Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My Favorite Workouts

Whenever I'm in the mood for a good interval run or feel inspired to tone my arms, I typically refer to a few tried-and-true workouts that always leave me fatigued and satisfied. Below are some cardio and toning routines that have become my favorites.

This workout from Tone It Up is my favorite one for toning my arms. The movements are simple, but I instantly feel the burn. Make sure you use weights that challenge you. It's interesting because I don't feel the burn with 3 pound weights, but when I use 5 pounds, I'm struggling to finish. I guess this shows how much I need to work on my upper body strength :)

I have a hard time committing to a toning workout if its not a Body Pump class, but this Tone It Up leg workout is fun, challenging, and leaves me super sore the next day.

Cardio Circuit
I randomly gave this workout a whirl when all of the cardio machines were taken at the gym, and it left me utterly sweaty and sore. It combines cardio and strength, which makes one effective workout that takes 20-25 minutes. Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers has a number of other great cardio circuits that make cardio fun and fly by if you're not in the mood for the elliptical or treadmill. Also, I substitute high knees for box jumps and mountain climbers for jump rope if I don't have the equipment.

Walking Workout
Sometimes I just don't want to run or do the elliptical, but want something challenging. This walking workout by PBF looks like a breeze, but leaves me huffing and puffing. Honestly, running would be easier then trucking up these inclines.

Treadmill Workouts
This is my absolute FAVORITE treadmill workout when I'm in the mood for a distance run on the "dreadmill". I easily get bored if I'm running a steady pace on the treadmill so intervals or progression runs like this one keep my mind occupied and my body sweating.

 Tone It Up teamed up with Shape Magazine last spring and posted several HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts, and I wrote them all down. When I'm whipping myself into shape, I typically try and do these at least twice a week. Some are less than 30 minutes and really push you. They've made me so much faster and stronger as a runner, but they also quickly leaned out my body. When I did their HIIT runs twice a week, I noticed results after the first week, and peak fitness after a couple months. Here's an example of one:

Hope you enjoy these workouts as much as I do!


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