Friday, November 25, 2016

Interval Cardio Workouts Great for Getting you through the Holidays


Let me start by wishing everyone a belated Happy Thanksgiving and I hope everyone’s Holiday seasons are off to a great start.
In the Nov/Dec issue of Muscle & Fitness Hers I gave them a tip for their Healthy Happy Holiday Survival Guide.

The holidays can be a stressful time and keeping up with your workout regimen shouldn’t be a contributing factor to your stress. My advice to Muscle & Fitness was to have a quick high intensity interval (HIIT) cardio workout in your back pocket to do. It’s a great way to work off excess energy from stress and get a little endorphin boost. In the Muscle & Fitness Hers Survival Guide (and below) you can see the cycling workout I created just for them.

Don't fret if you don't have a stationary bike to rock the above workout with, I also made a simple 5 move interval workout that you can do at home, in the office or on the road while traveling.

It’s 5 moves, 1 set takes 7 and a half minutes - and you are ideally shooting to complete 3 sets back to back, meaning in about 25 minutes you'll have gotten in a great workout. To push even harder in the workout, try to exceed the numbers of reps of each move in each of the three sets.


Breakdown of the moves

1. Deep Squats (1 min) - Stand feet little wider than shoulder width apart and drop you hips to the ground until thighs are slightly below parallel to the ground. Stand back up pushing through your heals. Repeat the movement varying the speed of the motion throughout.

30 seconds rest

2. Close Wide Middle Push-ups (1 min) - In plank start with hands spread wide (positioned a couple of inches outside of the shoulder), do one push-up, bring the hands to about shoulder width apart do a push-up, bring the hands to about 6 inches apart and do a push-up. Start the sequence in reverse beginning with the close hand position. One set will be 6 push-ups (2 at each position). Repeat for 1 min getting in as many sets as possible. Love this move as it works multiple aspects of my pectoral muscles and incorporates a cardio component as I switch from the different positions.

30 seconds rest

3. Jog in Place High Knees (1min)

30 seconds rest

4. Full body sit-ups (1min) - Lying prone on the floor with arms overhead. Swing arms forward lifting shoulders up. Once your shoulders are halfway up, start bringing your knees into your chest. The finished position should have you at the top of a sit-up movement with your feet off the ground. Slowly extend you legs out and lower your shoulders back to the ground to complete one rep. Repeat as many times as possible over the minute. This is a great total core workout. Working your upper, lower and middle abdominal muscles.

30 seconds rest

5. Switch Jump Lunges (1min) - Get into a lunge position with your right foot forward and left foot back and flexed bringing your bent left knee as close to the ground as possible. Switch jump your left foot forward and then bring your right leg back in a controlled manner to dip low into a lunge. Keep jump switching between the legs. Great exercise for a low impact cardio cross training movement.


And there you have it, 2 great cardio workouts to keep you looking and feeling great through the holiday season. Give them a try and let me know what you think about them!