5-15 Minute Plank Workout

Well, I did it again…one more injury to add to the list. I decided to go for a 5 mile run on a whim with my mom (my multi-marathoner mom, that is) two weeks ago. I actually thought I did pretty well and felt good, considering I don’t think I’ve run more than 3 miles since my mud run last October. ūüôā Took it easy the next day but then when I attempted to run two days later, my foot had other ideas. I’ve never had a stress fracture before, but this felt different than any other pain. I got an x-ray and turns out I don’t have a fracture. This is good news…except that I the only thing to do now is sit back and “relax” (ha, not a word that comes up in my vocabulary often) until whatever it is heals. As you can probably imagine, the past two weeks have been pretty frustrating but I’ve tried to convince myself that my body is telling me to take a break and I should try to embrace it. Easier said than done, but in the meantime I’m doing more low-impact/upper body/ab workouts and will get back to the running and burpees in due time…ok, so maybe I’m not in a bug rush to get back to burpees. ūüėČ

Here’s a plank workout that’s easily done at home. ¬† One time through adds up to 5 minutes, so this can be a 5, 10, or 15 minute workout, just depends on what you are feeling!

10 Min Plank Workout
Plank Pulses

Plank Dips

Plank Toe Touches

Superman Planks

Plank Push-Ups

Spiderman Planks

Friday Favorites: Workout Edition

Hey there! ¬†Today I’m linking up with Heather over at Housewife Glamour for another edition of Friday Favorites, but this time it’s the Workout Edition! ¬†I decided I would share some of my favorite workouts that I’ve posted over the past 6 months or so. ¬†After all of the cookies I’ve been posting about (and eating) lately…seriously, so many cookies… it’s probably time that I give you a few ways to burn them off! ūüôā

Housewife Glamour

1. Cardio Ladder WorkoutA good way to keep your heart rate up, without a treadmill.

Cardio Ladder2. Full Body Dumbbell Workout

Full Body Dumbbell Circuit Workout3. Running/Strength Workout

Run4.¬†Fab 5050 reps aren’t that much fun, but you only do it once for each exercise!

Fab 50 Workout

5. Burpee Bonanza! For real, so many burpees…

Burpee Ladder Workout6. 15 Minute Ab WorkoutI’ll usually add this to a cardio day.

15 Minute Abs7. Full Body Gym Workout

Full Body Workout8. Tabata- Upper Body/Core

Upper Body Tabata Workout9. Cardio RemixChanging up that cardio again!

Cardio Remix10. Legs/Lower Body WorkoutWho doesn’t want Carrie Underwood’s legs?!

Gorgeous Gams

 

Have a great weekend!

Football & Friday Night Workout

My weekend started early, Primetime style. ūüôā ¬†The Rams were playing the 49ers during Thursday Night Football and this game would mark my first real Sunday tailgating experience in St. Louis. ¬†Oh how different my game days have become. ¬†Instead of going carb-less for a week and getting up at the crack of dawn smelling like spray tan, I can now show up 2 hours before the game, eat my face off and even wear (gasp!) a hat if I wanted to. ¬†Let’s be honest, the hat part probably won’t happen unless it’s raining. ¬†I can’t go a day without a good hair tease. ¬†Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader.

Apparently the tailgate food was actually relatively healthy, compared to most game days. ¬†We had two kinds of shrimp, one bacon wrapped and made by my mom (yum!), bratwurst, rice, Chinese ramen salad and my personal favorite, indoor s’mores (also made by my mom, her stuff is always a hit). ¬†I chose to limit myself to the bacon wrapped shrimp, Chinese ramen salad and indoor s’mores, along with some of the random pretzel mixes and dips that are inevitable. Recipes for the ramen salad and indoor s’mores are at the end of the post!

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The game itself was fun, until the Rams lost. ¬†It just wasn’t our day. ūüôĀ ¬†I still enjoyed watching the cheerleaders every move though, surprise, surprise.

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The players’ tunnel was always my favorite part of the game. ¬†Nothing beats running out of the tunnel with the lights out and pyrotechnics going off behind you. ¬†I may or may not have cried as I watched the cheerleaders run out on Thursday night because I know the exhilaration and excitement they are feeling in that moment and it’s something you never forget. ¬†It’s fine, I’ll get over it. ¬†One day…

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I will say, it was fun sitting in the stands with my parents and Matt and actually being able to enjoy a game with them instead of waving at them from afar!

