Plyo Box Pyramid Lower Body Burner

Plyo Box Pyramid Lower Body Burner

HELLOOOO!!!  I'm alive!  I'm sorry for going AWOL there for a while.  I had a sudden family emergency to tend to a few weeks ago that required my full attention, but I am back (things are okay), and I'm excited to bring you guys another great workout today.  Boy how I've missed you!

Today's sweat sesh is all about the lower body.  I've been doing a lot of circuit style workouts here on the blog, so I thought I'd change it up and give you guys a pyramid workout today.  I'm excited for this one because it uses the plyo box - one of my new-found favorite pieces of exercise equipment.  If you don't have a plyo box, you can easily do this workout using a sturdy chair or bench.  Ready to get that booty burnin'?  Keep reading for the details, and make sure to pin this one, too! 

Plyo Box Pyramid Lower Body Burner

Plyo Box Pyramid Lower Body Burner

What You'll Need: a plyo box you can step onto, or a bench/chair of equal height.
What You'll Do: start with 10 reps of every exercise (on both legs).  After you finish 10, move down to 9 reps, then 8... 7... 6... until you've completed 1 rep of every move.

Split Leg Lunges (each leg) - facing away from the plyo box, prop one foot up on it and keep the other leg planted on the floor.  Lunge down as low as you can, bending both knees to 90˚, keeping your chest up.  Do all reps on one leg, then switch.

Butt Tap Squat Jumps - just like they sound, start in a squat with your rear lightly touching the plyo box, hands in front of you.  From here, propel yourself up into the air, swinging your arms down and back.  Land lightly on your feet, and tap your butt to the box again.  Keep the jumps going for the desired number of reps.

Lunge to Step Up + Knee Drive (each leg) - start in a lunge facing the plyo box with just enough room between to step up onto the box.  From the lunge position, take your back leg and plant it firmly on top of the box, stepping up as you do, driving your other knee toward your chest in a fluid motion.  Reverse the move to step down off the box and back into a lunge on the same leg you started on.  Repeat all lunges on one leg before switching to the other.

Side Plank Adductor Raises (each side) - these ones are killer for the inner thighs!  Start in a side plank on your elbow, with your top foot on the box, bottom foot touching the ground so your legs are split.  Maintaining the side plank position, raise the bottom leg up as high as you can. Do all raises on one leg before switching.  Trainer Tip: engage your abs to keep your hips from dipping.  Your body should be in one straight line from head to top foot; the only part that moves is your bottom leg.

Donkey Kicks + Pulse + Hold (each leg) - face the box and place your hands on the sides to maintain your balance.  Start with donkey kicks on one leg, bending the knee and kicking your heel upward toward the ceiling.  Once you're done with the kicks, immediately do that same number of pulses with your leg bent at 90˚.  Last, hold your leg up for that number of seconds (e.g. 10 donkey kicks, 10 pulses, 10-second hold).  Repeat on the other side.

Abductor Lifts + Pulse + Hold (each leg) - maintaining the same propped up form as the donkey kicks, now you're doing to lift your leg out to the side.  Keeping your leg straight and foot flexed, lift straight out to the side as high as you can.  Once done with the desired number of lifts, keep your leg up and pulse it up and down for the same number of reps, and finish with a hold (e.g. 9 lifts, 9 pulses, 9-second hold).  Repeat on the other leg.

Remember to keep going through the exercises until you've completed 1 rep on each leg.  Feel the burn!  And because it's Monday, we all need a laugh, and I'm finding some priceless outtakes in my stock of photos...

Squat outtake

Outfit Details: tank - Lululemon, leggings - GTS Clothing

Readers: chat with me!  What's new?!  I've missed you all!  What new exercises, classes, and/or fitness endeavors are you enjoying?  Do you use plyo boxes in your training?  What are some of your favorite ways to use them?  What are some of your favorite lower body exercises?

