Spotlight On: The ActivMotion Bar (+ discount!)

ActiveMotion Bar title.png

Disclosure: While I was not compensated to write this post, I was gifted this bar by Fit Approach on behalf of ActivMotion Bar in exchange for review on the blog. As always, all opinions, photos, and workout images are my own. I hope you guys love this piece of fitness equipment as much as I do!

Alright, let’s first disregard the fact that this is my first blog post in WELL over a year (hello graduate school! - more on that and my life lately in an upcoming post). And let’s focus on new fitness equipment! Have you gotten your Christmas shopping done yet? Do you have your gifts for the fitness fanatic? If you need an idea for them, or for yourself, here’s a great one: The ActivMotion Bar.

ActiveMotion Bar

This LOOKS like your traditional weighted bar similar to a Body Bar, but it is most definitely better. The ActivMotion Bar is hollow and has weighted ball bearings inside that roll around as you shift it. It’s definitely something you have to hear and feel.

The shifting of the ball bearings creates a whole new challenge for, well, all your muscles, but particularly your abs and core. It takes a lot of concentrated effort to keep that bar still! There are SO many exercises you can do with this, the opportunities are endless. And it doesn’t just come in one size either. I’m using the 10-lb bar here, which let me tell you, is a LOT more challenging than I thought it would be. (Haha… #humbled.) The bars also come in weights of 3, 4.5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, and 18lbs. They also have a “glimpse” bar where you can actually see through and watch the balls roll as you move. That one weighs 4.5lb. The lighter ones are good for Pilates and building general strength, coordination, and core activation. The heavier ones are suited more for advanced use, with the 18lb-er being proooooobably for more of your athletes. (I’m not sure I could swing around 18lbs of shifting weight!) So, all that said, there are a variety to choose from and each has its own benefit. I’d be really interested in trying a Pilates class with this!

ActiveMotion Bar

As I hope you know, I only share fitness equipment that I genuinely love and actually use in my own training. Now that I’ve had a chance to play around with this, I’ll be creating an ActivMotion Bar series here on the blog, so stay tuned for some great workouts! In the meantime, here’s an exercise I tried a few nights ago that is way more challenging in practice than it appears: the side plank leg lift. Helloooo outer thighs, obliques, and shoulders! (For a video of this and to HEAR the bar in action, check out my Instagram post… complete with bloopers too!)

Side Plank Leg Lift - Start in a traditional side plank (or bottom leg tucked under for more support). Rest one end of the bar on the top leg in the crook of your ankle, and hold the other end with your top arm (shown below, top). From there, lift your top leg up as high as you can, allowing the ball bearings to roll all the way down (shown below, bottom). Then lower your leg back down, allowing the balls to finish rolling back before lifting again. Try 10 each leg, and let me know how you do!


READER DISCOUNT! (Through 1/7)

ActivMotion Bar was kind enough to share a 25% off discount code with you! Use code FITAPPROACH25 now through January 7, 2019 for some savings! The bars are slightly on the pricey side ranging from $99 - $139, so I’m happy to be able to share this discount. Go experience one for yourself! You won’t regret it, especially if you work out at home and/or need to breathe new life into your fitness routine!

And if you need more exercise/workout ideas, check out ActivMotion Bar on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. AWESOME resources for motivation!

Readers: chat with me! Have you used an ActivMotion Bar before? If so, what’d you do with it and how did you like it? If not, are you interested in giving it a try? Have you used any other fitness equipment with shifting mass like this? And lastly, but most importantly, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN??


Strength + Cardio Total Body Circuit Workout (no equipment!)

Strength + Cardio Total Body Circuit Workout | In Fitness and In Health

I'm really excited about sharing today's workout with you because this is a format I've been teaching for a while now at Life Time Athletic, and I LOVE it!  At Life Time, the class is called C9 Challenge, and we typically use dumbbells and resistance bands for equipment.  Today's workout is all bodyweight though, so it's PERFECT for those of you going on vacation who are in need of a killer sweat sesh with no equipment!

I love this format because it's over and done in about 45 minutes (with a warm up and cool down), and it goes by SO quickly!  The format goes as follows: 3 blocks of exercises, and in each block there are 3 moves targeting the upper body, lower body, and abs, all done for 1 minute each and repeated 3 times through.  So it's a 3x3x3 workout, if you will.  Each block ends with 1 minute of a cardio move before you go onto the next block.  You ready to bring the heat??  Let's get going!

Strength + Cardio Total Body Circuit Workout | In Fitness and In Health

Strength + Cardio Total Body Circuit Workout

What You'll Need: just a mat, a timer, and yourself!  And maybe a water bottle and sweat towel. ;)
What You'll Do: time each exercise for 1 minute, completing each circuit 3 times through.  After each circuit, complete the cardio move for that circuit (shown below) for 1 minute.  After the cardio burst, rest for 1 minute before moving onto the next circuit.

