The Home Gym: Full Body Strength & Cardio Fun

When it comes to working out the thing that matters is – You Do It. Here’s a workout you can do at home, at the gym, or in the park.

Workout Basics and Warm Up

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work portion.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

If you are unclear about a movement, look it up (Check out my YouTube Tutorials Here). There are lots of resources online that allow you to make sure you have good form. Always work up to adding weight or making a movement less stable. Good form comes first.

Warm Up Moves – 10 of each

  • Forward Arm Circles
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Elbows up and back with core rotation – like the self defense move
  • Backward Arms Circles
  • Air Squats with diagonal frontal arm raise
  • Super Slow Center Wood Chops

Cardio set 1 – 1 minute all out

  • Treadmill – 70-80% THR (not sure how to find your target heart rate? Read Here)

Full body Set 1 – 1 min each movement

  • Diagonal Lunge Back – Alternate legs
  • Side Lunge – Alternate sides
  • Diagonal Lunge Front – Alternate legs
  • Lat Pull Downs with Rubber Tubing – (need some tubing? Try KBands)
  • Butt Drops with push up in between – Think push up, flip to supine, drop butt, flip back prone and push up, lots of rotation with this one, keep your core tight and form good.

Free Athlete and Fitness Training

Cardio Set 2 – 1 min all out

  • Bike (spinner if you have access) – 75-85% THR

Full Body Set 2 – 2 sets / 10 reps each movement. Move all the way through set before repeating.

  • Med Ball Squat with Contra lateral over the shoulder lift
  • Single Leg Lunge with right leg kick through
  • Frog Jumps
  • Single Leg Lunge with left leg kick through

Cardio set 3 – 1 min all out

Cross Trainer – 70-80% THR

Core Set – 3 sets / 10 repetitions. Do full set then rest & repeat

  • Plank Set:
    • Alternating Knee Outside Elbow
    • Alternating Knee to Center
  • Alternating Table Top Lifts with side plank rotation
  • Plank Single Toe Rolls

Finish Strong

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

As always have a fun living in your body today!

Saturday Weekend Warrior Workout – Slow to Fast

Ready for your weekend? It’s time to get moving with this super slow and speed drill full body workout.

Workout Basics and Warm Up

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

If you are unclear about a movement, look it up. There are lots of resources online that allow you to make sure you have good form. Always work up to adding weight or making a movement less stable. Good form comes first.

Super Slow 1

the following three movements are done super slow, to the count of 10 up, 10 down. Focus on your balance and stability. Pull the belly button in and up and keep the spine supported with the contraction. Practice using good form – form always comes before speed. 

  • 10 Kick through right leg lunge without weight, challenge your ability to balance, but hold on as needed. Front knee should remain behind the ankle throughout the movement. Shoulders should center over the hips. Step back into the lunge and up into the front kick
  • 30 Crunches
  • 10 Pushups – do on your knees or standing against the wall if you do not have the core strength to maintain form through your lower back. Your back should not “sway” toward the floor.
  • 10 Kick through left leg lunge without weight, challenge your ability to balance, but hold on as needed. Front knee should remain behind the ankle throughout the movement. Shoulders should center over the hips. Step back into the lunge and up into the front kick

Speed Drill 1

Do each movement below for 30 seconds: hold on as needed, but challenge your balance. Use good form. Go only as fast as you can maintain your form.

  • Kick through right leg lunge without weight
  • 180 Jumps
  • Push Ups
  • Butt Drops
  • Kick through left leg lunge without weight.

Super Slow 2

The following three movements are done super slow, to the count of 10 up, 10 down. Focus on your balance and stability. Pull the belly button in and up and keep the spine supported with the contraction. Practice using good form – form always comes before speed.

