“Ups” Pyramid Workout with Cardio Intervals

"Ups" Pyramid Workout with Cardio Intervals on the Treadmill (Push Ups, V Ups & Pull Ups--that's it!)Pull ups, sit ups, push ups. We’re keeping things super simple with today’s workout. Pull ups are something I can’t yet do unassisted (I’m working on it!), so I tie a resistance band around the bar and place one of my feet through it. It helps so much! The lower the resistance of the band, the harder the pull ups will be; if you need more support, go for a band with a heavier resistance. How to Modify Pull Ups with a Resistance Band

“Ups” Pyramid Workout with Cardio Intervals

Equipment I Used:

  • Pull up bar (with a resistance band tied around it for assistance)
  • Treadmill
  • Exercise mat

You’ll go back and forth between a set of the “ups” and the treadmill. Every time you switch, the number of reps gets reduced by one and the distance you run gets reduced by .05 miles. So round one = 10 push ups, 10 v ups, 10 pull ups, .5 mile run. Round two = 9 push ups, 9 v ups, 9 pull ups, .45 mile run. By the end, you will have run a little under 3 miles and done 55 reps of each exercise. The rounds are quick! You’re running as fast as you can and getting through the “ups” taking as few breaks as possible. I know push ups and pull ups are familiar to most people, but if you’re unsure of what a v up crunch is:

  • V-UP CRUNCH | Start on your back with arms stretched overhead and legs hovering just slightly above the ground. Pull your abs in tight and press your low back to the ground. You’ll then crunch up, bringing your hands towards your toes (keeping legs and arms straight). When done correctly, your body will make a “v” shape as you crunch; this means you’re not just reaching your arms up, your chest needs to move towards your knees. Lower back down to starting position. If possible, your feet should never touch the ground between reps.

"Ups" Pyramid Workout with Cardio Intervals on the Treadmill (Push Ups, V Ups & Pull Ups--that's it!)

WEARING | tank: Lorna Jane // leggings: Lululemon (out of stock, but similar ones here and here) // sneakers: Asics c/o Millet Sports

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A Makeshift Megaformer Ab Workout You Can Do at Home

A Makeshift Megaformer Ab Workout You Can Do at Home -- all you need is a dish towel (or sliders). Under 15 minutes long and your abs will be on fire!My brain is not working today. Ever have those moments when you just can’t for the life of you form coherent sentences? I think I told my Btone classes to lift the “toes of their heels” like eight times this morning. Because heels have toes. I also gave this very helpful cue: “push up through your heel by pushing up through your heel.” Try again, Nicole. Let’s hope I can type better than I can talk today…

Speaking of megaformer workouts, I wanted to share a makeshift one I did while traveling. When I was in Australia, we were eating healthily and being constantly active during the day (walking around, snorkeling, swimming, hiking, etc.)—so active that I didn’t worry much about fitting in workouts. My boyfriend and I did, however, go on several scenic runs (one of my favorite ways to explore a new area) and I snuck in a few quick at-home workouts on mornings I woke up earlier than everyone else.

Our hotel in Port Douglas had hardwood floors, so I grabbed a towel to recreate the sliding motion of a megaformer for a quick ab workout. It’s no Btone class, but it did the trick!

A Makeshift Megaformer Ab Workout You Can Do at Home

Equipment I Used:

  • Dish towel (plus an extra one for knee padding) – if you have sliders at your gym or in your home gym, those are great. Also, sliders used for moving furniture = awesome. If you have carpets, try DVD cases or an overturned Frisbee. Get creative!

Do each exercise for 1 minute before moving right into the next. If you’re a beginner, you might want to start by doing each exercise for 30-45 second instead Try not to rest in between exercises—transitions should be quick. You can set an interval timer for 14 rounds of 60 sec work and 0 sec rest so that your timer beeps at you every minute, signaling the next exercise. You could also just watch the clock. Full descriptions below the pics!

If these exercise names sound like Jibberish, welcome to Lagree Fitness. :) I realize that this might be a confusing routine for those who haven’t taken a megaformer class, and admittedly had those familiar with the machine in mind when making it.

I’ve placed an asterisks (*) next to exercises that can be modified by doing them from your knees. Fourteen minutes is a long time to go without resting, so don’t hesitate to modify! Always better to modify than to stop moving altogether. I finished a couple of the moves with crossbody holds. Count to 10 in your head and then move on to the next exercise—it’s fine if the hold makes the next exercise a little less than a minute.

A Makeshift Megaformer Ab Workout You Can Do at Home -- all you need is a dish towel (or sliders). Under 15 minutes long and your abs will be on fire!

Feet on a towel, hands on the floor (or exercise mat) …

  • High Plank*
  • Plank to Pike | Keeping your legs straight, pike your hips up into the air, bringing your body into an upside down “v” shape. Try to keep your heels lifted as you do this, sliding on the balls of your feet. Once you hit your peak (if you have tight hamstrings, you may not be able to get your hips up very high—that’s ok!), slowly lower back down into plank position. If your wrists bother you, you can do this from your forearms (I find this to be more challenging than from my hands).
  • Bear—end with crossbody holds | Keeping your hips level with your shoulders, back flat, slide your feet forward, bending your knees in towards your elbows. Slide feet back out, straightening your legs into plank position. Two most common errors while doing this are lifting the booty up as your feet slide in and letting the low back arch down towards the floor. Pull your abs in tight the whole time, maintaining a flat back. For the holds at the end, slide your feet out to plank and from that position, bring your left knee across your body to your right elbow—really pull it forward, trying to make contact. Hold it there for about 10 seconds then switch sides: right knee to left elbow.
  • Forearm Plank*

I’m about to make things confusing with the next two moves (I’m sorry!). I did the workout as pictured: knees on mat, hands sliding out on towels. Then I realized that if I just padded my knees with an extra towel, it was way easier to keep my hands on the mat with knees sliding. I’m going to describe what’s pictured for simplicity’s sake, but you may want to try the other way (especially if your floors are a little sticky). It’s the same thing as what’s pictured/described; you just slide your body away, rather than sliding your hands away. 

  • Wheelbarrow | Start with your hands on the towel shoulder-width apart and knees on an exercise mat. Lower your hips so that from your knees to top of head is one straight diagonal line (as if you were about to do a push up from your knees). Keep your abs held in tight and arms straight (but not locked) as you hinge from the shoulders, sliding your hands out in front of you. When you reach your farthest extension, press into the hands, sliding them back in underneath your shoulders to the starting position. It’s almost like an ab roller. If you feel this straining your low back, stack your hips over the knees and your wheel from that tabletop position.
  • Cobra | Start with your hands on the towel shoulder-width apart and knees on an exercise mat. Lower your hips so that from your knees to top of head is one straight diagonal line (as if you were about to do a push up from your knees). From here, you’re going to slide your hands out in front of you. As you do, bend your elbows so that you slowly lower onto your forearms into a sort of kneeling plank. Next, reverse the motion, pressing up into your hands to slide the towel back in as you rise up to straight arms and your starting position. It’s tough! To make it easier, lower onto one forearm at a time and press up onto one hand at a time (just make sure to alternate you leading hand each time). As you do these, resist the urge to turn it into a cobra stretch (bending the spine and lifting your chest). Keep the abs in tight the whole time, maintaining that straight diagonal with your torso. If you feel any strain in your low back, stack your hips over your knees (rather than having them lowered) and do it from this tabletop position.
  • Twisted Pike (right foot in front of left) | In a plank position, feet on a towel, hands stacked under shoulders on an exercise mat, cross your right foot in front of the left and drop your heels so that you’re heel-to-toe with toes pointing towards the left. You’ll twist through the waist, slightly lowering your right hip to do so. This is your starting position. Maintaining this leg position and keeping your knees straight, pike your hips slowly up into the air. When you’ve reached your peak, slowly lower back down to that twisted plank starting position. You are targeting your right oblique with these.
  • Snake (right foot in front of left)—end with crossbody hold | In a plank position, feet on a towel, hands stacked under shoulders on an exercise mat, cross your right foot in front of the left and drop your heels so that you’re heel-to-toe with toes pointing towards the left. You’ll twist through the waist, slightly lowering your right hip to do so. This is your starting position. From here, start bending your knees in towards your left elbow, sliding your feet forward. When you’re in as far as you can go, slide the feet back out, straightening your knees back into your starting position. As you do these, try to keep your hips level with your shoulders (don’t sit your bum onto your heels as you slide the feet in; engage your right sidebody to keep them lifted). For the crossbody hold at the end, from that twisted plank position, you’ll pull your right knee across your body towards your left elbow (try to make contact!). Hold it there for about 10 seconds.
  • Side Forearm Plank (right forearm on the floor)*
  • Forearm Plank Hinges* | Maintaining a forearm plank position, just rock your shoulders back and then forward slowly. This isn’t a huge motion, you’ll slide back and forward about 3-6” each direction. Pay attention to your core as you do this: is your low back sagging down towards the ground? Is your butt piking up into the air? Don’t let either happen! Pull the abs in tight with a micro upper tilt to the pelvis to keep your body straight.
  • Side Forearm Plank (left forearm on the floor)*
  • Twisted Pike (left foot in front of right)
  • Snake (left foot in front of right)—end with crossbody hold
  • Push Ups* | Keep these slow—they’re not explosive (think Vinyasa yoga flow speed).

When you finish, relish a long Child’s Pose. Then take it to a gentle Up Dog (or cobra) to stretch out that core.

Child's Pose to Up Dog

This workout would be a fun one to turn into a real-time video, right?? I played around with making videos and GIFs on Monday and worked some of the newbie kinks out. Really excited to start putting a few together! Don’t worry—for those of you who like the pictorials, they won’t go anywhere.

Lagree Fitness lovers—try this ab workout next time you have to go without a megaformer for an extended period of time! (What an embarrassing #firstworldproblem, huh?). Count how many times you need to take a break during the 14 minutes (modifying doesn’t count as a break—stopping does). Next time you do the workout, try to reduce the number of breaks you take. I took three breaks, two during left side Twisted Pike and one during left side Snake (I was dying). I did about 20 seconds of the forearm plank hinges modified from my knees, and the last 30 seconds of push ups also modified on my knees. A Makeshift Megaformer Ab Workout You Can Do at Home -- all you need is a dish towel (or sliders). Under 15 minutes long and your abs will be on fire!

WEARING | Sevan Sports Bra and Salar Capri Foldover Capri from Fabletics // Tank from LF Stores (similar) // Nike Free +3 Sneakers (similar)

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30-Minute Jump Rope + Strength Training Workout

30-Minute Jump Rope + Strength Training Interval Workout - great mix of cardio and strength!This is the last of my scheduled vacation posts—I’ll be back blogging in real time tomorrow (or the next day … let’s see how jet lag treats me). :)

Also, don’t mind my struggle-bus pistol squat pictures—I can’t freaking do them (well) to save my life. But that’s exactly why they’re in this workout! Gotta keep working at them…

30-Minute Jump Roping + Strength Training Workout

Equipment I Used:

You’ll go through a circuit of jump roping and bodyweight exercises three times. The circuit alternates between 60 seconds of jump roping and 60 seconds of strength training (30 seconds on each side/arm/leg). To make things easier, I set my interval timer for 31 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest. This setting will tell the timer to beep every 30 seconds, accounting for two 30-second periods of rest in between each completed round of the circuit. Keep in mind that while jump roping, you’ll go through one of the interval beeps, staying with it for a full minute.

30-Minute Jump Rope + Strength Training Interval Workout - great mix of cardio and strength!

GO THROUGH THE FOLLOWING CIRCUIT THREE TIMES:

Jump Rope | 60 seconds

Side Plank Kicks | 30 seconds right, 30 seconds left

Start in a side plank (if you have wrist issues you can do this on your forearm) with right hand stacked underneath your shoulder, left leg hovering in the air, and left arm outstretched overhead. From here, kick your left leg in front of your body as you bring your left hand to meet it—it’s like a scissor chop. Return to starting position. Your goal is to never rest the left leg on the ground (or on top of your right foot)—always have it hovering.

Jump Rope | 60 seconds

Pistol Squats | 30 seconds right, 30 seconds left

If you’re not a pistol squatting pro, I highly recommend doing these on a bench or other elevated surface—it helps me a ton! This way, you don’t have to worry about holding the non-squatting leg up in front of you. Start facing sideways with your right foot standing on a bench/step and the left foot dangling off the edge. Squat down on the right side, sending your hips and booty back and down behind you (don’t let the knee jut farther forward than the toes). You’ll want to hold that left leg as far in front of you as you can while you squat, so that as you lower, it takes a good distance before that left heel touches the ground below the bench/step. When you’re as low as you can get into the squat, press up through the right heel to return to standing.

Jump Rope | 60 seconds

Side Push Ups | 30 seconds right, 30 seconds left

Lay on your left side, left arm hugging your torso (to get it out of the way), and right hand planted firmly on the ground in front of you, aligned with your shoulders. Push your upper body off the ground with that right arm (hips are your point of contact with the floor), then slowly lower without ever fully coming to rest back on the ground. Continue.

Jump Rope | 60 seconds

Starfish Crunches | 30 seconds right, 30 seconds left

Start laying on your back with arms overhead. Arms and legs should be out wide so that your body is forming an “x” shape on the ground. From here, lift your legs an inch off the ground, engaging your core. The goal is to never let them come to rest, but if you’re a beginner, do so in between reps. From this starting position, crunch up, bringing your right leg straight up into the air as you bring your left arm up and across your body to touch that right foot (get as close as you can—it’s ok if you don’t actually make contact). Slowly lower back to starting and then repeat, going in the same direction for the full 30 seconds before switching over to the opposite hand and foot.

Jump Rope | 60 seconds

Push-Off Side Lunge | 30 seconds right, 30 seconds left

From a standing position, step your right foot out wide to the side (both feet still face front), bending the right knee and lunging down to bring your left hand across the body down to the floor by your right foot. Next, push off that right foot to bring yourself back up to standing, and as you do, drive the right knee up towards your chest and hop up into the air on the left foot. As you land, send that right foot immediately back out wide, sinking into your next lunge.

I rested for 30 seconds in between each round. Feel free to stretch that out to 60-90 seconds. side-plank-kicks-exercise

WEARING | leggings, tank & sneakers c/o Puma

Enjoy the workout! Can’t wait to share some pics and stories from my Australia trip on the blog—stay tuned!!!

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