Do-At-Home New Year's Eve Pyramid Workout

I can't believe 2015 is almost over.  Where did this year go?  Do you have plans for New Year's Eve?  If you're staying home this year, consider trying a fun workout to keep yourself and friends/family both active and awake until the clock strikes 12:00.  This little workout is a fun one, and builds on itself throughout the night.  You'll be doing exercises on the hour starting at 1pm, and going through until midnight.  Each subsequent hour you'll do all preceding exercises plus that hour's move.  So by midnight you'll have a total body workout to ring in the new year - your first workout of 2016!  Grab your friends and family, and let's celebrate the new year with activity, health, and happiness.  Ready to get moving?!

Do-At-Home New Year's Eve Pyramid Workout

Do-At-Home New Year's Eve Pyramid Workout

Starting at 1pm (or really whenever you'd like - see below), you'll do each exercise on the hour until midnight, combining the current hour's move with all the previous hour's.  So, for example, at 1pm you'll do 1 minute of jumping jacks.  Then at 2pm you'll do 1 minute of jumping jacks + 2 push ups.  3pm = 1 minute jumping jacks + 2 push ups + 3 burpees... etc. until you reach midnight.  Note: you don't HAVE to start at 1pm, so feel free to jump in whenever, just start with that round's moves and go forward.  Have fun and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

1pm | 1 Minute Jumping Jacks - no explanation needed here.  This one is cardio-focused to get your heart rate up and warm your muscles before doing additional exercises, so feel free to switch to another cardio move if jumping jacks aren't your fave.

2pm | (1) + 2 Push Ups - do these from your feet if you can.  Keep your spine aligned, abs engaged pulled in toward your spine and butt down.  Make 'em good!

3pm | (1 + 2) + 3 Burpees - the move everyone loves to hate.  Optional push up at the bottom of the burpee if you want to add a little more to your workout!

4pm | (1 - 3) + 4 Push Ups to Side Plank Hip Dips - start with a regular push up either up on your toes or on your knees. Do the push up, then turn to a side plank on the right so your feet/knees are stacked and place your top hand on your hip.  From here, dip your hips down to the ground, then raise back up.  Turn back to a push up position, do another push up and repeat the dip on the other side.  Do 4 total (2 each side).

5pm | (1 - 4) + 5 Oblique Crunches (each side) - 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 5 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.

6pm | (1 - 5) + Stutter Lunge Hops (each side) - start in a lunge position with your right leg forward, legs bent to 90˚, chest up.  From here, hop up switching feet mid air and land on your toes with your left leg in front.  Jump back down into a lunge again on the same leg.  Each lunge + stutter hop = 1 rep.  Continue for 6 reps on each side.

7pm | (1 - 6) + 7 Frog Stamp Jumps in Plank - start in a high plank and jump your feet to the outside of your hands keeping your hands on the ground the whole time (as if in a leap frog position).  Jump your feet back out into a plank, keeping your spine aligned (no bend in the back) and gaze forward.  Trainer Tip: if jumping is too much here, simply step your feet up to meet your hands.

8pm | (1 - 7) + 8 Lateral Leg Lifts (each side) - start with your feet about shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward, hinged at the waist so your finger tips touch the ground.  Keeping your finger tips on the ground the entire time, sweep them over to the right side and lift your left leg directly up to the side.  Place your foot back down and sweep your fingers over to the left side.  Now lift your right leg.  Keep alternating for 8 lifts on each side.

9pm | (1 - 8) + 9 Plyo Squats - start in a squat position as low as you can get, arms bent as if in a prayer position.  From here, propel yourself up into the air, swinging your arms down by your sides as you jump.  As you land back down, immediately lower yourself back down into a squat.  Remember, be light on your feet and keep the motion fluid.  Continue for 9 reps.  Trainer Tip: to decrease the intensity, simply squat in place without the jumps. 

10pm | (1 - 9) + 10 V-up Crunches - like a regular crunch, but keep your legs straight and bring your hands up to meet your toes.  Extend all the way back down to the floor, and repeat for 10 reps.