Needless to say, Friday was a rough one. ¬†When you are used to going to bed like a grandma around 9:00 every night, midnight makes it a little hard to function the next day. ¬†Matt and I reaallllyy were not in the mood to workout after work. ¬†It was very tempting to park our butts on the couch and call it a night, but we forced ourselves to suck it up and go to the gym like we planned. ¬†My workout wasn’t super high intensity but it was upper body focused and my arms were shaking by the end, so I think I did my job. ¬†In the end, we were glad we went. ¬†After all, it certainly didn’t kill us. ūüôā ¬†The workout alone takes 20 minutes and you don’t need any equipment, so it’s easily done at home. ¬†If you don’t have access to a cardio machine, you can warm up with 5-10 minutes of jumping jacks, high knees, stairs, etc.

Upper Body Tabata Workout

(Shout out to Heather for the Side Plank Toe Touch move! ¬†Thanks for the inspiration, it’s a good one!) ūüôā

Exercise Links/Demonstrations for those that may not be familiar:

V-Ups

Plank Push-Ups

Plank Jumping Jacks

Side Plank Toe Touch

Start in side plank position with your top arm straight up.  Keeping your hips up, bring your top foot forward and hand down to touch your toe.  Repeat.

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Oh hey there, Big Foot.

Mountain Climbers

Plank Reaches

Start in plank position.  Keep your hips straight and touch each hand out in front of you, repeating until time is up.

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Tri-cep Push-Ups

Just like a normal push-up, but start with your hands closer to your body, right next to your shoulders. ¬†When you lower your body, make sure your elbows point directly back. ¬†Disclaimer: I did these on my knees during the workout, I barely made it through the one in the demo picture. ūüôā

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Reverse Crunches

Walking Push-Ups

Start standing up, bend over at the waist, place your hands on the ground and walk them forward until you are in straight arm push-up position.  Do a push-up, then walk your hands back towards your body until you are back in standing position, keeping your legs only slightly bent when walking out/back.  That is 1 rep.

Superman Planks

Lower Russian Twists

Start on your back with legs at a 90 degree angle, arms out by your sides.  Bring your knees to one side, only going as far as you can while keeping the opposite shoulder blade and back touching the floor.  Return to starting position and repeat.

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Chinese Ramen Salad

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. shredded green cabbage
  • 1 bunch chopped green onion (or less, depending on your taste)
  • 2 pkg. Ramen noodles (Oriental flavor)
  • 3/4-1 c slivered almonds
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Stevia
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp margarine

Directions:

Melt butter in a small skillet and toss almonds until toasted.  Break up Ramen noodles and combine with cabbage, almonds and green onion.  Mix oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper together.  Pour mixture over dry ingredients and toss until fully coated.  Serve and enjoy!

Indoor S’mores

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(File this one under a Cheat Day!)

Ingredients:

  • 8 c Golden Grahams cereal
  • 5 c mini marshmallows, plus 1 extra cup
  • 1 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c light corn syrup
  • 5 tbsp margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

In a large bowl, measure cereal. ¬†Butter/spray a 13×9 inch pan. ¬†In a large microwavable bowl, microwave 5 cups of marshmallows, chocolate chips, corn syrup and butter/margarine for about 2-3min, stirring every minute, until melted. ¬†Stir in vanilla.

Pour the mixture over cereal and toss until completely coated.  Stir in the 1 extra cup of marshmallows.

Press mixture in the pan.  Let stand uncovered for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate for a firmer bar. Cut and enjoy!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

50-5 Abs Countdown & Healthy Blogger “Oops”!

How’s this for a little Monday motivation?

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I know I’m a little behind the times, but I’ve been meaning to post this for a couple of weeks now, ever since Ashton Kutcher’s much talked about speech at the Teen Choice Awards. ¬†Such a great message. ¬†I think sometimes it’s easy to focus on how we look on the outside and we lose sight of what is really important. Anytime you doubt yourself just remember, you are amazing and everything else “is crap”. ūüôā

On the agenda today was a trip to Trader Joe’s for a few essentials. ¬†One of those essentials included Greek yogurt. ¬†I was in a bit of a hurry so I just grabbed the only flavored container I saw and went on my merry little way. ¬†Then when I got home, I realized that I committed a big healthy living blogger/fitness junkie FAIL. ¬†I didn’t check the nutrition facts (what?!) and what I came home with was a liiiittle higher in the calories and fat content than what I’m used to. ¬†And by a little, I mean a lot. ¬†I know what you are thinking, “C’mon Christa, this isn’t your first rodeo!”. One cup of this stuff contains 290 calories and 17 grams of fat! ¬†A little too rich for my blood…lesson learned. ¬†It’s also a reminder that yogurt cups and parfaits at most restaurants and fast food places can be a little deceiving, especially when you add in high calorie granola, nuts, etc. ¬†I love myself some TJ’s, but note to self: leave this one on the shelf next time.

