Favorite Pinterest Workouts

Happy Monday! Hopefully everyone had a relaxing, refreshing weekend!

If you are looking for some extra workout motivation this week, I have just what you need! While I go to barre classes a few days a week, I go the gym the other days I workout to mix things up. Sometimes the gym isn’t as appealing to me because I have to create my own workout…and that’s where Pinterest saves the day! I will normally start my workout with a cardio session either on the stair master or treadmill before moving on to strength. I have a few Pinterest workouts, mostly created by my favorite bloggers, that are my go-to’s when I want to feel the burn without thinking too hard. I thought I would share a few of  them with you today, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! You do need equipment that most gyms have for most of these workouts. Happy sweating!

Bodyweight Workout

Kettlebell Tabata Interval Workout

Core and Cardio Circuit with Rowing Machine

Total Body Workout with Bosu Ball


– M –

Barre Update

Happy Monday everyone! I am especially excited this Monday morning as I am off for a week after working all weekend. I am off to visit Amanda and Kevin in Arizona on Thursday for a long weekend, I can’t wait!

I wanted to share a barre update with you guys as it has been a while since I posted about it. I am still doing barre and LOVE it! I actually switched studios recently as I used to go to Pure Barre and now go to The Barre Code. I made the switch mostly due to location and price along with recommendations from friends, but I am very happy with my new studio. 

The Barre Code offers a large variety of classes including a standard barre class, cardio-based classes, and even stretching classes. My current favorite is called brawl which is kickboxing. I always work up a sweat during this class and love the energy behind it. I normally take a kickboxing or another cardio-based class as well as a couple barre classes each week. I am excited to try Burn which is barre in a heated room… it sounds intense! The Barre Code uses a variety of equipment each class including weights, resistance bands, kettlebells, and balls. 

I have been going with my friend from work which is so fun! Having a workout buddy and a monthly membership motivates me to sign up for classes each week. I definitely enjoy the variety of the classes The Barre Code offers and the times of the classes are easy to fit into my schedule. 

I hope everyone has a motivating Monday! 

– M –

Holiday Workouts

Happy holidays! It is Christmas week and I could not be more excited to go to Michigan this weekend to see family and friends! As some of you know, I got my NASM personal training certification this year and am passionate about fitness and teaching others how to work out in order to achieve results. I wanted to share some of my favorite upper and lower body moves along with two core blasts that can be mixed into a longer workout or done separately if you don’t have much time. Make sure to keep prioritizing your health and fitness during the holidays with these quick and easy moves!

Upper body: 10-12 reps, 4 sets

  1. Overhead press: hold a barbell at chest level while standing and push it straight up overhead before returning it down to you chest. Try not to arch your back or lean forward as you extend the barbell.
  2. One-arm row on bench: using a kettlebell start in a split stance with one arm on a bench and your other arm holding a kettlebell. Extend the leg on the side you are holding the kettlebell back behind you. Keep your back flat and pull the kettlebell up towards your body and lower it back down while keeping your shoulder blades low and contracted.
  3. Core 1 (see below)
  4. Push-ups: start in a standard push up position with your back flat and your head in line. Lower down towards the ground until you are just slightly above the ground and drive  back up with a big exhale. Try a couple in a full push-up before dropping onto your knees or putting your arms onto a bench.

Lower body: 10-12 reps, 4 sets

  1. Deadlifts with kettlebell: place a kettlebell on the ground, lowering down to grab it while hinging at the hips and keeping your back straight. Power through your legs to stand up straight with the kettlebell hanging towards the ground. Repeat the motion, slowly lowering down and powering up.
  2. Single leg lunges with barbell: hold a barbell across the top of your shoulders. Lower down into a lunge and come back up with your feet together before stepping forward into a lunge on the other side.
  3. Core 2 (see below)
  4. Mountain climbers: start in a plan position with your back straight and body in line. Draw your leg in towards your chest. As you push it back into the starting position, bring in your other leg. Alternative legs increasing the speed if you are able to.

