I’m starting mine off on an early note and hope to either get outside for a run or pop into a yoga class by the time you’re reading this. It’s amazing what an hour of quiet workout time in the mornings can do for a mood booster and one’s sanity, am I right?
Speaking of fitness, I have a great workout to share with you today.
Taking advantage of my break at the gym yesterday, I joined a group strength training class that lasted 45 minutes long. We completed a circuit of Tabatas that included a lot of the exercises you see below, so it inspired me to create this one that I plan on turning to the next time I head to a gym without a plan in mind.
I utilized a variety of equipment that most gyms will have including a medicine ball, stability ball, dumbbells, kettlebell, and cable machine. It hits all of the major muscle groups, and is sure to get you sweating (and sore) in no time!
You can substitute a dumbbell or weight plate for the medicine ball and kettlebell. If you don’t have access to a cable machine, you can substitute dumbbell bent over rows for the lat pulldowns and triceps kickbacks for the pressdowns.
If you decide to give this workout a try, please take a look at the form cues I have included below. Enjoy!
• medicine ball twists
Hold a medicine ball and sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on your mat. Hold your arms straight out in front of your chest. Tighten your core and lean back so your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Keeping your core tight, rotate your torso to the right, then left.
Return to starting position. This is one rep!
• stability ball plank hold
If you feel comfortable holding a straight leg plank hold, grab a stability ball and go for a :30 – :60 unstable plank hold balance!
For this version, your feet are about three feet apart. Place your palms on the ball and walk out until your back is straight and hips are in line with your ankles. Leaning your body forward, come down to your forearms and keep your elbows under your shoulders. Keep your core tight and balance here as long as a minute. If you start to compromise your form, come down.
• dumbbell dead lifts
Start in a standing position with your feet under your hips. Holding two dumbbells by your sides, keep your arms straight and your knees slightly bent. Slowly hinge forward (bend at your hip joint – not your waist!) and lower the weights as far as you can without rounding or arching the back. Keep your shoulders pressed down and look forward, not directly at the ground.
As you lower, bring the dumbbells in front of your body and close to your legs. Squeeze your glutes and keep your core tight to pull yourself up quicker then you bent down.
• stability ball bent leg bridges
First, let’s begin with a bent leg bridge on the floor.
Start by lying on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. They should be about hip-width apart. Arms should be resting by your sides with the palms facing the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips and hold the position for about 2-3 seconds. Stay on the heels of your feet and keep squeezing your glutes. Slowly lower your hips without touching the floor and repeat.
If you feel comfortable doing this, try performing a bridge on a BOSU or stability ball!
Your back will start on the mat and feet will be on the ball.
Choose whatever version you can complete for 12 reps.
• dumbbell bench presses
Start laying flat on a weight bench with a dumbbell in each hand. I tell clients to put their feet directly on the floor, but for whatever reason, I like to place my feet on the bars. Proper form would be on the floor!
Pull your belly button into your spine and keep a slight posterior tilt throughout the exercise. (Basically, just make sure your back is touching the bench and avoid arching.) Bend your elbows only to ninety degrees or shoulder height, and push the arms straight by extending the elbows towards the ceiling.
If you can get through three sets of 12 reps without struggle, you should bump up your weight.
• cable lat pulldowns
See this video for a great description and cues. You can choose to do a close or wide grip.
Test out the weight so that it is not too easy or too hard. A standard rule I tell my clients is if you get to the max rep (12) and feel like you could probably do a few more, bump up. You might want to start lighter and increase the weight with each set.
• dumbbell biceps curls
Grab a set medium set of dumbbells and start in a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart. Rotate your palms to the front (holding a dumbbell on each side) and engage the core to keep your body exactly where it is. Keeping your shoulders down, squeeze the dumbbells up to your shoulders and then slowly lower them back down.
Keep the elbows locked into your sides!
• cable triceps pressdowns
Attach a rope (or short bar) to the high pulley of a cable machine. Stand tall with your chest lifted and shoulders down and out (away from your ears). Bend your arms and hold each end of the rope handles in each hand. Keep your arms close to your sides. Without moving the upper part of your arms, pull the rope all the way down until your arms are straight.
(Your palms and wrists will naturally rotate towards the floor.) Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for 12 reps.
• kettlebell squats
You can use a dumbbell instead of a kettlebell if you don’t have access to one, but holding a kettlebell will help challenge your balance and work even more muscles!
Start standing tall with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders and toes pointing forward. Hold a kettlebell in front of you (palms facing in – chest level). Keeping your chest lifted and shoulders pressed down and out, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
Hold the squat for a few seconds, then return to starting position. Repeat for 20 reps.
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Have a great Tuesday!
(and Happy Sweating!)
Questions of the Day
• When was the last time you lifted weights?
• What is one thing that you are looking forward to today?
Disclaimer: Although I am a certified personal trainer, I am not necessarily your personal trainer. The workouts I post are what work best for me, and might not be the right type of exercises for you. I always recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet and/or fitness routine. <3