11pm | (1 - 10) + 11 Sphinx Push Ups - start out in a modified push up position (on your knees), forearms flat on the floor with your elbows directly under your shoulders.  From here, push through your hands so your chest comes off the floor and elbows straighten.  Lower yourself back down.  Do 11 total.

12am | (1 - 11) + 12 Left/Middle/Right Crunches + Pulse - we're finishing with a bang!  Lie on your back with your left leg crossed over your right knee, right hand behind your head, left arm out to the side.  From here, bring your left knee to meet your right elbow.  Do 12 crunches here, then 12 small pulses.  Next, go straight up to the middle for 12 crunches and 12 pulses (feet flat on the ground).  Last, cross your right leg over the left, left arm behind your head, and crunch elbow to knee for 12 reps, then 12 pulses.  

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  Guess what?  You'll have just done your first workout of 2016!  How does it feel?!  I hope you all have a great New Year's Eve and wonderful start to 2016.  Be safe, stay healthy, and rock those workouts!

Readers: chat with me!  Do you typically stay in on New Year's or go out?  If you're staying in, have you ever thought about adding some exercise to your festivities?  What are your plans this year?  How about your goals for 2016?

100-Rep Workout for the 100th Post!

Today marks a pretty big milestone for the blog!  This is blog post number 100!  Woo!  To celebrate the milestone, I created a special workout for you all today.  It's a full body workout using only your bodyweight (and therefore easily done wherever you are today).  You'll work your way up from 1 to 10 reps and back down again.  By the end of the workout, you'll have done 100 reps of each exercise for the 100th post!  Ready??  Let's go have some fun this Monday!  :)

100-rep Bodyweight Pyramid Workout

100-rep Bodyweight Pyramid Workout

Start with 1 rep of every exercise, then 2... 3... 4... up to 10.  Then work your way back down: 9... 8... 7... down to 1 rep again.  Before you know it, you'll have done 100 reps of each move!  Let's go!

Low-to-Mid Squats - crouch down so your knees are completely bent, butt touching your heels and your feet flat on the floor.  From here raise yourself up so your quads are parallel to the floor.  Hold yourself there for 5 seconds, then lower back down to start.

Sumo Squat to Side Kick - start standing in a wide stance, toes pointed outward.  Squat down as low as you can, then press up onto your left leg and kick your right leg out to the side, driving with your heel.  Immediately squat back down and do a side kick with your left leg.  Do the desired number of reps on each leg, alternating sides as you go.

Regular Push Ups - no explanation needed. :)  Just remember keep your spine in a straight line by engaging your abs and keeping your head neutral.  If you need to, drop to your knees, but remember to lower your entire body to the floor, not just your chest.

Wide-Arm Push Ups - do the same as above, but widen your arms past shoulder width.

Side Plank Hip Dips - start out in a side plank, either on your elbow (easier) or up on your hand (harder).  From this position, dip your hips down, keeping your feet stacked and shoulder over your wrist/elbow.  Now raise your hips up to slightly higher than starting position. Continue the dips for the desired number of reps on one side before switching to the other.

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 the desired number of reps on one side, then switch to the other.  Trainer Tip: if you want to make it easier, only crunch up using your top leg instead of both.  Harder = keep legs straight and "V" up.

Plank Jacks - from a high plank on your hands, jump your feet out and in quickly, keeping your abdominals engaged and shoulders over your wrists.  Trainer Tip: if your wrists are giving you trouble, drop down to your elbows.

Feet-to-Hand Jumps - start in a high plank and jump your feet as close to your hands as you can get them, keeping your hands planted on the ground the whole time.  Jump back into a plank position to complete 1 rep.  Keep going for the desired number of reps. Trainer Tip: if the jump is too much, simply step your feet up and back.

Keep going through all 8 exercises until you've completed the whole pyramid (and 100 reps)! 

Readers: chat with me!  Do you like pyramid workouts?  For bloggers, did you celebrate your 100th blog post?  How was your weekend?  Do anything active?