Core 1:

  1. Forearm plank hold: hold a plank position on your forearms for one minute, keeping your whole body in line. If one minute is too much, hold for 20 seconds and take a 10 second break and repeat three times.
  2. 30 second side plank hold: hold a side plank position on your forearm for 30 seconds, making sure to keep your body in line and not letting your lower body drop down.

Core 2:

  1. Walking plank: start in a push up position with your back straight in a plank. Lower down onto one forearm and then the other. Push up off the first forearm that was lowered back into a fully extended push up position, raising the other arm. Repeat for 30 seconds alternating arms (down, down, up, up pattern).
  2. Russian twist: sit on the ground holding a medicine ball in the middle of your body. Lift your legs slightly off of the ground and begin twisting side to side, ensuring you are fully rotating your body and keeping your core braced inward.

– A – 

Our Fitness Quiz

Hi all! We know everyone loves quizzes so we took one of our own to share with you everything about how we workout and our passion for fitness in general. We have a lot of similarities, but also have some different preferences and favorites that we shared with each other. Let’s get to it!

  1. What’s your favorite type of workout and why?

A: I love strength training, using resistance to train my upper and lower body using both push and pull movements for full-body training. I have totally transformed my mindset from thinking that weight training is only for guys. 😉 I have been able to sculpt many parts of my body that I never made progress on with just cardio training.

M: It is hard to chose between running and barre. I really enjoy running especially when Michigan allows me to do so outside. I love putting on good tunes, forgetting about to-do lists, and breathing in the fresh air. I balance out the cardio from running with barre classes. It is a great way to keep my muscles toned and lean without having to think too much.

  1. What’s your favorite post-workout snack or meal?

A: I workout in the morning before work and enjoy two scrambled eggs right after my workout. A couple of hours later I’ll have a protein bar and an apple to hold me over until lunch.

M: A smoothie! I love making healthy, refreshing smoothies after a sweaty workout. Sometimes it even serves as my workout motivation. I have currently been making a pumpkin smoothie that is delicious, healthy, and festive!

  1. Where do you look for fitness inspiration?

A: I love following people who inspire me on Instagram (check out: @alexia_clark, @mytrainercarmen or @emilyskyefit) and I also read Scottsdale Health, a local magazine that highlights what’s going on in the fitness industry in Scottsdale.

M: I usually go on Pinterest to find workouts when I am in need of inspiration. I pin focused toning workouts such as arms or abs depending on what I am looking to work on that day. Also, I love reading blogs that are focused on healthy living and fitness.

  1. What’s your current fitness goal?

A: My fitness goal is to increase my strength and build lean muscle through strength training. I’m currently working on my squats, and I have most recently hit the 100lb mark! Although that may not be impressive to some, it’s my personal best and I’m proud of it!

M: My current fitness goal is to find a race, possibly a half marathon, to train for in the coming year. I have ran two half marathons as well as 10k’s and 5k’s with my dad. I love having a race scheduled to train for for since it really motivates me and I feel accomplished when I complete it.

  1. What’s your favorite healthy meal?

A: Eggs! I love breakfast and could eat it for any meal. On the weekends I love a good veggie omelet.

M: I love a good chopped salad that is full of protein and veggies, don’t forget the avocado!

  1. How many days a week do you exercise?

A: Usually six days a week. I try to carve out one rest day, but I’m always anxious to get back in the gym. Some days it’s a quick 25 minute workout before work, but it still counts right?!

M: I usually work out five days a week. When I work multiple nights in a row and have to sleep during the day, it can be hard to fit a workout in. I do Pure Barre once or twice a week and run or do a mix of cardio and strength training on the other days. It’s always good to get moving and work up a sweat!

Have a great week!

– A & M –

Core Blast

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Kevin and I went to the Keith Urban concert on Saturday night and had a blast with some friends. I also did some killer core workouts and wanted to share some of my favorite core strength exercises.

