Friday, February 20, 2015

My Favorite Cardio Exercises

As we've mentioned 3942803 times on this blog previously, we do a class at the gym that does primarily High Intensity Interval Training. Every class is different, but many of the classes integrate similar exercises. We have some favorite exercises that really get our heart rate going, so we figured we'd share the wealth in case you're looking for some awesome ideas to integrate into your workout.

Kettlebell Clean and Press - These are a great way to get a bit of strength work, while getting your heart rate elevated. It works your legs, shoulders, and back. As well as your lungs. If you're not panting like a dog after 1-2 minutes of these, I promise you're a robot.

Squat Jumps - These blast your legs. We are talking complete exhaustion. It'll kill your legs and leave you gasping for air. 1-2 minutes straight of squat jumps and you may decide your workout is over. Be sure to squat low and jump high.

Sprints - For obvious reasons this one will work the ol' windbags. Doing sprints between exercises (cardio or strength exercises) is a great way to get your heart rate up there. Sprints for 1-2 minutes should be as fast as you possibly sustain for the time period.

Frog Hops - I think anything with jumping is a good bet to kick your behind. Frog Hops are no exception. Pick a certain distance, we do between 2 speed bumps in the gym parking lot, and do 2-4 lengths of that distance. It takes about 2-3 minutes to complete the 2-4 lengths. It's good to get your heart rate up and works on your balance too.

Burpees - Oh Burpees, how I love thee. Burpees are a good exercise that you can do anywhere and they pack a punch. Be sure to add a push up at the bottom of your burpee so you get some good chest and arm work in there at the same time.

Give them a shot...all in one workout! I dare ya!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Early Bedtime & Toughness

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I’m thankful for an early bedtime…and I’m not talking about for the kiddos (although they have early bedtimes also). Ronnie and I have been getting in bed super early the last few nights, and it feels SO nice to get to sleep early. We are usually in bed at 9PM…and the best part? I’ve been falling asleep on the couch BEFORE getting into bed. #Winning!

I’m thankful for booty-kicking classes at the gym. There is nothing better than being in and out of the gym in 45 minutes and feeling like you got a great workout. We occasionally stay a little longer and do additional things, but it’s nice to be able to have gotten a complete workout in 45 minutes.

I’m thankful for fun with friends. Last Friday night, we met some friends at the park by our house, had our kiddos dawning bathing suits, brought sand toys, and had the girls build sand castles in the volleyball court sand. For hours they played like they were on the beach, even running through the water that sprays out to keep the dust down on the court. By the end of the night, the kiddos were sandy, and filthy, but SO wound up from all the fun they had playing “at the beach.” I’m so thankful for fun friends and fun times!

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for Nyquil. I've been downing the Nyquil at night to get to sleep early while battling what might be three consecutive colds. I've been hacking it up for almost three weeks now and I'm just hoping this thing runs it's course very soon. Honestly, it's getting a bit annoying at this point :)

I'm thankful for cereal. Sometimes, when I'm not feeling so hot, I fall back on some "comfort foods". For me, that usually looks like bowls of cereal. I just had a bowl of Raisin Bran and I must say, it was deeeeelish. I still make sure to get my protein and fat in for the day, but sometimes carbs covered in milk is just right.

I'm thankful for a tough little girl. Mckenna is tough. No doubt about it. She wiped out on her bike yesterday and after a short cry, her next words were, "Can we try riding down that hill now Daddy?".

What are you thankful for today?  

Monday, February 16, 2015

An Interval Workout Worth Trying

Last Monday I said I'd post different workouts we do in our class. They are all pretty good, but I figure I'll post the ones that are good that would be easy to do at home with little to no equipment or at a gym with what most gyms have around on the floor. All you need is a jump rope and kettlebell for this workout.

Warm up (each exercise 40 seconds) - DO WARM UP TWICE
Jumping Jacks
Jump Squats
Push Ups - with a cross-shoulder tap at the top.

Block 1
Jump Rope - 1 Minute
Inch worm push ups (Start in a pike position, walk hands out until in a push up position, do push up, walk hands back) Repeat for 30 Seconds
Jump Rope - 1 Minute
Mountain Climbers - 30 Seconds
Jump Rope - 1 Minute
Burpees - 30 Seconds

Block 2
Kettlebell Swings - 1 Minute
Flutter kicks - 3o Seconds
Kettlebell Swings - 1 Minute
Bicycle crunches - 30 Seconds
Kettlebell Swings - 1 Minute
Toe Touches (On back, feet in air, reach arms to touch toes) Repeat for 30 Seconds

Do Block 1, Block 2, Block 1, Block 2 (or flip it if you're so inclined. Just do each block twice)

Core Work
Plank hold - 1 Minute
Praying Crunches - 30 Seconds
Russian Twists - 1 Minute
Double Crunch - 30 Seconds
Spider Plank - 1 Minute
Reverse Crunch - 30 Minute

And there you have it. It's an awesome workout. If you don't have a kettlebell, you can do air squats or jump squats instead of kettlebell swings. Same with if you don't have a jump rope, just do some kind of squats or lunges - essentially you can do anything for those two as long as it's using your legs and gets you breathing!