Three years ago I was 30lbs (14kg) overweight. I desperately wanted to feel healthy, lean and strong but it seemed that no matter what I tried I simply wasn’t getting results. As a personal trainer I was constantly reading about and testing the latest workouts, and so I began an extreme form of training that had been touted as the holy grail of fat loss. After 12 months of workouts emphasizing heavy weightlifting I was still carrying that extra 30lbs of body fat and had injured my knees. One day I walked into the gym and I realized that I didn’t want to train like that anymore.
I began to create my own routines that combined cardio training with the principles of Pilates – namely core control, alignment and multi-directional movement. This is how my Cardio Core workouts began.
At first I attracted a few odd looks from the other gym-goers as I wound my way through a series of ballet, martial arts and plyometric based movements, alternated with bodyweight sculpting and balance. However, it wasn’t long before people, especially women, started to approach me to train them.
Here is a recent testimonial from my client, Ellie:
“Jenn was instrumental in shaping the bridal body I have always wanted! I’ve consistently carried around an extra 5-10 pounds and have a hard time getting lean due to my lack of motivation. Jenn’s inventive and fast-paced moves kept our workouts fun and challenging but never beyond my comfort level. She also inspired me to eat cleanly and continue my body work outside of our sessions. Jenn was always sensitive to my body’s particular needs and ready to adapt her workout plans if my back was aching or my stomach was sensitive. I felt fabulous and confident at my wedding, and still do today thanks to Jenn!”
Cardio Core is one component of my overall training routine, which also includes circuit training, bodyweight sculpting, stretching, high intensity interval training and low intensity steady state cardio. I have found that this combination of workouts challenges my mind and body, which helps to keep me motivated to continue my workouts throughout the week.
My 12 week workout e-book “Svelte, Sexy and Soulful: The Bride’s Guide To Feminine Fitness” will be coming out soon! Stay tuned or email me for more information.
Today’s multidirectional Cardio Core workout tones your muscles from all directions as you move forwards and backwards, side to side, up and down and in rotation. It alternates between high energy moves at a fast pace, and slow core strength moves that focus on alignment and toning.
This workout is terrific for the bride-to-be because:
- Roll downs increase spinal flexibility, which helps to create good posture.
- Lateral movements such as glides tone the inner and outer thighs.
- Narrow pushups tone the arms – particularly triceps – and flattens the abdominals.
- Side planks and bicycles narrow the waist.
- High energy movements such as burpees burn fat and boost your metabolism to keep you burning fat later in the day (this after burn effect is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC)
- Back lunges and broad jumps tone the butt, inner thighs and quads.
As always there are three variations of this workout, so please choose the one that is right for your fitness level.
Beginner Cardio Core
In this workout I have modified the burpees, eliminated the broad jumps and added walking lunges. This variation is low impact but will still be challenging!
Do each move for 30 seconds before immediately moving on to the next. Rest for 90 seconds and repeat (minus the warmup) for a total of 3-5 rounds. Finish with the roll downs as a stretch.
Watch the moves here:
The Warm-up + Stretch
- 3 roll downs to plank
- Cardio: Lateral boxer glides in parallel (4 in one direction before returning)
- Core: Hold plank or modified plank
- Cardio: Walking lunges
- Core: Kneeling pushups
- Cardio: Lateral ballet glides in turn out (4 in one direction before returning)
- Core: Abdominal bicycles, one foot down
- Cardio: Step-Back burpee
The only variation between the intermediate and advanced sequence is time. Intermediate participants work for 1 minute on the Cardio phase and 30 seconds on the Core phase. Advanced participants work for 1 minute on the Cardio phase and 1 minute on the Core phase.
Do each move for recommended time before immediately moving on to the next. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat (minus the warmup) for a total of 3-4 rounds. Finish with the roll downs as a stretch.
Watch the moves here:
- 5 roll downs to pushup
- Cardio:Lateral boxer glides in parallel (6-8 in one direction before returning)
- Core: Hold plank
- Cardio: Burpee jack to broad jump
- Core: Narrow pushup to side plank
- Cardio:Lateral ballet glides in turn out (6-8 in one direction before returning)
- Core: Abdominal bicycles
- Cardio: Burpee pushup back lunge
Now I would love to hear from you! Which level of the workout did you try and how many rounds did you complete?