Workout of the Week

Cycle Workouts

I have been teaching (and taking) cycle classes for over 10 years now and it is by far one of my favorite workouts. I strongly believe that the music makes the class. Without a great playlist, it doesn’t matter what the instructor has you do- you are going to get bored and when you are bored, you don’t work as hard. I want to get as much out of every workout as possible, so I make sure my beats are strong! So, here are a few of my favorite cycle playlists right now. You can find these if you follow me on Spotify at Cassandra’s Corner or you can make your own playlist on whatever formate you use. Now hope on a bike and get pumping!

A Little Bit of Fitness on Marco Polo

If you haven’t downloaded the Marco Polo app and you are curious as to how it works, check out my post on it here. Once you have it, you can join my Little Bit of Fitness group using this link HERE. I have started posting some short workout videos for you to follow along and try out on your own time. You can watch them and try them over and over and if you like you can send a quick video message back to the group with feedback and/or suggestions. If you are feeling up to it send the group a challenge video of your own! For now there are two plank videos to try, but more are coming your way soon!

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Yoga for Bloating and Digestion

If you have any problems with bloating or digestion you have to give Yoga for Bloating and Digestion a try. Seriously, I wish I would have taken before and after pics (I will next time), but I was feeling really gross and bloated this morning so I did a quick search and found this video. Sarah Beth soothingly moves you through a series of twists and stretches to release the gas and bloat and get your digestive track moving. In only 12 minutes, I could feel and hear my belly working and less than an hour later, I felt so much better.

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Sarah Beth in Yoga for Bloat and Digestion

 

 

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Five, 5-minute Videos That Work Your Core

1. 5 Minute Flat Abs! by Blogilates is an intense, pilates inspired workout. While I wouldn’t say that is for beginners, it is one you could set as a goal to actually complete the the whole thing and talk through it like the peppy instructor. There are five exercises that you do one minute each, without any breaks. Each move is progressively harder.  She does preview the moves beforehand so you don’t have to stop to look and learn. There is a also a countdown clock to keep you motivated.

2. Anna from Pop Sugar Fitness visits Love Sweat Fitness to bring a new take with the 5 Minute Flat Ab Workout. This video features none of the traditional moves you’d expect from a core workout. She incorporates five moves that you complete slowly, with control, for a little less than one minute each. II will definitely be adding some of these exercised to my classes to mix things up.

3. I love this instructor for yoga so I thought I’d try 5 Minute Flat Ab Yoga Workout. This is a another Pop Sugar Fitness video, but it is lead by celebrity yoga instructor Mandy Ingber so you get an ab scorching sequence.  The five minutes just flew but.  You really work the core and as a bonus you work your shoulders and back too.

4. This 5 Minute Lower Abs Workout by Koboko Fitness gives you a set of five moves that you work for 30 seconds each with a short break in between before repeating the entire set.. The focus is on the lower abs or the pouch area. The  video features a countdown clock and she offers modifications if you need them.

5. If you don’t want to hit the mat this one is for you. Love Sweat Fitness returns to PopSugar Fitness for a 5-Minute Standing Flat Ab Workout. The entire, barre inspired, workout is done standing. You work each move on the right for 30 second and then the left. Once you have the moves down you can add some light weights to add more resistance.

Reality Check Workout.

Do you think you’re in shape and/or coordinated? I did. Then, I tried a few workouts by Millionaire Hoy. Yikes! I’m so glad no one was watching! Hoy’s speciality is 10 minute EXTREME cardio workouts and they are just that. Don’t believe me? Then try what Hoy calls a “ninja burpie!” He has plenty more moves that keep you entertained and keep you heart pumping.

