Blog Archives

The 30-Day Home Bodyweight Challenge

Yesterday I mentioned that the easier we make healthy changes, the more likely they are to stick.

And for some people, getting to the gym on a regular basis just isn’t easy. Yes it is an excuse, but it is an excuse that causes many people to fail at reaching their goals.

Which is why I’ve become big into posting home workouts you can do with just bodyweight.

Because I also love butt workouts, today I’m posting a great bodyweight glute workout.

For more workouts like this one, check out The 30-Day Fitness Challenge.

The Home Bodyweight Glute Workout

Stretch and Roll Out:

Complete 2 rounds of the circuit below. Hold each move for 2-5 seconds at the top so you really feel the muscle begin to work.
12 reps each side Donkey Kicks
12 reps each side Clams

Do both exercises back to back then rest up to 1 minute between rounds. Between supersets, rest up to 2 minutes.

10-20 reps each side 3 Count Single Leg Deadlift
10-20 each side Single Leg Glute Bridge (Hold 2-5 seconds at the top.)


10-15 reps each side Diagonal Lunges (Curtsy to Front Angled. Both lunges equal one rep.)
15-20 reps Reverse Hyper (Hold 2-5 seconds at the top.)


10-20 reps each side Backward Lunge
10-15 reps each side Fire hydrants (Hold 2-5 seconds at the top.)

Stretch and Roll Out:

If you have weights at home, you can definitely use them. But slowing down the tempo of each move, or adding in a towel for the back lunge, can also advance the exercise.


Donkey Kicks – Start on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Flex your feet. Drive one foot back and up toward the ceiling, keeping the knee bent to 90 degrees. Make sure to drive the heel up and back. Do not arch the low back. Squeeze the glute as hard as you can at the top of the lift. You should not feel this in your low back at all if you are squeezing your glute and not arching to get the leg higher. Do not let the knee rotate in or out. Hold at the top and then lower the knee down. Repeat all reps on one side before switching. Do not bend your arms as you perform the movement.

donkey kick
Clams – Lie on your side, propping yourself up on your forearm. Place both legs together, one directly on top of the other. Keep your feet together and bend your knees in a bit. To perform the move, lift the top leg open like a clam opening up. Keep the feet together as you open and don’t allow yourself to rock backward. You want to press your hips forward and squeeze your glutes as you open that top leg. When you first do this move, it can be good to do it against a wall so that you don’t rock backward. To apply some resistance, press down on the top leg with your hand or place a mini band around both legs below your knees. Perform all reps on one side before moving to the other side. Below is a picture with the band.

clams with mini band
3 Count Single Leg Deadlift – Stand on one foot with the knee of that standing leg slightly bent. Hinge over at your hips, sweeping the other leg back toward the wall behind you. Take 3 seconds to hinge over. Pretend you are driving the heel of that foot straight into the wall behind you. Lean forward with your upper body as you hinge forward, keeping the back nice and flat. Make sure that as you hinge, you are sitting into the heel of your standing leg. Do not lean forward and come up onto the toes of your standing leg. Remember to lower down for a 3 count. To stand back up, drive through the heel of your standing leg and squeeze your glute at the top. Come up quickly. Try not to tap the other foot down at all or at least not till you are fulling standing. Then slowly lower back down, taking 3 seconds to hinge over. Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other leg. You can slow it down to a 5 count if the 3 count becomes easy or you can hold weights in each hand.

bodyweight single leg deadlift
Single Leg Glute Bridge (Hold 2-5 seconds at the top.) – Lie on your back with your knees bent. Your feet should be flat on the ground. Try to bring your heels back close enough to your butt that you can just graze your heels with your finger tips. Lift one leg up and bend the knee to 90 degrees. Drive up through your heel on the ground, lifting your hips as high as you can. Keep your core engaged and squeeze your glutes so you don’t feel the move in your low back. Do not let your knees fall together. Your feet should be about hip-width apart. At the top of your glute bridge, you should be driving through your heel and your upper back. Hold at the top of each lift for 2-5s. To advance this move, place your foot up on a table or chair. To regress the move, do a two leg glute bridge from the ground.

