Tag Archives: lunges

Who Says That You Can’t Do It All Uptown (Downtown)?

Uptown Workout Tuesday morning I was up early with the baby. Hence, I did not have time to squeeze in an at home workout. Typically in this case, I would workout at the local uptown YMCA during my lunch break or after work to make up for it. Today, I decided to utilize my outdoor surroundings. Let’s face it. Staring at the same thing indoors is boring. Plus, the weather is amazing in Charlotte right now (these days are running out). I packed a bag equipped with a tank, some shorts and my running sneakers. As my work day ended, I stopped in the ladies restroom and changed into my gear. After dropping my stuff off in the car, I walked down to the street and started my watch. photo 4-10 I knew that I had to make this quick, because I like my time with my daughter in the evenings. With that said, this workout wasn’t going to take more than thirty minutes. From the parking deck, I ran to a new, local park – Romare Bearden Park. It is a perfect rectangle with various inlets that can be used for all kinds of body weight exercises. I took a warm up lap around the park. The distance was approximately .4 miles. Perfect. This would be my interval in between exercises. photo 3-121 At one corner of the park, I found a series of elevated, grass covered steps that I chose to use as the point at which I would do my exercises. See the workout below. Repeat the following exercises sequentially with little to no transition time until you hit thirty minutes.

  • Run 1 lap around the park.
  • Upon reaching your starting point, complete the following exercises:
    • 20 Plank Walks each side – feet elevated on step, hands on the ground
    • 20 Box Jumps – jump on step with both feet, return to ground with both feet
    • 20 Dips – off side of step
  • Run 1 lap around the park.
  • Upon completing your lap, complete the following exercises:
    • 20 Decline Push Ups – feet elevated on step
    • 20 Walking Lunges each leg – you may need to turn around
    • 20 Knee to Elbow Plank Hold each side

photo 2-141 I used the middle steps for several of the exercises that my hands were on the ground, so I could pad my hands with the grass. The other alternative is to wear gloves. I was able to cover 2.5 miles through 2.5 rotations in thirty minutes. Challenge yourself to beating me! I have to say, I got more out of this workout than I would have in the gym, while enjoying a little sunshine. I do think I got some awkward glances as people were making their trek home.

Uptown Fuel

Uptown is more than it’s cracked up to be. Besides going to work, I got my workout in and indulged in some great food to fuel for my busy day. I have mentioned before that I love lunch hotspot Mortimer’s. Tuesday, I went outside of my comfort zone and tried something completely different on the menu. photo 1-136 How about the Veggie Pizza Panini? Y’all, how incredible does this meal look? If you are trying to curb a pizza craving this is where it’s at. Instead of getting a greasy, fat filled slice, Mortimer’s stuffs ciabatta bread with fresh, roasted vegetables and a slice of tomato before topping with mozzarella cheese. So good.

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As if that meal was not enough to hold me over, I stopped for my afternoon snack at Green Brothers Juice Company. This is the hidden gem of uptown. Literally located at its own kiosk in the Energy Café (Bank of America building), Green Brothers has transformed the sugar loaded smoothie that you used to only be able to get from places like Smoothie King and Jamba Juice. This juice is all natural, healthy and did I mention it tastes really good? I could eat this all day. I grabbed a smoothie. Forget stopping for frozen yogurt in the afternoon. This smoothie has you covered. The ingredients include: banana, homemade almond milk, peanut butter, spinach and broccoli. It also has the consistency of a smoothie (rather than the blandness some juices have). I’m hooked. They haven’t had their grand opening, but look out for major signage and information soon. Get ready to have your mind blown.

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Out of Town, No Equipment Outdoor Bootcamp + Travel Update

As I mentioned in my prior post, I was out of commission from working out for almost a week.  I was forced to take time off because I was sick.  I was also under doctor’s orders not to go from couch potato back to my high intensity pace without a transition period.  Perfect.  We were headed out of town anyways to visit my husband’s parents in a rural town outside of Albany, NY.photo 4-68

Whenever I go out of town, I do research on local gyms.  There isn’t much in the town that my husband grew up in, so unfortunately, I was limited to two large generic gyms that were overpriced for a daily visit.  Fine.  The roads are less traveled, so I figured I would take advantage of using the short part of a cul-de-sac to do running intervals mixed with a bootcamp.  Total mileage came in right at two miles, just a tick under 35 minutes.

