Dumbbell + Bodyweight Booty Burner Workout

Hey guys!  Happy Monday!  I hope you all enjoyed your weekend.  Today's workout I made for a Butts & Guts class I taught at VENT Fitness last Monday and decided to post it here, too, for you guys to enjoy!  It's a good one.  I started the class off with this 10 Minute Ab Burner with Alternating Planks to get a good ab burn on, and then moved on to this lower body circuit-style using heavier dumbbells.  I hope you enjoy it!  It's a longer one - on the order of 35-40 minutes.  Keep reading for the details of the exercises - let's start your week off right!

Dumbbell Booty Burner Workout

Dumbbell + Bodyweight Booty Burner Workout

Equipment Needed: a pair of heavier dumbbells.  I'd recommend somewhere between 10-12lbs for beginners, and up to 15lbs for those of you more advanced.  
What You'll Do: for each round, start on the right leg, go all the way through the round, and then repeat the same exercises on the left all the way through.  This workout should take you about 35-40 minutes to complete with breaks.  Let's have some booty-burnin' fun!

Round 1: Heavy Weights

Single Leg Glute Bridge -  lie on the ground, one leg bent with your foot flat on the floor, other leg raised high in the air.  Keep a dumbbell resting on your hips/lower abdomen, and raise your pelvis up toward the ceiling, activating your glutes and quads.  Lower yourself back down to the floor.  Keep going for 1 minute, making sure to squeeze your glutes at the top of the raise.

Kneeling Donkey Kicks - get in a all-4's position and place 1 dumbbell behind one knee, squeezing your hamstrings and flexing your foot to keep it in place.  From here, raise that leg up so your thigh is parallel with the ground.  Lower it back down, tapping your knee to the floor, and raise it up again.  Keep going for 1 minute.

Fire Hydrants - keep the heavy weight behind your knee for this one.  Instead of lifting your leg straight up, lift it out to the side.  Try to get your thigh as parallel to the floor as possible here, too. 

Kneeling Leg Lifts - this one requires no weight.  Kneel on all 4's and lift one leg straight up as high as you can.  Lower it back down, tap your foot to the ground, and raise it back up.  Keep the motion going for 1 minute.

Repeat round on the left side.

Round 2: Bodyweight

Runner Stance Heel Touches - crouch down on one leg, hands on the ground, other leg extended back behind you, toes lightly touching the floor, as if in a runner's stance.  (All your weight should be on the front leg here.)  From here, bring your back leg forward so your toes meet the heel of your stationary foot.  Extend the that leg back out, tap your toes to the floor again, and bring it back in to meet your heel.  Continue that pattern for 1 minute.  Trainer Tip: your front leg should be bent such that your quads engage, but you shouldn't be crouched so far down that your butt is touching your lower leg.

Plie Squats w/ Calf Raise - like a regular squat, but with a wider stance and your feet/knees are turned outward.  Squat down as low as you can get, then as you raise yourself back up, do a calf raise at the top (go up onto your toes).  Go immediately back down into a squat. Keep going for 1 minute.

Step-Touches + Pulse - squat down as low as you can, and staying in a low squatted position the entire time, step to one side.  The other foot should follow, tapping it to the ground, then step to the other side, and touch.  Do this for 10 seconds, then pause in a squat and pulse up and down quickly for 10 seconds.  Keep alternating 10-second step-touches and 10-second pulses for 1 minute.

Single Leg Walk Out to Plank - start standing on one leg, other leg lifted slightly off the floor, ankles in line with each other, hands by your side.  Staying all on one leg with ankles in line, squat down and reach your hands to the floor.  Walk yourself out into a plank.  (There's the option for a push up here if you want to add some intensity.)  Then reverse the move and walk yourself back up to standing, all while keeping your ankles together and staying on one foot.

Repeat round on the left side.

Round 3: Heavy Weights (lunge pattern)

Forward Lunges - staying on the same leg throughout with the heavy weights down by your side, lunge forward keeping your chest up and knee over your ankle.  Return to standing, and lunge forward again on the same leg.  Continue for 1 minute.

Side Lunges - on the same leg as the front lunges, now step to the side.  Weights still by your side, and chest up.  Try to keep the opposite leg straight as you lunge down.

Step Back Lunges - using the same leg as above to step back with, step backward into a lunge.  Keep those weights by your side here too.

