Strength + Cardio Total Body Circuit Workout (no equipment!)

Strength + Cardio Total Body Circuit Workout | In Fitness and In Health

I'm really excited about sharing today's workout with you because this is a format I've been teaching for a while now at Life Time Athletic, and I LOVE it!  At Life Time, the class is called C9 Challenge, and we typically use dumbbells and resistance bands for equipment.  Today's workout is all bodyweight though, so it's PERFECT for those of you going on vacation who are in need of a killer sweat sesh with no equipment!

I love this format because it's over and done in about 45 minutes (with a warm up and cool down), and it goes by SO quickly!  The format goes as follows: 3 blocks of exercises, and in each block there are 3 moves targeting the upper body, lower body, and abs, all done for 1 minute each and repeated 3 times through.  So it's a 3x3x3 workout, if you will.  Each block ends with 1 minute of a cardio move before you go onto the next block.  You ready to bring the heat??  Let's get going!

Strength + Cardio Total Body Circuit Workout | In Fitness and In Health

Strength + Cardio Total Body Circuit Workout

What You'll Need: just a mat, a timer, and yourself!  And maybe a water bottle and sweat towel. ;)
What You'll Do: time each exercise for 1 minute, completing each circuit 3 times through.  After each circuit, complete the cardio move for that circuit (shown below) for 1 minute.  After the cardio burst, rest for 1 minute before moving onto the next circuit.

CIRCUIT 1 (x 3)

Regular Push Up to Pike Push Up - start in a regular push up position and do 1 push up (shown).  Then walk your hands back toward your feet so your body forms a V (shown).  Look back at your feet and do 1 pike push up, bringing the crown of your head to the floor.  Walk your hands back out to a regular push up position and do another regular push up concentrating on lowering your chest to the floor and keeping your entire body straight.

Curtsey Lunge to Step Back Lunge (alternate legs each round; last round = 30/30) - start with your left foot planted on the floor, and bring your right leg behind and back to the left in a curtsey lunge.  From here, staying low in the transition, bring both feet together and then step back in a regular lunge on the same leg (i.e. right leg steps back).  Keep that pattern going for the full minute.  Switch legs for the second minute, and the last minute do each side for 30 seconds.

10 Knee Presses + 10-second Hold - start in a supine position with your knees bent at a 90˚ angle, knees in line with hips (as shown).  Lift your upper back off the mat slightly, and press your hands into your knees and knees back into your hands to engage your abs.  Press and release 10 times, making sure to really engage your abs with each press.  After 10 presses, hold the press in for 10 seconds.  Keep that pattern going for the full minute.

- repeat circuit 1 two more times -

Circuit 1 Cardio: high low jabs (shown below) - start in a low squat facing one side and punch out to the side in a jab.  Propel yourself up in a high jump and as you rise, jab again.  Land back down in that squat and jab, and then jump up again and jab.  Do each side for 30 seconds, focusing on hard punches and recruiting your quads & glutes for the jumps.

high low jabs

CIRCUIT 2 (x 3)

Swimmer Pulls - start lying down on your stomach in a Superman position with legs and arms raised.  From here, extend both arms out straight (as shown), and then pull them back slowly so your shoulder blades come together.  Squeeze your back here for a second, then release back to starting position with arms out straight.  Keep the pulls and squeezes going for the full minute.

Lunge + Kick Sequence (alternate sides each round; last round = 30/30) - start standing and step forward with your right leg into a forward lunge (shown).  Get as low as you can.  Push yourself back up to standing and immediately do 1 front kick on the right leg (shown).  Then step out to the right into side lunge (shown).  Push yourself back up and immediately kick that leg out into a side kick (shown).  Now step your right foot back into a backward lunge (shown), push back up, and do 1 back kick on the right (shown).  Keep the pattern going on the right leg for the full minute, then switch to the left for second round and do each side for 30 seconds in the last round.

Birddog Plank + Crunch (30/30) - start in a high plank extending your right arm and left leg out straight in birddog position (shown).  Hold this position for 2 seconds, actively engaging your abs.  From here, bring your elbow and knee in to meet in the middle, exhaling and bracing your abs at tight as possible.  Extend back out without letting the right hand and left foot to touch the ground.  Hold the plank for another 2 seconds, then bring your elbow and knee in together.  Keep the motion going for 30 seconds on one side, then switch for the next 30.  Take it slow!

- repeat circuit 2 two more times -

Circuit 2 Cardio: Up & Over Jump Lunges (shown below) - start in a low lunge on one side, reaching your hands toward the ground (as shown).  From here, push off your legs to get height in the jump, and reach up and over to the other side, landing in a lunge on your other leg (shown).  Keep alternating jumps side to side for 1 minute, focusing on loading the jump, then exploding upwards. 

alternating jump lunges

CIRCUIT 3 (x 3)

Tricep Dip Toe Reach - start with your feet and hands flat on the ground, butt raised slightly off your mat (shown).  Bend your elbows to lower yourself down so your butt touches the mat.  Push back up to starting position, and extend one arm and the opposite leg to meet in the middle, reaching for your toes (shown).  Go back down in a tricep dip, and as you come up, extend the other arm and leg up.  Keep that pattern going for the full minute.

Single Leg Glute Bridge - start supine with one leg raised in the air, the other foot flat on your mat, arms by your sides.  Pushing through your heel, raise your hips up as high as you can, lifting your butt off your mat, and squeeze your glutes at the top.  Lower back down to starting position.  I'll give you the option here of either doing each side for 30 seconds, or staying on one side for the full minute, then switching for round 2, and 30/30 in round 3.  Up to you!

Toe Reach to Leg Lower - staying in that supine position, raise your legs up straight, bottoms of your feet toward the ceiling, arms extended straight upwards as shown.  From here, reach for your toes lifting your upper back and shoulder blades off your mat as much as possible.  Lower yourself back down slowly, and while keeping your arms extended upwards, lower your legs toward the floor (but don't let your feet touch the ground!).  Raise them back up to start, and reach for your toes again.  Keep that pattern going for each minute.  Feel those abs!

- repeat circuit 3 two more times -

Circuit 3 Cardio: Side to Side Burpees (shown below) - start on one side of your mat and do 1 full burpee.  When you come back up to jump, simply hop over the mat and land on the other side.  Do 1 full burpee here, and hop back over to the other side.  Keep 'em going as quick as you can for the full minute.

side to side burpees

Woo baby!  How'd that workout go for you??  Are you feelin' the burn?  I love this circuit format because it really pushes you, and that cardio burst at the end is always a killer.  I hope you enjoyed the workout today, and if you haven't yet entered the GIVEAWAY from yesterday's post, make sure you do it before midnight tonight!! 

Wear It To Heart Leggings

Wearing: Teal Adder leggings & Mahalo bra c/o Wear It To Heart; Lululemon tank; New Balance sneakers

Readers: chat with me!  Do you add bodyweight workouts to your fitness regimen during the week?  How often do you work out at home or on the go and need a no equipment workout to bring with you?  How was your weekend?

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?