Wednesday Warmup 5/13: AMRAP Edition to Make You Smile (and Sweat!)

Good morning and happy Wednesday!  How are you all doing today?  I've encountered a lot of people struggling with motivation recently, including myself, which is why I posted these quotes yesterday for a little encouragement.  I've decided to include a positive, uplifting quote at the end of some of my posts now to help get you going and give you (and myself!) a push in the right direction.  We all need someone in our corner sometimes, so know that I am rooting for you every step of the way.  (No really, I am!)

Now, onto today's workout... remember, getting the blood coursing through your body and a good sweat going in the morning (or any time of the day, really) is a GREAT way to combat stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression.  So give this AMRAP workout a try today and see how you feel when you're done.  My hope: better than when you started!

Wednesday Warmup Workout 5-13


Wednesday Warmup 5/13

Set your timer for 3 minutes for each AMRAP.  Get through as many rounds as you can during that time.


Glute Bridge Leg Raises - lie on your back, hands by your side, knees bent with feet flat on the floor.  Raise your pelvis off the floor and extend one leg out straight so it hovers over the floor.  From here, lift that leg as high as you can, keeping it straight, and your pelvis raised.  Lower it back down.  Keep that pattern going for 10 reps on one leg, then immediately switch to the other leg without dropping down to the floor.

Side Kick Squats - start in a squat position, and press up onto one leg.  As you press to standing, extend the other leg out into a side kick.  Lower it back down to the floor and immediately squat again.  Then raise up onto the other leg and perform a side kick on the other side.  Repeat that pattern for 20 reps (each squat + kick = 1 rep).

Runner Stance Heel Touches - crouch down on your left leg, hands on the ground, right leg extended back behind you, toes lightly touching the floor.  (All your weight should be on the right leg here.)  From here, bring your right leg in so your toes meet the heel of your left foot.  Extend the right leg back out, tap your toes again, and bring it back in to meet you heel.  Continue that pattern for 10 reps, then switch sides.


Slow/Fast Leg Extensions - we did this one in my group ex class last night and it worked great!  Lie on your back (hands under your butt for support if you need it), legs extended out hovering over the floor, abs engaged.  In one fluid motion, bring your knees to your chest, then extend your legs straight up, then lower them back down to hovering over the floor.  Hover for 1-2 seconds then repeat.  Each sequence is 1 rep.  Continue for 15 reps total.

Kneeling Lean Backs - kneel on the ground, butt off your heels, arms crossed over your chest forming an X.  From here, lean back slightly so you engage your abs, keeping your spine in one straight line as you lean.  Hold the position for 1-2 seconds, then go back to start.  Repeat that for 10 reps.

Reach-Through Crunches - just like they sound, you're going to lie on your back, legs up in the air, feet together.  From here, simultaneously straddle the legs, and reach though your legs, using your abs to get your upper back off the floor.  Repeat that for 15 reps.


Decline Push Ups - find a sturdy chair or couch and plank out with your feet raised.  Do a push up, being careful to keep the spine aligned.  (Think about pulling your belly button in to your spine to keep the core engaged.)  Try to get through 5 push ups.  Trainer Tip: if the decline is too much, do regular push ups with your feet on the ground.

Raised Tricep Dips - we also did these in a recent group ex class that I took Monday night, and wow they were killer!  Give them a try... use that same chair or couch and place your heels on it, lifting your butt up off the floor, hands supporting you with your fingers facing toward your feet.  Dip yourself down using your arms only (i.e. your hips/butt should NOT dip, only your arms should be moving).  Get through 5 dips.

Sphinx Push Ups - they sound a lot scarier than they are, promise!  Get into a push up position from your knees, and lower yourself down so you're propped up on your forearms.  From here, press through your hands to raise yourself up so your arms are straight and chest is elevated.  Lower yourself back down to start.  Do this 5 times.

As promised, I'll leave you with today's motivating quote.  I challenge you to cheer someone else up today, and share this post with someone who needs a boost...

Cheer Somebody Else Up

Readers: chat with me!  How did that workout go for you?  Did you feel like you could tackle the day once you got done?  Also, do you like the motivating quote idea at the end of the blog posts?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday Warmup 4/29

Happy hump day!  (Did I really just say that? =P)  Rather, happy middle of the week, everyone.  We've made it through the dreaded Monday (and Tuesday).  Here's your workout to kickstart your day today (I know I'll be needing one!).  Try it at home, in the gym, or even outside if it's nice where you are!  Keep reading for the details on today's Wednesday Warmup workout.


Wednesday Warmup 4/29

Go through each round 3 times before moving onto the next, and work quickly!


Lunge to Straight Leg Kicks - start in a lunge on one leg, arms raised to shoulder height stretched out in front of you.  From the lunge position, rise up and kick your back leg up to meet your hands (or as high as you can get it).  Swing that same leg back, placing it back on the ground, and lowering back down into a lunge.  Repeat that motion for 15 reps on one leg, and then switch legs.  Trainer Tip: keep your front leg still - that foot doesn't come off the ground.

