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Wednesday’s Weekly Workout Mini-Challenge: Doubles

10 Nov

So far I’ve gone through 3 weekly workout mini-challenges: pull ups, squats and kitchen lifts (calf raises).  I hope some of you have taken part in them too!  It’s been an easy and not overbearing way to move a bit more throughout the day. 

I have a big challenge I’m working on that will kick off my 2nd year here on Get Healthy with Heather.  More on that fun challenge soon, but for now I’m going to combine 2 recent challenges for this week’s workout mini-challenge. 

I found the most benefit to come from the pull ups and squats.  The pull ups will stay at the bathroom station, but the squats will move to my kitchen station.  I like variety so having both of these going on for the next 7 days will be a fun change.

Doubles Workout Mini-Challenge

I set up my pull up bar in the bathroom door so every time I go to use the bathroom I have to do 2 pull ups.

I’ll switch between close grip pull ups and chin ups for a bit of variety.  Again I’ll try to incorporate a few wide grip pull ups because I have a never ending battle with those.

Check out the original post for modification to the pull up bar exercise.

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In the kitchen I’ve set up my squat station.  I put a note on my fridge that says –10 squats – so each time I go into the kitchen I do 10 squats.  Easy as that.

I’m leaving out my 10 lb kettlebell this time just because I don’t really have a place to put it in the kitchen.

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Make sure your knees do not go forward beyond your toes, so you’re really sitting back and down during this exercise.  Keep your core stable by contracting your abs.

This week will focus not only on one muscle group but multiple with the upper body pull up and lower body squat.

What challenge will you take on for the next 7 days?

10 Minute Upper Body Interval Workout

8 Nov

During my first week of half marathon training I ran a total of 5 times.  Wow – that’s a lot for me!  Since I’ve been dedicating more time to running I’ve been including a few more super quick interval workouts instead of my longer strength workouts.  Most of the time I do body weight exercises and really give them my all during each intervals.

Intervals have been so much fun for me lately.  It’s easier to push yourself knowing that you only have to do the exercise for 20-50 seconds. 

Let me know if you try this one out.  I was feeling the workout in my triceps, shoulders and chest the next few days after completing this 10 minute workout.

It’s super quick but super effective.

Set the timer for 15 rounds with 10 seconds of rest and 30 seconds of work (if you don’t have an interval timer here’s a link to a free online interval timer).

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There are 5 exercises you will do, 3 times through.  You won’t get much rest – just enough time to get ready for the next exercise.  If you need more than 10 seconds rest you can change your interval timer to allow for more rest.  Your workout will be longer than 10 minutes then.

Write down how many of each exercise you do.

10 Minute Upper Body Interval Workout

1. Tricep pushups

Begin in a high plank position with you arms close to your body.  Keep your body in a straight line and lower your chest to the ground (or as close to the ground possible), while bending your elbows back.  Make sure to keep your elbows close to your body and use your triceps to push back up to the starting position.

*Modification: Do this on your knees

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2. Swimming supermans

Begin laying on your stomach with legs and arms extended.  Swim your arms out to the side and around (like a breast stroke) and lift your chest up, arms back and legs up.

*Modification:  Keep your legs on the ground and do not lift up as high

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3. Legs elevated high plank to low plank

Begin with your feet on a chair, hands on the ground at shoulder width.  Hold your body in a straight line.  One arm at a time, drop down to your elbows.  Once you are on both elbows, press up back to high plank, one arm at a time.

*Modification: Keep your legs on the ground instead of elevated.

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4. Pike press

Begin in an upside down V position, hands a bit wider than your shoulders, legs out wide.  Bend your elbows and lower the top of your head to touch the ground (not your forehead).  Press back up to the starting position.

*Modification: Do not lower your head to touch the ground, just as low as possible.

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5. Mountain climbers

Start in plank on your hands and feet.  Jump your right foot forward, then switch to your left.  Switch back and forth as quickly as you can.

*Modification: Instead of jumping quickly between your feet, slow it down into a step between feet.

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Wednesday’s Weekly Workout Mini-Challenge: Kitchen Lifts

3 Nov

I am 2 days in and half marathon training is going well.  Today I have sprints on the agenda and I’ll also be doing a quick 10 upper body interval workout this morning.  Should be a tough one I hope.

