5 Minute Do Anywhere Quad Burner Workout

It's Thursday!  Which means it's almost Friday!  Woo!  Well, this week I've posted a workout for your abs and a workout for your upper body, so let's get the lower half today.  This workout you can do absolutely anywhere, and only takes a minimum of 5 minutes to complete.  I'm a huge fan of super quick workouts like this one to save for the days when I'm too busy to make it to a class or the gym, but still want to feel like I did something for my muscles.  Ready to get to work?  Keep reading...

5 Minute Do Anywhere Quad Burner Workout

5 Minute Do Anywhere Quad Burner Workout

5 exercises, 1 minute each, don't stop in between.  If you want to make this workout last a little longer to really feel the burn, go through it 2 or 3 times total. 

Alternating Lunge Jumps - start in a lunge position and propel yourself up into the air, switching legs mid-jump, and land back down on the opposite side you started on.  Keep alternating jumps for 1 minute.  Trainer Tip: if you have difficulty with the impact of this exercise on the knees, do step back lunges instead.

Low-to-Mid Squats + Hold - 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.  Keep alternating raise, hold for 5, lower for 1 minute.

Down Dog to Hover Planks - these are fun!  Start in a down dog position and hold for 15 seconds.  Then lower yourself into a plank and bend your knees so they are hovering just above (not touching) the floor.  Hold that position for 15 seconds.  Do each position once more for a total of 1 minute.

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 1 minute.  Trainer Tip: to decrease the intensity, simply squat in place without the jumps.

Side Lunges + Knee Raise - start standing.  Step out to the right side, keeping both feet facing forward and your left leg straight, and lower yourself down into a lunge.  Then push off your right foot to come back up to standing, and raise that knee up to your chest.  Keep the lunge + raise pattern going for 30 seconds on the right leg, then switch immediately to the left with no break.

Have fun with this workout!  Feel free to keep going 1 or 2 more times through if you're not feelin' the burn quite yet!  Or, incorporate this quickie workout at the end of a leg training day for a great workout finisher! 

Readers: chat with me!  What's your favorite leg day exercise?  How often do you train your legs & glutes?  Do you ever do quickie workouts like this one while you're on the go or waiting around?

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!

Fitness Friday 7/17: Static Holds

Happy Friday, everyone!  I'm really excited for today, first of all because it's Friday and the weekend is here, but also because my first syndicated blog post goes live on BlogHer today!!  (Link is posted below.)  Lots of exciting things are happening recently, both for me personally and for the blog, and I can't wait to share more details soon!   Also, in case you missed it, the Aurorae aromatherapy candle giveaway is still going on, so make sure to enter yourself into the raffle!  Okay, now onto the fitness...

Today's exercises are focusing on static holds - a type of training where you hold the muscle(s) in a contracted state (i.e. their "working" position) for a certain period of time.  When combined with traditional strength training, this technique is a great way to increase muscle fibers after already working a particular muscle group.  I love using static holds in my group classes. For today, the resistance you'll be working against is gravity since all of these moves use just your bodyweight and nothing else.  Ready to get started?!  Find a spot on the floor and get to holdin'... 

Fitness Friday 7/22: Static Holds

Fitness Friday 7/22

3 x 3 (3 rounds, 3 times today)
Grab your timer and get ready to work your muscles with these static holds!

Boat Pose - like a V-up, except your hands reach straight out in front of you.  Your body should form a V by keeping your legs straight and spine aligned - don't round out your back!  (You should essentially be balancing on your butt/tailbone.)  Hold this position for 1 minute.

Low Plank - plank on your elbows, keeping your forearms flat and hands straight out.  Shoulders above your wrists, keep those shoulder blades apart (i.e. no sinking down!) and engage the abs to keep your spine as straight as a board.  (Think of bringing your belly button to meet your spine.)  Hold for 1 minute.

Plie Squat - really a squat hold.  Like a regular squat except angle your feet out slightly and keep your knees tracked over your feet (they should be angled too).  Get as low as you can, ideally with your butt slightly lower than your knees.  Hold that position for 1 minute.

Complete this 2 more times through to equal 1 round, and then 2 more rounds throughout your day.  

And after you're done with that workout...

Is it supposed to be a nice weekend where you are?  Are you getting outside and doing anything fun?  If you need some great ideas for getting outside while also gettin' your fitness on, check out my first syndicated post on BlogHer!!  It's up today: 9 Fun Outdoor Activities that Double as a Summer Workout.  I'll leave you with this to keep in mind while you're out having fun:

Positive mind Positive vibes Positive life

Readers: chat with me!  What's everyone up to this weekend?  I'd love to hear how you're staying active!  Doing anything outside?  I plan on doing a little hiking and maybe hitting a new gym on Saturday. :)  Whatever you do, enjoy it!