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Yesterday’s workout was an invigorating one! I powered through the workout by listening to some of this year’s Glee songs. Although I haven’t watched Glee since season 1, I caught the first episode this season very randomly and have managed to stay interested so far. What Glee has always been good at though, is giving me cover songs that are definitely workout-worthy! This year so far, that includes their take on Oops, I Did it Again (<–great rendition and choreo!) or even some of their slower ones, like Give Your Heart a Break or Coldplay’s The Scientist.

Getting back to my point…I had originally wanted to complete a strength-based pilates/yoga combination type of workout. It actually ended up as more of a pilates-based circuit, since I decided on the fly to wedge cardio in between the toning moves. It came out to just a tad over 30 minutes for me. It was tough!!! Definitely a good one, though, so I remembered to jot it down for you guys.

The workout, which can be done at home or any hotel room, has only one requirement — some sort of resistance/stretch band, rope, towel or anything similar that you can pull taut. I’ve suggested the types of cardio to do in between moves, but feel free to replace it with your cardio of choice. Scroll down for detailed explanations and photos of most of the moves. Hope you try it and like it!

Perform each move as described (most are between 45 seconds to one minute), moving quickly from one move to the next with little or no rest in between. Repeat the circuit once.  

Click the photo to enlarge!

The Moves

The following photos are not mine; all sources credited below.

MOVE 1 – The Hundred 

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Using a yoga or pilates mat or a soft surface, lie on your back, with knees bent. Pull the band underneath your legs. Straighten legs off the ground at a 45 degree angle. Pulse arms up and down for 45 seconds.

Modification: To make this easier, angle your legs higher (that is, closer to 90 degrees or perpendicular to the ground).

MOVE 2 – Twist and Reach

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Sitting upright, leaning slightly back with legs stretched in front of you, raise your band taut above your head. Try to keep your arms only shoulder-width apart. Twist your torso to the left. Your buttcheeks should not lift off the ground. Hold for two seconds before twisting to the other side. Continue for 45 seconds, never letting the band slack.

Modification: The more you lean back without lifting any part of your legs off the ground, the more you will work your core!

MOVE 3 – Incline Plank

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Sit upright, legs and feet extended straight in front of you. Place your arms beside your torso, with hands on ground slightly behind your hips, with your fingertips facing forward. Then, press your heels into the ground and raise your legs off the ground, keeping them straight. Lift hips toward the ceiling. Your body should make a straight line. Don’t drop your head behind you; keep your gaze slightly forward. Slowly lift your left leg straight up. Lower your leg without letting it touch the ground, and then raise slowly upward again. Repeat 5 times, then switch sides.

MOVE 4 – One Leg Balance

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This is like a one leg deadlift except that you are holding a band overhead. Start by kneeling on the ground, with the band held taut overhead (see photo, image 1). Keeping your right leg grounded, bring your left foot forward. Place it on the ground in front of you so that you are in a lunge position. Ground the left foot, and push off to raise your body off the ground, to come to stand. In a fluid motion, lower your torso closer to the floor while raising your right leg straight behind you. Try to align your body parallel to the floor as much as possible. Reversing your movements, return to your knees. Repeat with the other leg. That is one rep. Complete 5 reps.

MOVE 5 – Kneeling Side Kicks

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Kneeling on the ground, start to lean left. Place your left hand on the ground directly beneath your shoulder. You can either extend your right hand or place it behind your head (as in the photo). Raise your right leg upward so that it is parallel with the floor. Keeping your leg straight, move your raised leg to the front slowly, then backwards. Your torso should not be moving. Complete five reps. Repeat on the other side.

MOVE 6 – Plie with Overhead Press

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Standing upright, with legs hip width apart, place your band, pulled taut, behind your neck (note: the photo shows another modification that you can also try). Raise heels off the ground. Slowly lower into a squat on the balls of your feet while simultaneously raising the band overhead. Return to standing position, bringing the band back behind your neck. Repeat for 45 seconds.

Let me know if you try it!

Happy sweating/xoxo,

Em.

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