I love being barefoot. I would always workout barefoot if it was practical or safe to do. But going barefoot doesn’t work for me when I am doing anything with impact (also gyms require foot wear). I do however love the occastional low impact workout done barefoot. I love light walking workouts done at home in barefeet. My favorite part about yoga and pilates is that you do them barefoot. I love select strength moves done barefoot with no weight or light weight. There is something lovely about low impact work after having a few days of higher impact exercise.
Full-body basics – barefoot
1) squat with diagonal chop (w/ one light to moderate weight dumbbell) x10 per side
2) pike press x10
3) kettlebell swing x20 (can be done with moderate dumbbell also)
4) one arm kettle bell or dumbbell row (x10-15 per arm)
5) suntana pushup (alternate between sides for side plank w/ a pushup in the center) x10
6) dancing crab x10 or hold a table or bridge position for 30sec
Repeat 1-5x depending on what you feel like doing.
Combine this with a short low impact power walk from jessicasmithtv and it makes for an energizing bit of movement. We don’t always need to be gargeling our hearts or pounding on our joints.
So I tried Abel’s leg thrities the other day. I was doing a home workout so I did a modified version since I didn’t have a leg press or squat rack. I only did two rounds. Round one was hard. Round two was brutal. I can’t imagine doing three to four rounds. (Something to work towards!) I am looking forward (I think) to trying the original version with a leg press and squat rack at the gym. I have done high rep work before, but something about this combination of exercises at high reps back to back just floored me. It really kept my heart rate up and my legs were burning. I love workouts that keep it simple but intense. If you don’t know what Abel’s leg thrities are you can watch them on youtube here.
Circuit 1: Set timer for 6 rounds 45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest.
1) Figure eight squats
2) Single leg pushups-R
3) Single leg deadlift & single arm kettlebell row – R
4) Single leg pushups-L
5) Single leg deadlift & single arm kettlebell row-L
6) Jump rope
2 minutes rest.
Circuit 2: Set timer for 6 rounds 45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest.
1) Kettlebell swings
2) Weighted sit ups
3) Kettelbell squat & press (two handed)
6) Plank jacks
2 minutes rest.
Circuit 3: Set timer for 6 rounds of 45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest.
1) Kettlebell sumo squat & high pull
2) Back extensions (on floor or exercise ball)
3) Russian twists
4) Alt. side lateral lunges
5) Dive bombers pushups
6) Squat jumps
I spent a long time working with the very standard 3 sets of 8-12 reps when doing my strength training. Which was totatly fine for a time. I got a lot out of doing that when I first got back to working out in a gym. But after awhile I found I had adapted. and it was boring. So for last little while I have changed things up. I have changed my rep and set rangs, doing a lot of supersetting to keep me moving more and have also been trying a different body part breakdown. It is has been working very well. Personally I find my body responds well to splitting my strength training up by body parts. But while working full-time combined with a crappy Canadian winter getting to the gym more than three times per week can be tough so I have just given myself permission to only go three times per week. I complement those workouts with 2-3 home based workouts.
I have been splitting my days as chest/back, legs/tricep, shoulders/biceps. The first superset I do on each day I pick a solid compound exercise for each body part for that day and do 5-7 sets varying my rep ranges. I rest a maximum of 1 min between sets. Then I do two or three more supersets of four sets each with a rep range of 8-15 depending on the how the weight feels. I have made some good strength gains, especially on my weak points like biceps, shoulders, and back. And my workouts are actually done quicker and feel more intense than past workouts where I did three sets of more exercises without the supersetting. Also incline walking after my strength workouts has been a nice addition to my cardio rotation. I always walk my dog a lot so walking never really struck me as a “workout” but cranking up the incline on the treadmill and setting a brisk pace is very effective cardio. I especially like tagging it on the end of my leg workout.
Day 1: Chest/back (gym)
Day 2: home workout – eg. cardio kickboxing, aerobics, spinning
Day 3: Legs/triceps (gym)
Day 4: Home workout – eg. yoga/pilates, low impact cardio/fusion workout
Day 5: Shoulders/biceps (gym)
Day 6: Home workout eg. cardo kickboxing, aerobics, plyometric drills, kettlebell work
Day 7: Rest
Now that I have my own kettlebell I am doing a lot of reading on different things to do with it. In the past the kettlebell was just something I used a little bit with my workouts. I might pick one up at the gym for some swings or high pulls and such then go back to the traditional weights. I noticed when I was doing my squating the other day with just one kettlebell that even through the weight was significantly lighter then what I would do with a barbell back squat it was still tough. So I dug around on bodybuilding.com and have found some great kettlebell articles. Here are a couple: