Weighted Core Workout (Time Pyramid)

20-Minute Weighted Core Workout

Are you guys sick of core workouts? I know I post a ton, but the reasons I love them are many:

  • It all comes back to the core. Even when you’re isolating the legs or arms in an exercise, your core is working — they do attach there, afterall! Core strength and stability leads to better posture and alignment, reduced back pain, better control of the extremities and so much more.
  • Your form in other exercises improves if you have a strong core. Continuing my first point, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my ability to properly do exercises like push ups, deadlifts–the list goes on–as my core strength has improved.
  • Core workouts are great to pair with cardio. Especially with the long runs I’ve been doing for marathon training, I love having quick(er) core workouts on hand that don’t exhaust the legs.
  • It’s personal. My stomach (low belly specifically), has admittedly always been a bit of a frustration for me. Everyone’s body distributes weight differently (yay genetics), and that area happens to be the last place from which I lose fat. I swear if I gained 10 pounds, 8 of them would go to the five inches below my belly button. Something that’s helped me accept and love this part of my body is focusing on what it can do rather than how it looks. Sure, you can’t see a six pack, but my core is strong AF and I’m damn proud. I love working to improve my core strength and function!

Weighted Core Workout (Time Pyramid)

Equipment I Used:

This workout will take you 20 minutes to complete. You’ll go through the circuit three times, each time through reducing the amount of time spent on each exercise. Here’s a breakdown:

60 seconds each exercise (no rest between exercises)
Rest 60 seconds
45 seconds each exercise (no rest between exercises)
Rest 60 seconds
30 seconds each exercise (no rest between exercises)

The flow of the workout is a method used on the megaformer: Focus on one side of the body, center the work, focus on the other side, center. 20-Minute Weighted Core Workout

Thread the Needle Plank Rotation RIGHT | Start in a plank position with hands underneath shoulders, right hand gripping the dumbbell. Once you start the movement, you won’t return to this position (dumbbell won’t touch floor again). Rotate your body open to the right, dropping your heels so that you’re on the edges of your feet in a staggered side plank position. As you do reach the dumbbell up to the ceiling. Twist back to center plank, rolling back to the balls of your feet and squaring your hips as you wrap the dumbbell through the space between the floor and your chest, reaching it across your body to the left side of the room (like you’re giving yourself a one-arm hug). Reverse the movement, rotating back open into side plank, extending the weight back up to the ceiling.

This one will work both sides of your obliques (right as you twist through center threading the needle), left as you twist open and support your bottom sidebody. I always feel it more in the side holding the weight though.

Russian Twist Sit Ups RIGHT | Start laying on your back with legs outstretched and hovering a couple inches off the ground. Holding a dumbbell in your hands, arms should be outstretched overhead and hovering as well. From this starting position, crunch up, bringing your knees in towards your chest as you lift your shoulder blades off the ground and bring the weight up and over to the right of your legs. Twist through your waist as you do this, stopping the weight a couple inches off the ground and then extending back out, lowering to starting position. Repeat, crunching and twisting in the same direction the whole time.

The goal is to never bring the legs and/or med ball to rest on the ground when you extend out and crunch up.

Side Plank Row and Leg Left RIGHT | Start in a side plank position, right hand stacked under right shoulder, dumbbell in left hand (start with a straight left arm, weight held a few inches off the ground. From here, row the left elbow straight up towards the ceiling, bringing the weight up towards your upper ribs/armpit. As you do this, lift the top left leg up to a hover (without letting your hips sag down!). Pause at the top and then lower the weight and leg back to starting position.

Even though it’s the top left arm and leg that are moving, the right obliques are targeted as you work to keep the hips lifted in the side plank position.

Weighted Sit Ups (weight to chest) | Simple move, yet so challenging! Start laying on you back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor about hips width apart. Hold a dumbbell at your chest. From here, you’re going to do a sit up, crunching your shoulders then full back off the floor, bringing your chest in towards your knees. The challenge? Keep the dumbbell touching your chest the entire movement and keep your feet touching the ground.

You’ll be tempted to extend the dumbbell out in front of you to facilitate the sit up. Your heels may want to lift to a hover. Don’t let either happen! I’ll actually flip my grip on the weight so that i’m holding it secure into my chest and don’t have the option to extend it away.

Thread the Needle Plank Rotation LEFT

Russian Twist Sit Ups LEFT

Side Plank Row and Leg Left LEFT

Full-Body Crunch | Start laying on your back with legs outstretched and hovering a couple inches off the ground. Holding a weight in your hands, arms should be outstretched overhead and hovering as well. From this starting position, crunch up, bringing your knees in towards your chest as you lift your shoulder blades off the ground and bring the weight up and over towards your shins. Extend back out, lowering to starting position. The goal is to never bring the legs and/or weight to rest on the ground when you extend back out. 20-Minute Weighted Core Workout

WEARING | tank c/o New Balance // Lululemon leggings (old but you can shop their current selection here) // Nike Flex Supreme TR 3 sneakers (on sale now … kinda–like $5 off haha)

Housekeeping

Shop and save for a cause!