photo 5-34To give you an idea of how far I was running in between exercises, see the picture above.  There is a stop sign at the end of the street (approximately .06 miles from where I started).  This is a “stacking” workout, so after each run, I increased my reps.  See workout below:

  • 5 Pushups
  • Run to Stop sign
  • 10 Pushups
  • Run back to start
  • 15 pushups
  • Run to Stop sign
  • 20 pushups
  • Run back to start

After the last set of pushups, from the start, follow the same 5-10-15-20 sequence above with the exercises listed below, sequentially:

  • Lunge Step backs (5-10-15-20 each leg, 10-20-30-40 TOTAL)
  • Squats
  • Shoulder Taps (5-10-15-20 each shoulder, 10-20-30-40 TOTAL) – in a plank touch your opposite shoulder.  Keep hips square.
  • Pushups
  • Curtsy Lunge (5-10-15-20 each leg, 10-20-30-40 TOTAL)
  • Sumo Squats
  • Side Plank Hip Lift (5-10-15-20 each side, 10-20-30-40 TOTAL)

The runs should be moderate. Since I was trying not to push too hard, I jogged.  It is your choice.  Either way, your heart rate will get elevated and you will hit your entire body!

photo 1-105I mentioned that we were visiting my husband’s parents.  I plan to do an entire write-up on all of the delicious local food and fun as soon as we have a chance to get all of our pictures together.  In the meantime, I have included several sneak peak photos.  Enjoy!

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Family “selfie” in Saratoga!

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Enjoying downtown Saratoga!

My Jump Rope Driveway Workout

This morning, I stole another workout from my husband. The best thing about this workout is that you can do everything in your driveway/parking lot (even a parking deck on the top level). Let me warn you, if you are not good at jump roping you won’t enjoy this workout. I used two pieces of equipment – a jump rope and a dumbbell (you should use a light weight kettlebell if you have one).

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Most people don’t realize how many benefits there are to using a jump rope to exercise:

  • Cheap and very portable
  • Works your core, improving agility, balance, and coordination
  • Cardiovascular workout that can burn serious calories
  • Muscle toning exercise (specifically calves)

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This morning’s workout should take you approximately forty minutes. Complete all reps and all timed jump rope intervals.

Warm up – Jump rope for two minutes. Before jump roping if you need to do some static stretches do so.

Workout – You need about 15-20 yards of space to complete walking exercises. Our driveway is slightly inclined, so I went up the incline while doing the workout. There are two parts to this workout: walking driveway exercises and static kettlebell exercises.

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Part 1 Walking Driveway Exercises. Complete the following exercises sequentially then repeat circuit.

  • Walking lunges x 3 – Complete walking lunges down/up your 15-20 yard space. Turn around and jog back to start. Do that 3 times before moving to next exercise.
  • Jump rope 2 minutes.
  • Walking planks x 2 – Hold a plank perpendicular to the line that you traveled for your lunges. Walk the hand and leg that are facing the side that you will travel down towards your 15-20 yard space. Bring the opposite hand and leg back to plank. When you get to the end of your space (where your lunges ended) jog back and start facing the opposite side. Do 2 times before moving to next exercise.
  • Jump rope 2 minutes.
  • Burpee broad jump x 1 – Just what the name implies. Do a broad jump. From the land, shoot your feet back into a burpee, do a pushup, then come back to standing. Keep going forward down/up your driveway. Do 1 length before moving to next exercise.
  • Jump rope 2 minutes.
  • Start back at walking lunges. Complete circuit fully before moving on to next section.

Part 2 – Kettlebell/Dumbbell Exercises. This is a building circuit. I used a ten pound dumbbell for the entire thing, because I knew how hard it was going to get. You can start with a heavier weight and drop down in weight if you need to. You will work through the following exercises sequentially. Each time through you will increase your reps.