single leg glute bridge

Advanced variations

Diagonal Lunges (Curtsy to Front Angled. Both lunges equal one rep.) – Start standing tall with your feet together. Then, starting with the right foot moving, step the right foot across and behind the left leg. Step back toward about “7″ or “8″ on the clock. Do not step too close to the left so that you have space to sink down into a deep lunge. Drop the back knee toward the ground, keeping the front heel on the ground. You should feel the lunge in the outside of your front butt cheek. Then bring the right foot back forward and stand up nice and tall. Beginners will want to pause here while more advanced exercisers will want to go right from the curtsy lunge to the angled front lunge. Step the right foot forward out of the curtsy lunge into a front angled lunge. Move the right foot forward and out to about “1″ on the clock. Both toes should be pointing straight ahead as you bend both knees and sink down toward the ground. Keep your front heel down as you lunge down. Then drive off the front heel to come back to standing. Then go right from the angled lunge back into the curtsy lunge. Repeat until all reps are complete on that side and then switch.

curtsy to front angled lunge
Reverse Hyper (Hold 2-5 seconds at the top.) – Lie face down on a table or bed with your legs hanging off. Make sure your hips are right at the edge. Hold on to something in front of you if you want. Keep your upper body relaxed. Squeeze your legs together and point your toes out. Lift your legs to basically parallel to the ground, keeping your legs straight. Do not hyperextend your back and lift way higher than parallel. You do not want to feel this in your low back. Keep your core tight and really squeeze your glutes as you lift. You can also do this on the ground although it doesn’t give you as big a range of motion.

Backward Lunge – Start standing with your feet together. Step one foot back into as deep a lunge as you can handle, bending the back knee and dropping it toward the ground. Your front knee should bend as well, but your knee shouldn’t go forward over your toe. Make sure to really sit back on that front heel and keep your chest up nice and tall. Then, driving through that front heel, come back to standing. Step that back foot back forward. To make the move harder, place a towel or slider under the foot moving back. Instead of stepping, you will slide the foot back into a deep lunge.

towel back lunge

The towel backward lunge variation.

Fire hydrants (Hold 2-5 seconds at the top.) – Start on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Both feet are flexed. Keeping the knee bent to 90, lift the leg straight out to the side like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant. Make sure to keep the knee and ankle at the same height. Your foot shouldn’t be way up in the air and your knee shouldn’t be way above your foot. Your lower leg should be in a nice parallel line from the ground. Do not bend your arms to raise your leg higher off the ground. Also try not to lean into the standing leg. Squeeze the glute and hold at the top, keeping the foot flexed. Then lower down and repeat.

fire hydrant glute activation

10 Isometric Exercises – Why You Need To Include Them

At least once a week, as part of the warm up, I would do isometrics with my volleyball girls. (I also use them with my clients.)

But they are an especially important tool to use with young athletes because they work not only on physical strength but also on MENTAL TOUGHNESS.

Isometric exercises are any exercise you HOLD under tension.

And holding a move when your muscles are shaking and your brain starts to say, “QUIT!”…well there is nothing mentally more challenging. There is no movement to make it better. No place to escape the pain.

You’ve just got to sit, stand or lie there and hold it through the pain. (They sound really great right now…huh?!?)

You can use isometrics as part of a warm up, to get muscles activated and working together. You can also use them as a workout by themselves by doing only holds or by pairing the isometric exercises with strength or power repetitions.

Here is a list of a few of my favorite Isometric Exercises.

1. Toes (Single or Double) – This move works on your balance and warms up your feet, ankles, knees, hips and core. It is also a great calf and core strengthener. To do this move, stand on both feet and go up as high on your toes as you can. Hold that position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. To make this move harder, do single leg balancing on your toe.

2. Squat Hold (Wall Sit) – The squat hold can be done as a wall sit or as a free-standing squat and hold. Place your feet between hip-width and shoulder-width apart. Sink down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. To make it easier, do not sink as low. Keep your core engaged and your chest up. Do not lean forward too much. Make sure to sit back on your heels when you squat. You should not be on your toes at all. Do not sink below 90 degrees with this move as that actually makes it easier. And do not let your knees collapse inward. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If you want to make this move harder, you could hold a weight at chest height or even on your lap while doing a wall sit. Or you can even do a single leg wall sit!

isometric squat

3. Warrior Pose – Many yoga classes use isometric moves. Any time you hold one of the warrior poses, you are performing an isometric exercise. I call this move the “warrior pose” (although I know there are a few different warrior poses in yoga). To do this move, set up in a wide stance for a lunge. Turn your back foot so that the toe is pointing away from you. Your back foot will be perpendicular to your front foot, which will be pointing straight ahead. Do not let your front knee collapse in as you sink down in the lunge. Keeping the back leg straight, sink down as low as you can. Shoot for the front knee to be at 90 degrees. Make sure your front foot is firmly planted on the ground at that your knee stays about over your ankle. If you want to add a bit of shoulder work in, bring your arms up to shoulder height. Reach one forward and one backward toward opposite walls. If you want to make this move easier, don’t sink as low. Hold 30 seconds to 1 minute.