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I’m coming to you this Monday with another all-out-all-abs workout. ¬†All abs, all the time. ūüôā ¬†I always incorporate at least a few ab exercises throughout my circuit workouts, but sometimes it feels good to just focus and burn ’em out.

50-5 Abs Countdown

 

Have fun with this one!

 

Fasted Cardio & 15 Minute Abs

Happy Labor Day! ¬†I hope everyone is enjoying their day off of work as much as I am. ūüôā ¬†Matt and I started out our morning with a little cardio at the gym and then grocery shopping….woo hoo! ¬†During the week, I usually alternate cardio and strength/circuit training days. ¬†On days when I am only doing cardio, I will sometimes use what is called the fasted cardio concept. ¬†I get up early in the morning, before breakfast, and do 30-45min of cardio. ¬†Usually this consists of intervals on the treadmill, or lately it has been a combination of the bike, stairmaster, and treadmill. ¬†By getting a cardio session in before you eat anything, you won’t necessarily burn more calories, but you will burn fat more easily because your body will use your stored fat for energy, instead of the glucose that is in your system after a meal. ¬†If you don’t want to get up early in the morning, I have heard fasted cardio can also be done 4 hours after a meal. ¬†The workout doesn’t have to be high intensity either, in order to burn more fat. ¬†Some people like this concept, others don’t, but that’s up to you to decide!

On my cardio-only days, I like to add in an abs circuit as well, like the one below.  If you are pressed for time, only repeat twice for a 10 minute session.

15 Minute Abs Exercise Demonstrations/Links:

V-Ups

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Superman Planks

Start in straight arm plank position.  Lift your right arm, count to 3, then return to starting position and repeat on the left.  The key is to keep your core tight and hips level the entire time.  If this becomes too easy, lift your right arm and left leg at the same time, then switch.

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Stability Ball Roll-outs

Mountain Climbers

Reverse Crunches

Lift your legs off the ground, then when they are perpendicular to the floor, use your core muscles to lift your hips off the floor, repeat without letting your feet touch the ground.

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Plank Jumping Jacks

Side Plank (Reach through optional)

Start in side plank position.  For an extra challenge, use your top arm to reach through, keeping your core tight.  Repeat on the left side.

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Girl with a Plan

I hope you are enjoying your Saturday! ¬†I will be spending mine at the pool and going out to dinner for one of my college best friend/sorority sister’s (insert Valley girl voice here ;)) birthday. ¬†I am really looking forward to seeing all of my girlfriends and catching up. ¬†Although most of us live in the same city, we still don’t see each other as often as we would like because of that little thing called big-girl life seems to always get in the way! ¬†Speaking of…if you have a group of girlfriends you can’t live without, you will relate to this post…and you will also most likely cry, but in a good way. ¬†35 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About My Girlfriends

As I set out for the gym this morning, I was determined to go with a plan in mind. ¬†Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t. There are many days when it is considered a success just to get my butt to the gym, but when I go in without a plan, I almost never end up getting the level of workout I could (or should). ¬†It doesn’t take long to do, it’s just about taking a few extra minutes, maybe the night before, and writing down my plan of action. ¬†Then, you don’t spend half of your time wandering around aimlessly, when you could be breaking a sweat! ¬†Below is my workout for today, along with a little cardio. ¬†One of my goals lately is to improve the muscle tone in my legs, so you may be seeing a lot more leg workouts in the near future!

Legs and Abs Circuit

Exercise Demonstrations & Links:

Sumo Squat to High Pull

Lateral Lunges with Knee Lift

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Cross-back Lunges with Knee Lift

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Kettlebell Swings

Walking Overhead Lunges– Walking lunges holding weight above your head, elbows straight.

Standing Side Crunches

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Arch-Bridge-Pike

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Upper Russian Twist

Stability Ball Pullovers

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Have a great weekend!