With summer here I thought it would be the perfect time to do a workout dedicated to getting the gams in shape for shorts, skirts, dresses and any summer attire with a high hemline.
Since the best way to sculpt your body is to combine cardio and strength training, this workout has both elements. The cardio section uses sprints or plyometics which are both amazing for toning muscles and reducing body fat. If you want to add a little extra work for the lower body, try doing the sprints up an incline or with some resistance. For the strength section we are going to do supersets (exercises done back to back) and I’ve specifically selected exercises that recuit different parts of the lower body to ensure every inch of your legs is worked. I also made sure the sequence of exercises if perfect for fatiguing and sculpting the muscles. Try this workout 2 times a week and get ready to rock some short shorts with tons of confidence!
While I love basically low tech workouts like running, the TRX, bodyweight work and kettlebells, sometimes I can’t help but infuse them with some high tech help from my iphone. While my phone is always on me for emails, shooting video and obsessively checking IMDB each time I see and actor who I recognize but can’t place (seriously my phone has reached near appendage levels…I might need help at this point), it’s also my new favorite workout buddy. With that in mind, here are five of my current favorite apps that help me get in shape, get more out of my workouts, map my runs and keep track of my calories. FYI all these apps are FREE!!!
bit timer: This is my go to app for strength training intervals since you can set any work time and rest time you want, then set how many times you’d like to repeat that interval sequence. While your playlist plays in the background, the app alerts you when your intervals start and end and even gives a countdown. I love using it for tabata training and circuit work, plus it is supremely user friendly.
gymboss: I love the traditional GymBoss timer and I’m so happy they’ve come out with an app. It allows you to create your own timer with intervals and rounds, choose from preset programs like tabata training or boxing rounds, plus it also has a basic stop watch.
lose it: I cannot exclaim my love of food journals loud enough! I’ve been in the health and fitness field for years and I’ve even written a book on the subject, but I also really love food and can easily overeat. I totally attribute my use of food journals to weight loss and weight maintenance succes and lose it is one of my favorite food journal apps. It’s easy to use, includes a very extensive library of foods to choose from and calculates calories from recipes. You can also add and track exercise, and the graphics make it easy to see how many calories you’ve consumed and how many you have left.
Nike Training Club: This is a great alternative to workout videos or a personal trainer since this app comes with tons of different workouts and workout programs. It has great graphics and videos of the exercises and you can choose workout based on a beginner, intermediate or advanced levels. There are cardio workouts, strength workouts and a combo of both with goals like toning, leaning out, getting strong or targeting certain body parts. All exercises are done for a preset amount of time like 15 seconds or a minute and you can play your own music in the background. The only hitch is that you have to look at your phone to see the workout and the exercises so unless you know what say a plank row to rotation is, I’d recommend keeping your phone in front of you instead of wearing it on an armband.
runkeeper: I’m always kinda “estimating” my outdoor runs and this app uses GPS to actually track them, which was rather eye opening for me. A run I had been doing for years and thought was my easy 3 miler, turns out to be only 2.5 miles so, thank you Runkeeper…I think:) One of my other favorite things about this app, it allows you to input things like a target pace, intervals and “fitness classes” with audio cues and pace trackers. The fitness classes are training programs like 5k, 10k, half marathon and weight loss training plans designed for different levels of runners. I love anything that takes the guess workout out of working out and this app is great for that! Plus you can post your runs to Facebook and Twitter and use the RunKeeper community to keep you motivated!
I recommend giving these apps a try for your next workout. Let me know what you think and which one is your favorite! Plus check back soon since I’m going to do a video review of these apps so you can see them in action!
I’m going to do a new thing on my YouTube channel and post videos of some of my favorite exercises or things I do during my daily workouts. The videos are shot on my phone and I’m post run/weights/plyos which explains why I look oh-so-glamorous . Truth be told, as I see it, the grosser and sweatier I am post workout, just means the better workout I got. So here is the first video!
I love plies for targeting the lower body. They works the inner and outer things, hamstrings, quads and really hit the area I like to call the “thutt”. FYI, thutt is my “technical term” for where your thighs meet your butt. We are going to use one dumbbell and start in plie position, then switch hands as we bring the dumbbell up and down from the floor. You’ll notice you’ll end up getting a lot deeper in the plie and your thighs will be close to parallel to the floor… giving your legs and butt a super workout. Plus, I added a little something extra to the end of the plie to really tone those thighs!
Try adding the ultimate plie to your regular strength training workout and aim for 2-3 sets of 30-45 seconds of the plie and 15-30 seconds of the pulses at the end. Then get ready to rock your summer shorts!
Yu can subscribe to the FitFabCities YouTube channel here.
A few years ago I gave up my gym membership which is a pretty big deal for me given I’ve belonged to a gym since I was 15. I love running and body weight workouts, and working out from home is so much more convenient than driving or walking to the gym. Plus, doing so has made me more consistent and cut out excuses…now, I’m more likely to simply get my workouts done first thing in the morning.
Home workout equipment has come incredibly far and DVD workouts like P90X and Insanity (I’m a graduate of both:) give you a gym quality workout without having to leave your living room. In fact, that’s the very idea behind many of my printable workouts on Fit Fab Cities! I found a couple of my favorite home workout fitness accessories that bring gym worthy results to you at home, plus simply make your workouts more fun! And I always love to try new fitness trends and workouts so I use the some money I would have spent on a gym membership to try out speicailty fitness classes like TRX and Barre.
Here are a my 7 favorite fitness accessories that make for a perfect home gym. You can go with just one thing or even all of them!
TRX Suspension Trainer: This allows you to do thousands of exercises using your body weight and you can anchor it to a door at home. You can check out my review of my favorite TRX class here.
Bosu Ball stand on it while doing shoulder presses, curls or squats to get an added core bonus or use it for some killer crunches.
Kettelbell or Kettelbell Set: This is one of the best pieces of fitness equipment out there! You’ll get a cardio burn (up to 20 calories per minute!) plus strengthen and tone every muscle in your body. But make sure you learn how to use it with proper form first so you don’t get injured!
Dumbbells: It always great to have a few sets of dumbbells at home. I like these since the vinyl covering will help protect your floor from scratches.
Jumprope: 10 calories per minute…simple, easy, effective cardio in a hurry!
Bodylastics Resistance Bands: These are a great compliment or alternative to dumbbells and I love this Bodylastics set since it has many different levels of resistance. In fact, you can even stack a few together to really feel the burn! Plus it comes with door anchor attachments and the bands are super strong so you don’t have to worry about them breaking.
Stability ball: Perfect for core work, sit on it for shoulder presses, lay down for chest work, prop your feet on it for pushups or use it against the wall for squats. It’s an inexpensive accessory that will really amp up your workouts!
It’s time for another tabata interval workout video! This one’s a little different then the previous tabata video… instead of all cardio, this workout alternates a cardio move with a strength move so you get your heart rate going and you build strong muscles, all at once.
Tabata protocol means alternating 20 seconds of high intensity work with 10 seconds of rest and repeating that pattern in 4 minute segments. It’s one of the most effective ways to burn calories and increase you fitness, plus it’s a go to for celebs like Jessica Biel and Vanessa Lachey.
You can follow along and get the full workout with this video and feel free to go through 2 or 3 times if you need an extra challenge.
You can check out the other tabata workout video here.