Med Ball Core Workout

Med Ball Core WorkoutDisclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.

You may recall that earlier this summer I got the chance to team up with Target® to wear a couple pieces from the new Target® C9 collection in this “No Rest” Tabata Workout. Well today we’re teaming up again, this time to share some of my favorite ways to enjoy the end of summer/early fall with friends while staying active.

The weather this time of year (at least in New England) is THE BEST for taking your workouts outdoors. Some of my favorite ways to actively enjoy the changing seasons include:

Running along the Charles River

Since his hand surgery, running is one of the few exercises my boyfriend can do, so we’ve started to go for runs together around the city. With the warm—but not oppressive—weather this time of year, it’s the perfect workout (and company!).running-charles-river

Hiking at my parents’ place in Maine

My parents’ second home in Maine is on a ski mountain and a lake, so the hiking is GORGEOUS as summer turns to fall. Last time I was visiting, my brother and I went for a morning hike up one of the mountains and it was the perfect way to start the day.HIKING-IN-MAINE

Taking my favorite P&I workouts outside

I try to shoot the majority of my workout tutorials outside because of the optimal lighting, but I actually do a fair amount of them outdoors as well! Most recently, I took this Med Ball Core Workout outside. I should add, however, that while I shot it in the middle of Comm Ave with the sprinklers going off, I did it in the privacy of my old back patio area. C’mon now, I’m not that awkward… :)Med Ball Core Workout

Med Ball Core Workout

Equipment I Used:

You’ll do each of the 8 exercises for 30 seconds. Move right from one exercise to the next. Once you’ve completed them all, rest for 30 seconds, and then start right from the top. Complete 4 rounds in total. This workout will take you just under 20 minutes to complete. If you’re new to working out, you can start by completing just two or three rounds, and work your way up to four.

I set my interval timer for 35 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 0 seconds of rest. This accounts for the rest intervals and will make the timer beep at you every 30 seconds, signaling you to move onto the next exercise. You could also just watch the clock.

Med Ball Core Workout

  • Table Top Sit-Ups: Start laying on your back holding the medicine ball overhead in both hands (it should be hovering off the ground). Feet should be lifted, knees bent at about 90 degrees. From here, sit up, bringing medicine ball up overhead and in front of you, and place it carefully on your shins. Let go of it, returning to the starting position without the ball in your hands (it’s balancing on your legs still). Sit up, this time grabbing the medicine ball from your shins and bringing it back down to starting position with you. Continue to alternate: one sit-up with med ball, one sit-up sans med ball while it balances on your shins.
  • Russian Twist: Start seated, holding the med ball in both hands at your chest, feet lifted off the ground with your knees bent. Lean back slightly, core engaged, balancing on your tailbone. Twist to one side, bringing the med ball to the outer side of that hip; then repeat in the other direction. Really twist at the waist—you want your chest to be totally facing whatever side you’re bringing the ball.
  • Leg Lift Toe Touch: Lay on your back with arms stretched overhead, holding on to your medicine ball (it should be hovering a couple inches off the ground—don’t let it rest on the floor). Feet should also be hovering a couple inches off the ground; pull your belly button in towards your spine and press the low back against the ground in this position. From this starting position, lift both legs up so that toes are pointing towards the ceiling, keeping legs straight. Then bring the med ball up to meet them, crunching up as you lift the ball overhead, reaching towards your toes (it’s ok if you can’t physically touch them, just focus on lifting your shoulder blades off the ground as high as possible). Return upper body to starting position and then lower legs to starting position.
  • Plank Roll Out (RIGHT): Start in a plank position, right hand on a medicine ball, left hand on the ground. Slowly roll your right palmàwristàforearm over the top of the ball. As you reach forward like this, you’ll need to bend your left elbow, lowering the body (but still keeping strong plank form!). Reverse the motion, rolling right forearmàwristàpalm and straightening your left elbow back to starting position as you do.
  • Plank Roll Out (LEFT)
  • Sit ‘n Toss: Lay on your back with arms stretched overhead, holding on to your medicine ball (it should be hovering a couple inches off the ground—don’t let it rest on the floor). Lift the medicine ball forward as you sit up, keeping arms straight, and lift it straight above your head as your body comes into upright sitting position. Bring ball into chest and toss up into the air. Catch and slowly lower to the ground, bringing ball back overhead behind you.
  • Plank Jump Jacks: Start in a plank position with hands on the medicine ball. Jump both feet up towards the outside of the ball and then quickly back to a plank. Then jump feet out to the sides (like a horizontal jumping jack) and quickly back together. That’s one rep. When doing the “jack” part of this move, try to hold a strong plank alignment with your upper body—don’t let your butt pike up into the air or hips sag downward.
  • Boat Pose Leg Scissors: Start in boat pose holding the medicine ball at your chest. 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). If you’re a beginner, instead of keeping your legs straight, bend the knees (but still keep those feet lifted!). From here, you’re going to scissor your legs, one foot on top of the other, alternating back and forth. For an added challenge, scissor them up and then down (one foot on top of the other for a few scissor kicks, and then reverse the direction, one foot below the other for a few scissor kicks).

