Hill Pyramid Workout with Strength Training Tabatas

Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body)Hello from Maine! I’m up at my parents’ place enjoying a final morning of beautiful views before heading back down to Boston. There’s no phone service up here and I only get wifi at a couple places in town so it’s a forced unplugging that I need once in a while. :)

Hill Repeat Pyramid with Strength Training Tabatas

The running part of this workout is as hard as you make it–if your hill is long/steep, it’ll be a doozy. If you want more of a quick cardio blast in between the tabatas, pick an easier hill length/grade. I did this outside in the North End between teaching classes Friday on a short but steep hill (it probably took me 25 strides to get from the bottom to the top).

The hill sets get shorter and shorter as you go. First set = 5 repeats; next set = 4 repeats; all the way down to one. Sprint up the hill and jog down. If you’re doing this on a treadmill, you’d just reduce the incline and speed in between each sprint.

In between each hill set, you’ll do a tabata superset that focuses on the core and upper body. A tabata is 8 rounds of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest. You’ll alternate between two exercises in each tabata. For example, 20 seconds of marching plank, rest 10 seconds, 20 seconds of push ups, rest, and so on for a total of 4 minutes. Full detailed breakdown below the image.

Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body)

HILL REPEATS x5

TABATA 1

  • Marching Plank | You’re essentially just moving from low plank to high plank, up and down. Starting in a forearm plank position, press up into a high plank, one hand at a time. Reverse the movement when you’re in a high plank, lowering onto one forearm at a time.
  • Push Ups | I’m working on push ups with my hands close to my body rather than wide (because I’m bad at them and they need improving!) so I did them like this: Start in a plank position with your hands stacked underneath your shoulders. From here, roll forward slightly onto your toes so that your hands are now a little further back, aligned with your ribs (this will allow you to bend elbows to 90 degrees). Keeping your elbows close to your body, lower down to a low push up position and then press through your hands to rise back up, straightening your arms.

HILL REPEATS x4

TABATA 2

  • Full-body Crunch | Start laying on your back with legs outstretched and hovering a couple inches off the ground. Arms should be outstretched overhead and hovering as well. From this starting position, crunch up, bringing your knees in towards your chest as you wrap your arms around your knees like a wide hug. Extend back out, lowering to starting position. The goal is to never bring the legs to rest on the ground when you extend back out.
  • Triceps Pulses | Start sitting down with legs outstretched and palms pressed to the ground by your sides. From here, press into your heels to lift your butt up a couple inches and forward a couple inches so that there’s space for you to bend into your elbows, pulsing your body up and down. Keep your elbows pointing straight back when you do these; don’t let them bow out to the sides.

HILL REPEATS x3

TABATA 3

  • Forearm Plank | Most of us are familiar with a plank, so just a couple form queues: think of stacking your joints, elbows directly below shoulders. Pull the lower abdomen in to protect the low back (think of pulling up your jeans’ zipper). Squeeze the quads above the knees—notice how engaging these muscles helps straighten out your body even more. Tuck the tailbone slightly and then fire up the entire abdomen by pulling the forearms and balls of feel in towards each other (you won’t actually move, you’ll just contract the muscles). Need more explanation? I did a whole post on common plank form errors).
  • Low Push Up Hold | For this, I want your hands close in to the sides of your body (tricep push up). To get into the hold with proper alignment, start in a plank position with your hands stacked underneath your shoulders. From here, roll forward slightly onto your toes so that your hands are now a little further back, aligned with your ribs (this will allow you to bend elbows to 90 degrees). Keeping your elbows close to your body, lower down to a low push up position and hold there with your body hovering off the ground, abs held in tight.Modify by holding the push up from your knees. Just make sure your hips are still lowered so that your butt isn’t sticking up into the air. Think of lowering from your knees rather than your hips to achieve this.

HILL REPEATS x2

TABATA 4

  • Mountain Sliders (alternate) | Start in a plank position with wrists aligned underneath shoulders, abs engaged and spine straight. From here, lift your right leg and bend your right knee in towards your right wrist, making physical contact if possible. From this starting position, you’re going to slide your knee up and down your arm, zipping it towards your armpit as you pull your abs in and round your back slightly up towards the ceiling (think of a mini-cat stretch) and then sliding it back down to the wrist. At the bottom, you want the knee at a hover; try not to rest it on the floor. The goal is to keep the knee lightly touching your arm the whole time, but just keep the knee pulled in as close to the arm as possible.
  • Side V-Ups (alternate) | Start laying on your side, balancing on that bottom hip/side butt area with your bottom hand on the floor in front of you for support. Top arm is bent with hand behind your head and elbow out wide; legs should be extended and hovering off the ground. This is your starting position. From here, you’re going to crunch up and in, bending your legs and bringing your knees in towards your top elbow as you lift your torso up and in to meet them. Use that bottom hand for support, but try to push off it minimally. Slowly lower back down and extend back out to a hover.

