Wednesday Workout: 4 Minute Plank Series {Video}

Hi there! I’m here with a  quickie plank workout for you today. As Holiday season is in full swing, I know it can be hard to find time to workout. That said, this is a perfect, short core workout that will leave you winded by the end! Hint: You’ll be doing this again later as part of the Happy, Healthy, Fit challenge, so you can practice each week until then 🙂

4 minute plank workout

I’ve also included a real-time video so you can workout with me if you need extra motivation 😉

Few planking reminders:

  • Keep your core engaged, shoulders pulled back onto your back
  • Make sure your shoulders are right over your elbows and wrists (if in a straight arm plank)
  • Push your heels back away from your body
  • Keep your head, neck and spine in line
  • Make sure your bum isn’t sticking up or sagging too low; keep your core tight to protect your lower back
  • If you feel tired at all, drop to your knees- it’s better to do a CORRECT plank on your knees than an incorrect plank on your toes.

Happy planking, friends!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite plank variation?

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?

Wednesday Workout: 10-10-10 Pre-Flight Workout & A Standing Ab Workout

It’s your lucky hump day today- I’ve got TWO workouts for you… and a video! *cue happy dance* 😉

Last week I had to travel for work and since I knew I wouldn’t have time to workout while I was there (really short trip), I decided to get up super early to get in a quickie workout before my 7:30 flight. Even if it’s not a long workout, I like to try to get SOMETHING in on a day of travel where I know I’ll be on a plane for a number of hours and then sitting in meetings for even more hours. It helps wake me up and give me energy to tackle the day.

So, I rolled out of bed at 4:45am and did this quick, 30 minute workout before my flight and felt great!

I split it up to be 10 minutes cardio, 10 minutes strength and 10 minutes core so that I could have a full body workout. It’s a little all over the place because I picked 10 different cardio and core exercises, but that’s what I needed to get me through the workout!

10-10-10 pre-flight workout

And… you’re done! I was actually sweating quite a bit by the time I finished this workout and I felt like I really worked all of the key muscles to work in a short workout… aka, this workout gave me a lot of “bang for the buck”.

If you don’t have weights, you can easily swap out some of the moves and replace them with body weight exercises. Think: Triceps dips, push-ups, Down-Dog push-ups, etc.

Most moves are pretty common, but some that may need explaining are:

Hammer Kicks
Toe Touches
Windshield Washer

Let me know if you try this!

Next up: Standing Ab Workout

My kickboxing class on Saturday is getting so crowded that there just aren’t enough mats for everyone to use at the end for our core work time. Instead, I’ve been doing a bunch of standing ab exercises, which can be just as effective as core exercises done on the ground. This will only take you about 10 minutes to complete, which is a great way to end a workout!

standing ab workout

And, since I’m loving workout videos lately, I filmed one on Sunday for you guys to do if you want to DO the workout with someone (sometimes that’s the motivation you need to actually do a workout at home, right?). Again, my videos definitely need work, but it’s all good… that will come eventually! For now, try to focus on the moves rather than my mistakes 😉

Questions for you: If you’re running short on time, what are the “must have” exercises you’d include in your workout? Do you prefer standing ab routines or mat exercises? Are you apt to get up early to squeeze in exercise before a trip?

Wednesday Workout: The Low Impact, No Equipment, No Contact Workout

Aka, the workout I came up with so that I could get some movement in, but not be in any pain. I did this Wednesday night when my hands and feet were in so much pain that I couldn’t really do much that involved moving them. I knew I wanted to get some movement in, so I thought of a workout I could do that would get my heart rate up, yet still be low impact.

Although I didn’t use weights for this workout, if you wanted to intensify it, feel free to use weights- totally up to you. I did each mini set three times through before moving on to the next, but if you wanted to do each mini set once and work through all four of them before you repeated anything, that’s fine, too. The video I filmed will allow you to go through the workout like that- you’ll do each set once through and then you can repeat the circuit one or two times through.

Low Impact, No Equipment, Little Contact Workout

As you can see, there aren’t any crazy moves here- just the basics, but you know what? They are effective if you do them deliberately and if you think about the muscles you’re using for each move. Since a bunch of you asked for more workout video’s/demo’s, I decided I’d try it out with this workout. I definitely lost count more than once (happens every time in my classes- it’s hard to count, instruct and cue!), but hopefully it will help guide you through the workout and feel like you’re with me in class when you do it! I have a lot of work to do in my video’s, but it’s super fun to do them so I hope to get more on the blog this year!

Let me know what you think of the workout and video. Remember to warm up and cool down properly!

Questions for you: Do you like following workout videos? What types of videos would you like to see more of?

Wednesday Workout: My Favorite Cardio Kickboxing Combos (including videos)

As you probably know, I teach 1-2 cardio kickboxing classes a week and it is by far my favorite form of cardio. I used to have a heart rate monitor (ugh, it died and I haven’t had a chance to replace it yet) and I would burn more calories kickboxing in my kitchen in 30 minutes than I would running, which is crazy! And for me, kickboxing is way more fun than running!

