30-Minute At-Home Workout

30-Minute At-Home WorkoutDisclosure: 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.

As much as I complain about Boston winters, I really don’t think I could live without all four seasons. Each one brings with it a new routine, new clothing options, new scenery and new activities. I’m teaming up with my friends at Target® to share some of my favorite wintertime activities. I’ve also included an at-home workout for those days you’d rather not deal with that winter weather (aka every day except the first snowfall of the season…)

My Favorite Ways to Stay Active during the Winter

winter-activities1 | Skiing/Snowboarding

I usually only make it to a mountain one or two times a year, but I always cram in as much skiing or snowboarding as possible. Last year it was a trip to Vail.

2 | Snowmobiling

You might not think sitting on a machine counts as being active, but steering that thing is a serious upper-body workout! My dad has a few snowmobiles up at our Maine house and it’s always fun taking them out for a spin.

3 | Snowshoeing

I had never tried snowshoeing until a couple winters ago around my parents’ Maine house, but it’s a really fun winter version of hiking.

4 | Investing in a gym/studio membership for cardio.

For me, it’s worth it. I used to muscle through outdoor runs all winter long, but now that just seems like torture. The occasional cold-weather run on more mild days is nice, but now when winter hits, I spend the extra money to take my cardio indoors. That used to mean buying a trial gym membership to use the treadmills, but this year it will probably mean a combination of spinning studios, Barry’s Bootcamp and Indorow.

5 | Working out right in the comfort of my warm, cozy apartment.

I live in New England. Winters aren’t pretty. There are days when not only do I not want to workout outside, but I don’t even want to walk outside in order to get to a gym or studio for an indoor workout. Hello, at-home workouts!30-Minute At-Home Workout

And speaking of which…

30-Minute At-Home Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • A set of 8-lb weights (adjust to your fitness level)
  • A chair (any elevated surface will work)
  • Exercise mat

This workout is broken up into 6 parts: you’ll spend 5 minutes on each body part before moving onto the next. Think of it as 6 little AMRAPs. Set a timer (or just watch the clock) for 5 minutes. You’ll go through the given exercises for that body part as many times as possible before those 5 minutes are up. When you finish, grab a drink of water, take a quick break, and then move onto the next body part.

If you’re a beginner, you might just want to stay on each body part for 3-4 minutes. If you’re more advanced, add on some time, staying on each for 6-7 minutes.

30-Minute At-Home Workout

ABS | Set a timer for 5 minutes. Complete as many rounds of the following as possible.

  • 10 Starfish Crunches: These are the bane of my existence in Barry’s Bootcamp classes. Start lying on your back with arms overhead. Arms and legs should be out wide so that your body is forming an “x” shape on the ground. From here, lift your legs an inch off the ground, engaging your core. The goal is to never let them come to rest, but if you’re a beginner, do so in between reps. From this starting position, crunch up, bringing your right leg straight up into the air as you bring your left arm up and across your body to touch that right foot (get as close as you can—it’s ok if you don’t actually make contact). Slowly lower back to starting and then repeat on the other side: right hand coming up to meet left foot.
  • 50 Bicycle Crunches: Start lying on your back, hands behind your head (but not pulling on your head) and legs extended straight out, hovering off the floor a couple inches. From here, bend your left knee in, keeping the right leg extended out straight, and crunch your upper back up off the floor, twisting the right elbow across your body to meet the left knee. Repeat to the other side, fluidly moving from one side to the next, legs alternating in a pedaling motion. Don’t move so quickly through these that you aren’t extending your leg out completely straight with each rep. Each crunch (not each set) = 1.
  • 10 Side Plank Lifts with a Knee Crunch (RIGHT): Start in a side plank with your right hand on the floor directly underneath your shoulder. From here, lower your hips towards the floor and then engage that right sidebody to lift the hips back up. Next, crunch your left knee in towards your left elbow while keeping your hips up (don’t let them sag down as you do the crunch—right oblique is still engaged!). That’s one rep.
  • 10 Side Plank Lifts with a Knee Crunch (LEFT)

RIGHT LEG | Set a timer for 5 minutes. Complete as many rounds of the following as possible.

  • 15 Curtsey Lunges to Calf Raise: 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 the ball of the left foot is planted on the ground as well. From this deep lunge position, you’re going to slowly stand up on the right foot, bringing the left foot back to center and then up, knee towards chest. As you do this, press through the ball of your right foot, lifting the right foot up for your calf raise. Lower the right heel back to the ground, going right into your next lunge.
  • 15 Knee Drivers in Low Lunge: Start in a deep lunge: right foot planted on the ground (keep weight in your heel) with knee bent to a 90 degree angle and the ball of your left foot planted on the floor as far back as you can extend that leg. Your goal is to stay this low on your right leg the whole time. Keeping all your bodyweight in the right heel, drive your left knee forward, in towards your chest and then extend the leg back out, ball of foot tapping lightly back into starting position before going right into your next drive. You want to shift as little weight as possible into your left foot while doing this (focus on that isometric hold on the right).
  • 15 Step Ups: Start with right foot planted on a stepper, bench or chair. This will be your base leg: keep it planted on the stepper with the majority of your bodyweight in that heel through the duration of the exercise. As you step up, lift your back knee up, driving it into your chest at the top. Lower back down, lightly touching your back foot to the floor before driving powerfully right back up.

