3-Move Jump Rope Circuit Workout

I don’t know about you, but when I was a young girl, one of my favorite things to do was jump rope.

I loved to make up songs with my friends as we would skip along without a care in the world.

Ah, good old fashioned nostalgia!   School year items seemed to come and go quickly, but the jump rope never seemed to go out of style.

Fast forward about 25 years, and I still can’t resist a good go with my jump rope because not only is it fun but it is also an excellent way to get in a quick and effective workout!

The jump rope is a strengthening and conditioning exercise.  You don’t need to get fancy or as intense as Rocky Balboa to get the most out of a jump rope workout, either.

All you need is a jump rope (long enough for your depending on your height), a suitable surface for jumping, and a timer app for your phone (or an egg timer, because nostalgia) and you’ll be all set to start jumping yourself into a sweat fest!

Jumping rope does take some coordination, so pace yourself if you tend to be on the less coordinated side, like yours truly!

For beginners, all of the moves in this workout can be performed without the use of a jump rope by holding an imaginary rope in your hands and moving along until you can build up you perfect your timing and form.

Using a jump rope not only helps your to improve your fitness level but it also strengthens your rhythm and coordination.

3-Move Jump Rope Circuit Workout

This workout is only three moves.  That’s right, three!  

To complete this workout, you will perform each of these moves in succession for 30 seconds each for a total of four rounds (resting for one minute between rounds).

Warm up:

Single Hop Skips:

    • With the rope behind your ankles,  begin to turn it, bringing it above your head and forward, down the front of the body.
    • As the rope comes down to the feet, skip over it with a single hop using both feet.
    • Continue for 30 seconds.

via GIPHY

 

Double Hop Skips:  

    • With the rope behind your ankles,  begin to turn it, bringing it above your head and forward, down the front of the body.
    • As the rope comes down to the feet, skip over it with a double hop.  To double hop, jump with both feet together once and another bounce while the rope is over your head.
    • Continue for 30 seconds. 

via GIPHY

 

High Knee Skip:

    • Driving your knee up, kick your lower leg out in front of you and then extend your working hip to pull the leg down in a powerful foot strike.
    • As the rope comes down to the feet, drive one knee up and kick your lower leg out in front as you bring the rope back overhead.
    • Continue for 30 seconds

via GIPHY

Remember that like anything practice not only makes your stronger but it helps you to improve your overall performance.

If you’re looking to improve other aspects of your fitness level (coordination, balance, etc.), the jump rope will become your best friend.

As well, the jump rope can be an incredibly fun piece of equipment to workout with as there are many variations of exercises you can build up to over time.

I recommend adding one-two days of jump roping for 8-10 minutes per session for maximum results.

Do you incorporate jump rope workouts into your weekly fitness routine?

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5-Move Agility Workout

When it comes to an effective workout, many people believe they must go out and buy loads of pricey boutique fitness equipment items.  But the truth is, many items you likely already own can help you get in a fast and fun workout that can also bring you great results.

You may have seen, heard of or even tried a workout using a “medicine ball” as they are a popular (and affordable) piece of exercise equipment to own.

However, many of the moves traditionally performed with a medicine ball can also be carried out using a football, and they will still get you a great workout.  Chances are you have a football kicking (pun intended) about somewhere at home!

Workouts using equipment like medicine balls are known as agility-based exercises.

Agility is the ability to change the body’s position while incorporating skills such as balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, and strength.   Adding in 2-3 days per week of agility circuits will keep your muscles engaged, metabolism boosted and boredom squashed.

Fast paced, fun workouts — like the five-move circuit I am sharing with you today — are perfect for those of you who like to keep your workouts fun and challenging.

You may be curious how the use of a football fits into a workout that increases balance, coordination, and encourages strength?  Exercises performed using a football will allow you to control the force (strength + speed) of each movement you complete.  In other words:  If you throw your ball at an eight, you will also have to react to the ball at an eight as well.  In this way, you can customise and build up your speed, strength, and coordination each time you complete the moves.

When it comes to making the most out of a movement, quality beats out quantity!

5 Move Agility Football Workout

  1. Ball Pushups (via LiveStrong Woman)
  2. Alternating Rotational Ball Throws (via Redefining Strength/giphy)
  3. Sit-Up with Ball Toss (via ThriveTraining)
  4. Weighted Ball Squat Throws (via Jenn DeBeers)
  5. Alternating Ball Chest Fly (via FITASTIC)

For best results, perform these moves 2-3 days per week, performing 2-3 sets of 10 reps per exercise.

As a bonus, this is also a great workout to include the kids (or a partner!) if you don’t have access to a wall for your throws.  

Time for kick-off!

Do you try to improve your agility during your weekly workout sessions?

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Diaphragmatic Breathing For A Stronger Core and Pelvic Floor Muscles

It’s probably not the hottest topic of conversation, but many women – particularly new moms – struggle with weak core and pelvic floor muscles.  And the side effects of a weak core and pelvic floor muscles can be very frustrating when starting out a new fitness regimen.

Weakened core and pelvic floor muscles can also lead to back pain, and poor sleeping exacerbates pressure, specifically of the lower back and excessive lifting, bending and squatting motions.

Mums are regularly lifting and turning every day, and the loads get heavier as time goes on, so a strengthening up your back’s support system (the core, hips, and pelvic floor muscles) is a must.

Although it is best to speak with your doctor about a which muscles are needing some fine tuning, there are some basic pelvic floor muscles strengthening exercises that can help strengthen not only your pelvic floor region but also the lower back and core.

Before starting the exercises, it is imperative to master proper diaphragmatic (or abdominal) breathing techniques as they are essential for correct form, increased coordination, and to prevent injury.  The proper breathing technique will not only help to strengthen the muscles but will also serve as an excellent time for relaxation and mental clarity.

