Category: Workouts

At Home/Outdoor Leg Circuit Workout

An easy and effective, minimal equipment leg circuit workout that can be done at home or outside.

With the weather (finally) starting to get nicer, I like to try to come up with workouts I can do outside and with minimal equipment. These kinds of workouts are also perfect if you’re running low on time. This leg circuit is very intense and effective – I was definitely sore afterwards!

Since I live in an apartment complex, I have lots of staircases around to take advantage of. You can also find a staircase at a park near your house, bleachers at the local school, or even the one inside your house!

For the circuit workout, I added in a band to go around my thighs. If you don’t have a band like this readily available, you can still do the workout without it! It just adds more resistance and activates your glutes.

Warm Up:

Stair Sprints – 3 sets of 10 sprints up the stairs. Walk or jog back down the stairs



Circuit Workout:

Perform each exercise back to back and complete 3-4 sets of the circuit for the complete workout. Use the stairs for these exercises.

Exercises:
  1. Banded Squat Walks
  2. Banded Sumo Squat Jumps
  3. Banded Side Steps – Left Side
  4. Banded Side Steps – Right Side
  5. Lunges or Jumping Lunges (20 total)
  6. Stair Sprint

After this circuit workout, I usually throw in an additional superset or two to finish off the workout. A superset is when you perform two exercises back to back with little to no rest in between.

Superset 1 (3 sets):

This superset is performed without the staircase.

  1. Banded Sumo Squats – 20 reps
  2. Banded Narrow Squats with Added Pulse – 12 reps

Superset 2 (3 sets):

  1. Banded Step Ups with Glute Kickbacks (performed on the stairs) – 10 each side
  2. Side Lunges – 15 each side

Enjoy & get sweaty!!

At Home Total Body Workout (Apartment Friendly!)

A total body workout designed to be done at home with little to no equipment, and NO jumping moves so it’s apartment friendly!

Happy Snow Day! At least to us who live in the Northeast. I was super excited to see this much precipitation because I haven’t had a snow day yet this year! I still had to work from home but I was able to multi-task and get a bunch of stuff done.

Since I was stuck indoors all day with no access to my gym, I decided to throw together a full body workout and film it for you guys, too!

The best thing about this workout is that it’s apartment friendly! This means no jumping moves that bother your downstairs neighbors. I like working out at home but I do a lot of jumping moves and always feel so guilty for disturbing my neighbors.

Second best thing is that this workout targets all your main muscle groups: upper body, lower body, and abs. What can be better than that?!

I’ve separated the workouts by muscle group in case you’d like to mix and match and not complete them all. All exercises use body weight and can be modified to use added weight.



Lower Body Circuit 

I found this lower body circuit workout from Kelsey Wells, the developer of the PWR program on the Sweat app with Kayla Itsines. I’ve been incorporating it into some of my leg days at the gym and it’s killer! This is only the activation phase of the workout…in other words, the warmup. It definitely gets your heart pumping to kick off a workout!

Directions:

Set a timer for 10 minutes. Complete each exercise back to back. See how many sets you can complete before the timer is up!

Exercises:
  1. 10 Glute Bridges
  2. 20 Sumo Squat Pulses
  3. 10 Stationary Lunges (each side)
  4. 10 Reverse Lunch & Knee Up (each side)
  5. 20 Sumo Squats with 2 Pulses

Booty Burn

This booty burn part of the total body workout focuses on more Pilates style movements to really target the entire glute muscle.

Directions:

Perform each exercise back to back. Rest. Repeat 3-4 times.

Exercises:
  1. 15 Glute Bridges
  2. 10 Glute Kickbacks each side
  3. 15 Glute Kickback Pulses each side
  4. 20 Donkey Kicks each side
  5. 10 Rainbows each side

Ab Attack

For this Ab workout, I used my sliders. These sliders were cheap and can be found on Amazon. You can use the sliders on hardwood floors or on carpet. If you don’t have sliders, you can use cloths underneath your feet on hardwood floors.

Directions:

Perform each exercise back to back. Rest. Repeat 3 times.

Exercises:
  1. Knee Tucks
  2. 20 Mountain Climbers each side
  3. 20 Oblique Side Crunches each side
  4. 20 Plank Jacks



Upper Body Workout 

This workout was also inspired by Kelsey Wells. It was adapted and slightly modified from one of her Instagram posts and uses resistance bands. You can swap the resistance bands for dumbbells and can adjust the number of reps as necessary.

Directions:

Complete 12-15 reps of each exercise back to back. Rest and repeat for 3-4 sets.

Exercises:
  1. Lateral Raise
  2. Tricep Extensions
  3. Reverse Fly
  4. Front Raise
  5. Upper Row
  6. Bicep Curls
  7. Tricep Kickbacks
  8. Upper Back Row
  9. Squat to Shoulder Press

Hope you enjoy this workout! The how-to video will be coming shortly 🙂

 

Slim Legs HIIT Workout

HIIT

HIIT is the best way to get your heart rate pumping and to burn fat in the shortest amount of time as possible. A good HIIT session can be done in as little as 10-15 minutes and will leave you feeling a great burn. It’s the perfect sweaty sesh to get you going before a workout or as a burnout afterwards.

Personally, I like to use HIIT as a warm-up exercise before I start weightlifting. And since I’m looking to decrease my body fat percentage, I try to incorporate HIIT into my workouts at least 3 times a week. I try to match the moves in my HIIT routines to what I’m working out that particular day. Here is an example of what I’ve been doing as my HIIT routine for leg day.

For this HIIT routine, I use a step with two of the risers on each end. If you’re a beginner or don’t have this piece of equipment readily available, there are certainly modifications that can be made. Try taking out one of the risers so that there’s only one per side or you can take them out altogether. You can also remove the step entirely if you’re doing this at home! For more of a challenge, add risers to each side or shorten the time of rest between exercises.



