Low Body Stacked Circuit Workout (Bodyweight or Dumbbells)

I mentioned a couple months ago that I took a trip to New Hampshire to teach a fitness class for the team at MegaFood to spotlight their Bone Health tablet. Strength training + the goodness in this supplement = happy bones.

When most people think of bone health, calcium is the first thing that comes to mind. And it is important, but in the right amount. Too much calcium can actually be a bad thing, as it goes to the arteries and can increase your risk of heart disease. It’s also worthwhile to note that men need less calcium than women, and in some cases shouldn’t be taking supplements containing it at all (a bone density test is the best way to know if this applies to you). Bone Health is specially formulated by Dr. Tieraona Low Dog with 500mg of calcium.

In addition to calcium, your bones need other vitamins and minerals. The tablets have 300mg of magnesium, 1000 IU of Vitamin D, Vitamin K1 and K2 and Vitamin C to help your body absorb the calcium.

If you’re taking one of MegaFood’s other multi vitamins, you’ll notice they don’t contain calcium and magnesium. These minerals are large so to keep the size of the tablets down, they’re found separately in Bone Health. Even with the separation, MegaFood can only fit so much of these minerals from food (if all 500mg of calcium came from food, the tablet would be MASSIVE) so the rest comes from rice amino acid chelate.

Ok now that you’re a pro with Bone Health, let’s talk about another big component of bone health: strength training. This is the low body portion of the class I taught the MegaFood team.

Low Body Stacked Circuit Workout

Equipment I Used

The structure of this workout is the same format as the Power class I used to teach at BURN (they just opened a beautiful second studio in the Back Bay–local readers should check out a class there!!) The circuit is stacked like a game of Simon. Each exercise is done for 30 seconds and the sets get longer as you add on exercises. So here’s a breakdown:

  • Exercise 1
  • Rest 30 sec
  • Exercise 1 + Exercise 2
  • Rest 30 sec
  • Exercise 1 + Exercise 2 + Exercise 3
  • Rest 30 sec

And so on until you’ve done all six exercises.

Weighted Squat – Squat Thrust Combo | Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height, feet about hip’s width apart and squat down, keeping your lower abdomen held in and sliding your bum and hips back and down. Once you reach your lowest squat, power up, driving your hips forward and engaging the glutes as you straighten your legs to stand. As you do so, press the dumbbells overhead into a shoulder press. Repeat, but without the thrust.

Truck Driver | Start by squatting down, weight in your heels, hips down and back, core engaged and chest open. Hold a dumbbell on the ends, palms facing in towards each other, and extend arms straight in front of you at chest height. You’re going to maintain this position the entire duration of the exercise. From here, you’re just going to rotate the weight in your hands, tipping one end up and then the other, as if your hand were on a steering wheel (hence the exercise name). Try not to bend the arms or let them drop below chest height as you rotate them back and forth.

Side Lunge to Knee Raise (alternate sides each set) | Start standing with one weight in your left hand at your shoulder. Step your right foot out wide to the side, bending that knee and sinking your hips back and down into a deep side lunge. As you do, bring the weight across your body towards the right foot. Press off that right foot to push yourself back up to standing, but instead of bringing your right foot to the floor, drive the knee up and into your chest and then lunge right back down to the side.

Jump Lunge | Start in a split-stance lunge: right foot in front, ball of left foot planted on the floor behind you. Both knees should be bent to 90 degrees, front knee aligned over ankle, back knee hovering just a couple inches off the floor. From here, push off your feet to jump up in the air, switching feet in mid-air and landing back in a lunge with left foot forward and right foot planted behind. Continue, alternating feet with each jump.

Single Leg Squat (alternate legs each set) | Keeping a flat back, chest open, and holding the weight in both hands, hover your left foot off the ground behind you and squat down on the right leg, lowering the weight towards the floor. If you need balance help, lightly touch the left foot on the ground behind you. Press back up a straight leg.

Squat Jack with Scoop | For the low body, think jumping jacks in a squat position. For the upper body, think paddling a canoe. This one can be like rubbing your stomach while patting your head, so don’t be frustrated if it feels uncoordinated at first—you can always eliminate the upper body movement and just hold the weight at your chest as you jump your feet in and out.

Start in a low squat position with feet wide, weight in your heels, low abs engaged, hips back and a dumbbell held at your chest with both hands. Staying low in a squat, jump your feet in close together as you scoop the dumbbell down and around to the left of your left leg. As the weight comes up and back to center, jump your feet out wide again to the starting position. Repeat, this time scooping the dumbbell down and around to the right side of your legs as you jump them close together. The goal is to stay low in a squat as you jack your feet in and out, fluidly scooping the dumbbell side to side like a figure eight or canoe oar.

WEARING | Michi NY leggings (old but this newer design is similar) // tank c/o Reebok (old but this muscle tank is similar) // Fabletics bra // Adidas neo sneakers (sold out but these are pretty darn close)

* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This post was sponsored by MegaFood. While I am a paid ambassador for the brand, all opinions–as always!–are my own. I truly love their products (and think you guys will, too!) and will be using them long after our partnership comes to a close. Outfit links are affiliate.

Superset Pyramid Time Challenge Workout (Week 2) – Slider Exercises

Week 2 of the superset pyramid time challenge series is here! If you missed last week’s, be sure to check it out, too (my abs were sore for three days after doing it!).

Superset Pyramid Time Challenge – Slider Exercises

Equipment I Used:

For this workout, you’ll do 10 reps of each exercise (on the right and on the left) and then 9 reps, 8 … down to 1 rep of each. Complete the workout as fast as you can without sacrificing proper form. Make sure to warm up beforehand. 

Torso Twist Lunge Sliders | Start in a low lunge position with the right foot forward and the back left foot on a slider. Hold a weight between your hands with arms outstretched at chest height. Staying low on the right leg, weight in your heel, bend your left knee, sliding the left foot forward as you bring the weight into your chest and then extending the leg back out behind you as you press the weight forward, returning to the starting position. From there, keeping your arms outstretched, twist your torso to the right and then back to starting. That’s 1 rep.

Single Leg Mountain Sliders | Start in a plank position with one foot on a slider and the other leg hovering. From there, it’s just like a mountain climber except you’re sliding the supporting foot in and out. Each pair = 1 rep (right + left).

WEARING | Reebok tank // Shadow Leggings by Michi c/o Shopbop // Nike TR Flex Supreme (also love their Flyknit training sneaker)

If you tried last week’s time challenge, too, let me know how they compared in the comments! Personally, this one was easier for me than the first.

 

Superset Pyramid Time Challenge Workout (#1)

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a fun NYE. I drank wine on my couch with my boyfriend and went to bed at 12:05AM. #TURNT

January Time Challenge Series

For the month of January, in addition to a different formatted workout posted most Wednesdays, I’m going to put up a time challenge workout on Mondays. (I know today is Tuesday but yesterday was technically a holiday.) These time challenges can be fit into your weekly workout routine in lots of different ways. You could use them as a finisher to a long run or longer gym session. You could use them alone on a busy day when you’re short on time for workouts. You could also time yourself and then repeat the workout next week to try to improve upon your first numbers.

The workouts all have the same structure I used in this Supersets Pyramid Workout. You’ll have two exercises. Do 10 reps of each, then 9 reps of each, then 8 … down to 1 rep of each. The goal is to complete that pyramid of reps as quickly as you can *without sacrificing proper form*. It’s always better to slow it down and do the moves correctly as needed.

Superset Pyramid Time Challenge: Week 1

I shot this workout yesterday and my obliques are FEELING it today. The rolling full-body crunches were so tough!

Equipment I Used:

  • 10-lb dumbbell (you can use a medicine ball or just bodyweight if you don’t have equipment handy)
  • Exercise mat

If you follow along with the video, don’t worry about staying at the same pace as me. Slower, faster–doesn’t matter. You’re only competing with yourself!

Squat Jacks with Obliques Scoop | For the low body, think jumping jacks in a squat position. For the upper body, think paddling a canoe. This one can be like rubbing your stomach while patting your head, so don’t be frustrated if it feels uncoordinated at first—you can always eliminate the upper body movement and just hold the weight at your chest as you jump your feet in and out.

Start in a low squat position with feet wide, weight in your heels, low abs engaged, hips back and a dumbbell held at your chest with both hands. Staying low in a squat, jump your feet in close together as you scoop the dumbbell down and around to the left of your left leg. As the weight comes up and back to center, jump your feet out wide again to the starting position. Repeat, this time scooping the dumbbell down and around to the right side of your legs as you jump them close together. The goal is to stay low in a squat as you jack your feet in and out, fluidly scooping the dumbbell side to side like a figure eight or canoe oar.

Right, center, left, center = 1 rep

Rolling Full-Body Crunches | For these, you just alternate between a side v-up crunch on your right side, then roll onto your back for a regular full-body crunch, then roll onto your left side for another side v-up, back to center, and so on. Start laying on your right side with right arm stretched outwards on the ground for support. Do a side crunch, lifting your legs up and crunching the knees in to meet your left elbow and raised torso. Lower down and roll onto your back with arms overhead and legs straight out, hovering a couple inches off the floor (to make these challenging, try your best to never let your feet rest on the floor, even while rolling from side to side). From this position, bend your knees into your chest at the same time as you crunch your torso off the floor. Slowly release back down onto your back and roll over to your left side for your next side v crunch.

Right, center, left, center = 1 rep

WEARING | Power leggings c/o Sweaty Betty (old but you can shop their current selection) // Kindness tank c/o Aurum // Nike TR Flex Supreme sneakers

If you choose to time yourself, feel free to leave it in the comments for a little friendly competition. Granted, I was pausing to give modifications and a few form explanations, but it took me 16:39 while filming the video.