LEFT LEG | Set a timer for 5 minutes. Complete as many rounds of the following as possible.

  • 15 Curtsey Lunges to Calf Raise
  • 15 Lunge Knee Drivers
  • 15 Step Ups

CHEST & BACK | Set a timer for 5 minutes. Complete as many rounds of the following as possible.

  • 10 Push Ups with Rows: Do a push up (from your knees or feet), hands planted on the ground wider than your shoulders (we’re targeting the chest; not the triceps). Have your weights placed right beside your hands (or hold them the entire time if it’s comfortable), and at the top of each push up, row the right weight up towards your armpit (elbow to the sky) and then the left.
  • 10 Superman Lifts: Start lying on your stomach, arms stretched overhead. From here, squeeze the shoulder blades, back and glutes to lift your arms and legs off the ground as high as you can. Pause for a second at the top, and then slowly lower extremities back down to starting position.
  • 10 Alternating Superman Planks: Start in a plank position, hands stacked underneath your shoulders. From here, lift your right leg straight up off the ground at the same time you lift your opposite left arm straight up, reaching out in front of you. Use your core to stabilize! Slowly lower hand and foot back to the ground and repeat on the opposite side, lifting your left leg and right arm. Each one (not each set) is equal to 1.
  • 10 Laying Chest Flys: Lay on your back with feet on the floor, knees bent. Holding a weight in each hand, extend your arms out wide to the sides. Weights should be hovering off the floor, not resting. This is your starting position. From here, bring your arms up and together, meeting in the middle directly over your chest. Keep a soft bend to the elbows as you do this. Slowly return back down to starting position.

BUTT | Set a timer for 5 minutes. Complete as many rounds of the following as possible.

  • 10 Squat Pulse-to-Jumps (3 Pulses, 1 Jump): 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. Staying low, pulse down deeper about 1-2 inches, 3 times. 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, starting your three pulses at the bottom.
  • 20 Hip Bridge Lifts: Start on your back, knees bent, feet planted on the ground, arms by your side. Squeeze the glutes to lift your butt off the ground, thrusting your hips up towards the ceiling. Pause at the top and then slowly lower back down, not letting the butt come to rest on the floor.
  • 20 Donkey Kicks (RIGHT): Start on all fours: knees stacked under hips, hands stacked under shoulders. From here, you’re going to press the bottom of your right foot up towards the ceiling, squeezing that right butt cheek. Pause at the top and then lower down most of the way (don’t let the right knee come to rest on the floor). As you do these, keep a straight spine by engaging your abs, pulling the belly button in towards the spine.
  • 20 Donkey Kicks (LEFT)

ARMS & SHOULDERS | Set a timer for 5 minutes. Complete as many rounds of the following as possible. I used 8-lb weights for all the following exercises.

  • 10 Triceps Kickbacks: Bend your knees slightly and lean your torso forward slightly with a straight back (pull those abs in tight!). Arms are at your sides, elbows bent. Keeping your upper arms glued to your sides and just hinging at the elbow, send the weights behind you, extending your arms and squeezing your triceps. Pause for a second at your fullest extension, then slowly bring the weights forward, again by bending the elbows.
  • 10 Serve the Platters: Start holding a weight in each hand at hip height, palms facing up. From there, reach your hands up and out in front of you to shoulder height. Careful not to the shrug the shoulders as you do this. Keep a soft bend in the elbow at the top, and then slowly return the weights back to hip height.
  • 10 Shoulder Presses: Start with arms in goal post position: elbows bent at 90 degrees at shoulder height. From here, press your hands up overhead, bringing weights together above your head. Lower back down, but only so far as brings your elbows back to shoulder height. Don’t let them dip down lower than that. As you do these, be careful not to shrug your shoulders up towards your ears.
  • 10 Shoulder Press-Ups: Imagine your forearms and elbows have magnets on them. Holding a weight in each hand, palms facing your face, hold your forearms in front of you, elbows bent at 90 degrees. Fight to hold the elbows as close to each other as you can throughout the whole movement. From here, you’re going to press your hands straight up, lifting the elbows, keeping forearms close together. Be careful not to shrug your shoulders up towards your ears as you do this. After pressing up as high as you can, slowly return back to starting.

30-Minute At-Home Workout

What are your favorite wintertime activities? Do you brave the cold or stay indoors?


