Monday is the day that it seems like we are most strapped on time. As I have mentioned before, I have dubbed my Monday workout a “Travel Day” workout, because many business travelers are on the road the first part of the week. Today’s workout was quick and utilized very little equipment, so if you are facing a time crunch hopefully you can fit this in. I’m not going to lie, I had no plan for what I was going to do when I rolled out of bed this morning. However, this workout got my heart rate up and definitely wore me out. The only equipment that I used was a medicine ball and dumbbells. Note, you can modify many of these exercises. Warm up – As usual, I start my watch when I start my warm up. Today, I walked in place for about thirty seconds (increasing the range of motion in my arms), before changing my movement to a side to side step touch. I did some body weight hamstring curls, followed by high knees for thirty seconds and some body weight squats. That moved me into my workout.
1-Swinging dumbbell squats (with a step out) – You can use a dumbbell or a kettle bell for this. Key is maintaining form. Start with your feet together, weight in both hands. Step out to the right with your right foot while lowering into a squat and swinging your weight in between your legs. As you come up out of your squat, bring your right leg back to center, and raise your weight forward shoulder height. That is 1. Do 10 on each leg, alternating legs.
Modification – This exercise is typically done with a kettle bell, but I used a dumbbell today. You can also do this exercise with just your body weight.
2-Walking planks with dumbbell – Start in a pushup position with your dumbbell beside your right arm. Lower onto your right forearm, then your left forearm. Rise onto your right hand and then your left hand. In this position, use your left hand to reach behind your right arm to grab the dumbbell and move it beside your left arm. That is 1. Do 20 total (so 10 each arm).
Modification – I added more reps to this exercise than usual. I could feel it by the end of the second set. Drop to your knees if you need to.
3-Dips – I literally did these off the side of my couch. Legs extended. Do 12-15. Modification – Bend your knees. Feet flat on floor.
4-Burpees – 15 total. You arms will be tired by the end of the set. If you need to break up the set do so. If you don’t like burpees then do another form of cardio. Think mountain climbers, high knees, tuck jumps.
5-Deadlift to upright row – So many people do deadlifts wrong (and they can cause serious back injury if not done right). For that reason, I’m going to explain the exercise and give some tips as well. Stand with feet hip width apart and a slight bend in your knees. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of thighs, palms facing body. Hinge hips forward, lowering torso until it’s almost parallel with the ground. Squeezing glutes return to standing, lifting dumbbells to chest height while keeping elbows pointed to out to the side. Complete 10-12.
Tips – There should never be an arch in your back (if you start to notice your back rounding you probably have too much weight). When you are lowering your torso keep weights super close to your legs (so much so you almost skim them all the way down and back up). If you are doing this right you will really feel it in the back of your legs (think hamstrings). It won’t take much weight to feel sore.
5-Front lunge with twist and press – Start in a standing position, feet together, holding the medicine ball in both hands at chest level. Lunge forward with your right foot, making sure that your knee is at 90 degree angle with the floor. In this position, press the medicine ball out at chest level (straightening your arms) and twist to the right side. Return to starting position. From starting position, press medicine ball up towards ceiling. Repeat on the opposite side. Do 10 each side, alternating sides.
Modification – I used an 8 pound medicine ball for this and by rep 5, I could feel the fatigue in my arms on the upward press. You can sub a dumbbell for the medicine ball (hold each side of the dumbbell such that it is parallel with the floor). You can also break this exercise into two parts OR do this exercise WITHOUT a weight. What? Believe me; you can still feel the effects of this movement without weight.
6. Straight Leg Medicine Ball Sit ups – Lay on your back. With ball directly above hips, hold ball with arms extended in both hands. Raise legs together until they are parallel with the floor. Return both legs together. Do 12-15.
Modification – Drop the ball or if you can’t do both legs together, bend one leg and place the foot on the floor. Do one leg at a time.
I am so glad that I got my day started with a good workout. We ate well this weekend. Sunday evening we pulled the grill out again and made a feast. Another simple dinner. Turkey Burgers on a wheat bun with a slice of pepper jack cheese and some guacamole. When buying the turkey meat, don’t waste your money on the 99% fat free meat. You are better off using 93%. The extremely low fat meat dries up faster, doesn’t grill well and honestly doesn’t taste as good. With a little fat, the only thing that you need to season these burgers with is a little salt and pepper.
For the guacamole – two avocados, one or two roma tomatoes, 1/3 yellow onion, sea salt, and one jalapeño. Slice all ingredients and mash with two forks in a bowl. This will prevent the tomatoes from smashing and keep the ingredients tasting freshly sliced.