ToeSox is offering my readers 15% off any purchase with code pumpsandiron. A portion of the sales go to my Boston Marathon fundraiser benefiting the Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired. The code expired tomorrow afternoon so if you haven’t taken advantage of it yet, get shopping! 😉

Lokai SnapChat Takeover

Tomorrow I’m taking over Lokai‘s SnapChat! I’ll be sharing some at-home workout moves and a yummy smoothie bowl recipe. Follow along @livelokai!

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20-Minute BOSU Interval Workout

20-min-bosu-interval-workout-1Hopefully no one remembers when I excitedly announced I’d be posting BOSU workouts to the blog starting in Fall (of 2015) …

I’m the worst.

But let’s just focus on how exciting it is to add a new piece of equipment into the mix! I love using the BOSU ball for balance work, and hopefully you do, too because I’ll be posting more and more routines with it (in addition to all the usual stuff!).

20-Minute BOSU Interval Workout


Equipment I Used:

The focus of this workout is lower body, but there are lots of compound exercises that’ll hit your upper body and core as well. Set an interval timer for 20 rounds of 45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest. You’ll go through the following circuit of five exercises four times20-Minute BOSU Interval Workout - this one will focus on your lower body but uses compound exercises that engage the upper body and core as well

BOSU Squat Jumps with Pulses at Bottom | Pulse, pulse, jump; pulse, pulse, jump. Start in a low squat position on the BOSU, feet about hips width apart. In this lowest squat, pulse twice (up an inch, down an inch, up an inch, down an inch) while your legs work to stabilize you on the ball. After your second pulse, take it to a jump squat, pressing through the feet as you jump upward, and then landing softly back on the ball, fluidly sinking right back down into the low squat position. If you don’t feel comfortable jumping on the BOSU ball, just do a regular squat (pulse, pulse, squat). 

BOSU Torso Twist in Lunge (right) | Start in a low lunge position with front foot on the BOSU ball and a weight (dumbbell or med ball work) held in both hands, arm extended out in front of you at chest height. From this starting position, twist your torso over the front leg (if right foot is forward, twist to the right), keeping arms straight as you do. You want your whole upper half moving as one unit on this—imagine your waist is a wet towel that you’re wringing out as you twist. Twist back to center.

BOSU Torso Twist in Lunge (left)

BOSU Squat Hop Burpees | Start in a plank position with your hands on the BOSU ball. From here, hop your feet forward to the floor, releasing your hands so that you land in a low, wide squat position. Staying low, hop both feet up and onto the BOSU ball. Pause there for three seconds, stabilizing in your low squat. Then quickly reverse the sequence, hoping off the BOSU to a wide floor squat and then jumping the feet back as you land in high plank.

Everything should be done quickly except for the pause in a squat on the BOSU. Plank, quick hop floor squat, quick hop BOSU squat and hooooold, quick hop floor squat, quick hop plank, quick hop floor squat, and so on…

BOSU Truck Driver (flip the BOSU) | Flip the BOSU ball over so that the rounded part is on the floor. Start by standing on the overturned BOSU, squatting down, weight in your heels, hips down and back, core engaged and chest open. Hold a dumbbell on its 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 hands were on a steering wheel. Try not to bend the arms or let them drop below chest height as you rotate them back and forth. 20-Minute BOSU Interval Workout - this one will focus on your lower body but uses compound exercises that engage the upper body and core as well

WEARING | Tank c/o Lucy (sold out but similar HERE) // Terez leggings / (use code nicole25 for 25% off any purchase) // Bra c/o Lululemon // Nike Flex Supreme TR 3 sneakers

What are your favorite BOSU ball exercises? Let me know and I’ll incorporate them into a future workout!

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15-Minute Legs & Butt Slider Workout (+Video!)

15-Minute Slider Workout - focus on legs & butt | pumpsandiron.comIt’s about damn time I started doing these workouts in video form! I know it’s Thursday, but with today as an exception, I plan to upload a new workout video & post every Tuesday. Keeping on that schedule will be helpful in planning shoots and editing.

I figured it’d be fitting to kick off the workout videos with something similar to what I teach in Boston on the megaformers. All you’ll need is on object that’ll allow you to slide across the floor (glider, dish towel, etc.). I recently made the genius discovery that the duster pads you put on a Swiffer mop work PERFECTLY for this (with the added “bonus” of cleaning your floor as you workout).

Watch the Video

Let’s do the workout together! How exciting is this?? Watch the workout below in real time and follow me on YouTube.

15-Minute Legs & Butt Slider Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • Slider (I used a Swiffer duster pad but you can use a dish towel or anything that glides across your floor)
  • Exercise mat

FYI This workout is going to make waaaaay more sense if you follow along with the video. But in the best way I can describe it through writing, the workout is made up of a few exercises, with variations within each move. For example, you’ll do a lunge for two minutes but within those two minutes there’ll be pulses and slides to switch it up. I’m calling the major exercise grouping “complexes” in the below descriptions. 15-Minute Slider Workout - focus on legs & butt | pumpsandiron.com

Squat Complex

Numbers indicate seconds (how long to stay on each part).

