Category Archives: Leg Workouts

The Cycling + Strength Circuit Workout of Threes

What kind of workouts have you been getting into lately?

I’ve noticed that when I get crazy busy, I tend to stop getting as creative with my workouts. And since April was a hectic month for me, my workouts were not all that exciting. I had been going to some fun classes that were challenging me, but the first thing that goes when my schedule is packed is fitness studio visits. After all, not having to drive to studios saves time in my day! I was also traveling for half of the month, during which I snuck in quick morning workouts before full days. Oh, but I did go on an awesome hike during my quickie getaway to Idyllwild!

Wheel posing on the top of Idyllwild’s Suicide Rock

No matter how busy I am, I make it a priority to workout. I tell myself, no excuses! Truth be told, I have exercise ADHD, so my “boring” workout stretch is probably still more exciting than most. I have about a dozen workout DVDs I like, I use YouTube to find new workouts (Speaking of which, check out my post on 3 at-home kickboxing workouts to try!), take my dog for long walks around our neighborhood, favorite parks, and by the beach, and use my at-home workout equipment. I have a variety of dumbbells, resistance bands, recovery tools, and my favorite thing of all, my indoor bike trainer.

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3 At-Home Kickboxing Workouts to Try

Out of all of the workouts that I enjoy doing, boxing is high up on my list of favorites. I just love the intensity and how fast-paced it is. I’ve gone to a few boxing classes at a Title Boxing Club near me recently, and boy are they tough. After the last one I went to, my abs, glutes, and shoulders were sore for a good three days. Every time I laughed or sneezed my mid section would be hurting!

San Diego area readers, I’ve been booking my classes through the Lymber Fitness app – which lets you book classes for a variety of workouts at studios in the area without memberships. It’s great for exercisers like me that like to switch it up a lot! If you’re interested in trying the app out, you can use the code NICOLELYMB-1-21 to get $5 off your first class.

While I love the intensity and hardcore calories burned that a sweat session of hitting the heavy bag brings, I also like doing boxing workouts at home sometimes – especially when I’m crunched for time and am squeezing in a workout in between meetings. Walking into my workout room to sweat it out beats sitting in rush hour traffic to get to a class some days!

That’s why today I wanted to share 3 of my favorite at-home kickboxing workouts. These are workouts that I do all the time in my house, or during weeks like this one where I’m traveling. I’m staying at my parents’ house on the east coast this week, so instead I’m kickboxing in their living room with an audience of family Pit bulls and cats, who like to sit 2.5 inches from where I’m kicking, and also sometimes my nephews, who join in by jumping around and busting out moves of their own. ūüėČ

1.) 30-Minute Cardio Kickboxing Workout with Natalie Yco. This half-hour workout is a great calorie burner and I’ve done it many, many times. Any Jillian Michaels’ DVD fanatics may recognize Natalie as one of the fitness models from a few of her workouts. The workout is done with a jump rope, but I usually just do my own cardio moves instead – such as jumping jacks, lateral hops, squats, etc.

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My Workouts Lately [Nov & Dec ’16]

Hi friends!

Is it just me, or is January flying by?!

Today I want to rewind a bit and look back at my workouts of November and December ’16. I capped off my year with¬†many¬†awesome sweat sessions!

Harley photobombing my headstand, as per usual!

I kept up with doing an at-home yoga practice most mornings, though I feel like I stuck more to the basics and didn’t challenge myself with new/deepening asanas all that much.

Well okay, this pose is a pretty tough one! 

Class-wise, November was fun because I got to experience spin classes at a new studio in downtown San Diego called Pure Indoor Cycling.

The folks at the studio kindly gave me a complimentary membership to try out their classes, and you guys, I had so much fun taking spin classes there! Pure offers the club-esque type of cycling classes that are becoming so popular in many cities — complete with loud, energizing music and lighting effects.

I love breaking up the day with a lunchtime ride, and I burned mega calories at Pure classes. I have my bike trainer at home that I use all the time, but I definitely pushed myself more in the classes. I left every Pure class feeling awesome, with lots of endorphins flowing!

One thing that I dig about Pure Studio? The classes are a bit more reasonably priced than you’d find at comparable cycling studios. And¬†San Diego locals, the first class at Pure is free! I’d definitely recommend checking it out.

The only bummer for me? I wish I lived closed to the Pure studio!

Next up with my¬†studio class workouts throughout November & December was going to more yoga sculpt classes at Fortis & YOGALUX¬†in Carlsbad.¬†I’ve become such a fan of yoga sculpt classes!