Each of the videos in his series are ten minutes long and they include ten exercises with 50 seconds of work and a ten second break. I tried a few different videos and man this guy is EXTREME. The workouts are quick and effective if you’re looking for major calorie burn, heavy breathing, a full body workout, and a challenge. Hoy has a preview window in the corner so you can see what moves are coming next. And on some videos he offers a modification window on the screen too, which is good because some of these moves are EXTREMELY challenging. There is no warmup so make sure you do one so your body is ready for this intensity. If you have the time preview the video before you actually do it and try some of the moves as it helps when you’re really in the thick of it.

Even though my old lady knees might not ever be able to handle all of Hoy’s moves just like him, I’ll keep trying to master these combos so that I won’t be so embarrassed if someone happens to see me trying to workout like Hoy.

One Song Workouts

I like to end my classes at the gym with a “squat song.” It is just one song where we get a little bit dancey, a little bit funky, and of course we squat. I try to make it fun as we move to the beat, but also a challenge since it is the end of class and I like to go out with a bang. So I thought I’d share some of these short (and not so sweet) thigh burning, One Song Workouts here. As an added bonus I included a couple songs that give the legs a little break and let you work some other areas that might need three minutes (or so) of attention. Go ahead crank up the beats and workout out for just one song.

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Full Body Cardio Sculpt

This week I tried out the 20 Minute Full Body Cardio Sculpt for Fat Burning and Toning. This 20 minute workout by Body Fit By Amy is a quick way to get your heart rate up and sculpt for your entire body.  With one set of dumbbells (she says 3-5, but I used 10s) Amy combines strength and cardio with a variety of moves. She guides you through a 2 minute warm-up and then jumps right into each move. You work for 50 seconds, followed by a 10 second break. You get a quick water break halfway through and then it’s back to work. With 1 minute left on the onscreen timer she starts the cool down that continues for an additional 1 minute.

I like these short and sweet videos for two reasons: 1.) Sometimes all you have time for is 20 minutes; 2.) Sometimes 20 minutes is all your can wrap your brain around. The day I tried this workout that is exactly how I felt. I was tired and not feeling 100 percent, and I thought if I could just give it 20 hard minutes I could be on my way.  But, by the time I was done with it, I was ready for some more. I was breathing heavy the whole time and glad that I got myself up and moving.

Intensity + Basic Cardio = Sweat Fest

This is a 30 minute Advanced Fat Burning HIIT Cardio Workout by Body Project. You start with a warm-up, then complete a series of high intensity moves for 60 seconds, followed by a 30 second break. The trainer starts out by telling you that “this workout isn’t going to win awards for being original,” and that’s very true. The moves are basic, but the way they are layered and the timing that makes it worth it. He says, “it’s all about intensity” when it comes to the moves, and ultimately that’s what makes this workout pack a major punch. I liked the fact that you didn’t have to do some of the moves for the whole minute. For example, one set combine burpies with fast feet, so you aren’t hammering away at either for too long. The on screen timer is helpful as well. Overall, for a quick 30 minutes, this basic workout works up a sweat and gets the job done.

Multi-tasking Cardio & Toning

Once again a PopSugar Fitness video makes the weekly workout list and this one is well worth your time. The 45-Minute Cardio and Toning Workout From Jennifer Lawrence’s Trainer consists of three rounds of four moves each. You do a set of four moves for a minute, take a break and then do the same moves for 30 seconds each before moving on to the next round. The trainer, Kit Rich, says she likes to multi-task by combining moves so you are hitting up more than just one area. I was impressed by her original combinations. This video is full of moves I never seen, that were so effective I think I’ll be using some of them in my classes next week. To top it off Kit’s workout includes a bunch of squats and lunges that will left me feeling it for days afterwards.  Aside from the soreness, you can burn some major calories with this one. I tracked this workout on my fitbit and burned 350 calories, which is pretty sweet for 45 minutes.

Tank Top Arms Indeed

Some mornings I crank out the cardio on my own, on my bike or treadmill and then after, when I need just a little more I search ten minute workouts and see what else I can add in for the day. I like to choose a focus spot like arms, abs or legs. Since I am officially counting down to my cruise next month I figured Tank Top Arms sounded like a nice way to round out my morning.