4. Split Squat – Set up in a wide stance with one foot forward and one foot back. Both toes are pointing straight ahead. Sink down until your back knee is almost touching the ground. Make sure you are not leaning forward. Your front knee should be over your ankle. If you want to make this move easier, don’t go as low. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Lunge hold

5. Scapular Wall Hold (Could also be a row up and hold) – THE BEST MOVE FOR POSTURE AND PULL UPS! Bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Lean back into a wall with only your elbows touching. Press your chest out and your shoulder blades down and back. Walk your feet away from the wall only as much as needed to feel the muscles behind your shoulder blades working. Do not let your shoulders shrug up by your ears. The bigger the incline from the wall, the harder the move will be. Make sure to keep your body in a nice straight line. Keep your core tight and squeeze your quads and glutes. You could also sub out the scapular wall hold for an inverted row to hold. You could row up on either a TRX or barbell and hold at the top of the row. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

6. Dead Hang (Pull up and Hold) – You can hold at the bottom, middle or top of the pull up and each will have its benefits. My two favorite are the dead hang (holding at the bottom and just pinching your shoulder blades down and back) and the pull up to hold (holding at the top). With the dead hang, grab the pull up bar and pinch your shoulder blades down and back. You want to press your chest out and tighten your core as if you are going to pull up. To make this move easier, hold for a shorter time OR add some assistance by either keeping your feet on the ground so you are pulling less weight or by using a band around your knee. To do the pull up and hold, hold at the top of the pull up. Your shoulder blades should be down and back and your legs should be straight. Do not tuck your knees. To make this move easier, use a band or place one foot on the ground for assistance. Hold 30 seconds to 1 minute. (Below are the dead hang and the assisted hold at the top.)

pull up holdassisted pull ups

7. Push Up Hold (Hold top, bottom or middle) – I most often hold this move from the top of the push up. So set up on your hands and toes. Feet are together and hands are underneath your shoulders. Draw your belly button into your spine and squeeze your quads, glutes and adductors. Your shoulder blades should be down and back and your shoulders shouldn’t be up by your ears. Keep your head in line with your spine. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. When I do isometric holds at either the middle or bottom of the push up, it is usually for only 3-5 seconds. When I do those holds, I’ll hold at the top for 5 seconds, middle 5 seconds and then bottom for 5 seconds before pushing back up to the top. I’ll usually do anywhere from 5-15 reps like that. (Below are holds at the top, middle and bottom.)

high plank middle of push up push up hold

8. Side Planks – You can do these from your hands and toes or knees and forearms. Going down to your knees or forearms will make the move easier. Place your hand underneath your shoulder. Rest on the side of your feet. Stack one foot on top of the other or place one foot in front of the other. Raise up on your hand and the side of your foot. Do not let your hip sag toward the ground. Keep your chest open. Do not let it rotate toward the ground. Hold in a nice straight line, squeezing your core, quads and glutes. Hold 30 seconds to 1 minute each side.

decline plank

Can make the side plank harder by putting your feet up or raising the top leg.

9. Glute Bridge – Lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. You should be able to graze your heels with your finger tips. Squeeze your glutes and raise your hips off the ground. Keep your core tight and drive up as high as you can. Your weight should be in your heels. Do not go up on your toes. To make this move harder, do a single leg hold. Hold 30 seconds to 1 minute.

glute bridge

You can make the bridge harder by holding on a power wheel.

10. Bull Dog – Start on your hands and knees. Knees should be under hips and hands underneath shoulders. Tuck your toes under and raise up onto your toes and hands. Hold with your knees just an inch or so off the ground. Do not let your low back arch. Keep your core tight. You will feel this a lot in your quads too. If you don’t, make sure your knees are under your hips. Hold 30 seconds to 1 minute. To make this easier, raise up a bit higher or walk your feet back a bit. You can also perform a shorter hold.

isometric exercise

While it is hard to tell, my knees are hovering about an inch off the ground.

