Wednesday Workout: Tight Buns! Without squats or lunges! {video}

I find myself going through phases with the types of workouts I share with you. Sometimes I post workouts I’ve taught, sometimes I post quickie at-home workouts, sometimes I post upper/lower body specific workouts and sometimes I post videos. Well, I’m in my video phase right now and have another video for you today, but instead of focusing on upper body exercises like last week, I’m focusing on the tush/buns/glutes/butt today.

I hate lunges and will do squats (even though those are more for the quads than the glutes), but in general, unless I’m doing deadlifts, I don’t like working out my legs. Today’s workout, though, works your glutes in a different way- without even standing up! It’s all mat work, so feel free to get comfy, workout in your living room and get in a great burn without even putting sneaks on.

The workout is about 10 minutes, so it’s totally doable before you go to work, during your lunch break (if you work from home), or while you’re watching tv at night.

And, if you’re not interested in watching the video and working out with me (I totally get in to “instructor mode” when I film myself. so dorky/awkward), here’s the text format:

tight buns

And, I will say- I was SORE on Tuesday after I did this/filmed myself on Monday. I was pleasantly surprised- try it- I dare you 😉 Think I’ll be doing this in class soon!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite glute workout?

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Why I Was Honored To Participate in the #ALS #IceBucketChallenge

If you’ve been anywhere on Social Media, if you’ve watched the news, if you’ve read any sort of news article, you’ve likely seen pictures or videos of people pouring buckets of ice over their heads, right? The first one started in June, and I’ll admit: when I first started seeing the videos on Facebook my thoughts were:

  1. I don’t understand this- how does pouring a bucket of ice water over your head help the cause?
  2. I really hope I don’t get tagged/nominated to participate

However, as the days/weeks/months went by and more and more people were participating and linking to the site which described why people were doing the challenge and how you could donate, I started getting more intrigued.

For those of you who don’t know, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a challenge where people are nominated to pour a bucket of ice water over their heads as a way to spread the awareness for the awful disease known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The amount of awareness that this challenge has made over the past couple of weeks is amazing. Not only that, but there’s been over $12M raised thus far- incredible.

However, as wonderful as this challenge has been and how awesome it is that it has gotten so many people involved, over the weekend, Pete Frates friend and launcher of the ice bucket challenge sadly drowned after an accident while he was on Nantucket over the weekend. He had just raised over $100K for the cause. From what I’ve heard, this person was one of a kind- involved in numerous charity events and fundraisers and a friend to everyone. It made me SO sad to hear about this, and it made my turn at the challenge so much more meaningful. Not only was I dousing myself in ice cold water for Pete Frates and to raise awareness for this terrible disease, I was doing it as a way to say thank you to Corey Griffin, the leading inspiration behind the challenge.

So, with that said, I challenge YOU to go out there and spread more awareness. Talk about it, pour ice water over your head, but more than anything, think about donating– the biggest help of all. It doesn’t take much, but every little bit counts. I was going to donate all along, but getting to pour ice cold water all over myself after a morning workout was icing on the cake… kind of… 😉

This Week: Workouts, B/Spoke Review & Things I’m Looking Forward To

Good morning! Did you guys have a good weekend? Mine seemed extra long because it was kicked off by going to the Red Sox game on Thursday night, but I’m not complaining!

Last week was a pretty solid week of workouts- a good mix between at-home stuff, teaching and GOING to classes- one of my favorite things to do!

B/Spoke

A while ago, I was invited to take a class at a new indoor cycling studio in the financial district: B/Spoke. It’s been a LONGGG time since I’ve taken an indoor cycling class, so I was really excited to get back “in the saddle”, as they say. I reached out to my friends Athena and Caroline to see if they wanted to join. Sadly, Athena had wedding planning plans, but Caroline was still able to come so that was fun! I also invited my friend Megan to come since they offer a free first class.

