15-Minute Towel (or Slider) Workout

At Home Towel/Slider WorkoutI hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I spent mine up in Maine with my dad relaxing at the house and snowmobiling. It’s so pretty up here!

A photo posted by Nicole Perry (@nicoleperr) on

 

I have one more towel/slider workout today and then I’ll relax with all these faux-megaformer moves, promise. :)

15-Minute Towel (or Slider) Workout

Equipment I Used:

Set a timer for 15 rounds of 50 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. I know 10 seconds isn’t very long—it’s basically just giving you enough time to set up for the next exercise. If you’re a beginner, you can change the interval lengths (maybe do 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest). You’ll go through the following five exercises three times. At Home Towel/Slider Workout

Sliding Side-to-Back-to-Curtsey Lunges (Right) |

Your right leg will be the base leg; the towel will go under your left foot. Starting in a standing position, slide the left leg straight out to the left, bending your right knee down into a side lunge. Press through the right heel to come back up to standing and then transition smoothly into a back lunge, sliding the left foot back behind you as you bend the right knee. Again, press through that right heel to rise back up to standing and then slide the left foot to the right, shooting the left leg behind the right foot as you bend the right knee down into a curtsey lunge. Press back to standing and start from the top of the sequence.

Form cues to keep in mind:

  • The right knee should never stick out farther than the toes. To achieve this, think of sitting your hips and bum back into the lunges as you lower.
  • At the top of each lunge (when you’re standing), try not to lock your right knee straight. Keep a soft micro bend in it so that the muscles are still working (rather than shifting your bodyweight into a locked joint).
  • Keep your bodyweight in the right heel. The left foot is supporting little—if any—of your bodyweight.

Siding Side-to-Back-to-Curtsey Lunges (Left) |

Army Crawls |

These are fun! Well…”fun”. You know what I mean. :) The move is called Lizard in Lagree Fitness and it’s the feet that stay still while you move the carriage with your forearms (everyone loves to hate this move). Off the machine, put your feet on a towel and get into a plank with your forearms at the end of an exercise mat. Army crawl your way up the length of the mat, one forearm in front of the other, maintaining the plank position as you slide forward. When you can no longer go any farther forward, reverse the motion, crawling your forearms backward towards the starting edge of the mat. As you move, try to keep your hips level in a plank. They’ll want to dip side to side with each step of the forearms; use your core strength to stabilize them. Beginners: you can do these from your knees, just make sure to add an extra towel for padding.

Hip Bridge Heel Sliders |

Start in a bridge position, feet on a towel stacked underneath your knees, shoulders, neck and head resting on the ground with arms by your side. Squeeze your glutes and core to lift your hips off the ground so that from shoulders to knees is a straight, diagonal line. From this starting position, start to slide your feet out, straightening your legs and rolling onto your heels. Try to keep your butt off the ground, even at your farthest extension. When you’ve gone as low as you can comfortably go, drag your heels inward, coming to a flat foot as you slide your feet back to the starting position. A note about form: This goes for any hip bridge exercise, but especially when you’re adding in these sliding hamstring curls: you don’t want to overextend your low back. It’s the smallest change in position (as you can see below), but think of it as the difference between engaging and not engaging your abs. In the picture to the left, I’m engaging the backside of my body to keep my hips lifted: squeezing my glutes and back, but not activating the front of my core. You can tell by the slight upward arch of my midsection. In the picture to the right, I’ve engaged my whole core, pulling my abs in tight with a slight upward tuck of the pelvis. My low back is not over-stressed, and the top of my body forms a straight diagonal line. Hip Bridge Exercise - tips for proper form Beginners: you can do these from a crab bridge position (think of the crab walk you used to do as a kid). Support yourself on your hands instead of resting shoulders on the floor, keep your hips lifted, and slide the feet out and in from this all-fours position. 

Windshield Wipers in Plank |

Start in a forearm plank position with feet on a towel, shoulders stacked over elbows. From here, you’re going to swish both feet to the left, squeezing the left sidebody. Swish them back to center, then to the right. Continue: left, center, right, center. Maybe my floor just was a little sticky, but these had to be one-part slide, one-part hop for me in order to get a full range of movement. Keep this exercise in mind, too, if you struggle with windshield wipers laying on your back. At Home Towel/Slider Workout - just 15 minutes long!

WEARING | tank & leggings: Fabletics // sneakers: Nike (similar here)

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“Ups” Pyramid Workout with Cardio Intervals

"Ups" Pyramid Workout with Cardio Intervals on the Treadmill (Push Ups, V Ups & Pull Ups--that's it!)Chin ups, sit ups, push ups. We’re keeping things super simple with today’s workout. Pull ups and chin 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 chin ups, .5 mile run. Round two = 9 push ups, 9 v ups, 9 chin 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 chin 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 & Chin 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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