On Monday I promised some workout resources, and today I am here to deliver. I have already mentioned Girls Gone Strong (please “like” them on Facebook). The group is made up of Jen Comas Keck, who I linked to last week, Molly Galbraith, Neghar Fonooni, Allie McKee, Julia Ladewski, Marianne Kane and Nia Shanks. I have written about Nia before (see Nia Shanks’ Beautiful Badass ), but in case you are new to my blog, check her out below.)
Nia weighs 120 lbs and is working to deadlifting 3 times her bodyweight, which would be an amazing accomplishment.
But today I am not here to talk about Nia, but rather about Marianne Kane. I am going to turn you onto an amazing resource for free workouts, that can be done at the gym, or with minimal equipment that can be done at home. Marianne’s workouts are posted on her website, myomytv.com. Marianne loves kettlebells, and while some things really only work with kettlebells, in most cases you can substitute a dumbbell if you don’t have access to kettlebells. Her workouts consist of both strength training and conditioning. Conditioning as in HIIT (high-intensity interval training), the kind of cardio you should be doing. She has a good inventory of different exercises and movements, but once you learn them, she uses them again & again. She keeps it interesting by changing the format of the workouts, many of which I think are very creative. This allows you to mix it up ~ you might be doing kettlebell swings in several workouts, but it won’t feel repetitious as the workout itself might be completely different from one you did the day before.
If you don’t know where to start, go through her “Top 10 Home Conditioning Workouts for 2011” (there are actually 11) (she also has a tab for beginners, if that describes you). This is more than enough to keep you busy for a while. One of my favorites, which didn’t even make her top 10, is a combination of strength and conditioning. I have done this workout three times and each time it is no less brutal (no worries, there are ways to regress some of the exercises, which I will discuss below). She calls this “Sweat Marks Rock! Butt and Leg Home Workout” (I have to admit, I love her “Running Sucks” T-shirt…apparently it is a Nike t-shirt, but seems to be completely sold out…there are obviously others like me!). Here are a few tips to help make the strength piece easier:
- Kettlebell Goblet squats can be changed to bodyweight squats. Increase the challenge as you feel ready by adding a kettlebell or a dumbbell.
- Single-leg bench hip thrusts (one of the BEST exercises you can do for your butt) can be started without your foot elevated (just put it flat on the floor, making sure to drive through your heel). You can regress even more by starting with both feel on the floor.
- Reverse lunges from a deficit. These are hard. You can start with just a split squat if you want. Then advance to a reverse lunge. Then move to a reverse lunge off a low step (you can then add risers to the step and a kettlebell or dumbbell to continue to up the challenge).
- Single-leg deadlifts. I love these ~ you should really feel this working that posterior chain ~ hamstrings and glutes. You can do these without added weight to start ~ form is important with these. You can also start with a two-legged version if you find the single leg version too tough. If you are really struggling with balance, try this split-stance version from Ben Bruno (ignore the barbell and focus on his stance ~ the back foot is meant to help you balance while keeping the forward leg doing most of the work):