  • [30] Squat 
  • [15] Pulse | Hold the bottom of your squat and from there, pulse up an inch and down an inch
  • [15] Hold | Hold your lowest squat point.

Single-Leg Squat Complex on the Right

Do this twice through (numbers indicate seconds):

  • [30] Single Leg Squat | Start standing with your  right foot on the exercise mat and your left foot on the towel. Sink down in a squat on the right side, bending the right knee and shifting your weight into the heel as you shift your hips back and down. Your left leg will stay straight as you slide it out to the side. Try to keep the weight of your torso over the right heel (don’t transfer weight into your left foot). To accomplish this, picture you’re sitting straight back into a chair on your right side; don’t let your hips shift out to the side with the left foot, press them back and down over the right heel. When you’ve reached your lowest squat on the right side, push through the right heel to stand back up, stopping with a soft, micro-bend in the right knee.
  • [15] Pulses | Hold the bottom of your squat and from there, pulse up an inch and down an inch by pressing up through your right heel. The non-target leg should slide a little across the floor as you pulse up and down on the right leg.
  • [15] Skate Non-Working Leg | Hold the bottom of your squat and keeping your bodyweight in the right heel, bend your left knee, sliding the left foot in towards the right and then extending the leg back out straight to the side. Keep your left foot light; just gingerly slide it across the floor, focusing on the isometric hold on your right, target side.

Lunge Complex on the Right

Do this twice through (numbers indicate seconds):

  • [30] Sliding Back Lunge | Start with your right foot on an exercise mat and the ball of your left foot planted on the floor a few inches behind. Keeping your bodyweight in the right heel, start to slide backwards into a deep lunge, bending the right knee as your hips slide back and down and your left foot glides straight back behind you. When you reach your lowest point, press through the right heel as you straight the right leg and rise back up. Don’t lock the knee out straight at the top; keep a soft micro-bend in it and then slide right back down into your next lunge. Back left heel should stay lifted the whole time.
  • [15] Pulses | From your lowest lunge point (right knee should be at a 90-degree bend if possible), pulse up an inch and down an inch by pushing up through your right heel. It’s a tiny straightening and bending of the right knee, not a dipping of the back knee.
  • [15] Back Knee Pulls | From your lowest lunge point (right knee should be at a 90-degree bend if possible), hinge forward at hips slightly so that the weight of your torso is over the right leg rather than completely upright. Keeping your bodyweight in your right heel and staying low on the right leg, bend your back left knee as you slide the left foot forward and then extend it back out behind you. Try not to transfer your bodyweight into the left foot as you do it—keep it light as it slides across the floor.

Finish with

  • [15] Long Jump Hold | Hold your lowest lunge point (right knee should be at a 90-degree bend if possible) and hinge forward with your torso until your chest hovers above your thigh. Extend your arms behind you. Hold the position.

Single-Leg Bear Complex on the Right

  • [45] Single-Leg Bear | Start in a plank position with your right foot on the slider and your left leg hovering in the air. Do a bear crunch with the right side, sliding your right knee in towards your elbow and then extending the leg back out in a plank while your left leg hovers. Torso stays in tabletop as you do this (you should feel your quad work).

Modify it. This one is a killer. To make it easier, hook your left foot over your right ankle as you do it. I personally alternate between the advanced version and this modified version throughout the 45 seconds. 15-Minute Slider Workout - focus on legs & butt | pumpsandiron.com

  • [15] Single-Leg Bear Tabletop Hold | Stop the movement with your right knee bent at 90 degrees, knee hovering a couple inches off the floor, body in tabletop. Your left leg is hovering extending out straight behind you. Engage your core and close your eyes if needed–that right quad should be on fire holding this position after everything you just did!

[60] Forearm Plank

Repeat from Top on the Left

Get 15% Off for a Good Cause

15-Minute Slider Workout - focus on legs & butt | pumpsandiron.comWEARING | grip socks & leg warmers c/o ToeSox (see below for discount code) // Michi leggings (sold out but similar style HERE) // Fabletics tank (sold out but similar from Nike HERE) // bra c/o WITH

I’ve mentioned ToeSox on the blog a bunch because I’m obsessed with their thigh-high leg warmers and wear the grip socks while teaching megaformer classes all the time. In the most generous gesture, they’re offering you all 15% off any order with the code pumpsandiron. A portion of all sales using that code will be donated to The Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired, the charity my marathon fundraiser is benefiting. Amazing! So if you need an excuse to shop without the buyer’s remorse, here it is. 🙂

Thanks for your support!

I welcome all feedback, both positive and negative (as long as  you’re not a dick about it haha). I want these videos to be helpful so let me know what you’d like to see from them moving forward if this one isn’t cutting it!

Any old workouts from the archives you’d like in video form? I plan to post new workout videos every Tuesday but I’m also happy to go back and make videos for workouts that I’ve already posted. If there are any that you found too confusing to follow via pictures, let me know in the comments!

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