And in case you aren’t completely sure how to combine the moves above, below are two workouts you can start with!

Isometric Holds (can be shortened to a warm up)

3-5 rounds of 30 second to 1 minute holds:

Squat Hold
Scapular Wall Hold
Bull Dog
Side Planks

Isometric Holds and Repetitions

3-5 rounds of the following:

Toes 30 seconds to 1 minute
Jump Rope 25 reps
Split Squat Hold 30 seconds to 1 minute
Split Squat Jumps 10 each side
Scapular Wall Hold 30 seconds to 1 minute
Inverted Row 10 reps
Push Up Hold 30 seconds to 1 minute
Push Ups 10 reps
Glute Bridge Hold 30 seconds to 1 minute
Single Leg Glute Bridge 10 reps each side

Rest 1 minute between rounds.

For more isometric moves, check out these Isometric Moves To Alleviate Desk Job Aches and Pains!

And if you are a runner, here is a Runner’s Recovery Workout using isometric moves.

NOTE: Handstand holds are also a great isometric move that I didn’t include but wanted to make note of because I love them!

Get your best body EVER – In TWO SECONDS!

I’ve spent the last week working with Jeff, perfecting our next workout progression for the gym. We’ve considered so many different variables to make sure that everyone gets the most out of each workout that my head is spinning.

And the crazy part is, both of us  still feel like the progression could be better.

At some point though, you have to decide it is good enough. So I log into Pinterest for a little mental break before beginning some other work.

I don’t know how I feel about Pinterest. It is stupid…But at the same time…I LOVE IT.

I generally try to avoid looking at the Health and Fitness section because I know it will just make me angry.

But today I said, “What the heck. Maybe I’ll find something good.”

AHHHHHHH! (Insert a picture of me pulling my hair out and then starting to rant to Ryan about all the stupid things that are posted…You all should be feeling slightly sorry for Ryan right about now…He listens to a lot of ranting….)

Anyway, every other post is about some QUICK FIX! Some stupid challenge that will help you lose weight INSTANTLY!

I mean…I get it. We all want there to be some secret out there that will fix all of our problems. We all want an easy way out.

But it just simply doesn’t exist.

And on top of that, half the things being posted out there advertising a “quick fix” are complete nonsense!

A month squat challenge where all you do is squats?


Please someone tell me what the point is? It isn’t even a progression to help you add more weight!

And then there are the 30 days to 6-pack abs ones…Just do a bazillion crunches and you will look amazing….



I mean I get that they are trying to make easy little workouts to get people at least moving and motivated. Even small changes can lead to big results. And I also get that you aren’t going to “pin” a whole diet and exercise program to get a 6-pack.

But really…a bazillion different crunches? Not even full-body core moves!

Seeing these ridiculous quick workouts just made me angry after spending days on a progression. There are just so many HOLES in them.

So many ridiculous workouts that won’t get people any results whatsoever.

Which is sad. Because quick workouts CAN get results.

And 30 day challenges can be really beneficial! In 30 days, you can see a ton of changes and gain the momentum you need to make a healthy lifestyle change. In 30 days, you CAN really dig in and accomplish your goal!

If you are going to “pin” some quick workouts, at least find ones or make some that are truly beneficial. Don’t just throw together some random exercises because it seems like it would be hard or “gnarly.”

Don’t be suckered in by a title like “Better Booty in 2 moves!”

Because I also don’t simply want to rant without doing something about the crap out there, here are my Pinterest Bikini Body Blasts. I wouldn’t normally call them that, but I like the sarcasm I know is behind the title.

These workouts are under 15 minutes, shoot you can even set a timer for 10 minutes if you are really short on time.

And they WILL actually get you results…be it a bikini body, moving and feeling better or getting stronger.

They involve compound movements and work your entire body. The make you move in all the different planes of motion and they work on stability, strength and power. They can be done anywhere or taken to the gym and weighted down to make them even tougher.

You can take less rest and make them more “cardio” or you can take more rest and go really heavy with the moves to focus more on strength.

They will help you burn fat while strengthening your entire body, which, along with a good diet, is what it takes to have the “bikini body” that people are searching for.

bikini body workouts


P.S. Super Crunch for you Jill!

super crunch

%d bloggers like this: