and rotate your hips to one side while lowering them to the floor.  Keep your abs engaged and legs as straight as you can throughout.  Return to start and immediately rotate to the opposite side.  Do 20 total (10 on each side).

10 Oblique Crunches (R + L) - lie on one side, keeping your bottom arm extended out on the floor and top arm bent with your hand behind your head.  From there, crunch up to the side so your elbow meets your knees.  Continue the crunches for 10 reps on one side, then switch to the other.  Trainer Tip: if you want to make it easier, crunch up using only your top leg instead of both.  Harder = keep legs straight and "V" up.

20 In & Outs - sit down on the floor, legs extended with hands by your sides, elbows on the ground, chest up.  Bring your chest and knees up to meet in the middle, keeping your hands planted as your elbows come off the floor.  Extend back out to starting position, keeping your feet hovered over the floor.  Do 20 reps.  

30 Supine Flutter Kicks - lie on your back (with hands under your lower back for support if needed).  Keep your chest raised and legs out straight, hovering over the floor.  Alternate fluttering them up and down (tiny movements) without touching the floor.  Keep fluttering your feet for 30 (fast) reps.

Repeat all exercises as many times as possible within 5 minutes.

Readers: chat with me!  Do you train your abs often?  What's your favorite ab exercise?  Do you ever do quick workouts like this one when you don't have time to make it to the gym or a class?