Curtsey Lunges - keep those weights in hand, and step back and to the side as if doing a curtsey.  Lunge deep and focus on activating the glutes. 

Repeat round on the left side.

Round 4: Bodyweight

Single Leg Line Hops (15 seconds each direction) - on one leg, hop forward and backward as if hopping over a line.  Work quickly!  After 15 seconds, switch to hopping side to side on the same leg for another 15 seconds.  Switch back to forward/backward for 15s, then the last 15 seconds side to side.  Remember to keep it all on the same leg.  It'll burn! 

Leg Sweeps - sit down on the floor, keeping the working leg out straight (so, your right leg for the first round), and the other leg bent.  You can "hug" the non-working leg for support if you need to.  From here, lift the straight leg so it's hovering over the floor and sweep it out to the side.  Bring it back in.  Keep sweeping out and in for 1 minute.

Kneeling Side Kicks - staying on the same leg, kneel in an all 4's position, and bring your right leg (1st round), up into a side kick, driving with your heel.  Bring it back down, tap your knee to the floor, and do another side kick.  Remember to keep your spine aligned here, and gaze forward so you don't strain your neck.

Prone Lateral Scissors - lie down on your stomach, hands either straight out ahead of you resting on the ground or arms bent underneath your forehead.  Lift both legs up so they're slightly off the ground and sweep them out and in, squeezing your quads and pointing your toes to engage your calves.

Repeat round on the left side.

There you have it!  How do your legs feel after this one?  Hopefully like they worked hard!  I'd definitely recommend stretching your hamstrings & glutes for a few minutes after this workout, too.  Hope you enjoyed it!

Readers: chat with me!  How was your weekend?  Do you have a favorite leg exercise/combo of exercises that you turn to on leg day?  What about equipment - what's your favorite piece to use to fire up the leg muscles?

Quads & Glutes Chair Pyramid Workout

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Let's get right to the fitness today.  I taught a lower body strength training class last night, which went by so fast!  We were all lunging, squatting, and jumping enough to make class go by like THAT.  I had a whole group/partner exercise portion planned, but when I looked up at the clock, we had 10 minutes left!  Love classes like that.  :)  Anyway, I thought I'd adapt a few of the exercises we did last night to something you can do at home, or anywhere there's a sturdy chair, bench, box, or low wall to step onto.  Ready to have some fun?!  Keep reading...

Quads & Glutes Chair Pyramid Workout

Quads & Glutes Chair Pyramid Workout

Equipment Needed: a sturdy chair, water bottle and towel if desired
For this workout, go through 10 reps of each exercise first, then down to 9, then 8... etc. until you reach 1 rep.   Let's get started!

Single Leg Lunges - 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 all reps on one leg, then switch.

Chair Step Ups w/ Lunge Back - here's where the sturdy chair is important.  Start by stepping up onto the chair with your right leg and bring your left knee to waist level.  Step back down on your left foot and bring your right leg down, stepping back into a lunge.  Then immediately step back up onto the chair.  Repeat all reps all on one leg, then switch.

Adductor Raises in Side Plank - 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.  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.

Squat Jumps w/ Butt Tap - just like it sounds.  Face away from the chair, and slowly squat down until you feel your butt tap the chair seat.  Once you feel that, explode up into a vertical jump.  Then come immediately back down to tap the chair again.  Keep the upward jumps fast and the downward squats slow.

Donkey Kicks + Pulse + Hold - face the chair and use the seat to prop yourself up/maintain your balance.  Start with donkey kicks on one leg, bending the knee and kicking your heel upward toward the ceiling.  Once your done with the kicks, immediately do that same number of pulses (same leg position).  Then hold your leg up for that number of seconds (e.g. 10 donkey kicks, 10 pulses, 10 second hold).  Repeat on other side.

Squat + Side Kicks - get behind the chair using the back for balance.  Squat down as low as you can, then come up and do a side kick, keeping your toes pointed forward and driving your heel away from you.  Squat back down again and do another kick on the opposite side.  That 2-kick set counts as 1 rep.  Keep going for the desired # of reps.

Don't forget to keep moving down the pyramid - 10, 9, 8... down to 1 rep each.

Readers: chat with me!  Do you use household equipment like a chair for your workouts?  What are your favorite lower body exercises to do?  What ones don't you like so much?  I'd love to hear!

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!