Some additional health benefits of diaphragmatic breathing include:

  • Improved circulation
  • Increased respiratory fitness
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced anxiety and stress levels
  • Improved core and pelvic floor muscle function

Start on your back with a pillow supporting your head and keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.  Place one hand on your lower rib cage and upper abdomen and the other hand on the lower rib cage.

Breathing in slow and deeply,  feel your belly rise to meet your hand – breathing into the abdomen.  To breathe out properly, exhale and feel the ribcage return to a resting position.  Once you begin to master the breathing technique you can remove your hands and place them at your side to breathe on your own.

Start by practising this breathing technique for one minute and build up to 3-5 minutes.  As well, once this breathing technique is mastered, you should begin to add in performing this method in an upright, seated position

Here is a video showing the technique and some of the benefits of diaphragmatic breathing for strengthening the core muscles.  (via TheBelleMethod)

This breathing technique is beneficial anyone struggling with a weakened core and pelvic floor muscles, not just mums.  However, if you’re a new mum, it is always wise to check with your physician to be you are ready for any and exercises you perform.

Stay active!

Have you tried out diaphragmatic breathing techniques?  If so, have they helped you?

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**This post was originally featured on RowdyRoddy.com

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Are Overpriced Fitness Classes Worth The Cost?

As a fitness professional, I am all about trying to help people achieve fitness. When I say this, I mean it. I charge SUPER reasonable prices for my services and am willing to work with people’s budgets whenever possible.

I do not believe that exercise (of any kind) should be reserved for the elite, Lululemon toting population only and that’s why I don’t support brands that charge the price of a compact car for a package of their classes.

Are Overpriced Fitness Classes Worth The Cost?

Overpriced Fitness Classes

Overpriced fitness classes are a dick move.  Some of them won’t even participate in ClassPass or Groupon.  In my opinion, these brands are promoting “you can’t sit with us” fitness, and it pisses me off.

overpriced-fitness-classes

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Exercise and movement should be available to everyone. I mean, the first time I read the price of a single boutique cycling class, I was sickened.

I know everybody is trying to make a buck in this industry and I’m not that great at it because I believe that everyone should be able to work out (at least once) with a trainer on their fitness journey.

Also, I’ve mentioned this before, but I take issue with the athleisure racket going on these days.

Not only are some of their leggings the cost of week’s worth of groceries for a family of four, but they are only available in sizes for the people who require the least amount of exercise possible.

I’m cool with celebrities having the best of the best and being able to afford $75 indoor fitness classes and $3500/month for a personal trainer, but this ploy to get regular people to participate in this bullshit is beyond me.

As a certified Mad Dogg Athletics instructor, I can also say without any hesitation that some of these high-end boutique classes are bad for you.  As in, they will likely injure you due to their heavy focus on exercise contraindications.

Are overpriced fitness classes worth the cost?

Don’t believe me about the contraindications?  Read this,  this, or this.

Not that SoulCycle stands alone in this criticism.  As a former instructor of a popular dance fitness class, I had to stop after the first year because the monthly license fees, insurance, music, and apparel were costing me more than it was worth.

I thought to myself, ‘I love to dance, but there is no reason why people should have to pay me $15/class so that I could afford to dress like MC Hammer and teach classes using corporate choreography.’

The bottom line is; I am just sick of the elites in the fitness world.

I know that they have always been there, but right now, in a time when more than 50% of people earn £20k ($30k USD) or less a year, the fact that people have to feel like shit about not being able to take the “hottest fitness classes” is bullshit.

Want my professional advice?  Oh, well, you’re gonna get it anyway: Find something you love to do that isn’t going to cost you 25% of your salary and go for it.  There are plenty of free and inexpensive fitness programs out there.

Like, for instance, my free 7-Day fitness challenge — which you can download it for free — and jump-start your fitness routine!

Are Overpriced Fitness Classes Worth The Cost?

As well, if you’re interested, you can sign up for Booya Fitness and get all the benefits of trendy, boutique fitness for a fraction of the cost.  Sign up for a 30-Day free trial and check out specially designed workouts by fitness professionals like yours truly (small additional fees apply – but are worth it!).

Getting fit can be effective and affordable.  You don’t have to be part of an elite cult to get in shape.  Believe me.

Have you tried trendy boutique fitness classes?  Do you find them to be worth the money?

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**This post originally appeared on ErIntuition.com

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EXPRESS UPPER BODY HIIT WORKOUT

Happy Wednesday and April!

I am still battling my illness from the last post, and it has been so bad, that just when I think that I am on the mend and try to exert myself, I end up sick again.

So, I’ve been going, even more, stir crazy than the last time I posted.  In fact, I think that I only left my apartment about two times last week. And what’s more, it was decent and sunny here in Glasgow.

C’est la vie.

Because I’ve been feeling so crummy, I have been spending a lot of time putting together workouts to jump back into once I can get my workout on again!

I am a big fan of HIIT and strength workouts.  I love that they give so many great benefits the heart rate up and also incorporate quick circuits with resistance training and bodyweight movements.  Combining HIIT and strength is a great way to get an excellent workout in anywhere from 10-30 minutes.

Who doesn’t have time for that, right?

This workout includes:

  • 3-minute warmup (treadmill, dynamic movements, etc.)
  • Four 5-minute HIIT circuits
  • 2 moves per circuit
  • 1 minute of rest between circuits
  • 2-minute cool down including static stretching

You will need:

  • A mat
  • Set of dumbbells ranging from 3-15 lbs 
  • Interval Timer

Express Upper Body HIIT Workout

Upper-Body-HIIT-Workout

 Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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