Makin’ Moves: My Current Favs

My favorite part of my workouts is changing it up by trying new workouts (spinning, hot yoga, Zumba, CrossFit, etc) or even just incorporating some new moves to my strength routines. Here are some of my current favorite moves to incorporate so I don’t get bored.

1. Football Runs.  I always think of “quick feet, quick feet” from basketball drills I used to have to do in middle school, but these really are FUN and get your heart pumping.  Skip ahead to 8:15 in this Blogilates video to see how to properly do this exercise and, if you have time, check out the whole video for this workout because it’s a killer!

2. Pistol Crunches. The NEW Tone It Up work out from the Love Your Body Series, Love Your Arms & Abs, introduced me to this amazing crunch variation that I love to hate.  Complete 20 on each side and do three sets.

Pistol Crunch

Picture courtesy of Tone It Up

3. The Mermaid. Another new TIU Love Your Body Series favorite.  This exercise is from the Love Your Total Body 2 workout.  I have to say, this entire workout is probably my all-time favorite Tone It Up video, but this particular move really targeted areas I want to focus on improving.  Complete 12 on each side and repeat for three sets.

The Mermaid

Picture courtesy of Tone It Up

4. Reverse Lunge with Front Kick.  I am always up for a leg challenge and this really targeted the areas of my legs that I want to work on slimming.  As an added bonus, it worked my core, particularly my lower abs which is always a welcomed bonus.

With  feet together, step your right foot back and bend your left knee 90 degrees (reverse lunge position).  Then, reach your right arm down, and touch the floor by the inside of your leg. Press up through your left foot and bring your right foot up into a front kick without touching it to the floor. As you are kicking your right food, curl your firsts up into fighter position by your chin; return to the lunge position. Repeat series for 20 on this side then alternate sides and complete 20 more.  Do three sets.

Reverse Lunge with Front Kick

Picture from Health Magazine

5. Starfish V-Ups.  Any variation of these bad boys usually works for me, but this “starfish” version has been my current favorite.

While laying on your back, extend your arms behind your head with your palms facing up. Legs are up, straightened and the soles of your feet are flat, toward the ceiling.  Lift your tailbone up to engage your core and lift your lower back/butt off the ground.  As you lift, sweep your arms from behind you, lift your upper body and reach your hands up to your toes.  Then, lower your upper body and tailbone back down.  That counts as one rep, complete 20, three times.

Starfish V-Up

Picture from FitSugar

6. Plank Walk-ups. THIS. IS. KILLER. and I love it.

While in a plank position, keep your abs engaged and your back straight.  Keep your legs together and walk your hands into a full push-up then gently walk your hands back down into a forearm plank.  Do this 10 times and repeat a total of 3 times, so 30 total.

Plank Walk-Ups

Picture from Fitness Magazine

7. Squat, Curl, Press.  So functional and dynamic.  I love getting the most bang for my buck during workouts by working multiple muscle groups with one move, or a series of moves.  This move has been my go-to since I’m working on using heavier weights.

Holding your dumbbells in each hand, sit back into a squat position and keep the weight in your heels.  Bring your thighs parallel to the floor and don’t let your knees go beyond your toes. Pushing through your heels, return to a standing position while raising the weights to your shoulders by performing a bicep curl.  Keep your abs tight and keep your arms moving up by performing an overhead press with your palms facing forward.  Lower your arms back down to your side and that counts as one rep.  Do 15 reps with anywhere between 5 to 15 pound dumbbells and complete three rounds.  I usually use 8-10 pound dumbbells, depending on how much arm work I’m doing.

Squat Curl Press

Picture from FitSugar

8. Scoop Squats.

Stand with your feet distance apart. Hold a dumbbell (8-15 pounds) at both ends with both hands in front of the chest. Squat and lower a dumbbell to the side of the left thigh in a scooping motion. Stand up, raising the dumbbell back in front of the chest. Immediately repeat to the right. Complete twenty reps, alternating sides, and do three rounds.

Scoop Squats

Picture courtesy of FitSugar

Here are just some of my current go-to toning moves.  I pair these with at around 40 minutes of cardio to complete a well balanced, calorie crushing and heart pumping workout.  Of course, I have my “rest” days where I do some gentle yoga, go for a short run, or just take my pup on a nice walk, but these are some great moves to add to your strength training.

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