Quick Kettlebell Ladder (+My Lorna Jane Picks)

Hello, weekend, you beautiful thing!

I wanted to share the tutorial to the quick kettlebell workout I posted to my Facebook page earlier this week for anyone who’s unfamiliar with the exercises (and, of course, for all of you who don’t follow the blog on the ‘book). This took me just under 15 minutes to complete and was the perfect way to start the day. I was going to take a class at Btone later that night before teaching, but needed to do something before gluing my butt to my desk chair. This did the trick!

Quick Kettlebell Ladder

Equipment I Used:

  • 25-lb kettlebell

You’ll go through the following exercises five times. The first round, complete 50 reps of each. Next round: 40; and so on, down to a final round of 10 reps of each. For the side bends, split up your reps (for example, during the first round, you’d do 25 to the right and 25 to the left).

Quick Kettlebell Ladder

  • 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.
  • Figure 8 Squats: Start standing with feet a little more than hip width apart, holding the kettlebell in one hand. Squat down, and as you do, pass the bell through your legs to the other hand, tracing half of a figure 8. Stand up, squeezing that booty and popping your hips forward. Squat back down, finishing the figure 8 shape around your legs as you pass the kettlebell through your legs to the starting hand.
  • Standing Side Bends: These are sneaky! The first few reps you’ll feel like you aren’t doing anything, but man are these effective. My obliques were noticeably sore the next day. Stand upright with fieet hip-width apart, holding the kettlebell in your right hand. With your left hand on your hip or overhead (I have mine overhead in the pictures, but it doesn’t matter—do what’s comfortable), lean to the right, lowering the kettlebell towards the floor. Return to starting position using your core (arm isn’t moving or doing any of the work; your torso is where the movement originates). Split up the reps between sides. Round one, you’ll do 25 to the right and 25 to the left. Round two, 20 to each side, and so on.

Lorna Jane Picks

In today’s post I’m wearing the Coco Excel Zip Through and Berry Support Full Length Tight that Lorna Jane so graciously sent me. I was super excited about the top because black zip-ups are such a wardrobe essential—gym, running errands, grabbing lunch on the weekends. I actually lost the one I previous owned so thank you for the perfectly timed gift, LJ! In addition to the items I’m wearing, I wanted to share some of my other favorite picks from the brand (just in time for holiday shopping wink wink).

Keeping It Real Tank // Sabina Stripe Bra // Erica Active ¾ Pant // Cruz 7/8 Tight // Mia Excel Tank Bra Combo

Lorna Jane also sent me their 2015 Move Nourish Believe Diary which is essentially a weekly planner with healthy recipes, workouts and pictures thrown in. To go along with it, LJ has the Move Nourish Believe site that covers all things health and fitness (sort of like an online magazine meets blog)–check it out! In particular, this Beetroot Crust Pizza looks delish and I loved this article comparing cold press juicers to centrifugal juicers.

Enjoy your weekend! If you’re in Boston and looking to get a workout in, I’m subbing tomorrow morning at Btone and there are a couple spots left in the morning classes. Sign up here! :)

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This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Lorna Jane.

25-Minute Bodyweight Interval Ladder Workout

25-Minute Bodyweight Interval Pyramid WorkoutWhenever I don’t feel like working out (but, ya know, should), I always do a pyramid workout. The structure makes it so much easier to psych yourself up to make it to the end because the rounds get shorter and shorter as you go, getting the worst out of the way first. This is basically my internal dialogue during pyramid workouts (@fuckjerry is HILARIOUS to follow on Instagram, BTW):

25-Minute Bodyweight Interval Ladder Workout

There are five exercises in this workout and you’ll go through them four times, with the intervals getting shorter each round. The first time through, you do each for 2 minutes. The second round: 90 seconds. The third: 1 minute. The final: 30 seconds each. At the end of each round, rest for 30-sec to 1-minute. Don’t rest between exercises in the round; move from one right to the other until you’ve completed each of the exercises.

You could just watch the clock, but I used my break in between each round to quickly reset my interval timer. First round: 5 rounds of 2 mins work and 0 sec rest (so that it just beeps every 2 minutes, signaling the next exercise). For the second, I just quickly dropped the 2 min interval down to 90 sec, keeping all the other settings the same.

