Earlier this month we made a post about how it’s Heart Month in America and gave you some tips on how to keep your heart healthy. Now we’re going to give you a list of some great exercises you can do to help you with this.
Did you know that interval training is said to be the best way to prevent heart disease and diabetes on top of being the best way to lose weight? The way it works is that you combine short bursts of high-intensity exercise with active rest training in order to burn more fat and calories than longer workouts can offer.
At Fit Body Boot Camp we call this the Afterburn effect. The combination of different exercises at varying intensities improves your heart function and clears fat and sugar from the blood. High Intensity Interval Training can vastly improve your heart function and help prevent disease, which is why we’re going to write out a quick 30-minute workout for you, from warm up to cool down, that you can do at home.
We’ll be doing what we consider an Intermediate workout here at Fit Body Boot Camp. Always remember to warm up and cool down to prevent injuries.
For your warm up you’re going to be doing 30 seconds of work and 5 seconds of rest. Alternate between the two workouts below for 4 rounds.
Start with your feet out wide, toes facing forward. You’re going to bring your arms up into a “T” shape. Bend over and touch your right hand to your left toe, making sure to stretch out the hamstring without straining it. Stand back up and repeat with the other side.
This exercise is exactly what it sounds like. You’re going to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms in a running position. Bring your foot up and tap your heel to your glutes. Alternate sides, and you can pick up the pace on this one by adding a bit of a bounce to it.
Complete this after the warm up so you don’t injure yourself. This is going to be a 5-station rotation with 30 seconds of work and 5 seconds of rest alternating back and forth between the two exercises at each station.
Mountain Climbers with Pushups
You’re going to start in a pushup position, arms straight and core tight. First we’ll go into 8 mountain climbers by bringing one leg forward and your knee towards your chest. Rapidly switch from foot to foot as you complete this motion, making sure your back is straight. Then you’re going to go down into 2 pushups, bending at the elbows and getting as low as possible with your body. Repeat.
Forward Lunge and Press
For this one you can use some dumbbells or makeshift weights from around the house. Hold your weights so that they’re resting at shoulder-height with your elbows bent and tucked in towards your body. Step forward with one leg into a lunge, making sure to bend both knees at 90 degrees. Hold the lunge and raise your arms up until your elbows are straight. Bring the weights back down and step back into starting position. Alternate sides.
Sumo Squat and Front Raise
Hold on to those dumbbells, you’ll need them for this exercise as well. Start with your legs out in a wide stance. Hold your weights down, with your elbows slightly bent, between your legs. Lower yourself into a low squat, making sure to keep your back straight. As you come back up from the squat raise your arms up to shoulder height, but don’t swing your arms. Repeat.
Who doesn’t love something with the word bacon in it? This bacon is good for your abs. Lay on your back with your legs straight and arms next to your body. You’re going to raise your right leg off of the ground as you raise your left arm off of the ground. Be sure to keep your leg straight and core tight. Lower your arm and leg back to the ground and alternate sides.
For this one you’re going to do one workout for the full station. Go into a plank position on your elbows, with your legs and back straight and core tight. Rock yourself over until you’re balanced on your right arm and right foot. Rest your left hand on your hip. If you have trouble balancing you can place your left foot on the ground, but be sure to keep your hip up and in line with your body. Hold the position for the full 30 seconds and switch sides.
Start with your legs shoulder-width apart. You’re going to complete a squat, making sure to keep your back straight and knees in proper alignment. As you straighten back up pop yourself up and land with your feet together before quickly jumping back out to the starting position.
For this workout you’re going to need a medicine ball or anything that can be stacked up to elevate you up off the ground. Place one hand on the ball and the other on the ground, and have your knees rest on the ground. Lower yourself down into a pushup and then switch sides. Repeat.
This is a simple exercise; all you need is some dumbbells or weights in each hand. Stand up straight and tall with your arms at your sides. Lift one arm up so that your elbow is bent and the dumbbell is at shoulder height. Lower your arm and repeat with the other side.
Another simpler exercise, for this one you’re going to start in a sit-up position, with your feet flat on the ground and legs bent. As you sit up you’re going to twist your body to the side so that your right elbow touches your left knee. Return to the starting position and alternate sides repeatedly.
Now that you’ve completed the 5 stations it’s time for a 60 second burn out. This exercise combines several different workouts into one for maximum fat burning, be sure to push yourself hard for this one. Make sure you have your dumbbells for this.
Start by standing with your legs shoulder-width apart and hold your dumbbells at shoulder height with elbows bent. Lower yourself into a squat and as you come up push your arms straight above your head and add a small bounce. Quickly you’re going to go down into a pushup position with the dumbbells remaining in your hands. Pull your right arm back, bending the elbow, making sure to bring your hand up to your side. Repeat with the left arm. Drop down to your knees and complete a pushup. Quickly hop back up to the starting position and repeat for the full 60 seconds.
Don’t forget to cool down! Make sure to take the time to stretch out all of your muscles, including your legs, hips, arms and shoulders to make sure your muscles don’t become cramped. Cool down is extremely important, so make sure to find the stretches you need to avoid being too sore.