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As soon as I walked in, I was greeted with smiling faces and asked my shoe size. I love that all these studios provide shoes- I hate wearing non-spin shoes on those bikes now that I’ve seen what it’s like to wear them. It really makes a huge difference in your ride! I was also given a free water- never a bad thing! They have elastics, ear plugs and gum- free of charge- as well.

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The studio is a little cramped in places, but they definitely made the best use of the space that they could by offering lots of locker space and a nice bathroom area. The showers were stocked with fancy shampoo, conditioner and body wash, they had towels to use and soap, q-tips, and other necessities to make getting showered and ready after class a breeze. The only thing I wish they had was more bathrooms, but it seems to be a common thing to only have a few of them at these types of studios. I guess I’m just used to big gym locker rooms.

Ok, enough about the building and amenities, how about the class, right?! I actually loved it! The room was the right size- not too big, but big enough to fit a crowd of people.

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They keep the lights down low so you’re forced to just be in the moment and focus on your ride rather than looking around at everyone else. Caroline, Megan and I were front and center, which is where I generally like to be when I take classes, but not always when I’m in a spin class since that’s not my forte. However, I didn’t feel like a fool or like I couldn’t keep up in this class- maybe I didn’t push myself hard enough? I felt like I was working hard, but when we finished I felt like I could’ve done another ride. I was actually a little sad it was over. I must have definitely not pushed myself hard enough 😉

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The instructor was really great, though. She wasn’t annoying or boring- she was the perfect mix of bubbly energy and hard-core “push yourself” type of instructor. I’m fairly critical of instructors these days, and she passed the test for me. We chatted after and she was super sweet. I loved her choreography because we were hardly in the saddle, which is my least favorite place to be! We did lots of booty drops and oblique work and then the arms song left my delts screaming!

All in all, I really liked the class and would love to get back there. You really can’t pass up a free first class, so if you’re looking to check out someplace new, I suggest getting your bums over to B/Spoke. Take a class with Natalie- she was great!

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I went to B/Spoke. Before I went, I filmed my 7 Minute Body Weight Upper Body Burner and did this workout from Pumps & Iron. Loved it!
  • Tuesday- I went to a Chisel class at my new gym. The instructor was awesome!!! I loved her energy and southern accent and it was overall just a great class. I used a lot of moves in UXF Burn on Wednesday.
  • Wednesday- I ran 3 miles on the treadmill before teaching UXF Burn. We worked hard… like really hard. Lots of back to back shoulder exercises and leg stuff and cardio. For the cardio blast, I took Nicole’s format from this post, but did a 5 minute AMRAP of the 4 different stages of a burpee and at the end just had them do 1 round of 10 reps of the 4 stages. They loved to hate it 😉 The crowd is definitely growing now that I don’t teach there on Thursdays anymore. And, now that I don’t teach on Thursdays anymore I have LOADS of energy when teaching my Wednesday class. No holding back anymore!

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  • Thursday- I was given tickets to the Sox game on Thursday night so I got up and did 30 minutes of kickboxing in my kitchen before going to work. I hadn’t done any kickboxing in 3 weeks- I was sore on Friday!
  • Friday- I went to the Lynnfield BSC during lunch and kicked my butt on the UXF turf- no cardio, but my heart rate was up the whole time!

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  • Saturday- I finally taught my kickboxing class at the Oak Square YMCA. I missed that crowd so much!
  • Sunday- Rest day 🙂

This Week’s Workouts

    • Monday- I taught my Muscle Work class at 6am today and did some cardio after.
    • Tuesday- I plan on going to a Core Fusion Cardio Exhale Spa. I have 2 free class coupons to use by the end of the month so I’d like to take advantage of it!
    • Wednesday- I’m either going to do a double or run before teaching UXF Burn.
    • Thursday- Not sure! Maybe the cardio/strength fusion class at PUMPS? Maybe kickboxing at Wellington? Who knows!
    • Friday- I’m going to a Barry’s Bootcamp workout/event at Revere Hotel with my gym friend Jen. I can’t wait!
    • Saturday- Probably rest day since RM and I are getting up early to head to Maine for my dad’s birthday (and a beach day).
    • Sunday- Not sure- maybe a jog or walk in Maine?