25-Minute Bodyweight Interval Pyramid Workout

  • Spider Man Lunges to Frog Stamp: Start in a plank position, hands aligned under shoulders. Keeping hips level, step your right foot up by the outside of your right hand. Step it quickly back to plank and then repeat on the left side. Once you’ve done one of these spiderman lunges to each side, from the plank position, jump both feet up towards the outside of your hands, landing in a wide-stance crouching position, and then jump the feet quickly back to plank.
  • Alternating Jump Lunge to Jump Squat: Jump squat, right-foot-forward jump lunge, jump squat, left-foot-forward jump lunge…and so on and so on. Start in a squat, feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, knees stacked over ankles, butt down and back. Jump up and land in a lunge position, right foot forward, ball of the left foot back, both knees bent to 90 degrees. Jump up again, landing back in a squat. Repeat, this time with the left foot forward in your lunge and right foot back.
  • Rolling V Crunches: For these, you just alternate between a side v-up crunch on your right side, then roll onto your back for a regular v-up 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, do a v-up crunch, lifting your straight legs up towards the ceiling as the same time as you lift your torso off the floor, bringing your hands up towards your toes. Slowly release back down onto your back and roll over to your left side for your next side crunch.
  • Mountain Climber Burpees: These are regular burpees, except you do 10 mountain climbers at the bottom of each. So the full sequence of one looks like this: start standing; squat down, placing your hands by your feet; jump your feet back into a plank position; do 10 mountain climbers, driving your knees up towards your chest one at a time (like horizontal running) while holding the plank position; jump both feet back up towards hands; shift weight into feet and come upright, jumping up with arms overhead; land and go right into your next rep.
  • Skaters: These are like side-to-side leaping courtesy lunges. Leap to the right, landing on your right foot and bending down to touch the ground by your foot with your left hand as you swoop your left foot behind the right (think of a courtesy). Come up, leaping left and reversing the move. Keep it going quickly, back and forth, trying to never let that back foot come to rest on the ground—keep the weight in the foot you land on.

25-Minute Bodyweight Interval Pyramid WorkoutAnd in Trendy Sh*t I Wish I Could Afford news, aren’t these Lucas Hugh leggings fun?? You sort of feel like you’re stepping into a wetsuit, but once they’re on—bam!—nothing is jiggling in those babies. It’s like wearing chic Spanx. These are another piece of eye candy from the selection of workout apparel Btone has at the Sudbury and Boston locations that have been taunting me the past few months. :)

Some additional Lucas Hugh window shopping splurges:

Let me know what you think of the workout if you try it! It’s a great one to do if you’re traveling—no equipment needed and quick, just the way I like ‘em!

P.S. I shot these pictures a couple months ago and looking through this post is making me seriously miss my long hair!

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Mini Superset Pyramids Workout

mini-superset-pyramids-workout-16Disclosure: 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.

This marks my third time teaming up with Target® and their C9 collection, which is pretty exciting—if you had told me when I first started this blog that companies as big-time as Tar-jey (I prefer the classier French pronunciation) would want to work with me, I definitely wouldn’t have believed you. For today’s post, I got to pick out a couple items from the C9 line and went with the Short Sleeve Slub Yoga Tee in rain cloud and white and the Premium Leggings in stately blue (it’s more of a purple in person though).

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I thought the pattern of the leggings was fun and different from any other pair I own, and they proved to be super comfortable—very supportive and with a super wide waistband (a must!). I chose the tees because of how versatile they are and liked the rolled sleeves look. I can wear these when working out or teaching, as well as with jeans for a casual everyday look.target-c9-style-haul

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Today I’m wearing my Target® C9 picks in a bodyweight workout made up of five mini pyramids. I did a similar one with my Tone ‘N Torch class at Btone the other week and it was a winner. I’d say if you’re advanced, you could finish it in about 20 minutes. If you’re a beginner, set aside 30+ minutes for sure.

Mini Superset Pyramids Workout

For each of the following supersets (pairs of exercises), you’ll do a 10-to-1 pyramid. That means 10 reps of each, then 9 reps of each, and so on, down to 1 rep of each. When you finish a superset, take a 30-60 second break and then move onto the next superset.

Mini Superset Pyramids Workout

Superset 1 | Jump Lunges & Mountain Climbers

  • Jump Lunges: 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 with the front knee aligned over ankle and the back knee hovering just a couple inches off the floor. From here, push off your feet to jump up in the air, switching feet mid-air and landing back in a lunge with left foot forward and right foot planted behind. Continue, alternating feet with each jump. Each set of jumps = 1 rep (every time right foot is in front = 1).
  • Mountain Climbers: These are like doing high knees in a plank position. Start in a plank, hands stacked underneath shoulders, core squeezing in tight (don’t let your low back sag or your butt stick up in the air). From this position, drive one knee at a time up towards your chest, like running horizontally. The pace on these should be quick. Each set (left, right) = 1 rep (every time right knee is in front = 1).

Superset 2 | Jumping Crab Kicks & Side-to-Side Elbow Plank Hops

  • Jumping Crab Kicks: Start in a crab position: feet on ground, knees bent, hands on ground underneath your shoulders, body facing upwards. Lift one foot into the air, straightening that leg. This is your starting position. From here, you’re going to alternate kicking one leg into the air and then the next, switching feet mid-air so that there’s never more than one foot on the ground at a time (hence jumping crab kick instead of just a crab kick, in which you’d return the foot to the ground before kicking up the other). Your whole body will be working during these: you lower your bum and bend the elbows (almost like a triceps dip) to prep for the jump kick, and then push through the hands, thrusting the pelvis upward to give you time to switch feet mid-air before landing. Each set (right, left) = 1 rep.
  • Side-to-Side Elbow Plank Hops: Start in a forearm plank (elbows stacked underneath shoulders, core pulled in tight—don’t let your low back sag or your butt stick up in the air). From here, hop your feet in unison to the right, back to center, to the left, and back to center (that’s one rep). While you hop, try to hold your body in a straight line, not letting your bum pike up into the air. One rep = right, center, left, center.

Superset 3 | Skaters & Jump Squats

  • Skaters: These are like side-to-side leaping curtsy lunges. Leap to the right, landing on your right foot and bending down to touch the ground by your foot with your left hand as you swoop your left foot behind the right (think of a curtsy). Come up, leaping left and reversing the move. Keep it going quickly, back and forth, trying to never let that back foot come to rest on the ground—keep the weight in the foot you land on. Each set (to the right, to the left) = 1 rep.
  • Jump Squats: Feet about shoulder-width apart, squat down, sending your hips and butt back and down (not the knees forward!). Bring your hands in front of you as you sink down. From there, explosively jump straight up, swinging your arms back behind you as you do. Land softly and sink right back into a squat, hands swinging forward.

Superset 4 | Burpees & Full-body Crunches

  • Burpees: Start standing, feet about shoulder-width apart. Squat down, bringing your hands to the ground by your feet and jump both feet back into a plank position. Quickly jump your feet back up by your hands and shift the weight into your feet, bring torso upright into a low squat position. From here, jump up, arms overhead. Land softly on your feet, sinking right back down into a squat and starting from the top.
  • Full-Body Crunches: Start in a seated position balancing on your tailbone, hands lightly on the ground by your side for support, feet lifted off the ground and torso leaning back, core engaged. Extend your legs out straight in front of you as you lean back further (feet should be hovering), and then crunch everything inward, bringing your knees into your chest and sitting up a little straighter, abs in tight.

Superset 5 | Reptile Push Ups & Jump Tucks

  • Reptile Push Ups: Start in push up position (a plank with hands aligned under shoulders). As you lower down, crunch your right knee forward, in towards the right shoulder, squeezing those obliques. Return the foot back to the ground as you press back up into high plank position. Repeat, this time on the left. Each push up = 1 rep.
  • Jump Tucks: Jump up into the air, using your core to pull your knees up towards your chest. Lower them quickly in time to land. You’ll want to bend your knees, sinking into a squat to prep for the jump, and you’ll land this same way, sinking into a squat to absorb the landing. As you jump up bring your hands in front of your rib cage and try to hit them with your knees.

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