My friend Athena has been requesting a “kickboxing combo” Wednesday Workout post for quite some time. You’d think I would’ve posted it by now, right? I like to please my readers, but posts like this take a lot of time to write and develop, especially when I add in videos, so they tend to get pushed to the back of my “to post” list. I know, it’s sad and I want to start changing that going forward because the harder posts to prepare and write are the ones that usually have more substance and value.

Before I get to the combos, here’s a short description and video for the different basic punches and kicks:


Start with your “guard up” with your hands in a tight fist. Extend the arm either out straight to the front, or at a bit of an angle (cross jab), to 99%. You never want to fully extend the arm and lock out your elbow. Once it’s extended, you actively retract the arm back in, squeezing your bicep as you do it.


Your arm stays bent at a 90 degree angle throughout the punch. It comes up and around, almost like your clearing off a cabinet and stops at the midline of your body. Your punching leg pivots as you punch.

Upper Cut

You start with your fists up and you drop your shoulder/crunch your oblique as you bring your elbow down and back. This is the one punch where you hyperextend your shoulder in order to get the full motion. You punch your fist up towards your chin, with your fingers facing your face. Again, you pivot off of your punching leg as you punch.

Front Kick

Bring your knee up and keep your foot flexed. From there, extend the foot towards the front of the room, still keeping your foot flexed (I always say you should be able to see the sole of your shoe in the mirror) and making sure you don’t extend to 100%. Retract the foot back in and then extend the foot to the ground. Most people forget this part and just bring their leg straight down to the ground from the kick and that is really dangerous. You need to make sure you bring the foot in first and then down.

With that said, here are some of my favorite kickboxing combos. I teach a choreographed kickboxing class, which differs from other types of kickboxing classes because I choreograph to the beat (32 count) and we do {usually} 3 “combos” on the right lead and then we repeat those on the left lead. I prefer this style of kickboxing to drills and intervals because I like the way it flows from one move to the next and gives people something to think about while they workout (it’s hard to remember the moves, so when you have to focus on that, the class tends to go by faster!).

Jab, cross, jab, knee

We do this combo facing the side of the room. From there, you jab your left arm towards the front of the room, do a cross jab with your right arm, jab again with your left and then lift your left knee up to your chest while engaging your abs. Make sure you pivot off of your right foot and turn your hips from the side wall to the front wall when you do the cross jab. I usually run through this combo for 3 sets of 8 counts and then add on. Last week, after doing 2 jab-cross-jab-knee combs, we did 4 corner to corner left jabs, 4 shuffles up to the front of the room with fast left jabs and then repeat that back (4 shuffles back). Finally, we did 2 right knees and 2 left knees. Then you start from the top again!

video blooper- Note that I forgot the shuffle up and back one time! Whoops!

3 Hooks & an Upper

Start with 3 right hooks, and then do 1 left upper cut. From there, you break it down to 1 hook and 1 upper and do that twice. From this combo, I like to just do something simple like 2 right knees and 2 left knees and then 2 squat jumps. So it would be: right hook, right hook, right hook, left upper- right hook, left upper, right hook left upper- 2 right knees, 2 left knees- 2 squat jumps.

Kicks forward, jacks back, hi/lo right & left, burpee

My members love to hate when I throw in burpees into the mix, hence why I keep doing it!  For this combo, you do 4 front kicks while moving up, 4 jumping jacks back to your original spot, 4 hi/lo punches to the right and left and then 1 burpee. With the hi/lo punches, make sure you get low with the legs and add in the pulsing motion!

Speed bag, knees, speed bag, cross punch, squat & kick

I do this combo facing the side of the room. Start out with 4 speed bag punches up to the right and then do 2 left knee crunches. Go back to 4 right speed bag punches, but instead of doing 2 left knees, you do 2 right cross jabs/punches. Next, do a squat and right kick, squat and left kick, squat and right kick, squat and left kick. Start from the top: 4 speed bags right, 2 left knees, 4 speed bags right, 2 right cross jabs, squat right kick, squat left kick, squat right kick, squat left kick.

Jab, Cross, Hook, Upper, squat, squat jump, fast jabs, cross punch, front knee, back kick

Phew. How’s that for a mouthful?! Jab, cross, hook, upper is one of the most common kickboxing combination. I always do this facing the side and always start with the left side of the body facing the front mirror first. Start with a left jab, right cross, left hook, right upper. Do this twice before doing 1 squat and 1 squat jump. From there, get low in the legs and do 4 fast left jabs and 2 right cross punches. Your last move is a left knee and right back kick (twice). So it’s: jab, cross, hook, upper, jab, cross, hook, upper, squat, squat jump, 4 fast left jabs, 2 right cross jabs, left knee, right back kick X 2.

And, that about sums it up. Pardon my awkwardness and fumble mouth in some of the videos… and the shirt I decided to wear. Note to self for next time: don’t wear stripped shirts when making videos, haha

Edited to add: If you’re looking for other combos, check out these 2 posts:

My Favorite Kickboxing Combos {Take 2}
My Favorite Kickboxing Combos {Take 3}

Questions for you: Do you like cardio kickboxing classes? What’s your favorite group ex. class? Do you like these posts with videos?