Welcome to Week 4 of the #Wantable Fit Workout Series, a four-part exercise program meant to help you get (and stay) fit for swimsuit season. Ashley Haag, owner of Ellipse Fitness Third Ward and founder of fASHionably fit, is back for the final installment with a strength-meets-cardio workout that can be done in about an hour at home, in the gym, or any other spot where you have space to move around.
Keep reading below for detailed instructions on how to complete each exercise. Want extra motivation to reach your fitness goals? Pick up some great gear at www.wantable.com/fitnesslivestream.
Love Ashley’s outfit? Request it in your next Fitness Edit here: www.wantable.com/week4
What you’ll need:
1. Exercise mat or carpeted area
2. Stopwatch to time each exercise
3. Music to get you motivated
4. Resistance tube or band (optional)
5. Jump rope (optional)
How it works:
This workout is made up of 4 sets of 3-4 strength training exercises that last 1.5 minutes each. Every set is followed by a 4-minute declining-time cardio interval. During this interval, you’ll complete a cardio exercise for 50 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds; repeat the exercise for 40 seconds, then rest for 20; repeat for 30 seconds, then rest for 30; repeat for 20 seconds, then rest for 10, and then repeat again for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds.
After you start with a warm-up, you’ll complete your first declining-time cardio interval. Then you’ll move into each block of strength and cardio exercises (taking a quick water break before moving on to the next), and finish with a cool down to lower your heart rate.
Note: Some exercises offer the option of adding a resistance tube or band to help increase the intensity. If you’re using bands, look for detailed instructions on incorporating them correctly.
Start by warming up for 5-7 minutes, or until your muscles no longer feel stiff and your body temperature begins to rise. Some simple warm ups we recommend: gentle flowing stretches, jogging in place or around the room, jumping rope, or anything that gets your blood pumping and heart rate up.
Warm-Up Declining Cardio Interval
Grab your jump rope and jump for 50 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Jump rope for 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds; continue thedeclining-time cardio interval as directed above. Don’t have a jump rope? No worries. Just mimic the movement like you have one.
Exercise Block #1
1. Seated Tricep Dips
Sit on the ground with your knees bent, feet flexed with your heels on the floor, and palms slightly behind you on either side of your body (fingers facing forward). Lift your butt about 1-2 inches off the floor, then slowly and slightly bend your arms so your elbows point straight back toward the wall. Straighten to return to the start position and repeat.
Begin in a raised plank position with arms straight and palms on the ground, positioned a little wider than your shoulders. Slowly bend your arms and lower your chest toward the floor, keeping the body in a straight line from head to toe. Straighten arms to return to the start position and repeat.
Need to modify? Simply drop your knees, then lower your body by bending your arms and straightening them to push yourself back up. Still maintain a straight line from head to tailbone.
Lie face down flat on your mat with your legs together and your arms raised above your head. Raise your arms and legs off the mat at the same time. Lower your right arm and raise your left leg higher, then switch sides to lower your left arm and raise your right leg higher. Continue alternating sides in a scissors motion.
Declining Cardio Interval #1
Tire Run: Start with feet hip width apart, the begin to run forward with knees high and feet wide, as if you’re stepping into a tire obstacle. Run forward for four steps, then hop backward four times with feet together. Repeat the sequence continuously.
Exercise Block #2
1. Right Reverse Leg Extensions & Donkey Kicks
Start with your hands and knees on the mat, making sure arms are in line with your shoulders and knees are in line with your hips. Keeping your foot flexed and toes pointed toward the floor, slowly kick your right leg directly behind you, then return to the start position and repeat continuously.
If you want to up the intensity, place one end of the tube under your left palm, and the other around your right foot. Repeat the move as instructed above, keeping your movements slow and controlled.
2. Right Seated Leg Raise
Sit on your mat with your left knee bent, right leg straight, and elbows resting behind you on the ground. In a slow and controlled motion, begin to lift and lower your right leg. Continue repeatedly.
To make it a little harder, wrap one end of your resistance tube around your right foot, then place your left foot on the tubes to hold them in place. Lift and lower your right leg continuously.