CIRCUIT 1 (x 3)

Regular Push Up to Pike Push Up - start in a regular push up position and do 1 push up (shown).  Then walk your hands back toward your feet so your body forms a V (shown).  Look back at your feet and do 1 pike push up, bringing the crown of your head to the floor.  Walk your hands back out to a regular push up position and do another regular push up concentrating on lowering your chest to the floor and keeping your entire body straight.

Curtsey Lunge to Step Back Lunge (alternate legs each round; last round = 30/30) - start with your left foot planted on the floor, and bring your right leg behind and back to the left in a curtsey lunge.  From here, staying low in the transition, bring both feet together and then step back in a regular lunge on the same leg (i.e. right leg steps back).  Keep that pattern going for the full minute.  Switch legs for the second minute, and the last minute do each side for 30 seconds.

10 Knee Presses + 10-second Hold - start in a supine position with your knees bent at a 90˚ angle, knees in line with hips (as shown).  Lift your upper back off the mat slightly, and press your hands into your knees and knees back into your hands to engage your abs.  Press and release 10 times, making sure to really engage your abs with each press.  After 10 presses, hold the press in for 10 seconds.  Keep that pattern going for the full minute.

- repeat circuit 1 two more times -

Circuit 1 Cardio: high low jabs (shown below) - start in a low squat facing one side and punch out to the side in a jab.  Propel yourself up in a high jump and as you rise, jab again.  Land back down in that squat and jab, and then jump up again and jab.  Do each side for 30 seconds, focusing on hard punches and recruiting your quads & glutes for the jumps.

high low jabs

CIRCUIT 2 (x 3)

Swimmer Pulls - start lying down on your stomach in a Superman position with legs and arms raised.  From here, extend both arms out straight (as shown), and then pull them back slowly so your shoulder blades come together.  Squeeze your back here for a second, then release back to starting position with arms out straight.  Keep the pulls and squeezes going for the full minute.

Lunge + Kick Sequence (alternate sides each round; last round = 30/30) - start standing and step forward with your right leg into a forward lunge (shown).  Get as low as you can.  Push yourself back up to standing and immediately do 1 front kick on the right leg (shown).  Then step out to the right into side lunge (shown).  Push yourself back up and immediately kick that leg out into a side kick (shown).  Now step your right foot back into a backward lunge (shown), push back up, and do 1 back kick on the right (shown).  Keep the pattern going on the right leg for the full minute, then switch to the left for second round and do each side for 30 seconds in the last round.

Birddog Plank + Crunch (30/30) - start in a high plank extending your right arm and left leg out straight in birddog position (shown).  Hold this position for 2 seconds, actively engaging your abs.  From here, bring your elbow and knee in to meet in the middle, exhaling and bracing your abs at tight as possible.  Extend back out without letting the right hand and left foot to touch the ground.  Hold the plank for another 2 seconds, then bring your elbow and knee in together.  Keep the motion going for 30 seconds on one side, then switch for the next 30.  Take it slow!

- repeat circuit 2 two more times -

Circuit 2 Cardio: Up & Over Jump Lunges (shown below) - start in a low lunge on one side, reaching your hands toward the ground (as shown).  From here, push off your legs to get height in the jump, and reach up and over to the other side, landing in a lunge on your other leg (shown).  Keep alternating jumps side to side for 1 minute, focusing on loading the jump, then exploding upwards. 

alternating jump lunges

CIRCUIT 3 (x 3)

Tricep Dip Toe Reach - start with your feet and hands flat on the ground, butt raised slightly off your mat (shown).  Bend your elbows to lower yourself down so your butt touches the mat.  Push back up to starting position, and extend one arm and the opposite leg to meet in the middle, reaching for your toes (shown).  Go back down in a tricep dip, and as you come up, extend the other arm and leg up.  Keep that pattern going for the full minute.

Single Leg Glute Bridge - start supine with one leg raised in the air, the other foot flat on your mat, arms by your sides.  Pushing through your heel, raise your hips up as high as you can, lifting your butt off your mat, and squeeze your glutes at the top.  Lower back down to starting position.  I'll give you the option here of either doing each side for 30 seconds, or staying on one side for the full minute, then switching for round 2, and 30/30 in round 3.  Up to you!

