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 REPEATS x5
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
Enjoy the last bit of your long weekend for all those who have the day off today!