Enjoy this workout—and time of year!signature

Resistance Band Core Workout

Resistance Band Core WorkoutResistance bands are the easiest piece of workout gear to pack, and when I went to visit my parents on the Vineyard at the beginning of the month, I brought one along. I wanted to do a quick ab workout to pair with my morning run, and this totally did the trick. By adding the resistance band around my legs during some of these go-to core exercises you’ve seen a million times on the blog, it changed each move from strictly targeting the abs to incorporating some outer thigh work as well.

Resistance Band Core Workout

Equipment I Used:

This workout is broken up into three parts. For each part, you’ll do three rounds of three exercises for 30 seconds each. Go from one exercise to the next without taking a break. Between parts, you can rest for 30-60 seconds. I used an interval timer and set it to 9 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 0 seconds of rest so that it would just beep every 30 seconds.

Place a resistance band around your lower calf area. I used a long one so I looped it twice before tying. You’ll keep the band in this position throughout the entire workout.

Resistance Band Core Workout

PART 1

Complete three rounds of the following three exercises, doing each for 30 seconds. For this part, you’ll be keeping your legs straight the entire time, pressing them outward against the band. Don’t cheat yourself by not pressing outward! You want to feel your outer thighs and glutes engaged the entire time.

  • Resistance Band Toe Touches: Start laying on your back with arms outstretched overhead, feet straight up in the air, resistance band around your lower calves with your legs spread wide enough apart to engage the outer thighs—you should be pressing hard against the resistance of the band the entire time. From here, crunch up, lifting shoulders off the ground and touching the band or your toes with your hands.
  • Resistance Band Windshield Wipers: Start laying on your back, arms outstretched to either side for support. Legs are lifted straight up with a resistance band around your lower calves. Press your legs out to the sides so that there is tension on the band. You want to press this way throughout the entire exercise—never let the band go slack. From here, lower your legs to the right and then back up and down to the left, back and forth in a windshield wiper motion, twisting through the waist and hips.
  • Resistance Band Leg Lifts: Start laying on your back with your hands underneath your bum for support, resistance band around your lower calves. Spread your legs out to the sides until you feel tension in the resistance band—you want your outer thighs and glutes engaged, pushing hard against that band the entire time. Lift your legs up a couple inches so that they’re hovering straight out over the ground. This is your starting position. From here, lift legs straight up so that they’re perpendicular with the ground (and still pushing out against the band). Lower them back to starting. Your feet should never come to rest on the ground.

PART 2

Complete three rounds of the following three exercises, doing each for 30 seconds.

  • Resistance Band Side Plank Lift Pulses RIGHT: Start in a side plank position, resistance band around your lower calves. Lift the top leg high enough so that there’s tension on the band—don’t let that leg drop below this point the entire time. Press the top leg up against the band, pulsing up continuously while holding the side plank.
  • Resistance Band Frog Stamps: Start in a plank position with your feet spread wide enough apart so that there’s tension on the resistance band (have it around your lower calves). From there, jump your feet up towards your hands and out wide. This will need to be an explosive movement so that you can push against the band while your feet are in the air. You want to land with your feet at least as wide as your hands (preferably wider). Quickly jump them back to starting plank position.
  • Resistance Band Side Plank Lift Pulses LEFT

PART 3

Complete three rounds of the following three exercises, doing each for 30 seconds.

  • Resistance Band Seated Spread Pulses: Start in a seated position with fingertips lightly on the ground by your sides for support. Lean your torso back, core tight (think of pulling your belly button and spine together) and lift your legs about 6” to a foot off the ground, keeping them straight. Resistance band should be around your lower calves. Holding legs at this height the entire time, press your legs out wide to the sides. You want to feel tension in the resistance band the entire time, so legs should stay wide the whole time, pulsing them out to the sides continuously.
  • Resistance Band V-Ups: Start laying on your back, arms reaching overhead, resistance band around your lower calves, and feet spread wide enough apart so that they’re pushing out against the band. Hover feet a couple inches off the ground. This is your starting point. Exhaling and explosively crunching your abs, bring your legs straight up at the same time you lift your torso off the ground, bringing hands to meet your feet, balancing on the tailbone. Release, lowering back to starting point (never let your feet come to rest on the ground). Throughout this crunch, press out with your legs against he resistance band.
  • Resistance Band Boat Pose Spread Pulses: This is just like traditional boat pose, except you’ll be pushing your legs out against the resistance band with little pulses while holding the pose. Start sitting on your tailbone with the resistance band around your lower calves. Lift your legs straight up and wide in a “v” shape. Engaging your core (I think of trying to squeeze my belly button and spine together), hold your arms straight out, parallel to the ground. Hold this pose, and as you do, push your legs out to the sides in little pulses. You always want to feel tension on the band, so never let your legs come together (or close to it). To modify, bend your knees instead of holding legs up straight.

