Burn It Bodyweight Workout

Here it is…the workout you’ve all been waiting for…*insert evil laugh here*…no, I’m not totally serious, but this workout will get your heart pumpin’.

It is a tough workout, but it is done quick, (just 20 minutes) which means you can’t whimp out, you need to go all out during your work intervals and really push yourself. This workout is a mix of cardio, plyometrics, and bodyweight strength moves all wrapped up tightly in a HIIT style workout.

I did two rounds on Saturday combined with the Leg & Arm Burnout (more on that below) and it was a perfect, super schweaty 30 minute workout.

*Remember: Modify exercises when needed, and honor your body and injuries. If you are just starting to get in the workout groove I would recommend doing only 1 round. 

Now, get your favorite jams ready on your ipod, or call up one of your workout buddies and let’s “get this” together!

P.S. If you look closely you can see my little feline photo bomber in just about every pic. He’s a darling.
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– Burpee jacks: Perform a regular burpee, but when you jump back to high plank you will jump your feet out to the sides like you are performing a jumping jack in plank. Jump your feet back together, and complete the burpee.
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– Mtn Climbers: In high plank position bring your knees into your chest one at a time quickly like you are running up the face of a cliff. Keep your abs tight, head level, and booty down.
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– Dive Bombers: Start with hands a little wider than shoulder width and feet on the floor, and hips raised to the ceiling so your body is in a “V”. Lower your shoulders and glide your chest forward just above the ground between your hands and then push towards the ceiling. Your hips will be lifted just off the floor a few inches. Next reverse the move gliding your hips back up making an inverted V with you body like at the start.
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– Lateral lunges w/jump (Left): Step to the left with your left leg sinking into a lateral lunge. As you lunge reach down and touch the ground with your right hand. Upon the touch push up out of the lunge and reach your right hand for ceiling while jumping up off of your right leg.
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– Plank shoulder taps (5) + pushup: In high plank position bring your hand up to tap your opposite shoulder, repeat on the other side for 5 reps, then perform a pushup. Move as quickly as possible, keeping your core tight, back flat, and don’t let your belly sag.
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– Lateral lunges w/jump (Right): Same as the lateral lunges above, but lunging onto your right leg, and jumping up off your left leg.
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– Prisoner squats: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width and your hands placed light behind your head. Keeping your head and chest lifted, squat down and back until your thighs are parallel with the floor, press back up to start. Move through your squats as quickly as possible with good form.
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– Plank walk out + tricep pushup: From a stand bend over placing your hands on the floor in front of your feet, walk them out until you are in high plank, perform 2 tricep pushups (elbows close to your sides), and walk back to the start. Repeat, move quickly.
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– Jump lunges (3) + kick:  From a stand jump up into the air scissoring your legs to land in a lunge with your right leg forward. Immediately jump up from the lunge and switch, landing in a left lunge, repeat again. After your 3rd lunge, swing the opposite leg forward into a front kick. Repeat….3 jumping lunges, kick, 3 jumping lunges, kick, etc.
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Candlestick: Stand with your feet together arms lifted above your head. Roll back into an inverted candlestick position, arms above your head, hips extended, and toes lifting upwards. Roll back down placing your feet on the floor and rolling to a stand, immediately spring upwards into a jump.
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*This is HARD…so feel free to use your hands to help you stand up.

Once you’ve completed 1-2 rounds, you can collapse in a pool of your own sweat…or….you can finish up with this:

Leg & Arm Burnout

30 pulsing squats (regular squat with a pulse, up/down, rise up to start)
30 second squat hold
30 pulsing plie squats (legs wide toes turned out slightly)
30 second plie squat hold
30 jump squats

20 pushups
30 second low pushup hold (hold your body in the low portion of your pushup)
20 plank shoulder taps (tap R, tap L= 1 rep)
30 second low plank hold (resting on your elbows)
30 up & down planks (walk from high to low plank using just your arms)

DONE!

High fives! That’s a serious workout!

If you try this workout let me know how it went….what you liked what you didn’t. I love getting your feedback. Also, a lot of the exercises are new, so if you have any questions at all put them in the comments, and I’ll get back to you.

Happy Workouts!!

~ Liesl

Workin’ It with A Stability Ball

Hey there! How’s your week going?

I’ve been having a fun week in my kitchen! Coming Friday I’m hoping to have a yummy new recipe to share!

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We haven’t talked too much before about home fitness equipment. While most of you know that I exclusively workout at home, because I literally have no gym within 7 hours of my house, I have not talked much about some of my favorite home workout stuff.

Today I wanted to chat a little about the stability ball; aka Swiss ball, physio-ball, balance ball, etc. There are lots of names for this multi-purpose piece of gym equipment.

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Basically it is a large plastic ball that you can purchase at any sporting goods store, or even Target or Wal-Mart in the fitness section. Stability balls most commonly come in 3 different sizes, which are based on your height.

55cm (for the shorties…basically short to about 5’3″)

65cm (for average height 5’4″ to 5’9″)

75cm(for the tallest among us 5’10” and taller)

Your stability ball will come with a pump and instructions, and possibly even a few workout moves to try with it.

When it comes to working out with a stability ball I love it because:

 1. It Increases Core Strength
You can literally do exercises for each muscle group of your body using a stability ball, and because it is rounded, doing basic resistance moves with it forces you to engage more of your core and body stabilizing muscles than you normally would using a workout bench or other apparatus.

2. You can get a tough workout w/out heavy weights
With using the stability ball you can get a full body workout that is intense without needing heavy weights. Try the workout I’ve included for you at the end of this post; I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 3. There are TONS of exercises you can do
I won’t go into great detail here, but there are SO many different exercises you can do utilizing the stability ball.

Here are 5 of my absolutely favorites:

 1. Ball Pikes – Hands on the floor, ankles on the ball, with your body in plank position. Using your core roll up into a pike position, then back out to plank.

 2. Hamstring/Glute Curls – Lying on your back with your feet on the ball push your booty up off the floor and using your hamstrings and glutes curl the ball inwards, then slowly back out to the start.

3. One Leg Wall Squats – Placing the stability ball between your back and the wall lift one leg out in front of you a bit lower than hip height. Squat down on the leg which is holding all the weight until your thigh is parallel to the ground, push back up to the start. Repeat on the other leg.

 4. Push-ups -Hands on the floor, legs on the ball, with your body in plank position. Do any type of pushup you please, standard, wide (hands wider than shoulder with) tricep pushups, diamond, whatever your feeling that day. The further back the ball is towards your feet the harder the pushup will be.

*For a challenge: Try these with the “pikes”; pushup, pike up, pushup, pike up…etc…killer.

 5. Weighted oblique ups – Place your feet against a wall, left in front of right with your left hip resting on the stability ball. Hold the weight to your chest with arms crossed. Lean your left shoulder down over the ball and then using your obliques lift up until your obliques are engaged fully. Lower and repeat. Once your set is done repeat on the other side.

Ah…it was hard to pick just 5 favorites. That’s why I created a simple Stability Ball Workout for you guys to try at home!

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This workout incorporates some of those and a few other exercises, and will be sure to add a fresh feeling to your workout routine. I hope you’ll give it a try!

Plie squat touch & jump (15) –  Holding the stab ball in front of your chest with feet wider than shoulder width apart and toes turned out; squat down and touch the ball to the floor, and jump up lifting the ball above your head.

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Ball Pushups w/or without Pike (10) – Hands on the floor and legs on the ball with your body in the plank position. Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder with apart and do a pushup. Then immediately roll the ball inward keeping you legs straight and shooting your booty up into a pike position. Then come back down and repeat. Pushup, pike, pushup, pike, etc.
*Beginners – try these without the pike.

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<Hamstring curls (15) –  Lying on your back with your feet on the ball push your booty up off the floor and using your hamstrings and glutes curl the ball inwards, then slowly back out to the start.
*Advanced: Try these one leg at a time. Burn that bootay!

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Ball Passes (15) – Lying on your back on the floor hold the ball above your body with your hands and bring your feet into the air to touch the ball. Then extend your body by dropping your arms down by your ears and your legs down to a few inches from the floor. Using your core bring them back up and pass the ball from your hands to your feet. Lower, come up and pass the ball. Each up and down is one rep.
*Beginners: Lower your legs and arms down ONLY until you feel your back starting to arch off the floor, then bring them back up.

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Lateral Lunge w/hold (10 each side) –  With one foot on the ground and the other on the ball roll the ball out until that leg is straight and drop into a lateral lunge with your thigh parallel to the floor. Be careful to make sure you knee doesn’t come out over your toes. Then come back to start. Repeat 10 times, and on the 10th lunge hold the lateral lunge position for a slow 7-10 count. Switch legs.

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Weighted ball crunches (15) -With a light dumbbell held to your chest, feet flat on the floor and lower back on the stability ball, crunch all the way up to a sitting position, and then slowly lower.
*Beginners: Try this without the weight.