Black Friday Activewear Wish List (+Outfit)

Black ActivewearTop to bottom, left to right: Lululemon Blissed Out Leg Warmers / Lululemon Yogini 5 Year Short Sleeve Tee / Lululemon Energy Bra / Lululemon Clip In Tank / Blue Life Fit Open Arm Tank / Blue Life Fit Contrast Legging / Blue Life Fit Silhouette Contrast Legging / Michi Pysloque Leggings / Michi Gallant Top / Spiritual Gangster Lotus Mandala Tank / Alo Yoga Extreme Racer

Hello from New Jersey! I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was as delicious as mine was yesterday. :)

Black is hands down my favorite color, so why not take advantage of Black Friday to do a little online window shopping? I also wanted to share with you the awesome (all black) stuff I got from Kohl’s with the gift card they gave me in exchange for writing an older post. I think they wanted me to buy more workout clothing with it but…oops. I lose at least two jackets a winter (it’s terrible, I know), so I decided to pick up some cheap coats and a few items from Vera Wang’s collection for Kohl’s. I love the faux leather leggings and shoes, and the sheer detailing in the back of the top is a fun touch.

black-winter-jacket-outfits-2 puffy-black-winter-coat black-winter-jacket-outfits-7 black-winter-jacket-outfits-4 black-winter-peacoat-outfit black-winter-jacket-outfits-8

Are you doing any Black Friday shopping today?


Beginner Bodyweight Interval Workout

Beginner Bodyweight Interval WorkoutI’m up early this morning to sneak in a workout (on the blog and in real life) before hitting the road and heading down to New Jersey for Thanksgiving with my boyfriend and his family. I have been crazy busy lately, so these next couple days of relaxing and eating amazing food are so incredibly needed!

To follow up Monday’s blog post, which was packed with general rules and tips for modifying exercises, I wanted to share a workout that was suitable for beginners (without much modification needed). As you’ll see, this is a workout you can grow with—I give an exercise and then show you how to advance it once you’ve mastered the move. I also show you how to modify it further if it’s still a little too tough for your current fitness level.

While I created this for beginners using basic, functional exercises, I don’t want you to brush it off as easy. If you’re more advanced, just do the harder variations given for each exercise.

Beginner Bodyweight Interval Workout

Set an interval timer for 30 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest (I just realized that in the pictorial below, it says 10 seconds rest–ignore that! It’s 15). You’ll go through the following sequence of exercises 6 times. If you’re a true beginner, do the easiest modification given for each exercise (pictures on the left). After you’ve been working out for several weeks/a couple months, go through it again, trying the unmodified exercise (featured, top picture). More advanced? Do the harder versions of each exercise (pictures on the right).Beginner Bodyweight Interval Workout

Squats | With feet slightly wider than hip distance apart, toes pointing forward and weight in your heels, squat down, sending your butt and hips back (not knees forward!). Press through heels to stand back upright.

  • Modification = Squats with a Chair | Use a chair to help you get into your squattin’ grove! Start by sitting down completely in the chair each time. As you gain confidence, try to squat down and just lightly touch your bum to the chair before coming back upright. Once you’ve got it down, take away the safety net (chair) altogether.
  • Advancement = Squat Jumps | Instead of just standing up from your squatting position, explosively press up and jump, landing softly and sinking right back down into a deep squat.

Push Ups from Knees | Good ol’ fashioned push ups with your knees on the ground. Be careful not to stick your butt up into the air when you do these—from your knees to the top of your head should be one straight, diagonal line.

  • Modification = Push Ups against a Wall | Changing your body angle can make push ups easier. Start by doing them against a wall.
  • Advancement = Push Ups from Feet | Make these harder by doing your pushups from a plank position, toes on the ground.

Side-to-Side Lunges | Start standing up with feet shoulder-width apart. Step your right foot out wide to the side (toes still facing forward), and bend that knee, lunging to the right and bringing your left hand to the ground by that opposite foot. Your left leg stays straight as you do this; it’s like you’re sitting in a chair on just that right side. Press off the right foot and come back upright to starting standing position. Repeat to the left.

  • Modification = Don’t Touch the Ground | To make these easier, just don’t bend down as far. Instead of bending the knee to 90 degrees so that your hand can touch the floor by your foot, start with just a small bend with every lunge.
  • Advancement = Add in a Hop | Pick up the pace, switching feet in air between lunges as you add in a little hop side to side.

Thread the Needle in Side Kneeling Forearm Plank (RIGHT) | Start in a forearm side plank position with your knees stacked on the ground. Squeeze the oblique to keep your hips lifted. From here, you’re going to wrap the top arm around your torso, weaving it through the space between the floor and your rib cage. Twist from the waist when you do this so that you face the ground. Return to starting position and repeat.

  • Modification = Hip on Ground | If it’s too hard to hold that hip off the ground, plant the side of your hip on the ground along with that forearm. In this version, really emphasize the twist while you thread the needle so that your obliques are still working.
  • Advancement = Full Side Plank from Feet | To make it harder, thread the needle from a full side plank position: feet stacked on floor, hips and legs lifted so that body is in a straight diagonal line.

Thread the Needle in Side Kneeling Forearm Plank (LEFT)

Beginner Bodyweight Interval WorkoutWEARING | leggings: c/o Cory Vines // tank: Lululemon

Big thanks to my friends at Cory Vines for the leggings I’m wearing in today’s post—aren’t they cute?? I love the colored pattern on the back of the legs and they’re SO comfortable.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow! This workout is a great one to bring with you if you’re traveling for the holiday—no equipment required!