First is my favorite, stir the pot on a stability ball. The goal is to resist rotation and control the movement as you make small circles with your arms while in a plank position using a medium – large size stability ball. Do 8-10 circles in both directions and you’ll feel your core fire up right away!

 

Next, i did a circuit with a series of four movements. Complete the circuit three times at the end of your workout for a core finisher.

  • 10 bicycles in each direction
  • 10 plank reaches on each side
  • 20 pulse ups
  • 20 flutter kicks

I hope you enjoy these core moves as much as I do! Your core will thank me. 🙂

– A –

 

Pure Barre Platform

Hey everyone! Hope you had a great weekend and are having a happy Monday so far! Amanda, along with her husband, our dad, and some family and friends, are hiking Macchu Picchu in Peru. Amanda will be sure to share the trip with you when she returns, but for now you’re stuck with me! 

This week I wanted to share my experience with a new form of Pure Barre…Platform! The class started at my studio a few months back and I finally was able to fit it into my schedule. I was a little nervous because I am so used to the original Pure Barre class. However, I really enjoyed the workout and was able to catch on to the format throughout the duration of the class. 

The class differs from the original Pure Barre class by utilizing the platform while still toning your abs, arms, and legs. There were also incorporated cardio bursts throughout the class to increase your heart rate. We were able to jump off the platform with one leg extended in the air for some of the cardio intervals which was fun and worked up a sweat! The class was very fast-paced and overall I liked the cardio aspect of it without losing the lift, tone, burn (LTB) that Pure Barre is known for. I left the studio drenched in sweat and will definitely be returning for more! 

What is your favorite workout class? I would love to hear from you!

Until next week! 

-M-

Drop it Like a Squat

Who loves squatting as much as we do? Okay, so we don’t always love doing them but we absolutely love the results. Squats work the entire lower body, specifically the quads, hamstrings and glutes. There’s many squat variations that are effective for any fitness level. Here are a few of our favorite.

1. Back squats -The main muscle worked in back squats is your quadriceps. Place a barbell across the top of your back with a hip-width stance. Lower down keeping your torso upright and push through your heel to extend back to a standing position.

togetheratheart_squats

2. Jump squats – Jump squats use the same form as a back squat, but the upward (concentric) motion is an explosive upward jump. These can be done with your own body weight or with the TRX.

3. Sumo Squats – Start with a slightly wider than hip-width stance with your feet slightly turned out. Hold a dumbell or kettlebell in both hands slightly above the ground. Lower down keeping your spine neutral and return to standing position. Sumo squats work your inner thigh adductors and challenge your balance.

togetheratheart_squats

4. Globlet squats – Start by holding a kettlebell by the top handle close to your chest. Squat down until your hamstring touches your calves and return to standing position.

5. Squat jacks – Lower into a tradition squat. Jump your legs together and back out while keeping the body lowered into a squat position.

If your new to doing squats or want to focus on your form, it helps to start by using a stability ball up against a wall, sliding it down the wall as you squat. Squats are great to incorporate on leg day or mix into a full body circuit. Let’s squat it out!

– A & M –

Outdoor Circuit Workout

I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend! It’s warming up in Scottsdale, so it was nice to stay cool inside and get some chores done. A few weekends ago I did a fun outdoor circuit workout and I had a blast! There’s so many things outdoors that can be used in place of gym equipment.

I started with some step ups to balance on a park bench with leg lift at the top to get my heart rate up. Next I did some triceps dips on a bike rack. My favorite was doing squat jumps up a flight of stairs, making sure to keep good form. I ended with some jumping jacks and then did a few laps across a bridge near by. I did this circuit three times with 30 seconds spent on each exercise.

It was such a fun way to mix up my workout and be outdoors while working up a sweat. It’s amazing how many things outdoors easily doubled as gym equipment. I encourage you all to try making your own workout outside with your friends, kids or solo. Happy sweating!

