Tag Archives: workout ideas

Best Abs Exercises + A Workout

3 Mar

I’m not a huge fan of abs/core work, but I incorporate it into my workouts 2-3 times a week, because it is so important.

As a runner, having core strength helps me to run stronger and maintain good running form. Having a weak core could also lead to injuries, due to muscle imbalances (other muscles working twice as hard to compensate for a weak muscle).

Even if you’re not a runner, having a strong core gives you more power, and helps you have proper form in lifts such as squats, deadlifts, pull-ups etc. If you’re core is weak, you will definitely feel that when you are trying to do pull-ups!

And I’m not talking about core as in just your abs – working your lower back is part of that equation too.

Here are some “real-world benefits of strengthening your core” according to Harvard Medical School:

  • Everyday acts. Bending to put on shoes or scoop up a package, turning to look behind you, sitting in a chair, or simply standing still — these are just a few of the many mundane actions that rely on your core and that you might not notice until they become difficult or painful. Even basic activities of daily living — bathing or dressing, for example — call on your core.
  • On-the-job tasks. Jobs that involve lifting, twisting, and standing all rely on core muscles. But less obvious tasks — like sitting at your desk for hours — engage your core as well. Phone calls, typing, computer use, and similar work can make back muscles surprisingly stiff and sore, particularly if you’re not strong enough to practice good posture and aren’t taking sufficient breaks.
  • A healthy back. Low back pain — a debilitating, sometimes excruciating problem affecting four out of five Americans at some point in their lives — may be prevented by exercises that promote well-balanced, resilient core muscles. When back pain strikes, a regimen of core exercises is often prescribed to relieve it, coupled with medications, physical therapy, or other treatments if necessary.
  • Balance and stability. Your core stabilizes your body, allowing you to move in any direction, even on the bumpiest terrain, or stand in one spot without losing your balance. Viewed this way, core exercises can lessen your risk of falling.
  • Good posture. Weak core muscles contribute to slouching. Good posture trims your silhouette and projects confidence. More importantly, it lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply. Good posture helps you gain full benefits from the effort you put into exercising, too.

Now we know core strength is important…

My Top Abs/Core Exercises

1. Bird-Dog

Okay first I want to say, I typed bird-dog into Google to get an image, and this came up…

Very interesting lol…

Okay here’s the actual bird-dog:

 

Start on all fours, then extend your opposite arm and opposite leg, but make sure to keep your back straight. Tighten your abs in order to do this. Don’t let your back sag in the middle!

2. Plank

You knew this would be included on the list. Plank is an awesome core exercises. Works your abs, as well as your hip flexors and lower back. Make sure you have a neutral spine and neck, and brace your abs. Don’t let your back sag! Start with holding it for 20-30 seconds, and work your way up to a  minute. Once you can do a minute, you can try different plank variations (I’ll write up ideas in another post), or you can have someone add a plate to your back for an added challenge.

3. Hip Raises

Here, I show you weight hip raises, but doing body weight hip raises uses the same premise. This move will be working more of your hips and glutes, which are still part of your core. You can add a weight, like I did in the video, in order to make it more challenging.

4. Reverse Crunch

This will work more of your lower abs. Grab a sturdy object, or use a heavy weight, and crunch up and in. Your goal should be to work up to not needed a heavy object behind your head.

5. Side Plank With a Twist

This is a bit more challenging than just holding a side plank, but you will really feel it in your obliques. If this is too hard, start with holding a side plank for 30 seconds on each side. Incorporate this once that gets easy. Or you can also use both in your abs rotation: do static side plank one day, and do this one on another day.

Put It All Together

Do this workout 2-3x a week and you will notice your core getting stronger.

best abs exercisesLet me know if you try it!

Which of these abs exercises do you already do?

Do you like doing abs/core workouts? What is your favorite exercises?

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Chest and Back Gym Workout

26 Feb

When I was thinking of what my next workout video should be, I decided I wanted to do a gym workout. Most of my videos you can do at-home, and with little to no equipment. But I know some of you like working out at the gym, like I do.

chest and back workout

Here is my chest and back workout for you. In the next week or so, I plan on uploading a leg workout so that you can pair the two and do each workout 1-2x per week.

Instructions

As I mention in the video, you want to do the A1 and A2 exercises 3 times before moving on. So you’ll do bench press and pull-ups for 1 set, take a 30-45 second break, then do another set of bench press and pull-ups, take a 30-45 second break, another set, and THEN move on to B1 and B2 exercises.