Toe Reach to Leg Lower - staying in that supine position, raise your legs up straight, bottoms of your feet toward the ceiling, arms extended straight upwards as shown.  From here, reach for your toes lifting your upper back and shoulder blades off your mat as much as possible.  Lower yourself back down slowly, and while keeping your arms extended upwards, lower your legs toward the floor (but don't let your feet touch the ground!).  Raise them back up to start, and reach for your toes again.  Keep that pattern going for each minute.  Feel those abs!

- repeat circuit 3 two more times -

Circuit 3 Cardio: Side to Side Burpees (shown below) - start on one side of your mat and do 1 full burpee.  When you come back up to jump, simply hop over the mat and land on the other side.  Do 1 full burpee here, and hop back over to the other side.  Keep 'em going as quick as you can for the full minute.

side to side burpees

Woo baby!  How'd that workout go for you??  Are you feelin' the burn?  I love this circuit format because it really pushes you, and that cardio burst at the end is always a killer.  I hope you enjoyed the workout today, and if you haven't yet entered the GIVEAWAY from yesterday's post, make sure you do it before midnight tonight!! 

Wear It To Heart Leggings

Wearing: Teal Adder leggings & Mahalo bra c/o Wear It To Heart; Lululemon tank; New Balance sneakers

Readers: chat with me!  Do you add bodyweight workouts to your fitness regimen during the week?  How often do you work out at home or on the go and need a no equipment workout to bring with you?  How was your weekend?

Spotlight On: AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones

Spotlight On: Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones

Disclosure: While I was not compensated to write this post, I did receive these headphones at no cost from Fit Approach on behalf of Aftershokz in exchange for my review on the blog.  As always, opinions and text are all mine - I genuinely LOVE these headphones and use them just about every day.  I hope you love them, too!

Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones

Music is everything when trying to push yourself during a workout, right?  It's the WORST when you're in the middle of a round of burpees with your favorite workout mix to pump you up and bam - no music in one ear.  Soooo frustrating, right?  Enter: AfterShokz Trekz Titanium headphones.  These babies are LIFE CHANGING, let me tell you.  I've been using them just about every single day since I received them (not just for workouts either - more on that below) and I am OB-sessed.  Here's why...

Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones

The Trekz Titanium headphones sit just in front of your ears, not actually IN your ear, and use bone conduction from your cheekbones to your inner ear to transmit sound.  Sounds kinda weird right?  I know, I was skeptical too.  You mean there's nothing INSIDE my ear?  How will I be able to actually hear the music?  If they aren't IN my ear, there won't be anything blocking out the world around me so I'll be hearing everything which will distract me from my workouts!  Trust me, all these thoughts ran through my mind as I entered the gym trying these for the first time.  But you know what?  They pumped out my electronic mixes just fine, even with heavy weight lifters slamming weighted bars, and other loud sounds fitness clubs are known for.

In fact, that's the whole point behind the bone conduction technology of these headphones.  They provide really great quality sound while keeping your ears open to be able to hear your surroundings for safety.  This is especially awesome for all you outdoor runners, bikers, walkers, etc. who need to be conscious of traffic around you.  They're also amazing in the gym too when you want to blast your workout mix, but need to be aware of others working out around you.


AfterShokz Trekz Titanium are wireless bluetooth headphones so they connect to your phone or watch without being tethered.  That's REALLY nice during a workout or when on a bike ride and you can't bother with getting tangled in the wire (or God forbid, drop your phone out of your pocket because your wire got pulled!).

I've tried these out in just about every workout scenario from cardio (jumping jacks, running, high knees, burpees, you name it) to strength & resistance training, and man, they're probably the nicest pair of headphones I've ever used!  Seriously.  They stayed put during my cardio sessions and sit comfortably on my head so they don't cause a headache.  The only downside to them that I can see is if you're doing any kind of work on your back where you have your head flat on the floor.  The back of the headband sits slightly away from the back of my head, so if I tried to lay my head down flat for, say, ab work, the headphones would push up off my cheekbones.  But that's not that huge of a drawback!  There are PLENTY of ab exercises you can do that don't involve lying down. :)

Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones

These headphones aren't just amazing for workouts and running either.  I've been using mine just about every night to watch Netflix from my laptop (Netflix & chill for real), and it's so nice to be able to get up and walk around if I need to while continuing to listen to the show.  (I'm currently working my way through The Ranch - anyone else watch that show??  I love it so far!)  

Also, one of the coolest features in my opinion is the ability to place and pick up phone calls, even in the middle of a Netflix show.  The headphones have a built-in noise-canceling microphone so you can chat with your friends while keeping your arms and hands free.  SUCH a game changer in my book! 

Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones

Readers: chat with me!  Have you made the switch to wireless headphones?  Have you tried these headphones before?  How did you like them?  What tunes do you usually listen to during a workout?  What Netflix shows are you currently loving?