Girl Power; Less Than a Half Hour!

Tired of doing the same old exercises? Not really feeling a trip to the gym? Bored of workout videos? We’ve all been there.

Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to exercise when you’re following the same old boring routine or just running to nowhere on a treadmill. It just so happened that I was in one of my   ‘I don’t want to work out because it’s boring’ moods one morning and decided to clean my house instead. But when I started blasting Spice Girls to pump myself up into productivity, my endorphins charged and all I wanted to do was get down and sweaty to the music. What started off as crazy dancing and lip syncing turned into a impromptu workout. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did!

Remember THIS?

Remember THIS?

Saturday Night Divas (4: 26 mins): You heard the girls; “Get down, get deeper and down”. Get down and squat it out! Keep those thighs and buns squatting low and slow all four minutes. To mix it up, I added different arm movements for each minute. Using 5-10 pound weights, do bicep curls (1 min), triceps curls (1 min), shoulder lifts (1 min), and end with a mix or your favorite arm move (1 min)!

Not sure you’re squatting right? Here’s how to do the perfect squat:

  • Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder distance apart.
  • Ensure that your feet, knees, and hips are stacked. That is, that they’re in a straight line and you’re not leaning forward or back too much.
  • Pull your shoulders back and relax them. Make sure that they’re not pushing up towards your ears. Keep your chest open.
  • If you’re not doing weight moves with your arms, make sure to extend them out straight, a little lower than shoulder level. Keep your palms facing the floor.
  • Tighten your core (suck that belly in) and push your butt out as far as it can go while gently lowering your hips, keeping a straight back and relaxed shoulders.
  • Make sure that you’re squatting low enough! The pressure should be on your thighs, not your knees. If you find that you can’t get your butt to knee level or lower, widen your stance. Same goes for if you’re feeling pain in your knees.
  • Remember: keep your spine neutral, your abdomen tight, and your toes pointing straight in front of you. Keep it low and slow; the slower you squat, the less chance you’ll have of injury and the lower you squat, the more your muscles will feel the burn.

Stop (3:40 mins): Time to jump into your cardio fix and get that heart racing! Start off the song with some jumping jacks until you hit the chorus. During the chorus, get those high kicks in! You can either kick with one leg while punching your opposite arm, or you can just do some high kick jumps. When the chorus is over,  squat low and run in place—like football players do during practice. It may look silly, but it feels great! Repeat your preference of high kicks during the chorus. Then continue with jumping jacks and running in place until the song ends. If you decide to rock some different cardio moves to this song, let me know in the comments below!

Spice Up Your Life (3:06): My personal favorite. It’s just impossible to not have a smile on your face and a little swagger in your step with this song. I had some fun with this one! Start with your legs straight in the air, pressed together, and then lower them down and around in clockwise circles. If you need a bit of support with this one, place your hands under your butt. Most importantly, keep your core tight and move slowly, with control. You can even alternate with clockwise and anti-clockwise circles. When you hear “Colors of the world, SPICE UP YOUR LIFE” that’s the bridge. Use it to turn over and get a couple of burpees in! This will lead you into the chorus, where all you have to do is obey the Spice Girls. Slam it to the left (slam that left foot down), shake it to the right (grapevine to the right), shake it to the front (shimmy to the front), and go round (spin around girl, have some fun!). Heart rate up yet? It better be! Get back down on the floor and do some push-ups. You can do them one-legged, on your knees, or just regular. Be sure to commit to a position where you can get the most out of the push-up because there’s no point in doing any of these moves half-assed. Hear that bridge again? Repeat those burpees! Then follow the chorus, sing along with those moves! Wind down with some oblique twists before ending with burpees and the final chorus moves.

Wannabe (3:57 mins): I personally need to be super pumped up in order to really tackle abdominal exercises. Wannabe is just one of those songs that gets me there. By now you should be sweaty and limber, ready to kick it up a notch. So here we go; throw some real Girl Power into this portion of the workout devoted to abs. Start out with upper ab crunches (1 min), reverse crunches (1 min), scissor kicks (1 min), plank and crunch (30 seconds each side). Here’s the best way to tackle these moves…

Upper Ab Crunch

  • Interlock your fingers loosely behind your head and keep your elbows spread wide apart. Ensure that your shoulders aren’t clenched up around your ears.
  • Keep your lower back glued to the floor. There should be no space between your back/butt and the floor.
  • Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed.
  • Exhale and use your abs to lift your head and chest off the floor. Hold and then lower yourself down with control. This is about technique, not speed.

Reverse Crunch

  • Keep your entire upper body, down to your butt, glued to the floor. Once again, there should be no space between your back/butt and the floor.
  • Bend your knees, keeping your feet on the floor.
  • Tighten your abs and use that momentum to lift your legs and knees up into your chest without shifting your upper body or back.
  • Slowly lower down with control.

Scissor Kicks  You can do these one of two ways…

1. Lie on your back, arms flat at your sides, and lift your legs straight up to the ceiling. Keeping both legs straight, lower one leg down, hovering it about an inch over the ground,  while pulling the other towards your chest. Alternate. Make sure your core is tight and your neck and shoulders are relaxed. The work should be done by the abs and legs, not the arms.

2. Lie on your side, propping yourself up with your elbow. Keep both legs straight out and flat. Raise the top leg high and towards your head, hold, then release down. Repeat for 30 seconds and then switch to the other side.

Plank and Crunch  This one is challenging but a lot of fun!

  • Get into a good plank pose: straight back and body, lower that butt, arms firmly planted beneath your shoulders with fingers spread wide.
  • Take your right leg and pull your knee into your chest, performing a mini-crunch with your abs. Place it straight and back.
  • Keeping your balance, take your left leg and pull that knee into your chest, again performing a mini-crunch with your abs.
  • Keep alternating and repeating the same move without compromising your plank position when both legs are down and straight. This largely means that you shouldn’t be sticking your butt in the air when in plank pose!

Holler (4:20 mins): Slow it way, way down and stretch it out. Some of my favorite stretches are yoga moves. They include cow pose, mermaid pose, downward dog, and child pose. Since this song is four minutes long, I recommend devoting the first minute to stretching your right side out with cow pose, the second minute for the right leg in mermaid pose, the third minute for the left side in cow pose, the fourth minute for left leg in mermaid pose, and the last twenty seconds in downward dog or child pose. Let that song run into silence as you gather yourself and slow your breathing down. If you’re going to do these moves, please stretch safely! If you haven’t tried these moves before, I recommend getting help from a a friend who’s experienced in yoga or by following a how-to YouTube video. For pictures and step-by-step instructions, I find www.yogajournal.com to be especially helpful!

I hope you enjoyed this quick, fun workout! Be sure to leave a comment below if you enjoyed it or if you added your own variations to the songs, I’d love to hear it!

Exercise doesn’t have to be boring and dreary. It’s all for you, so enjoy this time with your body and remember to be smart and have fun with it!

*Please note that I am not a fitness instructor (I am a Sweat Pink Ambassador though, and super proud of it!). These moves have been taken and modified from years of Pilates classes and various workout videos. Just remember, it’s important to do what feels right for your body, especially when it comes to advanced stretch moves!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s