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*Compete this workout “circuit style” one exercise after the other with no rest. Once you have complete one round rest 30 seconds and repeat twice more.

There’s a new workout for you to try! Let me know if you do, I’d love to hear how it went for ya. It’s a quickie so it would be a great one to try on a busy day. 🙂

Also, stability balls make excellent desk chairs and are great for your core as they are more unstable than a regular chair and unknowingly you are using your core throughout the day as you work. Just be careful not to roll off while on a conference call or something. 🙂

Have you ever used a stability ball before? What is your favorite exercise on the stability ball?

Own it!

~ Liesl

Jumpstart January – “The Workout”

For a jumpstart workout, I thought it was more than fitting that this workout would have a decent amount of “jumping” in it.???????????????????????????????

Plus, I know I’ve said it before, but plyometric moves like jumping jacks, jumping rope, burpees, lateral jumps, etc., are a fabulous way to get in some heart-healthy cardio without leaving your living room! And doing them HIIT style, creates some major all day calorie burn! High fives for quick, and effective home workouts! This particular workout I have modified several times to make it either more intense, a total body workout, a body weight only workout, and an outdoor workout…and you know what?  I have loved the after-burn of an awesome workout every.single.time.

The workout has two sequences which you will repeat. The first being a EMOM. Which is where you complete one exercise for the designated number of reps, every minute on the minute (EMOM) for the designated number of minutes.

For Example: Burpee EMOM – 10reps for 4 minutes.
Set your timer for 4 rounds of 1 minute each. When you start the timer complete 10 burpees as quickly as you can. Rest until the next minute begins. Complete another 10 burpees, and so on at the start of each 1 min interval. Make sense? Cool.

The second sequence is a full body strength circuit with four combination exercises. You will complete the exercises one after the other, and then move right into your next EMOM. Oh…and don’t give up to soon…I know some of you are starting fresh, or still getting the hang of your new fitness lifestyle…and I want to assure you, anyone can do burpees. Refer to this post for a starting point, and some progressions as you get stronger!

Okay, let’s get our schweat on!

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Burpees – all about em’

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 Kettlebell/Dumbbell Swings- here’s how
If doing the swings with dumbbells complete 10 with each arm.
**Beginners – Start with a light weight on these so you can practice the form. 

Weighted Jumping Lunges – Holding a light weight (5-10lbs) in both hands step forward into a lunge position. Then jump up switching your legs in the air like a scissor and land in a lunge position on the opposite leg. Keep going for the designated number of reps.
**Beginners- Try these first without weight. If you can’t do the jumping quite yet, do lunges walking forward, and then turn and come back to start.

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 Squat & Press – Stand w/ feet hip width apart, and toes slightly turned out, holding two weights in line with your shoulders, palms facing inward. Pushing your booty back & keeping your chest up; squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Using your glutes push back up to a stand and at the same time press the weights overhead until your arms are fully extended. Come back to start and repeat.
**Advanced – try these with HEAVY weights…push yourself.

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Dumbbell Plank Row – Get into a high plank position with your hands resting on dumbbells, and your feet spread about a foot apart. Keep your core tight, back straight, and booty down. Bring the weight on your left side up to your chest, with your elbow going up. Slowly lower back down to the floor and repeat on the other side.
**Advanced – complete a pushup each time you finish 2 rows (1/per side).

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No I didn’t change my outfit for every shot, it is quite the collage of old pics. 🙂
It is one of my goals this year to get better fitness pics for you guys, and figure even more efficient ways to share my workouts with you. Any tips, or suggestions are appreciated? What would make the workouts easier for YOU to follow?

Also, let me know if you try this workout, or any of my workouts, I’d love your feedback!

Are you following the Jumpstart January Workout Calendar? What is your biggest fitness goal for 2014?

Weekend!! Do something fun!

~ Liesl

“No Excuses” November Workout

Are you ready for some November workout motivation?!

I know I’m excited about adding some new training to my usual schedule and I can’t think of a better way to ring in the holiday season than motivating each other towards finishing out 2013 our healthiest!

This No Excuses November workout is a 3 part workout and I guarantee you’ll be sweaty mess by the end.

It will only take you 35 minutes to complete the entire workout!  You’ll do the warm-up circuit (5 exercises for 1 minute each 2xs) equaling 10 minutes, move on to the Strength Circuit (5 exercises for 10 reps each) done as many times through as you can in 15 minutes, and last move on to the HIIT Blast Circuit (3 exercises/ 2 hiit exercises for 30 seconds each with a recovery exercise 1 min – x5) equaling your last 10 minutes. Make sense? Keep reading for more explanation.

