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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25-Minute HIIT Cycling Workout + Playlist

I know you’ve been wondering where I’ve been.  No?  It’s cool, why would you?  Haha.  Maybe you have been wondering, and if you have, I’ve been focusing on some other projects and dealing with life.

2017 has been a strange and stressful year.  There are so many changes going on in the world — even as an expat; in the UK that are crazy just like back in the states.  Honestly, some days I forget what year we’re living in right now.

But enough about that.  I get requests for fun workouts and playlists from time to time, and recently I’ve had several requests for HIIT cycle routines, which happen to be some of my favorite workouts to create and do, so I’m always happy to share them.

Life is crazy, and not everybody has 60-90 minutes to put into their workouts.  It doesn’t make you a failure or unmotivated either – and if anybody tells you that, they are dead wrong.

If you’re like me, you have days (maybe multiple) when you just don’t feel like doing anything.  And this is entirely okay.  Do not beat yourself up for not feeling it some days and sitting out your workout.  It’s not a morality thing, it’s self-care, and it’s 100% up to you how and when you move your body.

You don’t need to spend your entire day to get a fun, sweaty, and effective workout that you can be proud of.  Believe me; every little bit helps and if you’re not doing your workouts for you, then who?

I still remember the first Spinning class I ever attended; one of my best friends was the instructor, and after literal months of twisting my arm, I finally agreed to participate.

I didn’t have the shoes, so my foot came loose.  Repeatedly.  My ass was killing me from the seat.  I couldn’t walk.  I wasn’t smitten with the idea of going back, but my friend assured me that you have to give it a few classes before you make your final judgment.

As a fitness professional, who also went on to become a Spinning instructor, I would always tell newbies that they need to give it the three class try.  Most of them would and fell in love with indoor cycling too.

One of the things that make indoor cycling workouts so much fun is the music.  Nothing will make you more motivated and pumped to push yourself than hearing a high energy song.

25-Minute HIIT Cycling Workout + Playlist

25 Minute HIIT Cycling Workout + Playlist

 

So, if you’re looking for a fun and quick HIIT cycling workout and playlist, pin this one and save it for your next workout.

I’m going to be posting a couple more of these HIIT cycling workouts over the next couple of weeks since they seem to be what people are after.

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FUN INDOOR CYCLING WORKOUT

Happy May!  It’s been sunny in Glasgow for the past four days.

After living here for over two years now (I know, I cannot believe it myself), it is evident to me that May is probably the best month weather-wise in Glasgow.  In other words, it rains the least.  Having said that, it will probably rain the rest of the week!

I am still not completely over bitching about the amount of rain and gloom there is living in Scotland.  Obviously.  So, I am always super grateful for indoor cycling/Spinning workouts.  You still end up wet at the end, but it’s just your sweat and not the rain.

Too much?

A friend of mine requested that I post more indoor cycling workouts (with playlists available on Spotify) that she can bring to the gym.  So, because I am such a good friend, I have decided to add a new indoor cycling workout each week for the next 12 weeks!

This week’s ride is an aerobic endurance ride called “hills and valleys” – and it’s really fun.  The ride will take you through a series of challenging climbs and recovery flats that will make you feel like you’ve spent the morning/afternoon riding through a scenic, hilly countryside setting.

This ride can burn up to 700 calories and will build up strength and endurance.

Add this workout to your weekly routine 2-3 days and start to see and feel the results!

Get the Spotify playlist here.

Pin this workout to take to the gym with you!

aerobic endurance indoor cycling workout with playlist

Will you try this workout?  Let me know if you do!

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