If your gym is set up so that bench press is really far away from pull-ups, it’s ok to switch to another back exercises, or do all 3 sets of the bench press, then all 3 sets of pull-ups before moving on. But ideally, you’ll do A1, A2 three times, then move on, etc.

You can watch the video and pause after each exercise so that you hear the cues, or you can take my printable with you to the gym!

Sets and Reps

It’s 3 sets of 12 reps for everything, so find a good weight for you to complete those reps. It should be a weight that is challenging in those last 2-3 reps. If you finish and feel like you could do more, then increase your weight. If you increase and can’t complete the reps, just lower back down to another weight and complete the set…nothing wrong with that!

Make sure you record your weights so that you can track your progress. Each week, try to increase your weight by a tiny bit. In 4 weeks, I’ll upload another chest and back workout so you can switch it up.

Here’s the video:

Let me know if you try it!

What are your favorite chest and back exercises?

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Workout Plan For The Week

10 Feb

Do you need a week long workout plan? I decided to put together some workouts I have created, and videos into a 7 day workout plan for you, that you can follow this week!

If you like trying new things or just want to switch up your routine, then this is perfect for you 🙂

Here we go:

Monday

gym workout

Get Pumped At The Gym

Tuesday

30-60 minutes cardio of your choice

Wednesday

Lower Body Blast



Thursday Torch Those Arms

Friday

Off

Saturday

Sunday

There you have it-a week of workouts! Feel free to move around days, or the rest day to whatever works best for you. Also, if you want a second rest day, use the Tuesday cardio day as a rest day.

Let me know if you have any questions about any of these workouts!

I’m excited I figured out how to add Pin It buttons underneath pictures, so please feel free to pin things/follow me on Pinterest 🙂

Which of these workouts do you want to try?

What types of workouts would you like to see more of? I always love feedback!

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Indoor Workout Perfect For Winter!

7 Jan

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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Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

4 Dec

Sorry for the later than usual posting of my links…but this morning was pretty busy! I have found some new bloggers though which I’m excited to share with you all…and can’t wait to read more of their stuff. Hmm, just realized today’s links are all workout related 🙂

Here are your health links for today:

Do you use kettlebells in your workouts? What’s your favorite exercise to do with them?

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Pin It Party!

2 May

I’m so glad I started participating in fitness related Twitter chats because I have found so many great, new blogs to follow!

The Lean Green Bean is having a “Pin it” party where you write your top 5 posts, with images that can be “pinned” on Pinterest. Then your link is posted on her blog, so you can find other blogs who have participated as well and explore their pins. It’s a great way to find new bloggers!

Here are my top 5 posts:

{Friday Workout Challenge} Can obviously be done any day of the week!

{My Go-To Treadmill Workout}

{Quick and Easy Meal Ideas}

{Tips for a Successful Whole30}

{Delicious Taco Salad Recipe}

What are your top 5 blog posts? Share them and add your link to The Lean Green Bean’s link-up!

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Friday Workout Challenge!

8 Mar

Ready to kick off the weekend with a good sweat? Here’s an all-bodyweight workout for you to do today. No equipment needed…no excuses!

workoutplan3

Let me know if you’re up for the challenge! 😉

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

27 Feb

It’s been such a busy week that yesterday, I thought yesterday was Wednesday. I have a personal training client on Wednesday mornings, and actually texted her asking her if our session was still on…and realized it was Tuesday AFTER I texted her. Good thing her phone was on silent and I didn’t wake her up!

Anyway, it’s been a crazy week but in a good way. Do you ever have hectic weeks but you love everything you have going on, so you don’t mind?

Well, in case you have some downtime, here’s some healthy info for you today!

Have you tried kale? What are your favorite kale recipes?

Thursday Workout Challenge

24 Jan

It’s still freezing here in NJ and I have no desire to go outside. I’m sure you don’t either. So I made a workout you can do right in your own home…no equipment needed as usual. Excuses are easy to make, but where there’s a will there’s a way!

The first 3 exercises I want you to do as fast as you can (while maintaining good form). You will do 3 sets without rest, and time yourself. Timing yourself allows you to track progress if you decide to do this workout again. Obviously, if you get a faster time it means you improved your fitness a little bit!

After that, take a 2 minute rest, then complete the rest of the exercises outlined at a normal pace (even slower if you need to…slower is better). You will do 2-3 sets of these exercises as well. Remember, go at a normal pace not as fast as you can.

Let me know if you try this workout, and what you think!

coldworkout

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Workout Challenge!

20 Dec

Heading to the gym? Or wondering how to work out at home with no equipment? Here you go!

workoutplan