Laid Back Labor Day Lower Body Workout

Hap-py Labor Day everyone!  I hope you're all enjoying your long weekends and have some fun relaxing plans for today.  Just because you have the day off, though, doesn't mean you can't get in a workout!  So, while you're out celebrating the "workingmen's holiday" with family and friends, try to fit in a quick workout like this one while you're at it.  Better yet, get a friend or family member to join you!  All you need is a sturdy chair for this one.  Keep reading for details of the workout and how you can customize it to fit your schedule today.

Laid Back Labor Day Lower Body Workout

Laid Back Labor Day Lower Body Workout

Grab a sturdy chair or bench and get your body moving!  
Suggested: 3 rounds, 3 times today, but customize as you want to fit your schedule today.

20 Single Leg Lunges (each side) - facing away from the chair, 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, keeping your chest up.  Do 20 reps on one leg, then switch.

20 Pelvic Raises + Leg Raise - lie down on the floor with your heels on the seat of the chair.  Lift your pelvis off the floor keeping your legs straight, arms by your side, and raise your right leg up keeping your leg straight.  Lower yourself back down to the floor again, and repeat on the opposite side.  Do 20 raises, alternating leg lifts between each.

10 Mountain Climbers - start standing, facing the chair.  Bend down, placing your hands on the seat of the chair, and jump back into a plank.  From here, alternate "running" your legs in this plank position (bringing your knees into your chest quickly) for 8.  Then reverse the move, jumping your feet back up to the chair, and standing/jumping up.  That's 1 rep.  Continue that for 10 reps total. 

10 Side Plank Adductor Lifts (each side) - start in a side plank on your elbow, with your top foot on the chair, bottom foot touching the ground so your legs are split.  Maintaining the side plank position, raise the bottom leg to tap the underside of the chair, then back down to the floor.  Continue for 10 reps on one side, then switch to the other.  Trainer Tip: keep your hips from dipping here.  Your body should be in one straight line from head to top foot.  The only part that moves is your bottom leg.

10 Seated Leg Lifts w/ Toe Point - sit on the edge of the chair, legs out straight, hands holding the edge of the seat for stability.  Keeping your legs straight and toes flexed, raise them up to parallel with the floor and hold this position for 4 seconds, squeezing your legs tight to engage your quadriceps.  Now point your toes to engage your calves.  Hold for another 4 seconds.  Pull your toes back again, hold for 4, then lower them back down.  That's 1 rep.  Continue that pattern: raise + hold (4 sec), toe point (4 sec), flex + hold (4 sec), and lower for 10 reps total.

Remember this workout is modifiable to suit your schedule today, so do as many rounds as you have time for.  I hope you enjoy your holiday today and have an active yet restful rest of your long weekend!

Readers: chat with me!  How do you recharge on your long weekends?  Do you work out or take a break?  How are you enjoying your holiday weekend?

Fitness Friday 7/3: Pre-Independence Day Mini Workout

Happy (almost) Independence Day to you all!  Most of us have today off, and my guess is a lot of you are gearing up for cookouts, family gatherings, and fireworks with friends.  How exciting!  With that in mind, I'm sure a lot of you are taking a break from your full workouts this weekend (no worries, I am too), but there's no excuse not to get in a mini workout over the weekend!  This one's good for the whole body.  Ready for the fun?  Keep reading!

Fitness Friday Pre-Independence Day Workout

Fitness Friday 7/3

3 x 3 (3 rounds, 3x today)

Single-Leg Plank Knee Dips - start off in a low plank (on your elbows).  Take your left foot and put it behind your right knee, like a figure 4.  Keeping that "4" position the entire time, dip your right knee down so it touches the floor.  Bring it back up to start.  That's one rep; try to get to 10 on the right leg, then switch sides and do 10 on the left.  Trainer Tip: if single-leg is too much, keep both feet on the floor and dip both knees to the ground.

Dive-Bomb Push Ups start in an inverted V position (butt in the air, similar to downward dog).  Bend at the elbows and perform a push up, keeping your gaze back toward your feet so the crown of your head reaches the ground.  Get through 10.

Single-side Oblique Twists - like regular oblique twists, but reach your hands diagonally upwards on the opposite side instead of to the ground.  So, starting with your hands down on the left side, twist quickly and reach your hands up diagonally to the right.  Do 25 on one side before switching to the other.  Trainer Tip: easier = keeping your feet on the ground (knees bent); for more of a challenge, lift the legs to a 90˚ angle.

Readers: chat with me!  How are you spending your weekend?  Do you work out on holidays or take the day off?  What's your favorite way to stay active on holiday weekends in the summer?

12 Days of Fitness Challenge Announcement!

Hi Everyone!  I've been MIA recently on the blog, but that's partly because I am working on some exciting new fitness challenges for you all!  I have many that are a work in progress and will be starting in the new year, so you have some fun and exciting things to look forward to!

The first one, though, is ready to launch!  The "12 Days of Fitness" challenge will start Monday, December 22, 2014 and will go through the new year to Saturday, January 3, 2015.  Check out the page here for more information and to sign up!  I firmly believe that the best gift you can give your loved ones is yourself, and the best gift you can give yourself is health.  So get your friends and family involved in becoming healthier by being more active this holiday season!

That's it for my post this week.  I likely won't be posting next Sunday as my Group Fitness Instructor certification exam is that following Monday so I'll be cramming all day every day from now until then.  Make sure to sign up for the challenge, and pass the word along to friends and family.  :)  In the meantime, remember to check out the other workouts and motivational tips posted here and stay tuned for some exciting new fitness adventures!  Here's to a healthy and happy holiday season ahead!