HILL REPEATS x1

Get 15% Off My Outfit with code PUMPS15

Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body)The leggings and sweatshirt I’m wearing in today’s post were given to me by my friends at ALALA (. I love them! This is my second pair of their leggings and the fit and function are great. The material is shinier (more spandex-y, if you will) than, for example, Lululemon leggings, so they’re great for sweaty workouts. You only need to be traumatized by butt sweat showing up in a group fitness class once to agree with me that this is an important detail to include in an activewear review. I’d finish that sentence with a “LOL” or “haha” but I’m currently having flashbacks to the time I taught a row class in dark pink Fabletics leggings …

(I really like Fabletics leggings BTW, but for yoga and Pilates–would only wear the *black* ones for cardio).

Anyway, ALALA performance aside, the design is so on-trend. The print with sheer panels on the leggings is perfect and THE FISHNET THUMB HOLES on the hoodie–don’t even get me started. I feel like I’m both a trendy fitness instructor and an 80’s rock band member.

ALALA skews on the pricier side of the athleticwear spectrum, so I’m excited to give you all a code for 15% off: PUMPS15 Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body) Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body)

Enjoy the last bit of your long weekend for all those who have the day off today!

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No-Slam Sandbag Pyramid Workout

No-Slam Sandbag Pyramid WorkoutI’ve mentioned a bunch on the blog how much I love boxing workouts at Peter Welch’s in Southie and other studios around Boston, so you can imagine how pumped I was to get to team up with Everlast. Boxing and MMA-inspired workouts are trendy right now for a reason—they’re SO FUN and extremely effective because the type of training is functional (Everlast FIT stands for Functional Integrated Training).

I was sent Everlast’s Universal FIT Gloves, 30-lb FIT Powercore Bag and Cardio Fitness Training Bag. The training bag isn’t meant to be hit hard (as I found out after throwing my first cross and completely knocking it over … not-so-humble brag?) so I’d recommend it more for speed work. I’m not going to include it in today’s workout because I don’t expect many people have one at home, so instead let’s focus on the Powercore Bag—any type of weighted bag can be used. No-Slam Sandbag Pyramid Workout No-Slam Sandbag Pyramid Workout

I’ve wanted a sandbag for my home gym forever, but I think my excitement was topped by Joe’s. Before I could even try it out, he started tossing it over his shoulder and body slamming it onto the ground like the wannabe professional wrestler that he is (haha). Someone who’s definitely not excited? Our downstairs neighbor. That’s why for today’s workout, I wanted to focus on some exercises you can do with a weighted bag that don’t involve slams.

No-Slam Sandbag Pyramid Workout

Equipment I Used:

Each time you go through the circuit of three exercises, you’ll perform one less rep of each. Start by doing 10 reps of each, then 9, then 8, all the way down to 1 rep. For the plank pulls and lunges, you’re alternating side to side so 10 reps really means 20 (10 reps to each side). No-Slam Sandbag Pyramid Workout

Clean to Front Squat | Start standing with the sandbag the long way on the floor, knees bent, butt back, back flat and straight arms gripping the bag handles. From here, you’re going to clean the back up and over your hands so that it lands cradled in your elbows, palms facing out. As you catch the bag at your chest, lower down in a deep squat. From there, power up to standing, squeezing your glutes and thrusting the hips forward. That’s one rep. Reverse the clean, returning the bag to the floor with control (don’t slam it down).

Tip: As the bag is coming over the tops of your hands to land in your arms, loosen your grip on the handles so that it doesn’t jerk your wrists back uncomfortably.

Crossbody Bag Pulls in Plank | Start in a plank position with the sandbag long to your left. Reach your right hand across your body to grab the top handle and pull the bag underneath you with enough power that it slides clear to your right. Reverse the movement, reaching your left hand under and across your body to grab the sandbag and pull it back to the starting side. As you do these, try to keep your hips level.

Front Lunge with Side Scoop | Start standing with feet hip’s width apart, holding the sandbag long ways in front of you. Lunge forward onto the right foot and as you do, sweep the sandbag to your right (think of paddling a boat), leading with the right hand. As you push off the front right foot to return to standing, swing the sandbag forward and back to center. Repeat to the left.

No-Slam Sandbag Pyramid Workout

WEARING | tank c/o Reebok // Nike bra // leggings c/o Sweaty Betty

I can’t wait to post more sandbag workouts! There is SO much you can do with them. You can check out Everlast to buy your own (take 15% off with code FitFluential) or follow them on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.

What’s your favorite way to workout with a sandbag?

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This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Everlast FIT.