  • 10 Squat to balance toe raise begin with feet shoulder width apart, squat back (think music festival porta potty and you aren’t going to touch anything while you go, and will not soil your clothes), knees behind toes and over ankles. Lower as far as you can and maintain a flat lower back, if it rounds you’ve gone too low. As you come up continue to rise until you are balancing on your toes.
  • 10 Frontal Arm Raise – you can use weight or not, maintain good form and do not rise above shoulder height. Can do arms together or single, maintain symmetrical balance for body on single
  • 10 Medicine Ball / Weight Russian Twists – each side
  • 10 Alternating Diagonal Shaking Hand Planks – each side

Speed Drill 2

Do each movement below for 30 seconds: hold on as needed, but challenge your balance. Use good form. Go only as fast as you can maintain your form.

  • Squat to toe raise
  • Power Burpee
  • Medicine ball / weight Russian Twists
  • Rocket Girls – Plyometeric Split Lunges

Finish Strong

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

As always have a fun living in your body today!


Saturday’s Weekend Warrior Workout

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

10’s For Strength

Do 10 reps of each exercise below. Make sure you have good form before you make any movement harder. Form before function or you won’t have function (you’ll hurt yourself instead).

Round 1

  • Backward lunges
  • Elbows Wide Push ups
  • Side Lunges
  • Elbow-In Low Row (to make weighted use dumbbell, bands, canned goods, full/semi full milk jug, your kid – be creative & make sure it feels good to lift, some items do not)
  • Forward lunges. (if you have problems keeping your knee over your ankle here, do another set of backward lunges)
  • Elbow-Out High Row (see above for weight)

Round 2

  • Narrow Squats (put a block, small ball, or towel between your inner thighs for this one to help focus on those muscle groups)
  • Supine Overhead Lat Row (lay on your back on the floor or a bench, feet flat on the floor, knees bent, with 1 weighted item in hands. Move that item from chest level over your head and return pulling down toward the stomach area. Do not move lower than the floor/top of the head, and keep the arms straight throughout the movement. If low back lifts shorten the range of the movement. And make sure you do not drop the weight on yourself)
  • Pile Squats
  • Elbows in Push Ups

Round 3

  • Single Leg Squats – 10 to each side
  • Shoulder Lateral Raises
  • Cherry Pickers
  • Bicep Curls
  • Curtsy Squats
  • Tricep Overhead Press

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

As always have a fun living in your body today!

Workouts on the Trail – A Workout for Your Next Walk.

For many, working out is as easy as walking out our backdoor. Here’s a walking workout you can do during your next walk around the block, up the mountain, or around the park. Just find your favorite trail and GO.

Interested in packing your own exercise bands for an even easier way to workout while you hike? – check out Thera Bands – they are easy to pack. I have a set with handles I’ll bring when I know I can use trees or want the ease of a handle and I have a set without handles I’ve cut to the length I want and can tie/wrap around anything. I  tie these around my waist during a run for less to carry.

In addition to hiking a great trail for cardiovascular exercise, you can add strength training to your routine with a few simple movements. First focus on your lower body. As you move forward make your step wider. Lower your back knee towards the ground (be careful not to hit your knee on the ground – this hurts) and be sure to maintain alignment with your front foot out over your front ankle. This helps make sure you do not have too much force on the knee joint as you overload the body. Do 20 alternating lunges then continue your walk as normal.

After 2 minutes stop and do 10 push-ups. You can choose a rock or tree branch to elevate upper or lower body or just remain as level as you can, choosing to complete full body push ups on your toes or perform the movement from your knees.

Return to the hike. 2 minutes later, stop and begin to squat. Pretend you are sitting in a porta potty at the end of a long music festival. If you’ve never experienced this – you don’t want to touch anything with any part of your body. With your feet firmly on the ground, sit back and hover as though you didn’t want to touch anything and you don’t want to soil yourself either, but pretend you really have to go to the bathroom, so you’re going to have to figure this out. Pull your belly button towards your spine and length through your lower back. Again make sure your knees are not pushing out over your toes and focus on a nice diagonal line from the top of your head through your tailbone. Try to keep from resting your belly on your thighs. Again resume walking.