Well…let’s get this party started!!

No Excuses November Workout 2013

WARM UP: (each exercise done for 1 min, repeat circuit twice through)

Jump rope feet together at a quick pace

Fast squats – squats as fast as you can with good form.

Plank tuck + jack – In high plank, jump your feet in towards your hands in a tucked position and quickly jump back out to plank. Immediately following jump your feet out to a plank jack position and back in. Keep going at a quick pace.

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Towel hop overs – Place a rolled up towel on the floor and jump, feet together laterally from side to side over the towel.

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Mountain climbers (5) + pushup – Complete 5 mountain climbers and then perform a pushup. Move as quickly as possible from each move to the next.

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STRENGTH CIRCUIT: (each exercise complete 10 reps and move to the next. See how many circuits you can do in 15 minutes)

Squat + hammer curl + shoulder press – Holding two dumbbells at your sides squat down with your booty back and chest up…you should be able to wiggle your toes at your lowest point. Push back up to standing, and curl the dumbbells in a hammer curl and press them overhead. Slowly lower and curl down. This is one rep.

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Stability ball pushup & pike – With your shins on a stability ball and hands on the floor perform a pushup lowering yourself until your chest is just inches from the floor. Push up to the start and keeping your legs straight engage your abs to roll the ball towards your hands booty in the air as your body bends into a pike position. Slowly lower back to start. This is one rep.
Beginners – try this one on the floor. Perform your pushup and then jump your feet towards your hands into a pike position and jump back out to start. Once your body becomes comfortable with the positions try it on the ball.

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Skullcrushers + glute bridge – Lying on your back on the floor bend your knees and bring your feet close to your glutes keeping them flat on the floor. Holding a dumbbell in each hand press them overhead, palms facing each other. Without moving your upper arm lower the weights along side your ears and engage your triceps to bring the weights back to start. Once the weights are overhead, press through your heels into a glute bridge hold for a second or two and then lower. This is one rep.

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Plie squat + upright row – Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width and toes turned out hold two dumbbells in front of your palms facing you. Keeping your back straight and pushing your hips back lower into a plie squat, push back up to start and leading with your elbows lift the weights in an upright row to your chest level, lower. This is one rep.

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*Creeper face; optional.

Lying chest press + leg raise/lower – Lie on your back, legs straight up in air, holding two dumbbells straight up in the air as well. Slowly lower the dumbbells to your chest pushing your elbows out, at the same time lower your legs until your heels are just above the floor. Push the weights straight up overhead and simultaneously lift you legs back to the start.

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HIIT BLAST: 

Burpees – From a stand squat down placing your hands on the floor by your feet. Quickly jump your feet back to pushup position and back in towards your hands and jump with energy straight up into the air. Check here for burpee progressions.

Mountain Climber jumps – In pushup position jump your right foot out to the right side bending your knee so your foot lands even with your right hand, your left leg extended behind you. Upon landing immediately jump to the left side.

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Jog – This is your recovery, so jog at a good pace, allowing your heart rate to recover a bit, but staying active to challenge your body.

** As always, check with your doc before beginning any new exercise routine. And modify the moves as you go if they are too difficult at first. You’ll be surprised at how much your strength will improve over several weeks.

**Try this workout 3xs per week on non consecutive days. Fill in your extra days with some cardio; a run outside, group exercise class, a hike or brisk walk. Let’s work for a happy and healthy holiday, together!

Hope you enjoy the workout!

Liesl

Friday Fit Focus: Why you should be Bodyweight Training + Workouts!

Happy Friday! Hope today kicks off a fabulous holiday weekend for everyone filled with family and friends.

This Friday I wanted to talk to you all a little bit about bodyweight training.

While I’m a huge advocate for a good weight session in the gym or at home; lately I’ve been experimenting with adding bodyweight workouts and training to my routine. And you know what? I’m loving the change!

There are SO many reasons to incorporate bodyweight training into your normal fitness routine. Below I’ll cover a few that I think give bodyweight training the merit that it deserves.

Reason 1: Bodyweight training saves TIME & MONEY.

Lets be honest, a good number of us don’t have the time to get to the gym, or money for a gym membership. Or in my case, there is no gym. With an arsenal of bodyweight workout routines you can work out at home, at a time that is convenient for you, and for FREE! Plus you cut out your travel time to and from the gym, and in the long run save yourself even more time and money! Awesome right?!

