Good Morning Bloggies!
As I promised on Monday when I gave you the list of tunes currently rocking my iPod, today I’ve got the cardio workout to go with it. Like many of the others on my Workouts page, this one is adjustable and can be repeated or shortened based on the amount of time you have.
First things first, you’ll need a piece of cardio equipment. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a place with no snow, you could run outside, but unfortunately that’s not the case for me… for the next couple of months anyway. My machine of choice was the treadmill.
Rather than repeating the same running motions over and over and over until the end, I’ve added a couple of 5-minute off-the-treadmill bursts that are intended to crank up your heart rate, and, as the title of this post suggests, make you sweat! The idea is that each round on the treadmill (I’ve indicated 2 below, but you could do 2, 3, 4, or more if you’re super keen) builds in intensity, and the 5 minute off-the-machine burst is where you aim to reach your peak heart rate. If you’re unsure about what the numbers in the RPE column mean, check out my Rate of Perceived Exertion scale.
For the off-the-treadmill parts, here’s a quick description of each exercise:
1. Squat jumps – 30s. Start with a stance wider than shoulder width apart, toes pointed slightly outward. Jump up as high as you can, then land as softly as you can in a squat with your weight in your heels. Explode upward again, throwing your hands forward/up to help you gain momentum. Repeat for 30 seconds.
2. Mountain climbers – 30s. Start in high plank pose, as shown above. Draw your left knee up toward your chest/chin, then quickly shoot it back to its starting position. Repeat with the right leg, and continue alternating as fast as you can while still keeping good form.
To make this more difficult, use a BOSU as shown below. This will require you to engage more of the muscles in your core in order to stabilize your body as your legs move in and out. Continue alternating legs for 30s.
3. Single leg mountain climbers – right leg – 30s. Rather than using both legs and alternating as you would for regular mountain climbers, keep your left knee tucked into your chest. Push off through your right toes and pull your foot in closer to you while lifting your hips. Quickly return back to the starting position, and continue the in-out-in-out movement for 30s.
4. Single leg mountain climbers – left leg – 30s. You guessed it – same as above but with your left leg doing the hopping action. If you find it too difficult to keep going for 30s, try 15s on the right side, 15s on the left, 15 right, 15 left.
5. High-low planks. You can do this either in regular plank position, or with a BOSU under your hands with the blue side facing upwards. Start in high plank pose, as shown below…
… then one arm at a time, lower down so that your forearms are resting on the BOSU. Make sure to keep your spine, legs and butt in a straight line, as shown above. Immediately push back up, one arm at a time, into high plank. Continue the movements for 30s.
If you’re fairly new to exercise or aren’t feeling up for a full-on sweat-your-brains-out workout, you could just do these 5 exercises once through, then use 2 1/2 mins to recover and get back onto the treadmill. OR…. if you’re really feeling like a tank, repeat the 5 exercises again to make 5 minutes of off-the treadmill work, then jump back on and start running again. You should feel most tired each time you complete a round of the 5 exercises, and the recovery is in the initial 2-4 minutes of each running block. Got it? If you decide to try this out, let me know how you did!
And after your workout….
… don’t forget to refuel and rehydrate! (If you’d like some tips on how to do this properly, check out my Post-Workout Fueling tips. While we’re talking food, I also have a recipe for you this morning. It’s a salad. I know, just one more I promise. I’ve got lots of non-salad treats for you next week but I just had to share one more because I care about you and feel strongly that you should have this recipe. One of my friends just bought a bottle of sesame oil as per my recommendation, and I told her I’d provide her with plenty of ways to use it. For starters, there’s my Recipe of the Week, Scallop and Quinoa Stir Fry, and this:
That would be a Sesame Tuna Salad, a delicious mix of tuna (obviously), sugar snap peas, shredded cabbage, grated carrot, and sesame seeds. The dressing I made was pretty simple – just rice wine vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, and sesame oil. I like this dressing more than most store-bought Asian dressings!
Alrighty, I’m off to work. Only 9ish hours till the weekend! Some of the plans…
- Lunch date this afternoon with some of my co-workers at this fabulous restaurant – I cannot get enough!!
- Movie and hanging out with one of my besties
- Blogger meet-up in Toronto.. YAY! Come back for the recap on Monday!
Question for today:
What’s the best cardio workout you’ve had recently?