Don’t Kill Thigh Vibe: Inner & Outer Thigh Routine


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Hey Girls!

The weather has been heating up down here in South Carolina and I’ve mostly been avoiding shorts for two reasons: A. My legs are no where near as tan as they were when I took the photo above and B. I nevvvver where shorts when I’m lifting. Aside from the fact that they can ride up and get all up in your business, I’d just as soon challenge the imagination of the creepy old man on the recumbent bike – than show him the goods – if ya know what I’m sayin?!

On that note – I’m sharing my favorite exercises to sculpt, tighten and target the inner & outer thighs! You’re going to LOVE it!  You’ll also be toning that booty AND you’ll be working that waistline. I love routines that focus on large muscle groups like legs & thighs; they require more energy, which increases your metabolism, burns fat and helps your body tone up fast! Another win: you don’t need any equipment (get your fitness on, sans creepy gym dudes).

Watch the Video

Let’s do the workout together! How exciting is this?? Watch the workout below in real time and follow along with me!

Get your Printable Don’t Kill Thigh Vibe Workout Just Right Click and Select “Save Link As…”
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SPORTS BRA: Mixmax Women Strappy Crop Tank Tops Bustier Cutout Padded Bra Cami
TOP: Lululemon Cool Racerback
LEGGINGS: Lululemon Make A Move Tight
SHOES: Nike Women’s Flex Experience Rn 4 Black
Other Similar Styles:
✓  Lululemon Womens Black Cool Racerback* SE Shine On
✓ Lululemon Wunder Under Yoga Pants Hi Rise Mesh Black Shine On Luon 

 

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Bridal Prep Upper Body Routine!

BRIDAL PREP UPPER BODY ROUTINE HEADER PHOTO
Strong, Sculpted Arms Are Yours Bombshell!

Today’s Bridal Prep ARM routine – is actually an older one I posted but also one of my most popular! Some of you have requested a printable for this workout – so here it is!!  It takes you through a sequence of my favorite, ultra effective moves to tone your arms, shoulders and upper back. If you’re yearning for beautiful biceps and sultry shoulders, follow along below!

What you need for this workout:
– A pair of dumbbells (I like to have two sets handy, so I can drop down if I start to loose form)
– The gymboss interval timer app (optional)
– Some water

Choosing weights: Start with anywhere from 5-10 lb and work your way up from there as you get stronger. You can also do drop sets, which means you start with a higher weights and drop down to lower as your muscles become fatigued.

Incorporate this routine a few times a week from now until summer. Those arms will be so defined, everyone will be doing a double-take!

Get your printable here Liveng Proof_Printable Bridal Arms Workout – Just Right Click and Select “Save Link As…

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HIIT Bodyweight Booty Circuit!

Screenshot 2016-03-16 18.54.53Ok guys new territory here! Made my first workout video…I’m no#janefonda but everyone’s gotta start somewhere right?

complete 3x thru
PS where I’m standing in this pic is right below someone’s apartment…and they were definitely home with their window open while I shot this. Don’t mind me casually jumping around out here ; )

And like my hippy self said, do it 3 times thru!

 

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20-MIN LOWER BODY & CORE WORKOUT & FUN PHOTOSHOOT!

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I wrote this workout on a whim because I had a last minute chance to have my amazing friend Jen offer to shoot a workout for me! You can check her skills here! So I got to feel like a real life fitness model as I stood in as her “test subject” as she just moved to a new shared studio space! She got to play with the lighting equipment and I got to pretend I was Jane Fonda 😉 Also I’m 5’10” so I’m pretty long – lets just say I realized why they have such large back drops – especially for any photoshoot involving movement! Thanks Jen for accommodating me and all my lanky limbs! I have since done this workout and let me just say for coming up with it “on a whim” I was pri-tee pleased with it!

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Jen is the owner of  J.Catherine Photography  you can also find her on facebook here!


20-MIN LOWER BODY & CORE WORKOUT

Equipment I Used:

Interval Cycles: 10 Sets
45 seconds of work (High)
1:15 seconds of rest (Low) – ONLY USE 15 SECONDS FOR REST & 1 MIN FOR JUMP ROPE

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You’ll do each exercise for 45 seconds followed by 10-15 seconds of rest before moving immediately onto jumping rope (or any cardio activity of your choice – you can hop on the elliptical, do jumping jacks, run on a treadmill, run outside, bike, spin – you get the idea)! When the high interval sound goes off go straight into the next strength exercise! Personally when I did this I just hopped onto an elliptical between each strength move (I thought the gym at my apartment had a jump rope – but I couldn’t find it – and I had left mine in my car). So, I would glance down at my phone as the interval timer counted down and check that I knew which exercise I was going to be doing so I could get right into it!

Also when I did this circuit I actually did it 2 times though for a 40 min workout! The time seriously flew by! If you’re up for the challenge try setting your interval time for 20 Sets for the Interval Cycles. Once you’ve completed the whole circuit, pause the timer, grab some water, and maybe take a breather for 30-60 seconds. Then repeat it again!

I set my interval timer for 20 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 1:10 seconds of rest, and selected different sounds for the high interval vs the low interval so I would know which one was signaling me to start and stop. I used the “Boxing Bell” to signal the High intensity round and the “School Bell” to signal the Low intensity round.

Each round is 20 minutes in length. And like I said if you have the time and you’re up for a challenge repeat the circuit one more time though!! As always, make sure you give yourself atleast 5 – 10 mins to warm up before you start!

Also here are the weights I actually used when I did this circuit:
alternating reverse lunges:  single 15 lb DB
side lunge + row to single leg overhead press: pair of 10 lb DB’s
kneeling woodchoppers: single 15 lb DB
front hold reverse lunge to single leg balance: single 20 lb DB

What’s the best weight to use? You should be able to go through the 12-15 reps with proper form, but the last three reps should feel super challenging. Try different weights to see which works best for you… and watch yourself get stronger!

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Alternating reverse lunges with torso twist
TARGETS: thighs, core , glutes, and arms

Start by getting yourself in an organized athletic standing position: shoulder blades squeezed back, glutes squeezed, torso tall, belly down and in. Holding any weight of your choice (medicine ball, single DB, pair of DB’s, Kettlebell, or just use your own body weight) in a hammer-curl position with forearms roughly parallel to the ground and thumbs up. Step your right leg behind you, making sure you step back far enough, while keeping your left knee in-line with your left ankle. Your weight should be over your front leg (you’ll you’re your left quad a lot here!). Then twist your torso left, while maintaining your posture (shoulder blades should stay retracted). Finally twist back to the front. Using your left quad and glute to push through, step your right foot back to your starting standing position. Repeat on the opposite side. Continue alternating sides each time!


Alternating spider lunges
TARGETS: core, shoulders, and hip flexors

 Begin in a plank position: palms on the ground (thinking about screwing your palms into the ground to create torque), shoulder blades retracted, glutes squeezed. A plank is ultimately the same posture you should have when you are standing except you are horizontal instead of vertical – thinking about it this way has helped me! So your spine should be in a fairly straight line. From here bring your right foot up just outside of your right palm. If your hip flexors are tight you will definitively feel this! Contract your left glute for an even deeper hip flexor stretch in the right hip. Return your right foot back to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the opposite side. Continue alternating sides each time.

Side lunge + row to single leg overhead press
TARGETS: upper back, shoulders, and glutes

Start by getting yourself in an organized athletic standing position: shoulder blades squeezed back, glutes squeezed, torso tall, belly down and in. Holding your dumbbells by your side’s palms facing your body. Stop your right foot out to the side keeping your knee in line with your ankle. Sink into that right glute – thinking about shooting at towards the right side of the room. Keep your spine in a neutral position so that your low back is not over arched. Extend your arms down lowering your shoulders toward the ground. Initiating the row as your shoulders squeeze back I’m squeeze your traps (shoulder blades), as you draw the weights dumbbells and towards your rib cage – elbows moving straight back!

Pushing off with your right leg to return to standing position transition into a single (left) leg balance by squeezing your left glute to maintain stability. Hammer curl your way it’s up and into an overhead press keeping your palms facing each other throughout the movement. Perform all reps with the same leg for the duration of the interval. Then repeat the movement on the opposite side for the next one!

Kneeling woodchopper
TARGETS: shoulders, upper back, arms, and glutes

Again in a kneeling position with your right leg in front keeping your knee in line with your ankle. Your shoulder blades should be squeezed back, left glutes is contracted, torso tall, belly down and in, and chin stays in a neutral position throught the movement. Holding your weights with both hands down by your left hip lift them up and across your body up over your right shoulder – in an upward chopping motion. Think as if you were digging and shoveling the dirt over your right shoulder! Return the weight to starting position next to your left hip. Your torso will twist slightly but it shouldn’t be excessive. Be sure to maintain your posture (avoid overarching your low back by contracting your left glute throughout the movement). Perform all reps with the same leg in front for the duration of the interval. Then repeat the movement on the opposite side for the next one!

Front hold reverse lunge to single leg balance
TARGETS: quads, glutes, upper back, shoulders, and core

Start by getting yourself in an organized athletic standing position: shoulder blades squeezed back, glutes squeezed, torso tall, belly down and in. Holding your dumbbells in a front hold – this requires that your shoulder blades stay actively retracted throughout the movement (which is a bonus for you core and upper back muscles)! Step your right leg behind you, making sure you step back far enough, while keeping your left knee in-line with your left ankle. Your weight should be over your front leg (you’ll you’re your left quad a lot here!). Transition into a right-leg balance standing position by pushing off slightly with your back (right) foot, keeping your weight on your left leg, squeezing your left glute to create a stable position, as you draw your right knee upwards to balance. The front hold should be maintained throughout the movement. Perform all reps with the same leg in front for the duration of the interval. Then repeat the movement on the opposite side for the next one!

Side plank with a front kick & reach
TARGETS: obliques, shoulders, and core

Begin in a side plank position: right forearm on the ground. Shoulder blades retracted, shoulders down and back, glutes squeezed, belly down and in. You can have your feet stacked (as shown in the pic) or they can be staggered. Extend your left arm overhead so that it is in line with your body. Kick your top (left) leg out in front of you while drawing your extended left arm out reaching for your toes. Try and keep your hips up thoughout the movement!

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AMRAP Workout | Plyo Intervals

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I jumped at the chance to try out the Nike Flyknit 5.0 this weekend. I’ve always had trouble finding shoes that fit my extremely pronated flat-feet. I remember my Mom taking me to get new shoes as a kid and not understanding why they would put an annoying raised arch in the middle of the shoe…

I was on the women’s crew team my freshman year of college and despite the fact that it’s not exactly a land sport – running was one of our cross training workouts. And it was evident that my feet just weren’t cutting it. So I got orthotics. Which, come to think of it, I should be using more often…but nowadays I run no more than 4-6 miles at a time.

 I am however a huge fan of the 5.0 series of Nike free’s. They are so lightweight but still give just enough support for my extremely low “arch” (or lack there of). The minimalist design doesn’t include the annoying raised arch I remember as a kid. The form fitted “flyknit” material sort of feels like you’re wearing a really awesome sock that’s also part shoe – if that makes any sense 😉 I got these on ebay, you can check them out here. I’m wearing them in Rainbow Atomic Purple / White Blue One

The fall foliage and crisp air are on point right now so I’ve actually have been running outside lately (probably too much and without my orthotics). My arch was bothering me so instead of pounding the pavement, I came up with this workout to get my fitness on.


AMRAP Workout | Plyo Intervals

Equipment I Used:

38 Sets interval cycles (7 moves x 6 sets) + (6 forty-five second breaks)
30 seconds of work (High)
15 seconds of rest (Low)


Or you can set it for:
7 Sets interval cycles (number of moves)
30 seconds of work (High)
15 seconds of rest (Low)
set the repeat option to “ON” for 6 cycles.

If you go this route you can manually pause your timer at the end of each set to grab water and rest for 30 – 60 seconds before jumping right back in!

Also, make sure you set the warm-up and cool-down to 0:00 otherwise it will repeat these each time you go to do your next round!


You’ll do each exercise for 30 seconds followed by 15 seconds of rest before moving immediately onto the next exercise. Once you’ve completed the whole circuit, pause the timer, grab some water, and take a breather for 30-60 seconds. Repeat five more times, for a total of 6 rounds.

I set my interval timer for 38 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest, and selected different sounds for the high interval vs the low interval so I would know which one was signaling me to start and stop (38 interval cycles to account for the six 45-second breaks). I was feeling pretty good so I took shorter rests. When I was ready to start I’d manually start my next round.

Each round is 6 minutes in length: 5 minutes and 15 seconds of work, followed by 45 seconds of rest between each round. You’ll complete 6 rounds total, so you should finish in 36 mins! As always, make sure you’re warmed up before you start!

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The Moves:

Alternating Bear Lunges:
Starting from a plank position bring your right foot up next to your right hand. Then return it back to starting position. Repeat on the left side.

Squat Jumps:
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Get organized before you start; squeeze your glutes together and think about screwing your feet into the ground. Keeping your belly in and your shins vertical, hinge from your hips sitting back into a squat. Then explode up, squeezing your glutes together to drive you up! When you jump you should be in “triple extension” that is your ankles, hips and are fully extended and your shoulders are shrugged!

Inverted Pike:
Face away from a wall, firmly plant your hands into a pushup position. Squat down and kick your feet up so that you’re in a handstand position, positioned at about a 45 degree angle to the wall. It is important that your core do its job – and avoid over-arching your low back. To do this squeeze your glutes (think “pinching a dime”) – this forces your hips forward and engages your anterior core! Now lift your hips up, maintaining your core and glute squeeze throughout the movement,  then return back to starting position. Repeat.

Squat Jumps (again!)

Forward/Backward Bear Crawl:
Hands and toes touching ground, hips in the air. Move one leg and the opposite arm forward. Switch by moving your other leg and opposite arm forward. Keep your hips and back flat. Walk yourself forward about 4-6 x then go backwards. Repeat for the duration of the round!?

Back Lunge Plyo Hops:
Stand with feet together, hands on hips. Step back with your right foot and lower into a reverse lunge. Shift your weight onto your left leg.
In one movement, rise up, bring your right knee forward, and jump, lifting your right knee to hip level. Land lightly on your left foot and step your right leg back into a lunge. (On the odd rounds do your Right side, even rounds Left side!)

Pike Hop Overs:
In a plank position hop your feet together over to the right then to the left. Continue for the duration of the interval!

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Up & Autumn Kettle Bell Workout

I was inspired to create this particular workout after a serious lifting session with my friend Joe. Our workout that day included some pretty intense KB work and made me realize I’d really been overlooking this regular ‘ol piece of workout equipment. Sure, I’ve swung my fair share of kettlebells but I hadn’t really considered their uses much further than that. My new found appreciation of kettle bells was like discovering an unassuming restaurant that you pass by everyday but never give a second thought…until one day a friend takes you there, the food is amazing, and you’re like “how have I not been here before?!”

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These cannon-ball-with-a-handle-cast-iron-weights really shine when performing power movements such as: snatches, swings, cleans, and jerks (which apparently is what they were designed for in the first place, go figure). But that’s enough of my blabbin’ you’re here for a workout – so give it a run! If you’re not breaking a sweat by the end of the first set then I’m gonna go ahead and say you need to pick up some heavier KB’s…just sayin 😉 It’s always easier to drop weight during a workout, than it is to increase your load part way through…AmIRight?

And if you don’t have access to kettle bells, dumbbells can be used as a stand in! One last thing, don’t laugh at my attempt at a pistol squat (especially with an 18 lb KB)..I’m working at being able to do one someday, but not going to pretend that I can do one just yet…I had to try for you guys 😉 If you’re in the same boat and have access to TRX cables (or resistance band), I like this pistol squat variation.

Photocredit to my friend and amazing photographer Jen! Check her out here!

Up and Autumn Kettlebell workout

 

Double Kettlebell Swing:
☑ place the kettlebell on the ground in front of you with the handles perpendicular your body
☑ your feet a little wider the hip distance apart. Pick the kettle bells up, screw your feet into the ground (imagine your feet are on big dinner plates and you’re turning them into the ground)
☑ Your feet should remain parallel but by doing this you create torque in your hips, knees, and glutes which gives you greater stability, thus an increased ability to generate power!
☑ Next I want you to think about squeezing your butt (yes you’re still just standing there holding the kettle bells and we haven’t started the movement yet) You are just getting organized to be able to execute!
☑ Hinging from your hip (without arching your low back) sit back and snap your hips forward – this should be a dramatic, fast, pulse-like movement and is driven mostly by just how tightly you can squeeze those cheeks. This hip snap will create momentum that drives the kettle bells up. As they descend back down sit back and repeat!

 

Turkish Getup:
☑ Laying on your back, position the kettlebell next to your right shoulder. You want your right foot posted up (think: the side you’re lifting the weight with is the same side your knee is bent). Now, reach across your body with your left hand and grip the handle with both your right and left hands. Glutes should be squeezed and belly should feel tight. Using your left hand, pull the kettlbell toward the center of your body and extend the weight up – keeping your elbow in close to your body and thumb facing toward your head as you press up. Ideally you should lock your elbow out and let your shoulder drop to the back of the socket. Keep your eyes locked on that kettlebell throughout the entire movement!
☑ Drive off the ground with your right leg, think about twisting your body up as you come up onto your left elbow. Ideally you want your elbow directly in line with your shoulder (yeah yeah, I know mine is slightly off). One more thing to think about – as if there isn’t enough already going on – you want to keep your shoulder blades pulled back and your trunk braced!
☑ Sit up and plant your left palm on the ground (again left palm should be aligned with left shoulder) As you transition to bring your hips up – think about getting your armpit forward. Squeezing your glutes and driving your right foot into the ground, lift your hips up!
☑ Left arm and right leg support you as you “needle” or pull your left leg underneath the kettlebell (your center of mass)
☑ Shifting your weight toward the right so that your torso is now vertical – I should have also kept eye contact locked onto that kettlebell – dive your right knee out , pushing off your right left , and stand tall.

Single Arm Kettlebell Snatch
☑Place a kettlebell between your feet. Bend your knees and push your butt back to get in the proper starting position.
☑Immediately reverse the direction and drive through with your hips and knees, accelerating the kettlebell upward. As the kettlebell rises to your shoulder rotate your hand and punch straight up, using momentum to receive the weight locked out overhead.

 

Single arm Overhead Press:
Start with your feet screwed into the ground, knees are soft, glutes squeezed , belly should feel tight (this is a stable athletic position) With the kettlebell in your right hand, keep your elbow in and your palm facing your head. Press the weight up overhead. Lower the weight back down and repeat.

 

Double Kettlebell Front Squats:
Screw your feet into the ground, glutes squeezed, belly tight. Load your hips and hamstrings sitting back. As you do this be sure to keep a flat back, shoulders retracted, vertical shins, and drive your knees out. Squat back and extend your hips back up to starting postion. Repeat.

Pistol Squats:
Again foot screwed into the ground, glutes squeezed to start, belly in tight. Load hip and hammies sitting back driving all your weight into your left foot. Work on building up glute strength to master this move!

 

Can any of you do a pistol squat?? Let me know!

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Short-Shorts Thigh & Booty Sculpting Workout

Spring’s almost here and we’ve had a few warm days down here in SC!  Try to look past my pasty white winter legs (they’ve gone far too long without a daily dose of vitamin D). And for the record, I’m really not a fake-n-bake-tanning-bed kinda girl. Anyway, regardless of the fact that I can’t work on my tan, I thought I could at least get a jump start sculpting and toning my thighs for warmer weather. And these moves really did the trick. I also really felt these moves in my obliques, which was a nice little surprise.

If you have ankle weights laying around – Grab ’em!! I did the first round without ankle weights. For the second round I tried the 3 lb-ers, and that wasn’t gonna happen, so I dropped down to a pair of 1 lb ankle weights. I know, I know – 1 lb is pretty pathetic sounding – but we’ll see what you have to say after you try it! Also if you have long legs (like me) the more challenging additional weight will be, because you have a longer leaver arm. I know it doesn’t look like much, but I was seriously feeling these even without the ankle weights!

Short-Shorts Thigh & Booty Sculpting Workout

Do each move, 25x on each side. Complete the circuit 2 times thru!
I challenge you to do it 2 – 3 times a week. Want a real challenge? Try increasing your ankle weights every 1-2 weeks!

 

Equipment I Used:
1 – 3 lb  ankle weights

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Lateral Hamstring Curl: Stand next to a wall or chair and rest one hand on it for support, if needed. Lift your right leg up so that its nearly parallel to the ground. Maintain this position and perform a hamstring curl, flexing at the knee bringing your right foot back toward your booty. Extend your foot back out so the leg is straight. Do this for 25 reps, repeat on left leg.

 Lateral Hamstring Curl with Knee Tuck: Stand next to a wall or chair and rest one hand on it for support, if needed. Lift your right leg up so that its nearly parallel to the ground. Maintain this position and perform a hamstring curl, flexing at the knee bringing your right foot back toward your booty. Extend your foot back out so the leg is straight. Then keeping your leg parallel to the ground, draw your knee up towards you. Return to starting position. Do this for 25 reps, repeat on left leg.

Stir it Up: Stand facing a wall or chair, resting both hands lightly on it for support. Keeping your toe pointed, draw your right knee up in front of you. Leading with your right foot extend your leg out to the right. Trace your foot in a large circle (think as if you were skimming the rim or a huge barrel with your foot). Return to starting position. Perform 25 reps, repeat on left side!

Trainer Tip: for the next two moves try keep your toe pointed and turned slightly inward (think pigeon-toed) this really targets the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus (the upper outside area of the booty). 

Side Thigh Slimmer: Get down on all fours, extend your right leg back keeping it straight. Keep your leg parallel to the ground and straight, draw it out to the side, only until it’s in line with your hips (think as if you are tracing the number 7 into the air with your foot) draw your leg back down in, towards your body. Return to starting position by extending your leg back up again. Perform 25 reps, repeat this move on the left side! **It might be easiest to perform this while laying on a bench or table so that you are able to lower your leg as shown in the pictures!

Side Sculpter Sevens: Lay on your side. Bottom leg should be slightly bent and abs are engaged. From here kick your top leg up keeping it straight, then kick it out in front of you. From this position, lower your leg down in front of your body then return to starting position. Perform 25 reps, repeat this move on the left side! **It might be easiest to perform this while laying on a bench or table so that you are able to lower your leg as shown in the pictures!

What are some of your favorite moves to prep for warmer weather??

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