Things I’m Looking Forward To

What I’m most looking forward to this week is going home to Maine on Saturday- I haven’t been home since FATHER’S DAY, which is unheard of for me! My dad is turning 65 on Saturday so it worked out perfectly for us to get up there for a beach day and celebration for him. I’m also looking forward to having a quieter week and hopefully not drinking during the week. I know it’s summer and summer brings about reasons for social gatherings more so than during the winter months, but I’ve just realized how often I’m having a casual cocktail multiple nights a week at this point. I know it’s not a big deal, but I just like to have the week as a detox from drinking.

Questions for you: What was the best workout you had last week? Have you been to B/Spoke? What are you looking forward to this week? Do you drink during the week?

My favorite “up beat” and “cool down” songs

Hi there! I’ll be honest: I’m not big on making playlists for my classes. I have tried it before, but there’s always a weird lull between songs and the beats/tempo change and it just throws me off! I tend to buy my music from 32mix.com because they make it so easy- you can either make a playlist on your own or pick ones that they’ve made. They blend the songs and put them all at a certain BPM (beats per minute), so the tempo never changes, meaning you never lose the beat. Perfect for my kickboxing classes and as background music in my other classes.

But, those playlists are certainly not “cool down” appropriate, nor are they something I like to listen to when I’m going for a walk or even a jog. I download random songs using Shazam and put my “purchased music” on shuffle and go about my business.

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The other day when I was playing one as a cool down, someone said they loved it and would love it if I put up some of my other songs on the blog, so… here you go. I warn you: I’m not a music person, but hopefully some of these songs are new to you!

Favorite “Pick me up” Songs

  • Legacy- Nicky Romero & Krewella
  • Things Can Only Get Better- Cedric Gervais & Howard Jones
  • Love More (feat. Nicki Minaj)- Chris Brown
  • Pompeii- Bastille
  • Silhouettes- Avicii
  • Lovehate Thing- Wale
  • Rather Be feat. Jess Glynne- Clean Bandit
  • Ain’t It Fun- Paramore
  • Am I Wrong- Nico & Vinz

Favorite Cool Down/Chill Songs

  • Peace- O.A.R. (just downloaded this and LOVE it)
  • A Sky Full of Stars- Coldplay
  • Let Her Go- Passenger
  • Let Go- Frou Frou
  • Low Road- Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
  • Stubborn Love- The Lumineers
  • Apologies- Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
  • Kiss Me- Ed Sheeran

I’m in need of some more upbeat/running songs- anyone have any suggestions? What’s your favorite song right now? What do you like to listen to when you work out?

Wednesday Workout: 7 Minute Body Weight Upper Body Burner

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: this summer has been insanely busy! So busy, in fact, that it’s cut into my workout time… the horrors! 😉 What do you do when you have limited time to workout? You pick some exercises that only require body weight and get busy! I did this workout the other day and was pleasantly surprised by how much it challenged me.

There’s nothing fancy, but it’s upper body focused so I like to use it as a finisher after a leg-focused workout like running, stair runs, biking, etc. But, if you’re just looking for a cardio-free workout that focuses on your upper body, do this workout 2, 3, or 4 times through and you’ll surely be feeling it by the end!

I videoed it for you, but I will warn you- the video quality is really only sub-par. I need to figure out a better way to film my workouts for you guys! Also, it looks like I’ve got terrible form and constantly lifting my left hip, but it’s just an illusion: my iPad was on the floor and angled up to get my whole body, which in turn made it look like I was always lifting my left hip! Keep them as flat as you can when you do it 🙂

And, if you’re at work and can’t watch a video- or- just don’t feel like watching it and working out along with me, here’s the workout in written form- enjoy!

7 minute body weight upper body burner

Questions for you: What other type of quick workouts would you like to see on the blog? What’s your favorite body weight exercise?