Next, it’s time for back work. You can choose a tree branch at a good height and grip circumference for you to do pull ups or find a rock you can grip to do rows. When doing rows I like to alternate between high and low rows to target the entire back. Take a lunge stance, support yourself with a hand on your thigh, and place the rock in the opposite (to front foot) hand. Using the rock as weight begin to pull your elbow up close to the body until it is behind you. Squeeze your scapula toward your spine and focus on the small muscles between them and along your spine. Next movement is the high row. This time move your arm straight out from your shoulder – same lower body position. Bend the elbow at 90 degrees and pull up, again focusing on the small muscles between the scapula and spine. Do 10 of each on each arm and return to walking. There are a few options in the video below that target your back. Get creative and see what you can add into your hike based on your environment.

At this point your could choose to be done or add in an “Arnold”. This move is a combination move targeting the biceps and deltoids. Begin with rocks in both hands. Make sure they are heavy enough to provide overload for you in both the shoulder press and a bicep curl but not too heavy that you can’t complete both with good form. Start with your hands down by your sides arms fully extended. Curl the hands toward the shoulders and then continue the movement by lifting the hands above the head.

To complete my arms, I like to add in a tricep move at the top of my arnold. If you feel comfortable with your weights in each hand go for it. If not do this as a separate move after 2 more minutes of hiking. Squeeze your elbows to your ears and drop the rock behind your head (be careful not to hit yourself in the head as this really hurts when you misjudge placement). Extend the arms back above the head, lower hands to the shoulders and extend the arms once again returning to the starting position. Complete 10 and then return to walking.

Now you can choose to add a few plank holds, back extensions, and quadruped curls (on all fours, wrists under shoulders, knees under hips, lift one leg and the opposite arm, curl the knee and elbow together and hold for a 3 second count.


Return to the starting point and repeat on the other side). Again return to walking.

Congratulations!! You have done a full body strength training session and created a walking workout on your favorite trail! Now you have the choice to continue walking without interruption or complete another set or two. Your choice will depend on the difficulty of your trail, your allotted time, and your current fitness level. Here’s to making every workout count!

If you liked this article, please leave a comment below and let me know how your workout went. You can check out more on Exercise on the Cheap and look at how to get creative on your vacation and find workouts all around you.

#fitnesspsychologist, #healthy, #walkingworkouts

Three Exercises To Do When You Are Short On Time

You are into your workouts. You know when, where, and how long you are going to workout. You know which exercises you are going to do and why you are doing them. You are almost to your workout time – when something derails you! Now what are you going to do? You know you need to workout and you really want to but your time just got cut way short. Here are three exercises you can do to work the majority of your body quick!

The Push-Up – push ups focus your work on the chest and triceps (back of the upper arm). Remember safety. Keep your core tight. This allows you to work the abdominals and lower back as you stabilize your movements. You can do push-ups on the wall, on your hands and knees, or on your hands and toes. You can also change arm positions to emphasize the muscles differently.

The Squat – A basic squat gets most of your lower body. Your quadriceps work to extend your knee as you stand, your glutes and hamstrings work through the hip extension, your tibialis anterior (front of the lower leg) may do work as you flex at the ankle and your gastrocnemius and soleus (calfs) may work if you finish the movement on your toes. Add in plyometrics and jump and you’ve added another layer of work.

The Pull-Up – pull-ups work your latissimus dorsi in either shoulder adduction or shoulder extension depending on where you choose to place your hands (your grip can be narrow or wide depending on the bar you are using). As you pull yourself up you must bend the elbow which is accomplished by your biceps. Again, this can be a very difficult exercise but can be modified to meet your needs. You can lie flat on your back with a chair on either side of you. Place a sturdy bar over the chair seats (make sure the chairs or the bar are not going to move) and pull up only your upper body. You can use a table, counter, playground equipment, etc to modify the height you are pulling up from. The lower the bar the less weight you’ll have to lift. As you become stronger you’ll be able to lift more of your body weight – until all the sudden you’ll be able to lift your entire body weight!

So in just three exercises you have trained your:

  • Chest
  • Triceps
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Possibly your calfs and front of the lower leg
  • Back
  • Biceps
  • And throughout your abdominals, lower back, and shoulders have stabilized your movements and worked in an isometric contraction.

Check out my YouTube Channel for home workouts, exercises, and equpiment ideas to set up your home gym… And yourself up for success. 

And you thought your workout had to be long!