Lateral Step Touches - get ready to work your quads!  Get low in a wide-stance squat.  Staying in that low position throughout, step to the right with the right foot, and bring your left foot over to meet it.  Now step to the left, and bring your right foot over to meet it.  Alternate that step-touch pattern for 20 reps (remembering to stay low in a squat stance the whole time!).

Glute Bridges - lie down on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, arms by your sides.  From here, keeping your shoulders planted on the ground, raise your pelvis up off the floor.  Squeeze your glutes at the top.  Lower back down to start.  That's 1 rep.  Continue for 20.


Hip-Touch Planks - get into a low plank position (on your elbows), and twist 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 twist to the opposite side.  Each hip touch is 1 rep.  Continue alternating sides for 20.

Shin Presses - this one's a killer, so get ready!  Lie down on your back, opposite arm and opposite leg raised in the air.  Press your hand into your shin (or knee) and engage the abdominals.  Hold that press for 15 seconds.  Switch sides and repeat.  Do this twice on each side for 15 seconds each, totaling 1 minute.

Supine Leg Lifts - stay down on the ground on your back, this time extending both legs out straight, heels hovering over the floor (but not touching!).  Using your abs, raise your legs up so your body form an 'L' (or get them as high as you can while keeping the legs straight).  Lower them back down to hovering over the floor.  Do 10 lifts.


Wide-Arm Push Ups - like a regular push up but bring your hands out past shoulder width.  Do 10 push ups.  This will concentrate on using more of your pectorals (chest muscles) than a regular push up does.  Trainer Tip: remember you can drop down to your knees here, but make sure your butt stays down and spine is neutral throughout the movement.

Up-Down Planks - start in a plank on your elbows, and one arm at a time, raise yourself up to a high plank position (on your hands).  Reverse that to bring yourself back down to a low plank.  That's 1 rep.  Continue that up-down pattern for 1 minute, switching which arm leads at 30 seconds.  Trainer Tip: you can also do these from your knees.

Tricep Push Ups - lie on your side, with your bottom arm crossed over your chest, and top arm over it with the hand placed on the floor.  Use that top arm to push your upper body off the floor.  Do 15 on one arm, then switch.

That's it for the workout today!  I hope it got you ready to tackle whatever today will bring.

Readers: chat with me!  How'd this workout go for you?  Where did you do it (gym, home, outdoors, etc.)?  Any exercises more (or less) difficult for you?  The more feedback I get on these workouts, the better the future ones will be for you, so don't be shy!

12 Days of Fitness Challenge: Day 12 - Burpees

Guess what?!  You made it to the last day of the 12 Days of Fitness Challenge!  Congratulations!  Only one more exercise to go...

Today's challenge is probably the most difficult of the exercises we've done so far, which is the reason I saved it for last.  Burpees!  Many people, myself included, have a love-hate relationship with this move.  It's challenging when done properly.  It taxes the shoulders, biceps, triceps, core, quads, glutes, AND cardiovascular/respiratory systems all in one move.  How awesome is that?!  Here's your challenge:

  • Start standing, arms stretched above you, shown below (A).
  • Hinge at the waist and bend your knees to squat down, bringing your hands flat to the floor (B).
  • Hop your feet back to a high plank position, keeping your core engaged so you maintain spinal alignment (C).  It's very common to let the back sag during this move, especially as muscles fatigue.
  • Then reverse the move back up to starting position (i.e. from high plank, hop your feet back in toward your hands and stand up tall).
  • Repeat this pattern as quick as you can.  Let's go for time: try 15 seconds to start.  If you think you can go longer, try 30 seconds.  If you think you can go longer still, aim for 1 minute.  Do this AMRAP-style, meaning complete as many "rounds" (burpees) as possible in that timeframe.
  • Do this 3 times throughout today.

Here are some variations I'd like you to try:

  1. Add a push up.  The traditional burpee has a push up included once you're in the high plank position.  Add this in if you can!
  2. Add a jump at the top.  As you stand up, use your legs to propel yourself up into the air slightly.  Remember to land softly on your feet and immediately crouch down again. 
  3. Lower intensity step up/back.  If you find you need a break from the higher intensity versions, here's an option for you.  Instead of jumping your feet back to plank position, step them back one at a time.  If you want to keep the push up here, do it.  Then step your feet back up to your hands and stand up.  There's always a modification that you can do to maintain movement, but decrease pressure on joints!

Good luck, everyone!  Remember, this is your last exercise challenge of the 12 days, so give it all you've got!  Here's to YOU!  Until next time, have a safe and happy day ahead!

P.S.  I would LOVE your feedback on this challenge, since this is the first one I've done on the blog!  One of my goals for 2015 is to create more of challenges to get us all engaged and active this year!  If you could take a minute or two to fill out the form below, I would greatly appreciate it!  Thanks!