09-09-2014

Quick Hill Interval Workout

Are you limited on time or just want a good finisher after a lifting workout? Then you have to try this hill interval workout I did yesterday!

My mom and I were sweating bullets once we were done, and it only took about 10 minutes (or maybe less). 

Doing hill sprints helps torch calories as well as make you stronger – which is a great thing if you’re a runner. Adding in hill intervals will help build speed, strength and endurance. 

Here’s the workout:

Hill Sprint Workout

Instructions:

  1. Warm up for 5-10 minutes. Obviously skip this step if you have been lifting or exercising prior to this and are using this as a finisher.
  2. Start running! Take a 1 minute break in between each interval. I like to walk or slow jog.
  3. Cool down & walk for 5 minutes once you’re done.

Like I said, perfect for when you’re short on time but want to get in a good sweat.

Do you like hill sprints? I know some people hate them but I love them. I also like hillier courses better than flatter race courses. How about you?

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

09-04-2014

5 Low-Impact Exercise Ideas

You may be injured. Or just may just want a change in your routine. These low-impact exercises are great when you have some sort of lower body issue (like my shin splints) or just want to switch up your cross-training. Really, who wants to be on the elliptical for an hour?? You can try doing one (or a mix) of these instead. I’d say my favorite are the battle ropes.

low-impact-exercisePhoto Credit: Tooley via Compfight cc

Battle Ropes – I recently took a ropes type class which I’ll be reviewing next week. Let me tell you, I am sore. We did all sorts of stuff with battle ropes. My heart rate was jacked up and I could feel my core workout. Any exercise where I’m doing cardio and abs…I’m in. The great thing about using ropes is that it can be as low-impact as you need. I told the instructor I had shin splints, so she modified certain exercises for me. Regardless, I still had to take breaks because I was so winded. Talk about a great way to exercise when you’re injured and can’t run!

Here’s a great and simple move to do with ropes:

photo-3Source: powercakes.net

Stairs - For some reason, I get more winded with stairs than running. No joke, I go up like 10 steps and I’m out of breath (can anyone tell me why??). Stairs are a great way to get in some lower-impact cardio and feel the burn in your quads. If you don’t care about low-impact, add in some jumps (similar to box jumps) to really get in a good lower body workout.

Hiking – About a month or so ago I went for a 1.5 mile hike with Dan. 1.5 miles is nothing right? Well it was straight up a rocky hill, so by the end I was pretty sweaty. If you’re injured, this is a great way to cross train and be outdoors at the same time.

Suspension Training – I’m sure you’ve heard of TRX training. You can do suspension training with anything similar to a TRX. At the class I took we simply used ropes that were hanging from a pull-up bar. There are so many things you can do with suspension trainers: lunges, mountain climbers, planks, rows, single arm rows…the list goes on.

Rock Climbing – During grad school, I worked with the college Recreation department. As a team, we took a trip to the rock wall at our school. I was really scared because I had never done this before. Turns out it was actually a lot of fun AND a great workout. My arms were pretty sore the next day! Rock climbing not only works your arms, but your lower body too since you use your legs to boost yourself up each time you go for a rock. The best part is belaying all the way back down at the top!

Have you tried any of these (or do them regularly?)

I really want to do more muscle ropes at my gym but also am a little self conscious because you have to do them on the main floor where everyone is working out…hmm…

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

07-30-2014

How To: Medicine Ball Slams + Workout

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, then you may have seen my picture tutorial on how to do medicine ball slams:

Medicine Ball Slams

 Medicine ball slams are a great exercise because it’s a full body workout. You’re working your legs and upperbody, and getting in some cardio too. You may feel silly at first doing this in a gym (I did), but it will make you feel bad@$$ ;) I have seen a lot of people doing it at the gym too, so don’t think you’re the only one. Below are the steps + a video tutorial, but keep reading for a full medicine ball workout as well!

Here are the steps:

  1. Semi squat down as if you’re preparing to jump. Keep your core tight and flat back…same form as if you were doing regular squats.
  2. Bring the ball up over your head and prepare to slam it down. As you can see in my picture, I’m on my toes as I prepare to slam it down. You don’t want to just bring it over your head – have some power to it! Be careful not to hyper-extend your back.
  3. Slam the ball down as hard as you can, and again you will end in that semi-squat position. Catch the ball on the rebound and repeat.

For those of you who like video tutorials:

Here’s a workout to try next time you’re at the gym. All you need is the medicine ball!

Medicine Ball Workout

For the tricep extensions, it’s the same thing as if you were holding a dumbbell. See below (minus the lunge):

Med-Ball-Lunge-with-Tricep

 

And medicine ball twists are your standard seated ab exercise. Make sure you keep your chest up and shoulders back the hold time. Twist solely with your arms, not your spine.

Do the routine for 3-5 sets through, or do as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes…let me know which one you do!

Have you incorporated medicine ball slams into your routine? 

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

06-25-2014

10 Minute AMRAP Workout

I finally posted a new video! I haven’t posted to my YouTube account in a while…making and editing videos takes a decent chunk of time which I haven’t had. But I always do love editing them and seeing the final product.

Today, I have a 10 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) workout that you can do at the gym. All you need are some boxes and a barbell. It’s total body, and includes some plyometric work too.

If you want to do this at home, you can modify by doing dumbbell rounds instead, and doing single box jumps or squat jumps.

Do as many rounds of each exercise for 10 minutes. Or you can do 3-4 rounds…whichever works best for you! Do each exercise for 12 reps.

Here’s the workout:

And here is a printable to take with you to the gym!

amrap-workout

Let me know what you think & if you try it out! I always love hearing your feedback.

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

06-23-2014

World Cup Workout Pt. 2

Who watched the USA game last night??! What a heartbreaker!!! I cannot believe it ended like that. Here’s to hoping they can win, or at least tie in their next game against Germany.

All this World Cup mania has inspired me to make some workouts. I made one with inspired by soccer drills, and today I wanted to share a workout you can do while watching the World Cup.

You know those drinking games where you take a shot when something happens in a movie or something? Well, this is like that but with exercises ;)

World Cup Workout

So you should be able to get a full body workout in throughout a 90 minute game. If I had to choose one thing I wouldn’t want to happen I guess it’d be multiple red cards. Lunge jumps kill me!

Let me know if you have any questions or try it out. And LET’S GO USA!!!

What games have you been watching/what teams are you rooting for?

Would you rather go to a World Cup or an Olympic games?

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

06-18-2014

HIIT + Abs Workout

Here’s a Wednesday workout challenge for ya…a full body workout that’s a little bit of HIIT, a little bit of strength, a little bit of abs…

I’m all about workouts that are also great to do after runs, since I’m a runner and have to work on strength training. Does anyone else have a tough time balancing both when you’re training for a race?

I was inspired to do a 30-20-10 type workout after seeing a personal trainer and her client working out at the gym yesterday. The trainer had her client do 50-40-30-20-10 burpees, then back up 10-20-30-40-50 burpees. Dayyummmmm!

Here’s the workout:

Full Body Workout

 

DB means dumbbell…figured I’d clarify just in case ;) This whole workout should take about 20 minutes, so it’s great on it’s own, or after/before a cardio workout. 

As always, let me know if you try it out, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What is your favorite core exercise? I need more to add to my repertoire :)

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

06-12-2014

World Cup Workout!

So my blog is back up and running. Yesterday it was down for most of the day. That’s never happened to me so I was freaking out about it since I know nothing about WordPress. Turns out my hosting provider had some outages? Anyway…

The World Cup is finally here! My family and I will be in Rio de Janeiro in about 3 weeks. We tried to get tickets to the quarterfinal game through the FIFA lottery but sadly did not =( It will still be awesome to be there during the quarterfinal game! I have never been to Rio, so I can’t wait to explore. Look at how beautiful it looks!

rio-de-janeiro

Well since today is the opening ceremonies, I figured I’d give you a little soccer drill inspired workout. If you do this 5 times through, with a 1 minute break in between, it will be about a 15 minute workout. Which means it’s a great cardio finisher after strength training, or use it after a run. These plyo moves are great for runners! Read on for more directions.

soccer-workout

*Repeat 4-5x through with 1 min. break in between*

Box Jumps - I don’t mean your traditional box jumps (jumping up onto a box). I want you to use cones, draw, or just use imaginary cones to make a square. For 30 seconds, jump in a square, on each of those points, as fast as you can. Trust me, it’s harder than it sounds!

Squat Jumps - Squat down and jump up as high as you can. Or to make it harder, jump up as high as you can while also bringing your knees up.

Lateral Jumps - Use an object like a broom stick to start, or a foam roller if you want it higher, and laterally jump over it as many times as you can. This is a great exercise for runners too since you’re working different muscles by moving side to side. Once you get more adept, you can use objects that are higher, like a low bench. I’m definitely not there yet!

Let me know if you try this out!

Which do you prefer? World Cup or Olympics?

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

 

06-03-2014

Gentle Morning Workout

Sometimes you want to get up and be a bit active before heading to work, but an all out workout right when you wake up might be a shock to your body. You could wake up even earlier to take time to be more alert and do a long warm-up, or you can do this gentle morning workout I created.

I don’t know about you but when I exercise in the morning (the very few times I do), I just feel so stiff and not ready to workout at a high intensity. This routine combines a warm-up with low impact exercises and a little bit of cardio. You can do it once through just to get the blood flowing, or do it a couple times to really wake up in the AM.

Gentle Morning RoutinePhoto Credit: aye_shamus via Compfight cc

The only exercise you will need dumbbells for is lateral raises. You can also add weight to squats if you feel up to it.

Do you prefer to exercise in the AM or PM?

If you’re a morning exerciser, do you get up and go, or budget time to gradually wake up before working out?

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

04-25-2014

4 Minute HIIT Workout

A week or so I posted my 3 minute ab workout…and today I’m giving you a 4 minute HIIT workout! No excuses now!

Today’s workout is in 30/30 intervals, which  means 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest. During those 30 seconds, I want you to go as fast as you can while maintaining proper form.

You can do it once through if you’re short on time, or you can do it 4-5 times through for a 15-20 minute workout or finisher to a workout.

4 Minute HIIT Workout

Let me know if you try it out, or have any questions!

What’s your favorite cardio/HIIT exercise? I have a love/hate relationship with burpees :-P

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

03-27-2014

Speed & Agility Drill

This quick workout/drill was inspired by a video I saw on STACK’s “13 Fitness Challenges That Will Destroy You.” It’s the “Triangle Drill” video, and you’ll need a partner to help you out.

Speed and Agility Partner Drill

Photo Source: compfight CC

My brother and I were working out yesterday and I said to him we need to try this drill, especially because he is a soccer player and wants to improve. He has a game this weekend so I thought this was the perfect time to test his speed and agility and for him to see how he can get faster.

The video in the STACK article is done in an athletic facility with turf…not all of us have access to that. So here’s what we did:

We went into a training room in our gym, and set up 3 medicine balls in a triangle. You might think a room would be too small (we initially did too), but you will definitely be thankful it’s not bigger once you start! I talk about how we did the actual drill a bit further down in this post.

The instructions in the video stated:

The Triangle Drill Challenge is a variation of a drill we use to develop speed and reaction time. But the challenge component causes further fatigue and improves decision-making during high-pressure situations during a game.

How To: Perform the drill as demonstrated in the video below. Choose a work-to-rest ratio that simulates your sport. If you’re a football player, work for about 10 seconds and rest for about 30 seconds.

So we set up the 3 medicine balls, and I told him which ones were numbered 1,2 and 3. He had to do the work for 60 seconds, and then take a 60 second break while I went. I stood there and said random numbers while also taking a tally of how many times he touched each medicine ball.

FORM

In the video, the athlete simply (well, it’s not so simple) quickly shuffles/sprints to each cone. This is how we changed it up a bit:

Sprint/shuffle to each medicine ball, then keeping a flat back (proper form for anything), squat down and quickly tap the ball, squat back up then get back to the center and wait for your partner to yell the next number.

Start with doing 30 seconds of work, and work your way up to a minute. I was so beat by the end of a minute! You will work your legs, core, and your heart rate will be through the roof. We repeated it 3x. Yes, it’s only a total of 3 minutes but it’s hard! Do it for as long as you feel like.

BENEFITS

So, “Why should I do a speed & agility drill?” you may ask. If you play a sport, it will obviously help with your speed and agility (duh), and quickness of mental decisions. But even if you don’t play a sport, it will help you build explosiveness and quickness, which is important all around.

As a runner, I realized the hardest part for me was side shuffles and back pedaling. No clue how I didn’t trip over my own feet. This is a great exercise for runners because we are constantly moving in one plane. This forces us to exercise in other planes, which will help build core stability.

Did you play sports in high school or college? I played club lacrosse in college and remember doing similar drills – running backwards is so hard!

Let me know if you try it out!

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak: