I teach a Cardio Sculpt class at The Glass Courts every Wednesday evening. Each week I try to create a new class set because I want to challenge my participants and I never want anyone to be bored with the format.
Last night I designed a class that required nothing but a mat and a paper plate. When I told the class we weren’t using weights they responded with wide eyes, “So it’s all cardio?” No, not all cardio, but a good mix. Trust me. I could tell by the look in their eyes they had reservations.
Fast forward to the end of class, when I asked, “Was it still a quality workout even without weights?” I got many exhausted, sweaty nods, along with comments like, “Next time I won’t doubt you,” and “Challenging and different, I liked it!”
So often I think we get hung up on needing fancy gym equipment to complete a workout and it’s simply not true. I loved to train people out of their homes because I felt like it gave me a great chance to show them how little equipment is required to stay physically fit.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are numerous benefits to resistance training and I encourage people to incorporate weights in their weekly routine, however, a simple body weight workout can be a great way to challenge yourself while building muscle and endurance.
Following is my class set from last night – I’ve included instructions or links to many of the exercises in case you are unfamiliar with the name, form, or movement. This routine should take approx. 1 hour to complete and be sure to stay hydrated!
Warm Up – 5 minutes – in class I do a series of low impact moves, you decide what works best for you
March in place
Heel Ups (stand with feet wider than hip width and kick your heel towards your butt, pull elbows back as you kick or reach arms to the ceiling and pull down to sides)
Step with a reach across the body (take a wide step to the right and reach your left hand to the right, step left and reach with the right)
Knee cross (raise right knee and bring left elbow across the body to the outside of your right knee, raise left knee and bring right elbow across the body to the outside of your left knee)
Circuit #1 Kickboxing (30 seconds each move = 4 min cardio)
Step kick right (start by kicking to the right, as your right foot returns to the floor step to the left with your left foot, step right with left foot and kick right again, repeat)
Step kick left (start by kicking to the left, as your left foot returns to the floor step to the right with your right foot, step left with right foot and kick left again, repeat)
Squat with a jab cross (drop to a squat position, as you raise up punch with your left then your right, repeat)
Back lunge right with a knee raise NOTE: the video shows the use of dumbbells, they are not required
Back lunge left with a knee raise (see above video for back lunge right with a knee raise)
Uppercut with a twist NOTE: the video shows the use of bands, they are not required
Circuit #2 (Mat Work: 1st set 20 reps, 2nd set 10 reps)
Bird dog (right arm, left leg)
Hydrants (left leg)
Leg Raises (left leg; on hands and knees, raise left leg to hydrant pose, then straighten leg so it is perpendicular with your torso, raise and lower the leg)
REPEAT Bird dog, hydrants and raises other side
Push-up with superman (from a push-up position – either from knees or toes – lower all the way to the floor, raise both arms and legs off of the floor, place hands under shoulders and press back into push-up position, repeat)
Single hand toe touch (lying on your back raise right arm and left leg at the same time, reaching fingers towards your toes, complete reps for this side then switch to left arm and right leg)
Circuit #3 (Leg work: 1st set 20 reps, 2nd set 10 reps)
Right side slide out NOTE: I used a paper plate in class, if you don’t have a surface that will allow you to slide your foot out do your best to keep your weight on your left leg)
Left side slide out (see above)
Squat (complete full motion reps then pulse)
Right static lunge (complete full motion reps then pulse) NOTE: video shows movement, this is an option, however, in class I taught lowering and lifting from the lunge position
Left static lunge (complete full motion reps then pulse) (see above)
Plie squat (complete full motion reps then pulse)
Right curtsy lunge with knee lift NOTE: to include the knee lift simply raise your right knee toward your chest after raising from the lunge
Left curtsy lunge with knee lift (repeat above)
Circuit #4 (Mat Work: 1st set 20 reps, 2nd set 10 reps)
Plank with donkey kick (complete all reps on one side, then the other)
Side plank leg lift right NOTE: you can modify by placing your left knee on the floor, pressing in to a side plank and lifting your right leg
Side plank leg lift left (see above)
Plank with spiderman step (holding in push-up position, step your right foot up and place it by your right hand, return to start position, repeat left side)
Full sit up with jab cross (complete a full sit up and punch with the right, then left and return to start)
Repeat Circuits 1, 2 3 and 4
Enjoy your workout!!!!