This is a Fitness Blender workout, which if you have every tried any of their videos, then you know that the set-up is a little different than most. The model does the moves and the trainer / voice-over gives you the instructions. Also there is no music. Here is the deal, you get 7 exercises that are 50 seconds each and a ten second rest after each n(so it’s really a little less than ten minutes). You only go through the sequence once ( but who says you can’t do it twice!) I liked the different combinations and the nontraditional moves that were included. They suggest light weights or water bottles, but I used ten-pounders and it was killer. If it’s your first time doing it, I suggest listening to the voice-over, which gives tons of cues, and using the lighter weights to make sure you have the correct form. After you have it down, flip on some tunes (I like There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back by Shawn Mendes and Good Time Good Life by Erin Bowman) lift some heavier weights and add this one to your regular routine.

Let’s Dance

So this week I went back to my hometown and taught two classes during their Holiday Challenge Week. It was so fun and I got to see so many sweet faces I hadn’t seen in months! I taught hip hop drumming (see pic below) and cycle and core. Those two classes were definitely my workouts of the week. I haven’t instructed in four months and man did I miss it! So did my legs because they are totally feeling it! I absolutely love loud, bumpin’ music and fun (sometimes funny) dance moves on the floor and on the bike. I a by no means a dancer, but I try to make my class participants work hard and have fun, so shaken’ it is mandatory and laughing is expected.

Since I didn’t record these classes I still want to leave you with a rocking’ fun, dance workout to try this week and this video is an oldie but a goodie. A couple years ago my good friend and fellow instructor, Sue, did this killer routine in class- it was seriously insane and it was only one song. After class she tells me to check out Jessica Dance Fitness. Back then Jessica was just making YouTube videos of the routines she did in her own classes. They are so good, so fun, so popular, and so effective, she now makes full class videos and she live streams her classes. The music is always fresh, the moves are easy to follow and you will sweat. This video, Dark Horse, is the one that got me hooked, try it and see if you get hooked too.

Vigorous Yoga – Yes, Please!

I have been trying to improve my yoga practice and so I have committed to trying a new yoga workout every Wednesday. It is a nice, much-needed break from my regular workouts, but if you are a cardio junkie like me, it is hard to make that transition and really commit. While I do enjoy the the mind-body connection the fact is I need to sweat to feel like I did something. So, I have been trying different videos for about two months now and this one is definitely a keeper.

The Vigorous Vinyasa Flow Yoga Class, by Five Parks Yoga is 30 minutes of  very “vigorous” yoga- I mean I was dripping sweat all over the mat. Erin Sampson’s video is not for beginners, as she challenges you with some serious movements. There are definitely a few balance poses that will keep me coming back to see my progress. As she says, this workout is meant to keep you moving the whole time and it delivers with a quick pace that keeps you focused and keeps your heart rate up. I really appreciate background music and although she doesn’t have any, she does have some natural wildlife sounds and the video still held my attention the whole time. It is also filmed outside which adds another unique dimension. I will keep coming back to this one and because I know what it can do for me- see how it works for you.

Butts and Abs Pilates Bikini Workout Oh My!

Here is it: brought to you from PopSugar Fitness it’s the  30 Minute Butt and Abs Pilates Bikini Workout.  First let me say Jake DuPree makes you work hard and he keeps you entertained the entire time! I just love this guy he is amazing and I have been sore for two days after this workout!

First of all, he goes really fast with some of these moves- telling you “Now, it’s time for double time!”  I had a hard time keeping up at points, but I kept going and still felt some major burn. The moves keep your heart rate up and he changes things up quickly so you don’t get bored. But seriously, with his one liners and move descriptions like “now you’re a lady and now you’re not” (what!?!?)  his play-by-play will keep you more entertained even than the moves.

If you need a quick calorie burn and a laugh, and you are wondering if you have 30 minutes to try it? You know what  Jake would say?  “Yes! Yes!”