There's nothing wrong with taking time to yourself and skipping a workout or two. If you would describe your holiday season as "doing the most" and are ready to get back into a fitness routine, ease your way into it with this simple strengthening workout.
This total-body workout takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and it can be done anywhere - great for avoiding the gym mayhem. Do it solo or grab a friend to join you.
Don't forget to warm up before starting the workout. You'll perform this workout as a circuit, meaning you'll take little to no rest in between each exercise. Once you've completed all five exercises, take 90 seconds of rest and then repeat it for a total of five rounds.
Side elbow plank with a twist: 10 reps on each side
Side lunge to curtsy squat: 12 reps on each side
Basic push-up: 12 reps
Reverse lunge with a knee drive: 12 reps on each side
Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson - yup, the one who trains the Kardashians, Kate Beckinsale, and the Los Angeles Lakers - wants to help you improve your core workout and make it as effective as possible.
"Your core wraps around your entire body and supports you," Gunnar told POPSUGAR. He explained that when it comes to strengthening the core, most people solely focus on the rectus abdominis (commonly referred to as the six-pack) instead of the entire core (internal obliques, external obliques, transverse abdominis, and rectus abdominis).
"When it comes to abs . . . there's a ton of work done in flexion and maybe at the most in extenstion," he said. According to Gunnar, this is "great" but not comprehensive. To completely work your core, Gunnar created this workout exclusivey for POPSUGAR while promoting his partnership with MitoQ. It's five moves, can be done anywhere, and will work your lower back, the top of your glutes and thighs, and obliques; what Gunnar constitutes as a complete core workout.
The next time you find yourself thinking, "I don't have time to go to the gym," we want you to reference this workout by NASM-certified trainer Kelsey Wells. It's a low-impact, bodyweight workout that doesn't take long to do, which means you have no excuse for not training.
These exercises will activate your glute muscles, help you prevent injury, and you'll get that extra "burn" in your muscles by doing them. We hope you're ready for your glutes to be on fire!
Kelsey said you can add these exercises into your routine as part of your warmup before a lower-body strength session or as a burnout phase. You can also put these moves together for a quick booty workout. In her caption, Kelsey said to complete four sets of 12 reps for each exercise.
Before you start lifting heavy weights and doing advanced exercises, it's important you master the basic movements. Learning the basics will give your body time to adapt and will help you prevent injuring yourself. If you're new to weightlifting, this beginner workout will help teach you the fundamentals.
The Beginner Dumbbell Workout
Before getting started, you need to get your muscles warm. Here's a quick dynamic warmup you can follow. Grab a set of light/medium dumbbells (five to 10 pounds is a good starting point). If the exercise feels too easy, increase the weight. If your form is falling apart or it's too hard to complete a set, lighten your weight.
Complete the designated sets and reps for each exercise before moving on to the following exercise. Be sure to rest in between each set so that your muscles have time to recover; your rest should be no longer than 60 seconds between each set.
Want to tighten your butt, get more definition in your legs, sculpt your core, and improve your strength and stamina? Sprinting will help you achieve all the above. To learn the basics of sprinting and why it's great for building lean muscle, POPSUGAR spoke to Ato Boldon, four-time Olympian and NBC Sports lead track analyst, and Curtis Taylor, University of Oregon sprints and hurdles associate head coach.
"You will get leaner and your muscles will get bigger," Boldon told POPSUGAR. "It speeds up hypertrophy (muscle growth), so you'll start seeing changes in your muscles if you stick with it," he continued. "Sprinting does have a huge effect on your metabolism, so you're going to burn calories at a huge rate and you're going to burn lots of fat," he said.
"Sprinting does build muscle, particularly in the glute and hamstring area, because these are the prime movers in sprinting," Taylor explained. In addition to your building more muscle in your glutes and hamstrings, he said you'll see muscle development in your quadriceps and calves and that "you may also see some shoulder, biceps, triceps, and pec (chest muscles) toning as well."
If you really want to build strong, defined muscles, using weights will give you an edge over bodyweight exercises. You don't have to spend hours in the gym lifting heavy barbells (although that sure is fun!). Just grab a pair of dumbbells, and do this five-minute workout. We promise: your arms will be burning by the end!
5-Minute Dumbbell Arm Workout
Directions: You'll need a light pair of dumbbells for this workout, so choose a weight depending on your strength (between two and 15 pounds is a good place to start). Perform each move ahead for 60 seconds without rest. For even more of an arm burn, repeat this workout a total of three times.
With your super busy schedule, the last thing that gets checked off of your to-do list is probably that cardio workout you meant to sneak in. We get it - cardio isn't exactly fun to tackle when it's easier to go roll out a mat at home and do a quick yoga sequence. That's why you need to work smarter, so you can get the most out of your cardio in the least amount of time. The perfect tool for that is the elliptical.
We talked to Pamela Carey, CPT-ACE, a certified trainer in New York City, to create an elliptical workout that requires less than half an hour, but offers a serious burst of cardio by using intervals to burn more calorie.
You're thinking, "Isn't all cardio the same?" Well, no. According to Carey, this particular machine is right for those looking for a low-impact workout, like those with knee pain or a lower body injury. "I recommend the elliptical machine most often to people who are looking for a lower intensity, but still excellent workout," Carey told POPSUGAR.
The elliptical is also a great alternative for those who get bored of running on the treadmill, or find the StairMaster intimidating. And before you tell us those two popular machines burn more calories than the elliptical, think again. "The method of cardio that burns the most calories is the kind that you actually do. It's better to do the elliptical two to three times a week consistently than to run once and quit because you hate it."
How Do I Correctly Use the Elliptical?
It's very easy to glide effortlessly and obliviously when you're doing cardio on the elliptical, particularly if you see cardio as a chore. If you want to get the most out of your cardio workout, you need to first watch your form - stand upright and engage your core. "Try not to stay on the balls of your feet, and instead stride through the full foot as you move," Carey says. Try to make the movement natural; there's no need to overreach or overstride.
This is Carey's favorite elliptical interval plan. It takes a total of 24 minutes and you're only sprinting for about half of the time. "This plan helps you burn calories during and after your workout efficiently," she says. "To maximize results, make sure you are challenging yourself with speed and resistance."
Two-minute warmup at moderate intensity: It should feel like a light jog (level 3 on most ellipticals).
One minute at high intensity: It should feel like a sprint (level 9 on most ellipticals).
One minute at moderate intensity: It should feel like a light jog (level 3 on most ellipticals).
Alternate those two levels for 18 more minutes.
Two-minute cooldown at a low to moderate intensity: It should feel like fast walking (level 2 on most ellipticals).
Halsey's song "Without Me" is a breakup anthem, but The Fitness Marshall turns it into a fun dance routine in his new video. With plenty of slow and sexy moves, this video will get out all your heartbreak frustrations.
"In this video, we are going to show our ex that they are nothing without us," TFM told POPSUGAR. This video is packed with hip swings, body rolls, and simple leg work. Although the routine is easy to follow, there's enough jumping around to get your heart rate up.
So channel your inner anger toward your ex and get to dancing!
We wouldn't classify traditional cardio as sexy or fun, which is why we love to incorporate The Fitness Marshall's dance videos into our workout routine. If you're looking for a cardio workout that's fun and will leave you feeling sore, you've got to check out his newest dance video to "Woman Like Me."
The hair flips, booty rolls, and fun choreography are guaranteed to have you feeling like a bona fide badass. "This one will get you fired up! This is for all the sexy woman out there who don't need validation from anyone but themselves," TFM told POPSUGAR.