Did you follow along with last week’s squat challenge?  I hope so.  I had much better success with that, then during the prior week’s pull up challenge.

We’re going to move on and away from the bathroom too.  Instead of doing the mini-challenge each time I go into the bathroom, it’s going to be in the kitchen.  Since I cook a lot and mindlessly wander around in the kitchen I’ll be doing a lot of lifts I hope.

This week’s mini-challenge: kitchen lifts

I put a note on my fridge to do 10 kitchen lifts.  Anywhere I go in my kitchen I’ll see it.  I could only do the lifts when I open the fridge, but I choose to do them anytime I go into the kitchen.

Basically it’s a calf raise, but we’re calling it kitchen lifts today. 

You start standing flat on your feet.

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Contract your calf muscles and lift up onto your tippy toes.  If you want to make it even more challenging keep a weight near by and hold onto it while you do your lifts.

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I hope you join me in this week’s workout mini-challenge! 

I’m even going to try to do them at my work’s kitchen.  Every little bit helps me move more each day.

Wednesday’s Weekly Workout Mini-Challenge: Squats

27 Oct

I’m glad many of you liked the quick 10 minute interval workout and want to add it to your routine.  You can really get your heart rate up in just 10 minutes and kick you butt.

On Sunday when I was at home all day getting things done around the house, instead of doing a long workout in the morning, I decided to do that 10 minute interval workout in the morning, then another 10 minute workout in the afternoon. 

It was nice getting an energy boost throughout the day instead of at one time.  Just something else to try out. Smile

Last weeks workout mini-challenge was a pretty tough challenge to start out with.  Pull ups are definitely something you need to work up towards. 

This week’s mini-challenge: squats

For the next 7 days I wanted to choose something that anyone could do.  Squats are the perfect lower body exercise.  You can keep them pretty basic and use no weights as shown below.  Or to up the intensity add weights and go as deep as you can comfortably with proper form.

Make sure your knees do not go forward beyond your toes, so you’re really sitting back and down during this exercise.  Keep your core stable by contracting your abs.

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Once again I’ll be doing the challenge before heading into the bathroom.  I’ve decided to do 10 reps each time I go in.  I also put my 10 lb kettlebell next to the door so that I can add weights if I choose to.

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Want to join in on the mini-challenge?  I hope so!  Share your goal for this weeks challenge in the comments.   I’m cheering for you!

Quick 10 minute interval workout

26 Oct

I’ve really enjoyed having my interval timer both for outdoor and indoor exercise.  By having the time count down I tend to work harder because I know I get to rest when it beeps at me.

Here’s a fun quick 10 minute workout that gets your heart rate up and works your core muscles quite nicely.

If you don’t have an interval timer you can purchase one on my Amazon page, or use this online interval timer I used before having a GYMBOSS.

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Set the timer for 15 rounds with 10 seconds of rest and 30 seconds of work.

There are 5 exercises you will do, 3 times through.  You won’t get much rest – just enough time to get ready for the next exercise.  If you need more than 10 seconds rest you can change your interval timer to allow for more rest.  Your workout will be longer than 10 minutes then.

Write down how many of each exercise you do.

1. High knees

Run in place with your core tight, knees lifting up as high as you can.  Run quickly.  Each leg up counts as 1 rep.

2. High plank with knees to opposite arms

Hold the plank position (push up position) on your hands and feet and cross your left knee to your right arm, then right knee to your left arm.  Each knee cross counts as one rep.

3. Squat with alternating kicks

Squat back as deep as your comfortably can go and when you push up, kick your leg forward.  Alternate between legs.  Each squat/kick counts as 1 rep.

4. Mountain climbers

Start with your hands and feet on the ground, 1 leg closer to your torso than the other.  Switch your legs back and forth between the close and far position.  Really contract your abs during this exercise.

5. Tuck crunch

Lay on your back with your arms and legs extended.  Lift your legs off the ground about 2 inches.  Take your arms out and around like you would make snow angels and at the same time lift your legs up into a bent crunch.  Your upper body will meet your lower body and your arms will slightly hold onto your knees.  Return to the starting position and try to keep your feet elevated.

Hope you enjoy this quick 10 minute workout!

