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Fall back into fitness: Back to school edition

Young woman in tank-top, beside purple exercise ball outside in the fall.

True story: when I was a kid, I used to loathe gym class.  Nothing gave me anxiety like the dreaded mile run, and I got butterflies in my stomach when the teacher got out the dodge balls.  Oh how things have changed!  Now I run for fun, and working up a sweat is one of my favorite parts of the day.  I still think I’d hate playing against a bunch of fifth-grade boys in a game of dodgeball, though.

With the fall season upon us, even though you may not be headed back to school yourself, it’s still the perfect time of year to re-commit to physical fitness.  Here’s a gym class-inspired workout that will earn you an A+ in looking and feeling your best this fall.  Sharpen that No. 2 pencil and take notes!

Setup/Equipment:  Clear a large area (your living room or backyard will do).  You’ll need a timer, a mat, a jump rope and a weighted medicine ball (a playground ball will work in a pinch, and you can always mimic the jump roping motion if you don’t have one).

Warm-up: Do one minute of Jumping Jacks, followed by jogging/marching in place, high knees, arm circles and a plank hold.

Workout: Perform each of the moves in succession for one minute each, completing as many reps as possible with good form.  Take a 60 second break after one round is completed.  Repeat two to four more times through.

Birchbox
  1. Squat and Shoulder Press.  Hold the medicine ball at chest level as you sit back into a squat.  Push through your heels back up to a standing position, pressing the medicine ball overhead.
  2. Medicine Ball Slams. Take a wide stance, with arms extended and the ball overhead.  Slam the ball onto the ground with force (be sure to bend your knees as you do so) and catch the ball.  Repeat.
  3. Pushups.  Because no gym class is complete without them.
  4. Leapfrog hops.  Start in a wide-leg stance, knees bent.  Take two giant hops forward, then quickly jog backwards to your starting point.
  5. Pullover Sit-ups.  Lay on your back with knees bent, hands on the ball, which is resting on the ground overhead.  Perform a sit-up (or crunch) by bringing the ball up and in front of you, then lower back to start.
  6. Mountain Climbers. In plank position (advanced option: perform with hands on the ball), quickly drive one knee into your chest at a time while keeping your abs pulled in and hips in line with your body.
  7. Jump Rope.


Stretch.

 

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Michelle Mason
By: Michelle Mason

Michelle Mason is an ACE-certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and writer who loves sharing her passion for fitness with her clients, students and readers by making exercise effective, approachable, and, most importantly, fun! Having once struggled with her weight herself, Michelle was able to lose the weight and keep it off largely due to her commitment to regular exercise. From kettlebells to Zumba, to TRX and circuit training, Michelle loves staying active and keeping up to date on the latest fitness trends. When she's not making ladies sweat at Uplift Studios, you can find her at Quick Fitness in Brooklyn, or online at Michelle Mason Fitness. She's obsessed with chocolate, brightly-colored workout clothes, and her dog, Gertrude.

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