01-31-2014

Top Bodyweight Exercises

It’s finally Friday! Although, I’ve been sick with a cold for the past 2 days and today is definitely the worst day so far…but hopefully I will be feeling better before Superbowl Sunday.

Anyway, today I wanted to talk about bodyweight exercises-specifically, my favorite ones.

top bodyweight exercises

Many may think that since you’re only using your body weight that you can’t get stronger. Actually, bodyweight exercises can help you get stronger in your lifts. Some of these don’t require equipment, and some you probably will have to do in a gym.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Squat

There is so much you can do with a bodyweight squat. You can do straight sets of just squats, or you can add in cardio by incorporating squat jumps. They get your heart pumping because you’re using major muscle groups. Just remember to engage your core as well!

Push-ups

Whenever people hear bodyweight exercises, they probably think of squats and push-ups. Increasing the number of push-ups you can do can help your strength in lifts like bench press or shoulder press. Here are my tips on how to get stronger at push-ups.

Inverted Rows

You can do this at the gym using a railing, or using the smith machine (or squat rack). You can really do it anywhere. It’s a great back exercises and really tough. Do it with palms facing forward to target more of your back, or with palms facing in to use more biceps. If you have a TRX Suspension Trainer, then you can do all sorts of inverted rows!

Negative Pull-Ups

I credit negative pull-ups to helping me be able to do unassisted pull-ups. They are really tough but so worth it. I like doing these better than doing pull-ups on an assisted machine. Start at the top, and slowly lower yourself down. Start with it taking you 3 seconds to lower, and work your way up to 10 seconds on the way down.

Plank

The great think about the plank is that you can make it as challenging as you. You can start with basic plank and work your way up to holding it for a minute, and then you can do all sorts of things. You can do a plank with 1 leg in the air, or opposite arm and leg in the arm, or superman plank where you extend your elbows further out in front of your head to make it extra hard.

Walking Lunge

Another great lower body exercise. This hits your quads and glutes, and you’ll definitely feel the burn even without using weights. Recently I’ve been doing walking lunges as a finisher on my leg days. Talk about jelly legs…

Just make sure to keep your core tight throughout the whole movement, and go slow.

If you have access to a gym, then you can certainly add weights to a few of these to make it more challenging. If you want to get stronger and pull-ups, I highly recommend trying negative pull-ups and inverted rows.

Which of these is your favorite?

Can you do unassisted pull-ups?

*Disclaimer: I’m part of the Amazon Affiliate program, so the TRX link is an affiliate link. If you decide to buy it, it just sends a few cents my way to help support my blog :)

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01-07-2014

Indoor Workout Perfect For Winter!

So it’s been pretty cold recently…and after snowstorm “Hercules” I really don’t feel like even stepping outside sometimes. Tomorrow’s high is 9 degrees…sweet!

That’s where I got the idea for this workout. No need to go outside (though props to all my fellow runners who are braving the elements!), and now no need to even step outside to go to the gym. You can do this workout at home, and you don’t need any equipment!

Check it out:

You can do as many circuits of this as you want, or feel free to add reps to each exercises to make it more challenging. Give it your all and no doubt you will be sweating by the end.

If you want to do this at the gym, I also made a handy-dandy printable for you!

Let me know if you have any questions, and what you thought of the workout :)

Do you incorporate interval workouts & bodyweight workouts into your routine?

What’s your favorite exercise to do if you’re limited on time?

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12-16-2013

Christmas Tree Pyramid Workout

I had the opportunity to team up with Tribe Sports to create this pyramid workout. I’m part of the “Tribe” and love this online fitness community. You should check it out!

Through the website, you are able to find great workouts (either to do at the gym or at home), create your own workouts to share with other community members, join in discussions relating to health and fitness, and partake in challenges, such as “100 crunches a day for 2 weeks.” It’s a great platform to try new workouts and hold yourself accountable.

Which is why I created this workout! I wanted to share it with the Tribe community, especially since it is holiday season aka less time to possibly go to the gym due to obligations and travel. This is an all body-weight exercise that you can do anywhere. Do it once for a quick session, or repeat as many times as you want in order to burn off some extra calories ;)

christmas workout

A lot of people have been commenting that they thought I wrote “12,360 twist jumps” but I actually meant twelve 360 twist jumps. That would be an insane number of jumps! ;)

You could also switch it up too. For example, you could complete the pyramid then work back down. Or get to 12 twist jumps, then 14 burpees, 16 squats, etc. and keep increasing.

When I’m short on time or don’t feel like going to the gym, body-weight workouts with cardio built in are my go-to.

Let me know if you have any questions about how to perform any of the exercises!

Will you be traveling this holiday season? Do you plan on fitting in time for fitness? Hey, it’s totally okay if you don’t…it is the holidays after all!

*I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

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Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

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09-17-2013

Training With Marc

I’m starting a new series on my blog, called Training With Marc. Marc Pelerin is a running coach, and runs TrainWithMarc.com. He provides runners with personalized plans to help them achieve their goals. Oh and he was also an awesome runner in high school and in college…so he’s got a lot of experience! Visit his website for more info on the coaching he provides. I worked with him for over 2 years and was very happy with the results! 

Today he will be talking about strength training. Strength training is very important for runners. It helps you to correct muscle imbalances, and avoid injury. Plus, there are great exercises anyone can do even if you aren’t a runner.

Without further ado, here’s Marc!

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Hi everyone!  It’s Coach Marc and I’m back. This time I’m writing about my favorite body weight exercises.  As always, if you’re unsure of how to do an exercise, ask someone or look it up on the internet.

Before we get started, here are some of my “tips” to ensure I have a great post-run lifting session:

1.  Make sure I’ve been hydrating all day; not just in the 10 minutes before I run or workout.

2.  Make sure I’m warmed up.  It’s really tough to be strong when your muscles are cold.

3.  Have some great tunes or a buddy to keep you motivated.

4.  Don’t waste time.  Go from one exercise straight to the next.  Keep that heart rate UP!

OK, now that we have that settled, let’s get into some lifting exercises.  Typically, I’d try and do 3 rounds of each exercise.  The amount or time I spent on each exercise varies depending on where I am in my training.  The reps or times below are guidelines and not the rule.

 

Front Plank – 45 seconds

Squat Jumps – 10 reps

Pushups – 12 reps

Lunges* – 12-15 reps

Seated dips – 15 reps

 

*Beginners should do stepping lunges; transition to a walking lunge; finally, the advanced move is jump lunges.

For more tips, tricks, and all things running, be sure to visit trainwithmarc.com.

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Do you like doing body weight exercises, or do you prefer doing them with weights? For me, it depends on my goals. I certainly don’t mind body weight squats as opposed to barbell squats ;)

 

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08-28-2013

Labor Day Workout Challenge

Are you going away for this upcoming Labor Day Weekend? You can still stay active with my bodyweight/no equipment workout you can do anywhere! Do it in your hotel room…in your friends apartment…on the beach…no excuses! ;)

labordaywkFor each section, count how many reps you do (hence the AMRAP – as many reps as possible). That way, next time you do it you can compare numbers to see if you have improved.

For the exercises like the 4 jumping jacks and 2 squats, going through that equals 1 rep. Here’s a quick explanation for some of the exercises:

Box Jump: You can do this on a ledge, stair or bench, but if none are available simply squat down as low as you can and jump as high as you can.

Pushups with shoulder taps: Do a regular pushup, but when you come back up take your left hand and tap your right shoulder, then take your right hand and tap your left shoulder, then go back down into a pushup. Harder than it sounds!

Split Lunge Jumps: Step back into a reverse lunge, go down, then jump up and land into a reverse lunge with your opposite leg.

Staggered Pushups: Do a pushup, then when you come back up, walk your hands to the right, do a pushup, come up and walk your hands back to center, do a pushup, come up and walk your hands to the left, etc.

Russian Twists: Sit up nice and tall, chest up, shoulders back…extend your arms in front of you, then keeping the upright position twist to the left and touch your hands to the floor, come back to center, then twist to the right.

**This whole workout is about 10 minutes…so you can do a quick workout, or do it 2-3 times through for a longer workout!

Let me know if you try this out!

What are your Labor Day Weekend plans? Do you plan on keeping on track or do you take holidays off? Depends on my mood ;)

 

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08-15-2013

Track Workout & A Tempo Run

This week is week 7 of NYC Marathon training. I actually thought it was week 6 until I looked at my training calendar and couldn’t believe I’m already halfway through week 7!

On Monday, I had a track workout which was pretty tough.

My mom and I needed to do a 1 mile warm up, 8×600 meters with 400 meter jog, and 1 mile cooldown. We needed to run the 600′s in 5K pace. The first 2-3 were okay…it was a little hard but we kept pace. The last half was rough. By the last 2 reps I was a few seconds off pace. It’s ok though, I know we will improve with time.

Yesterday, we had our 5 mile tempo run again (with 1 mile warm up and cool down). It was actually a little easier than last week! I felt great during last week’s run but felt even better this time. The 5 miles flew by and I accidentally went faster than goal marathon pace…oops. Each mile I tried to slow down a bit but I kept running a bit faster. Is that bad?

Afterwards we did 3 sets of bench step-ups and single leg hip raises. We haven’t lifted in a few weeks so I want to get back into it, even if it’s bodyweight stuff after runs.

Training has been going good so far. Tomorrow is our first double digit run! I can’t believe we are almost half way through training, but I’m okay with that…I just want Nov. 3 to get here.

 

How do you push yourself through tough workouts, especially when you want to quit? Sometimes it’s so hard!

 

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04-09-2013

Spring into Shape!

Here is a workout challenge for you today! You can even do it outside if the weather is as nice by you as it is by me :-)

As always, it is body weight/no equipment needed…so no excuses! Repeat 3-5x through for a great cardio and strength workout!

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