You might recognize the structure of this workout from the 15-Minute Ab Workout I posted last year. It was featured on BuzzFeed and became one of my most popular P&I workouts, so I figured it was worth revisiting! :)

Resistance Band Core Workout

WEARING | tank: H&M // shorts: Athleta

P.S. Just to clarify, despite my tank top, I am most definitely not a cat person. Team Dog for life.

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15-Minute HIIT Workout Using All My At-Home Fitness Equipment

15-Minute HIIT WorkoutThere’s nothing like a move to make you hate every piece of at-home workout equipment you’ve ever purchased! I’m in the process of moving into my boyfriend’s apartment, and this will be the SEVENTH time I’ve moved since graduating college in 2010. Woof. Luckily, I don’t have to be out of my house in Southie until the end of August, so it’s a gradual move and I can do a little bit at a time—slowly decontaminating his place (kidding…but not really), and bringing over small carloads of my stuff here and there. Still, the kettlebell collection, med ball, hand weights and rest of my at-home workout gear has been getting its fair share of dirty looks from me lately. To remind myself that it’s worth moving, I put together this quick HIIT workout last week using as much of it as I could.

GIVEAWAY! One workout aid that is not a burden to move is my Gymboss Interval Timer, and lucky for you wonderful readers, my friends over at Gymboss are letting me give away one! Enter using the widget below today’s workout tutorial (scroll down). I’ll pick a winner on Friday evening.

15-Minute HIIT Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • 25-lb kettlebell
  • 6-lb medicine ball
  • Jump rope
  • Stability ball
  • Power wheel
  • Gymboss Interval Timer
  • Exercise mat

Set an interval timer for 15 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. You’ll go through the following exercises 3 times. This workout will get you sweaty and out of breath, focusing especially on the core.

15-Minute HIIT Workout

  • Power Wheel Ab Roll Outs: Get on your knees and hold the power wheel centered on the ground. Your arms are going to stay straight throughout this. Slowly extend your arms, rolling the wheel out as far as you can go, lowering your torso. When you’ve extended as far as you can, slowly roll back to starting point. You’ll want to keep your butt down during these—think of your back, butt and hamstrings as one straight line. Try not to stick your butt up (I know it’s tempting on that tough roll-in).
  • Kettlebell Swings: Start with kettlebell on the floor between your legs and lift it up to starting position with both hands, flat back, using your legs to lift. With kettlebell hanging between your legs, use your arms as a pendulum, and swing the bell to chest-to-eye level by thrusting with your hips while keeping your core tight as you stand up straight. Swing back down and repeat. Your knees should remain slightly bent, but the main source of movement is hinging at the hips—not so much squatting. I use a 25-lb bell.
  • Med Ball Sit ‘n Toss: Lay on your back with arms stretched overhead, holding on to your medicine ball (it should be hovering a couple inches off the ground—don’t let it rest on the floor). Lift the medicine ball forward as you sit up, keeping arms straight, and lift it straight above your head as your body comes into upright sitting position. Bring ball into chest and toss up into the air. Catch and slowly lower to the ground, bringing ball back overhead behind you.
  • Jump Rope
  • Stability Ball Prone Oblique Twists:Get into a plank with your shins on a stability ball and your hands on the floor, directly under your shoulders. Draw your knees into your right shoulder, keeping feet on the stability ball, and then return to center. Repeat to the left.

15-Minute HIIT Workout

WEARING | leggings: Lululemon / tank: thanks to my friends at Game Plan! / sneakers: Nike

Since I usually get a lot of comments about whatever leggings I’m wearing in these workouts (that’s why I love you guys! haha), just a heads up that although these leggings look cool, the mesh across the knees makes them uncomfortable to workout in if you’re doing anything that involves kneeling.

Gymboss Interval Timer Giveaway

On Friday evening I’ll randomly select a winner. Use the widget below to enter—just leave a comment letting me know what piece of workout equipment you’d love in your home. I use mine all the time for HIIT workouts and during the Tone ‘n Torch class I teach at Btone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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