Top 5 Most Popular Workouts of 2014

Top 5 Most Popular Workouts of 2014Ah, another year of shamelessly taking pictures of myself doing kettlebell swings in my living room is coming to a close. As I’ve done the past two years, I wanted to round up the most popular P&I workouts from the last 365 days. These were the posts most trafficked, shared, pinned, tweeted, etc. by all you beautiful people. I can’t thank you enough for your continued support, and am looking forward to many more years of sharing awkward workout selfies with you all! Now let’s get to the countdown…

5 | Tabata Interval Kettlebell Workout

Top 5 Most Popular Workouts of 2014 (#5)

FULL TUTORIAL HERE

Kettlebell workouts make these top 5 lists every year with good reason–they’re effective! This full-body workout takes just about half an hour to complete.

4 | Upper Body Kettlebell Workout

Top 5 Most Popular Workouts of 2014 (#4)FULL TUTORIAL HERE

Upper body workouts were a big hit on the blog this year. Noted! In this one, you’ll complete three rounds of upper body exercises using various weights of kettlebells. Because of the dynamic nature of the moves, your core will be targeted as well.

3 | Upper Body Hand Weight Workout

Top 5 Most Popular Workouts of 2014 (#3)FULL TUTORIAL HERE

I couldn’t believe how quickly this one spread around Pinterest! For this workout, think low weights, high reps. Your arms and shoulders are going to burn like crazy!

2 | 30-Minute Bodyweight Tabata Workout

Top 5 Most Popular Workouts of 2014 (#2)

FULL TUTORIAL HERE

This is this workout’s second consecutive year in the number-two slot. You go, Glenn Coco! It really is a killer, and the best part is that no equipment is required. This is a great one to do at home or while traveling.

1 | 5 to 50 Ab Workout

Top 5 Workouts of 2014 (#1)FULL TUTORIAL HERE

This ab workout Does. The. Trick. Even when I do it and am distracted watching TV just sort of half-assing my way through the routine (I shouldn’t be admitting I do stuff like that, huh?…), I feel it in my core the next day.

What was your favorite workout this year? Did it make the top five?

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Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers (Vegan + Gluten Free)

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers -- vegan, gluten-free and a great option for food prepping for the week!In coming up with recipes lately, my focus has been on recreating things I find myself buying constantly. Every time I go to the grocery store, I pick up some frozen veggie burgers. And every time I tell myself I should just make my own. The first attempt resulted in patties of baby food mush. Yummy baby food, but…baby food. It’s funny how with cooking, sometimes the tiniest ingredient or technique tweak can make a world of difference—I made a couple tiny changes for round two and BOOM. Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers -- vegan, gluten-free and a great option for food prepping for the week! Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers -- vegan, gluten-free and a great option for food prepping for the week!

I’m so in love with these. I make a batch at the start of the week and pop ‘em in the freezer to have on hand. They can be served as a burger (duh), on top of a salad (my favorite way to eat them!) or mashed up with some scrambled eggs for breakfast. Talk about a food prepper’s dream! Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers -- vegan, gluten-free and a great option for food prepping for the week!

I’m not vegan or gluten-intolerant, but it was so easy to make these without eggs or gluten that I went for it.

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers (Vegan + Gluten Free)

Yield: 10-12 patties

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers (Vegan + Gluten Free)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sweet potato, coarsely mashed
  • 1 can black beans (15oz)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • ½ of a red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats (I used gluten free), ground
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I probably used ½ tsp salt and a little less pepper)

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice according to the package (bring water to a boil, add rice, simmer 35-40 mins); roughly ½ cup dry with make enough for the 1 cup of cooked rice you need.
  2. While the rice is cooking, peel your potato/s (one huge potato or two medium sized will probably be enough) and chop into small pieces. Toss them lightly in extra virgin olive oil before spreading on a baking sheet and placing in the oven for 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, flipping halfway through. When they’re done, use a fork to coarsely mash them up (you want them to be chunky; not like a puree).
  3. Grind the oats into a flour using your food processor. Next add the beans, rice and onion into the food processor and pulse a few times. You want them to retain some structure and “chunk”. Because I am severely challenged in the cutting-cilantro-and-garlic department, I also tossed those in the food processor with the previous ingredients.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the food processor contents, the sweet potato and all the remaining spices. I found it was most efficient to use my hands to do this.
  5. If the potatoes were still hot when you mixed everything together, you may want to stick the mixture in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Otherwise, get right to the patty-making. Grabbing a small handful of the mixture, roll it into a ball in your hands and then gently press it into a patty shape.
  6. To serve, heat a splash of olive oil on medium-high heat on the stove top and cook the veggie burger for 3-4 minutes, flipping midway.
  7. To store, wrap in a piece of parchment paper (so they don’t stick to each other), place into a plastic Ziploc or Tupperware container, and freeze.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/12/14/sweet-potato-veggie-burgers-vegan-gluten-free/

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers -- vegan, gluten-free and a great option for food prepping for the week! Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers -- vegan, gluten-free and a great option for food prepping for the week!If you do Sunday food prepping for the week, add these to your list! I wrap each patty in a small piece of parchment paper and then stack 3-4 into a ziploc bag and slide ‘em in the freezer. Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers -- vegan, gluten-free and a great option for food prepping for the week!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

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Arm (+Core) Workout with Hand Weights

Arm (+Core) Hand Weight WorkoutI get tons of requests for arm workouts, and since this upper body workout using light hand weights was a big hit, I decided to do another. This time, I’m making all the arm exercises a little more dynamic so that you work your core as well. Instead of just doing a shoulder press, you do it while holding a boat pose; instead of just doing a triceps kickback, you do it while in plank. This one is quick (12-18 minutes, depending on the intervals you choose) so it’s great to pair with a cardio workout or to do on days you’re “too busy” to workout.

Arm (+Core) Workout with Hand Weights

Equipment I Used:

  • Set of 5-lb hand weights
  • Set of 8-lb hand weights

As you can see, I used two different weights (light and medium), but you could definitely get away with just using one light pair. I only used the heavier ones for one exercise.

This workout flows from right to left. You’ll start with exercises isolating the right side, move into exercises with both arms, and then end by isolating the left side. You go through that a total of 3 times, taking a 30 to 60-sec rest in between each round (try not to rest between individual exercises; push to make it through the entire sequence before shaking out those arms!).

Your fitness level and the weight of the dumbbells you’re using will determine how long you stay in each exercise. To start, do each exercise for 20 seconds. If you’re more advanced, spend 30 seconds on each exercise. To help you gauge where you should start, when I did this workout using 20-second intervals, I was able to make it through the complete sequence without breaking. When I did it with 30-second intervals, I had to cheat and put my feet down a few times during the boat pose exercises.

Arm (+Core) Hand Weight Workout

RIGHT SIDE (IN PLANK)

  • One-Arm Flys: Start in a plank position with your left hand stacked directly under left shoulder and right hand gripping a hand weight. Hips should be level—fight to keep them this way throughout the exercise (your right hip will want to open up, shifting weight towards the left—don’t let it happen!). From here, squeeze your right shoulder blade in towards your spine as you lift the hand weight up and out laterally, keeping a soft bend in the elbow. Pause at the top and then slowly return right arm down to starting position.
  • Triceps Kickbacks: In a plank position, have left hand stacked directly under left shoulder, right hand holding onto a hand weight, elbow bent. Keeping your hips level as you do this (fight your body’s natural tendency to shift all the weight into your left side), extend your right hand straight back behind you, really squeezing the back of the arm (triceps) as you do. Hinging at the elbow, bring the weight slowly back to starting position. This is the one exercise I used an 8-lb weight with instead of 5.
  • Serve the Platter: In a plank position, keep left hand stacked directly under left shoulder, right hand holding onto a hand weight, palm facing up, elbow softly bent. From here, keeping your hips level (resist your body’s tendency to lean into that left side), reach that right hand forward, getting as close to a straight arm as you can. Slowly return to starting position.
  • Push Ups: Use both arms for these! If you need to modify, drop down to your knees.

BOTH ARMS (IN BOAT POSE)

All the following exercises are down while holding a boat pose. For boat pose, you balance on your tailbone, leaning back slightly, legs and upper body lifted in a “v” shape. To do this, engage your core (I think of trying to squeeze my belly button and spine together). I keep my knees bent in boat with shins parallel to the ground (except for during shapers), but if you’re more advanced, you can try keeping them straight the entire time.

  • Shoulder Press: Start with arms in goal post position: elbows bent at 90 degrees at shoulder height. From here, press your hands up overhead, bringing weights together above your head. Lower back down, but only so far as brings your elbows back to shoulder height. Don’t let them dip down lower than that. As you do these, be careful not to shrug your shoulders up towards your ears.
  • Shoulder Shapers: Start with arms in goal post position: elbows bent at 90 degrees at shoulder height. From here, maintaining those 90-degree bends, bring your forearms and hand weights together in front of your face. Return back out to goal post position. Elbows should stay at shoulder height the entire time. As we do these, we’re going to bend and extend our legs in boat pose so that it almost feels like a crunch. When arms are out wide, legs straighten, when forearms come in together, bend the knees, pulling them in slightly towards your chest.
  • Arm Circles: Extend your arms straight out to the side, a weight in each hand. Keeping arms straight, trace small, controlled circles with your hands, not letting your hands fall below shoulder height. Each round, alternate the direction in which you trace those circles.
  • Crossbody Punches: These are pretty self-explanatory: twist and punch! With a weight in each hand, start by holding them in towards your chest. From here, punch the right hand across your body, twisting your torso to the left along with it. Alternate, doing the same thing with the left hand. These should be quick—punch, punch, punch!

LEFT SIDE (IN PLANK)

Repeat sequence you did on the right.

You will go through the entire sequence (right side, both, left side) three times. If you choose to stay in each exercise for 20 seconds, this workout will take you 12 minutes (plus a couple breaks). If you shoot for 30 seconds, it’ll take you 18 minutes + breaks.

Arm (+Core) Hand Weight Workout

WEARING | tank: Nasty Gal // leggings: c/o Puma // strappy-back sports bra: c/o Cory Vines // sneakers: Nike

Happy hump day!signature