Reason 2: Bodyweight workouts help to beat heavy lifting/cardio boredom. Seriously they do.

Have you ever had those days where you can’t get excited about circuiting through some bicep curls and tricep kickbacks…again. Or you see 3 miles on your calendar for Mon, Wed, and Friday ugh…where’s the motivation. I’ve been there probably more often than I’d like to admit. But, who wants to dread their workout? If you truly want to make working out regularly a habit, then you have to enjoy what you are doing.

I believe bodyweight workouts do just that. It is so easy to go to the gym and sit at a machine or do that same set of squats and lunges you always do. In my opinion bodyweight training throws  new challenges into your normal workout regimen, and changes your body in new ways. It also teaches you fun and new twists to workout moves you have already mastered, giving you more exercises to chose from when you are writing your own workouts.

Reason 3: Bodyweight training challenges your entire body in ways that heavier weights sometimes don’t.

When you are doing bodyweight exercises you are using your entire body. You are engaging muscles you don’t even know that you are engaging. Plus it gives you a chance to really concentrate on your form while you are doing each exercise and know how it feels to complete the exercise correctly.

An added challenge to bodyweight training is that you are able to push yourself past your usual limits when you are using heavier weights. For example, instead of eeking out  those 8-10 weighted lunges, you can do walking lunges until your legs are jello and then finish it up with some jumping lunges to really torch your legs and burn some serious fat! Your muscles will be screaming in a new way, I guarantee it.

Reason 4: Bodyweight training encourages creativity, and motivation to challenge yourself in your workouts.

Lately I’ve been including at least one day of bodyweight training into my workout schedule. Why? For the reasons above, and also because I like a personal challenge. With creating a bodyweight workout you can challenge yourself in different ways; including reps, working to failure, time, adding lots of plyometrics or cardio moves to your workouts, and the list goes on.

Plus, you don’t have to do it alone. Creating a bodyweight workout is super fun to do with a fitness loving friend/workout partner and then you can schedule a time to meet and do the workout together! What better motivation can you have than that?!

Here are some Sample Bodyweight Workouts that I’ve done, to get you started!

This first one is a total body workout incorporating some plyo and cardio moves into each circuit. I love to do this circuit while I’m traveling as you can do it anywhere, and doing it early in the morning, before a busy day, gives me energy and keeps me feeling great all day.

Bodyweight Workout 1.bmp

Looking to get your arms and upper body lean and toned and ready for that strapless number you just bought, or do you just want to feel stronger while lifting your toddlers into the shopping cart at WalMart?  Try this pure pushups workout. You’ll work yourself to failure, which means you can’t possibly complete another repetition of the pushup you are doing, and then you will immediately move on to a modified version of the pushup and work until failure again.

This workout will make your arms cry for mercy! (should there be an exclamation point there? no pain no….)

Pushups Workout

*Tricep pushups – hand under your shoulders, dropping down keep your elbows close to your sides, and use your triceps to push up.
**Wide pushups w/shoulder tap – place hands wider than shoulder with, drop down, push up and lift you right had to tap your left shoulder, repeat with your right hand, then complete another pushup.
**Decline pushup – put your feet on the seat of a chair and walk your hands out until you are in pushup position. Do pushups.
*Incline pushup – put you hands on the edge of your couch and feet on the floor, body in pushup postion. Do pushups.
**1-2-3down/up pushup – count 1, 2, 3 as you slowly lower into your pushup, like and elevator stopping at every floor you are briefly stopping your body. Do the same on the way up.
*Fast pushups – do standard pushups as fast as you can with good form.

Personally I love incorporating bodyweight training into my leg workouts. It gets my fast twitch fibers firing, and helps to create lean muscular shape in my quads and thighs.
This workout incorporates strength for a duration of time, and cardio and plyo intervals come right after. Hello skinny jeans…your welcome.

Lean Legs Bodyweight Workout

Want to get outside and run? Try this heart pumper of a workout. I love doing this workout along the boardwalk that runs along the beach when we are in town. It’s much more exciting than “just a run!”

Get Outside & Move Workout

Well, I hope that you found this post helpful, and that it inspired you to try something new. Feel free to use any of these workouts as inspiration to create your own. That’s the beauty of bodyweight training it is flexible in so many ways, and challenging at the same time!!

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you try any of the workouts, or write one of your own, I’d love to try it!

Have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!!

What kind of bodyweight exercises are your favorites? What plans do you have for the 4th weekend?

~ Liesl