Timing

You can time yourself however you feel comfortable. Some HIIT is timed with 40 seconds working (performing the exercise), 20 seconds rest. I like to do 30 seconds working and 30 seconds rest.

There are 4 exercises in the routine. Complete the exercise in the working time of your session, then rest. Then move onto the next exercise, then rest and so on. Complete this for 3-4 rounds so that the workout is a total of 12-16 minutes.


Exercises

PSA: I don’t believe these are the technical names for these exercises but they made the most sense in describing the motions. See the video below for a how-to.
In and Out Squat Jumps

Start in a narrow squat position with both feet on the step. Jump out from off of the step to a sumo squat. Keep jumping back and forth between positions. Try adding pulses to the squats!

Jump Overs

Begin with your right foot on the step and your left food off of the step. Jump onto the step with your right foot then with your left. Once your left foot hits the step, your right foot should be off the step. Jump back to the left the same way.

Toe Taps

Similar to the all-familiar soccer drill: bring each toe up to the top of the step and gently tap each toe. Keep alternating each toe/foot that is tapping the top of the step.

Skaters

This is the only exercise performed without the step. I like to face the step on its length side so that I can measure how far I’m jumping during this move. Jump to the right with only your right foot and left leg should curtsy almost behind you. Jump to the left with your left leg and your right foot will be behind your left. This movement mimics the moves that inline skaters make on the rink. I try to jump laterally so that my foot aligns with the end or past the end of the step on each side.



Perform these back to back for a total of 4 minutes per round. Remember to repeat for 3-4 rounds to complete your HIIT routine!

See the video below on how to perform each exercise. Trying to type out what to do might be a little difficult to understand!

 

Beginner Upper Body Workout

In the past, I’ve been horrible when it comes to working out my upper body. I love training my back but I have never been too thrilled to train my biceps, triceps, and shoulders. This year, one of my “resolutions” or something I want to work on is training my upper body. I decided the best way I can do that is target all the different sections of my upper body in the same session. This way, I won’t get bored just doing shoulders or just doing biceps. I added in a back superset since that’s my favorite and would motivate me for the rest of the workout.

I created and performed this workout last week and it left me fairly sore which is always a great feeling. It’s more for beginners because it includes a bunch of basic movements that you can do with light weights. It consists of 4 supersets. A superset consists of two exercises performed back to back with little to no rest in between. You will do 10-15 reps of exercise 1 in the superset then immediately move on to performing 10-15 reps of the second exercise.

Even though I labeled this as a beginners workout, it can be transformed to a more intermediate workout by increasing your weight. The workout has basic moves but everything can be adjusted according to your skill set and strength.

Between sets, you should rest 1-2 minutes before moving onto the next one. You don’t want to wear yourself out all at once and you want to make it through the entire workout. Give your body the rest it needs to keep pushing. Take this time to get your breathe back and drink some water or on BCAAs to help muscle recovery.

All of these exercises use dumbbells and the tricep dips can be performed using a bench at the gym or your couch if you’re doing this at home.

Please remember to warm up before going straight into the workout. Get on the treadmill or elliptical for a quick cardio warmup or jump rope for 5 minutes.

Use this as your next upper body session!

StairMaster Workout

The StairMaster is a great way to get cardio in and work up a serious sweat! Some may be intimidated by it and some may hate it, but you should definitely give it another try with this workout! I used to hate the StairMaster and couldn’t make it longer than 2 minutes when I first tried. I started doing longer and longer workouts to build up my stamina. Now it’s my favorite form of cardio!

I normally do this workout as a warm-up before leg day. It’s great because you can go through the workout as many times as you’d like depending on how long you want to workout for! I usually go through it once or twice as a warmup.

I put a range of speeds for most of the different exercises. Your speed depends on your skill level and should be a framework to go by, not something you need to stick to exactly. For me, normal walking speed is at least 10 or above but that won’t be the same for a beginner.

Give it a try next time you’re at the gym!

Beginner Kickboxing Circuit Workout

One of my favorite forms of cardio and exercise is kickboxing. I love how energized you feel and how strong you become! Some of my most sore days have been after an hour kickboxing class. And the best part is, you lose track of time because it’s that much fun!!

It’s important to find some form of exercise that you just completely enjoy and look forward to doing. You never want to be in a “funk” when you dread going to the gym or dread going for your daily run. You’ve burned yourself out to the point where you don’t like something you’re doing and that’s going to get you off track from your goals.

Living a healthy lifestyle, it’s easy to run into these funks. It can happen more often than you think. When you get in this rut, you need to change up your routine! Go for a swim instead of jogging. Practice yoga when you have pushed your body too far. Give your body a break and listen to it! Do something active that makes you happy! You may need to keep changing it up and that’s okay – just don’t give up

I created a beginner at-home kickboxing circuit workout that will only take you around 20 minutes to complete. It’s two circuits that have 4 exercises in each. For each circuit, you will complete all exercises back to back, doing each exercise for 30 seconds. Once you complete all 4 exercises in the circuit, you will rest for 30 seconds. That’s one round. You will complete this process again until you’ve done 4 rounds of circuit one. Then you get a 1 minute rest before doing the same thing with circuit 2.

Be mindful to even out the workout on both sides of your body. I prefer standing in Orthodox position. This is a fancy boxing term for left foot forward, right foot back. For exercises like Circuit 1, exercise 1, you will want to switch your footing position between circuits so you’re not constantly just working the one side of your body.

I don’t jump rope in my apartment so I just pretend like I’m jumping rope. It’s the same movement so it will work in the same way!

Remember to have fun, work hard, and get out of your comfort zone!