Now for the exciting announcement. 

The GYMBOSS interval timer winner is # 8: Sally H.

Congrats Sally H!  Send me an email (gethealthywithheather@comcast.net) and I’ll get your new GYMBOSS on the way to you.

Thanks to all that entered.  It was fun reading about your favorite workouts.

Wednesday’s Weekly Workout Mini-Challenge

20 Oct

Since I am trying to keep myself more active at work throughout the day (which has been going well!), I decided that I wanted to take it to the next step at home as well.

I’ll be coming up with little weekly challenges that just get me moving more at home when I am there. It will probably be a single exercise each week, and it will change each week.

I hope many of you join me in these mini-challenges. They will last from today (Wednesday) till Tuesday. Next Wednesday there will be a new mini-challenge posted.

I didn’t come up with this weeks’ mini-challenge on my own though so I can’t take credit. I read about the idea on bodyrock.tv and decided it would be a fun thing to implement.

This week’s mini-challenge: pull ups (or a modified exercise)

I really don’t want to lose my pull up ability I gained with P90X, so this week will keep me on track with that.

I’ll be setting my pull up bar in the bathroom door so every time I go to use the bathroom I have to do 2 pull ups. I chose 2 because I know that will end up being a lot after a day of being home, or even a lot in just the mornings as I go in and out of the bathroom getting ready for work.

I’ll switch between close grip pull ups and chin ups for a bit of variety.  Maybe a few wide grip pull ups because I do need to work on those.

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If you don’t have a pull up bar at home you can use bands. Click here to read how to use resistance bands like you would a pull up bar.

If you don’t have either of those at home you can choose a different back exercise. Maybe you do supermans or an overhead ball throw. It’s not so much about the pull up specifically, it’s about moving that extra little bit.  Make sure to put something near your bathroom door to remind you that before you go in you must do this exercise.

Supermans: Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs stretched out. Raise your arms and legs off the ground a few inches, hold a few seconds, and then lower. Alternate arms and legs as an option.

Overhead ball throw shown in circuit 5, click here to see.

Want to join me? Leave a comment so I know you’re in and what you’ll be doing. We’ll keep each other motivated with this mini-challenge. I’ll try to keep track of how many I do each day.  So far it’s already 4!  It will probably be a ton over the weekend… I drink a lot of water!

I’ve really enjoyed reading about the different types of exercise you all like.  Keep the giveaway entries coming!

Interval training with the GYMBOSS (giveaway)

19 Oct

Interval training is one of my favorite forms of exercise.  It gets your heart rate up up up, and your workout time decreases.  It’s a really effective form of exercise.

When I’ve done timed interval training outside with a stop watch, it has always been a hassle to look at my watch multiple times to see when I start my all out sprint, or when I can do my recovery jog (okay I totally pay more attention to the second one).

I was lucky enough to have a nifty little tool sent to me that has been keeping me on track.

Meet the GYMBOSS.

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This genius exercise tool will either count down whatever time you choose, or can be set for 2 different interval rounds.  I’ve used it both ways and I really like that it comes with 2 alarms that you can hear and one that vibrates. 

The beeps are a bit too loud when I’m workout out early while Jacob is still asleep.  But when I’m outside I probably wouldn’t notice the vibrations as much so the beeps are perfect.

The picture below shows a day I decided to do 15 intervals with a 40 seconds recovery/jog interval then a 20 second work/sprint interval.  The whole workout was 15 minutes long (with a warm up and cool down added in), but felt so much shorter.

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Intervals make time go by so quickly and like I said, they are one of my favorite types of exercise.  There is much more than just sprints that you can do with an interval timer, but more on that later another day with a new workout.

As you can see I was given 2 interval times.  One for me, one for a lucky reader!  Will that be you?

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To enter all you have to do is leave a comment telling me about your favorite workout.  If you have a link to it please share, I love checking out new workouts.

If you want more than one entry then link this giveaway back on your blog, facebook, twitter, etc.  Leave a comment letting me know you did these for additional entries.  The more entries the more chance to win!

I’ll randomly choose a winner in 1 week, so October 26th.

If you’d like to purchase your own check out my Amazon store.  There are 4 different colors to choose from.  The pink GYMBOSS is super cute.