Bodyweight Interval Pyramid Workout

Bodyweight Interval Pyramid Workout -- each time through the circuit, the interval length gets shorter and shorter. Each exercise ends with an isometric hold for added burn!

It doesn’t really matter how good or bad today’s workout is if I’m wearing these leggings … am I right or amirite?! Shopbop has long been one of my favorite sites for (window) shopping and my go-to for special occasion dresses, so it’s no surprise their activewear boutique is bananas. I’m beyond excited to be working with them, and for my first piece in our partnership, I couldn’t resist picking out these Kindai Frame Leggings from KORAL ACTIVEWEAR. The pattern, the mesh, the colors–they’re just too fun.

Ok back to the workout or whatever. It’s a great one to do at home, blah blah, interval timer, blah blah …

(But seriously, read on–it’s a good one!) 😉

Bodyweight Interval Pyramid Workout

Equipment I Used:

You’ll complete this circuit of exercises four times. Each exercise is made up of an interval of movement followed by a 15-second isometric hold (for example, jump squats and then holding a squat in stillness). Each time through the circuit, the interval of movement gets 15 seconds shorter. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Round 1: 60 seconds movement / 15 seconds isometric (for each exercise)
  • Round 2: 45 seconds movement / 15 seconds isometric (for each exercise)
  • Round 3: 30 seconds movement / 15 seconds isometric (for each exercise)
  • Round 4: 15 seconds movement / 15 seconds isometric (for each exercise)

Don’t rest between exercises, move from one right to the next. Once you’ve completed the circuit, rest for 30-60 seconds and then start back at the top (using shorter intervals). In total, this workout will take you just under 25 minutes. Bodyweight Interval Pyramid Workout -- each time through the circuit, the interval length gets shorter and shorter. Each exercise ends with an isometric hold for added burn!

Push Ups >> Low Push Up Hold

I’m doing push ups with my arms close to the body (triceps push ups, or the type you’d see in yoga) rather than hands wide apart because these are what I need to work on. This one killed me! For the 60-second and 45-second rounds, I did these modified on my knees and then for the shorter rounds I did them in a full plank position.

Start in a plank position with your hands stacked underneath your shoulders. From here, roll forward slightly onto your toes so that your hands are now a little further back, aligned with your ribs (this will allow you to bend elbows to 90 degrees). Keeping your elbows close to your body, lower down to a low push up position and then press through your hands to rise back up, straightening your arms.

For the hold, go to that low push up position, pull your belly button in towards your spine (this isn’t just for your arms—it’s a major core exercise!) and stay there.

Squat Jump >> Squat Hold

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.

For the hold, just sink right down to your lowest squat, weight in heels, abs engaged.

Bicycle Crunch Sit Ups >> Side Plank Hold (right)

Start laying on your back with your hands lightly behind your head, elbows bent out to the sides and chest open. Engage your abs, pulling your bellybutton down to the floor as you lift your legs off the ground about six inches to a hover. This is your starting position. From here, bend your right knee in towards your chest as you crunch your left elbow across to meet it, lifting your shoulders off the floor like a twisting sit-up. Your left leg should remain outstretched in a hover as you do this. Slowly return back to the starting position and continue, crunching in the same direction the entire time. The goal is to keep the legs off the ground the whole time, but if you need to modify, your left heel can quickly rest on the floor in between reps.

I’m not sure why I went with a side plank hold instead of just holding the bicycle crunch sit up at the top, but I did. Feel free to do either.

Bicycle Crunch Sit Ups >> Side Plank Hold (left)

Curtsy Lunge Hops >> Curtsy Lunge Hold (right)

Start standing with feet hip-width apart. From here, sink down into your curtsey lunge: right foot stays planted on the ground and as you bend that right knee, reach your left foot behind it as far to the right as you can until it hovers off the ground. To modify, plant the ball of your foot on the floor for stability instead. From this deep lunge position, you’re going to press up through the right foot, bringing the left knee up towards your chest as you hop straight up off your right foot. Make sure to engage your abs as you drive the knee up! Land softly on the right foot, immediately bending the knee and lowering into your next lunge.

For the hold, just stay still in that bottom low lunge position, balancing on your right foot while the left leg hovers (again, plat the left foot on the ground if you need to modify).

Curtsy Lunge Hops >> Curtsy Lunge Hold (left) Bodyweight Interval Pyramid Workout wearing KORAL ACTIVEWEAR leggings

WEARING | Kindai Frame Leggings from KORAL ACTIVEWEAR c/o shopbop // Nike sports bra & Colosseum tank c/o Kohl’s // Nike sneakers

Let’s end by talking about the friggin’ death rays I’m shooting out of my eyeballs with this intense stare. I think it’s just a bad picture but lord help me if that’s the face I naturally make while working out …death-ray-stare

Aaaand I’m done.

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