3. Left Seated Leg Raise
Repeat exercise 2, lifting and lowering your left leg instead of your right. Add the resistance tube for a little more intensity.
4. Left Reverse Leg Extensions & Donkey Kicks
Repeat exercise 1, but kick out your left leg instead of your right. Incorporate the tube if you want to increase the intensity.
Declining Cardio Interval #2
Seal Jacks: Stand with your legs under your hips and arms straight out in front of you. Jump legs out (about 3 or 4 feet apart) and at the same time, bring arms to a “t”. Return to the start position and repeat continually.
Exercise Block #3
1. Plank with Tube Drag
Start in a raised plank position, with palms on the floor and your body forming a straight line from head to toe. Keeping the body controlled and as still as possible, tap your left hand with your right hand. Return to the start position, then tap your right hand with your left hand. Continue alternating sides.
Want to up the intensity? Place the resistance band on your left side. Reach under and across your body with your right arm to drag the bands to your right side. Repeat on the opposite side, dragging the bands to your left side with your left arm. Continue alternating sides.
2. Left 1/2 Side Planks with Leg Lifts
Start in a 1/2 side plank position, with your left elbow on the mat directly below your shoulder. Bend your left knee and rest it on the mat, then extend your right leg and raise your body off the mat to create a diagonal line from head to toe. Place your right arm on your right hip, then begin to slowly lift and lower your right leg off the floor. Repeat continuously.
Want to up the intensity? Straighten your left leg so it lifts off the mat and both legs are stacked on top of each other. Slowly raise and lower the right leg continuously.
3. Right 1/2 Side Planks with Leg Lifts
Repeat exercise 2, but on the opposite side. Start with your right elbow and knee on the mat, with your left leg extended. Slowly raise and lower your left leg continuously.
Declining Cardio Interval #3
Squats with Alternating Front Kicks: Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms in a tabletops position in front of your chest. Bend legs and hinge back as if sitting in a chair, bringing your butt closer to the floor and keeping knees in line with your toes. As you straighten your legs to return to the start position, kick your left leg in front of you at hip height. Bring your leg down and return to the squat position, then repeat on the opposite side, kicking your right leg in front of you. Continue alternating sides.
Exercise Block #4
1. Right Side Lunges with Hip Abduction
Stand with feet together and arms clasped in front of your chest. Keep your left leg straight and lift your right leg out to the side, no higher than 45 degrees. Drop the right leg back to the starting position, then step out and down into a side lunge position so the right leg is bent and the left leg is straight. Push off your right foot to return to a raised position and repeat the entire sequence continuously, raising your right leg to the side before dropping into the lunge position.
2. Left Side Lunges with Hip Abduction
Repeat exercise 1, but on the opposite side. Keep your right leg straight and lift your left leg out to the side. Drop the left leg and go into a side lunge position, with the left leg bent and the right leg straight. Continue repeatedly on the left side.
3. Power Squats
Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms in a tabletops position in front of your chest. Bend legs and hinge back as if sitting in a chair, bringing your butt closer to the floor and keeping knees in line with your toes. As you straighten your legs, step your left foot in to meet your right, and repeat the squat motion. As you straighten your legs to stand, step out with your right leg and repeat the open-leg squat. Straighten your legs and step your right foot in to meet your left. Continue the sequence, alternating sides.
Declining Cardio Interval #4
Bicycles: Lie on the floor with hands gently clasped behind your head and legs in a tabletop position. Twist up and over the body, pulling your right leg in slightly and extending your left leg. Return to start position and repeat on the right side, twisting up and over the body while pulling your left leg in and extending your right leg. Continue alternating sides in a fluid motion.
Want to up the intensity? Try Sprinter Sit-Ups: Lie on the floor with feet together and arms held in a tabletops position in front of your chest. Engaging your abs, roll your upper body off the floor, twisting it up and across your body to the left. At the same time, pull the left leg in toward the chest, while the right leg stays flat on the mat. Return to the start position and repeat on the opposite side, twisting to the right and pulling in the right knee. Continue alternating sides.
Lower your heart rate and help your muscles recover by stretching out your entire body, especially your shoulders, biceps, triceps, hip flexors, quads, glutes, upper and lower back, and any other muscle that may feel tense.