First rotation

  • 1 Burpee
  • 2 Snatches (1 each hand)
  • 4 Goblet Squats
  • 8 Kettlebell Swings

Second Rotation

  • 2 Burpees
  • 4 Snatches ( 2 each hand)
  • 8 Goblet Squats
  • 16 Kettlebell Swings

Third Rotation

  • 3 Burpees
  • 6 Snatches (3 each hand)
  • 12 Goblet Squats
  • 24 Kettlebell Swings

Fourth Rotation

  • 4 Burpees
  • 8 Snatches (4 each hand)
  • 16 Goblet Squats
  • 32 Kettlebell Swings

Fifth (Last) Rotation

  • 5 Burpees
  • 10 Snatches (5 each hand)
  • 20 Goblet Squats
  • 40 Kettlebell Swings

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When I was done, I felt like my daughter did when we were attempting to get a good picture of her and my husband in their Flywheel gear last night.  “Hooray”!  Flywheel was giving out some incredibly nice “Fly Dad” shirts yesterday in the studio that my husband picked up.  It’s hard to see, but I think he will wear it proudly when he is out with his little girl. 

Our Aruba Beach Bootcamp Workout

I am not going to lie; I did a little research prior to leaving for our vacation on possible gyms that we could workout at in Aruba. I am spoiled with my boutique fitness studios in Charlotte. Most of the places that I could find were not worth the investment of me renting a car or taking a taxi to get there. After several failed attempts at finding a place, I finally came to my senses and realized that I didn’t need to go somewhere inside to get in a good workout when I was staying on one of the most beautiful beaches that I have ever been to.

IMG_1093 I am all about efficiency. On vacation, I usually don’t want to spend more than thirty minutes getting a good sweat in. My father in law once told my husband, “Just do enough to keep the furnace burning.” With that in mind, we put together a little thirty minute beach circuit workout. Using some of the exercises that we did, you could totally put together your own beach workout depending on your resources. We did bring the Garmin, so we could track mileage, but we did not utilize any equipment (even though we had a very nice gym onsite at the hotel).

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Watch started with our first exercise. We found a short wall in the pool area of the hotel that we did decline pushups off of. I did 10, for most exercises that my husband did 15-20. You could also do incline pushups here.  After pushups, we ran down the beach to the next mock station (another wall, this time separating the beach and a pool). Here we did the following:

  • 10 step ups on each leg with a knee drive (this will hit the core a little bit)

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  • 10 dips

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  • 10 jump ups
  • 10 dips

Start your run again. The next mock piece of equipment we ran into was large rocks lining a path down to a pier. Great place for some incline pushups (10).

photo 1-49Beside the rocks, were some benches in a waiting area for a departing tour. Great place for another mini circuit of exercises (complete the following circuit twice):

  • 10 slow mountain climbers (1 each leg, knee to elbow)

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  • 10 squats

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  • 10 abdominal leg pull ins

photo 5-11My husband is such a good sport by letting me take pictures of him. Hoping to change up our exercises, we ran from this mini circuit down the beach until we found a solid railing that we could do some supine pull ups off of. Do 10 overhand, 10 underhand. FLAT BACK.

photo 2-47By now, my arms were tired. We continued to run down the beach until we found an elevated step. Place your left leg on the step, your right leg on the ground. Do 10 squat jumps. Switch sides and do 10 more.

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photo 1-48Your heart rate should be elevated after these. Pick back up on your run. The next station that we came across was a round picnic table. Hold a plank and walk your feet and hands around the picnic table one time. Beside the picnic table do 10 burpees. Keep running.

photo 4-24We ran up on a long breaker, extending out on to the water as we neared thirty minutes. Perfect place to end with some lunges. From the beginning of the sidewalk, we lunged to the end. What an unreal place to do lunges. With what little time we had left, we did as many burpees as we could.

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photo 5-12With a check of the watch, we came in just shy of 1.75 miles. We did happen to squeeze in sets of 10 burpees on some of the random patches of grass that we ran up on (just to keep our heart rate elevated). Even better, after that tough workout, we took a leisurely walk back (took pictures of what we did) and enjoyed the beautiful sunrise. We might be a little crazy, but the point of this post is to give readers an idea of easy ways to get a quick, outdoor workout in on vacation. Believe it or not, we got more compliments from people that we passed than odd looks.

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If you don’t dig the outdoor bootcamp, we did do a mountain bike excursion through the rugged Atlantic coast of the island that I will blog about tomorrow. Let me just warn you, when a tour is described as strenuous, take it seriously. I will blog about how a weak core could have been the reason why one of the members on our trip ended up getting pretty seriously injured.