– A –

Favorite Health & Fitness Apps

Happy Monday friends!

Today we wanted to share our favorite healthy living apps that we use on our phone to keep us on track and motivate us. We love to use different apps to help inspire our workouts as well as our recipes. We hope you can use these apps as well!

Meg’s Top Picks

  • Pinterest

I am 100% obsessed with Pinterest, but I especially love using it to find inspiration for workouts and healthy recipes. When I go into the gym without a plan and need some quick inspiration to round out my workout I refer to my workout board where I have pinned many focused workouts such as abs, arms and leg workouts. I also have a couple treadmill workouts pinned that I often refer to. It makes my workout more exciting and different each time! I also love using recipes from Pinterest and most recently am loving any zoodle recipes (refer to last week’s post). Pinterest has never-ending healthy, easy recipes that are great to pin and look back on when you need some fresh meal ideas.

  • Nike Training Club

I have had the Nike Training Club app for a while now and recently have been using it more often when I am looking for a  strengthening workout to follow an outdoor run (thank goodness for warm weather!). The app is free and easy to use as it groups workouts by type (strength, cardio, lean, focused workouts) and also by intensity (beginner, intermediate, advanced). The workouts are between 15-45 minutes long and include video demonstration of each move which is helpful. There are so many workouts to choose from and the ones I have completed thus far are definitely challenging!

Amanda’s Top Picks

  • Personal Trainers on Instagram

There’s not a better place to get fitness motivation than Instagram. Instagram has so many inspiring fitness and health related posts, and most personal trainers post great videos showcasing their workouts. My favorite trainer to follow is @mytrainercarmen. She’s an ACE trainer who posts awesome videos that are easy to follow in the gym when I’m wanting to mix it up in the gym. I also use Instagram to find healthy and beautiful looking recipes. I recently made a recipe from @cremedelacrumb1 that was delicious!

  • MINDBODY

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love trying a variety of group exercise classes to challenge different muscle groups. Most group exercise studios use the MINDBODY software for their client’s to schedule classes. It’s a great app to have on hand when you’re looking to try a new studio, and want to read reviews and schedule your class all in one app. Most studios offer a free first class making it a no-brainer to get out there and try a new class!

What healthy living apps do you use for inspiration? We’d love to hear from you!

– A & M –

Orange Theory

It’s Monday! Time to set our intentions for the week. Although it’s hard, Monday’s should be seen as an opportunity for a week of success, not holding your breath for the weekend. As you know, we love trying new workout classes. They are such a fun way to mix up our workout routines and learn about different fitness methods. We tried an Orange Theory class as a family when we were all together in Arizona, and wanted to give you our thoughts. Orange Theory uses heart-rate based interval training on the treadmill, rowing machine and weight training blocks. You wear a heart rate monitor that displays your heart rate on a screen with other class members, and pushes you to keep your heart rate in your target zone throughout the class. The goal is to be in the “orange zone,” which means you will get an after exercise calorie burn for up to 36 hours of your workout.


The class we did was a partner workout where one person started on the treadmill while the other was on the row machine. After the person on the treadmill finished waking or rushing 0.15 miles at their fastest speed they then moved into a weight circuit before switching with the partner on the row machine. You cycled through this rotation for the length of the class, adding intensity on the treadmill and additional weight exercises in the circuit section. The class finished with abs and some stretching. It was a good workout, but our instructor didn’t do the best job explaining the different heart rate levels and what they meant. There was also a sense of confusion on what we should be doing at times, but we did feel a burn throughout!

Would we try it again? Maybe! We liked the circuit style of the class and the idea of using a heart rate monitor to stay motivated and be in our target heart rate zone, but we didn’t love the trainer or his lack of explanation of the workout since we were new. We love trying workout classes and will post some more reviews in the future. What’s your favorite workout class? We’d love to hear from you!

– A & M –