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Three Workouts to Try This Holiday Season

Between holiday shopping, parties, travel, and family traditions¬†on top of the usual busyness, most of us are pressed for time at the end of the year. But don’t let that stop you from fitting in exercise!¬†Today I’m sharing 3 workout ideas to try over your holiday season.

The first¬†routine is a 30-minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout¬†that consists of 5 circuits, with 3 exercises in each circuit: a cardio move, a bodyweight strength move, and an abdominal exercise. For each exercise, it’s 30 seconds on / 10 seconds off, and once you complete the three exercises, you repeat it for 3 rounds, then move onto the next circuit. This one can be done anywhere, and chances are I’ll be doing this one when I’m staying at my parents’ house over Christmas!


Tip: I use a free app called Interval Timer for HIIT workouts. I set up my desired intervals (in this case, 45 intervals with 30 seconds on, 10 seconds rest), and then once I push start, I can just listen to the alarm interval noises to switch exercises while I’m watching TV or listening to music.

The second¬†workout is a treadmill + bodyweight circuit workout that’ll take around 40 minutes to complete.¬†My father-in-law has a treadmill in his basement, so when I’m staying at his house I usually fit in a workout incorporating incline walking intervals. This workout begins with building treadmill inclines, then switches over to 5 bodyweight exercises for a total body workout. Do 4 rounds for about a 40 minute workout. Only have 20 minutes to spare? Complete 2 rounds for a quickie workout!

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The All About the Hamstrings Workout

When I cut out cardio for a couple of months because of my foot injury, I started doing a lot more isolated strength training than usual. I typically incorporate strength moves into HIIT and cardio workouts, but I started relying more on strength training as my main exercise burn.

While I love so many types of workouts, I wouldn’t say that lifting is high on my list of favorite types of exercise. At first I was whining to myself (and probably a few others) saying, “How many damn bicep curls can I do?” but then I started getting more creative. I used to do a lot more¬†workouts that were more strength-based when I regularly went to a normal gym, so I started getting back to those roots and having more fun with it.

Hamstring WOD Collage-2

One thing I started paying more attention to was working on my hamstrings. I definitely have stronger quads than hamstrings. After all, I use my quads for some of my favorite exercises as well as functional movements throughout my day, but my hamstrings? They don’t get worked quite as much.

It’s common to have stronger quads than hamstrings, but in an effort to keep things balanced and reduce chances of further injury aggravation, lately¬†I’ve been more diligently doing hamstring exercises. Today I thought I’d share some of my favorite moves to work the hammies, so let’s get to it! Here are the moves:

#1 РOne-legged bridge lift. This move is great for getting a glute + hamstring burn! I do this exercise using either a chair as pictured below, or by using my couch as a prop.

Bridge Lift

#2 – One-legged deadlift. This is one of my favorite exercises to work the hammies. You can also add some extra upper body work in there by doing bicep curls or tricep pull-ups when flowing¬†back to standing. I typically use 10-lb dumbbells for this move and most of the other exercises, but bump it up to my 25-lb weights if I’m feeling strong!

One Legged Deadlift

#3 – Alternating reverse lunges. An oldie but a goodie, this move gets your heart rate pumping!

Reverse Lunge

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The Quickie Do-It-Anywhere Low-Impact Workout

When I travel, I always try to stay active and incorporate movement into my day just like when I’m home. I prefer to exercise outdoors or do something adventurous in the area I’m in. But sometimes, the thing that works out best is just waking up in my hotel room, busting out a quick workout to get my endorphins flowing, and¬†moving on with my day’s agenda.

Vegas rooftop yoga

A yoga session this week on the rooftop of my Vegas hotel

This is most definitely the case when I travel for work. Although I’ve walked a ton on the convention center floor in Las Vegas this week, I’ve also been fitting in morning exercise a couple of days this week. One morning I even made it to the gym for a strength training session, then taught my co-worker some yoga on the rooftop of our hotel. Another morning I did today’s workout: a quickie, 10-exercise circuit that requires no equipment at all…. because body weight training is easy & effective, especially when I’m on the road!

It’s perfect to do in a hotel room, and I actually made the workout up when I was in my hotel room in San Francisco last month. It takes around 20 minutes to complete, which is the perfect amount of time for me to do, then add in some yoga & stretching for a nice little workout. It’s also low-impact since I can’t do any jump training at the moment because of my foot injury.

Quickie Low Impact Workout

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Total Body Cycling Circuit Workout

Happy Friday friends!

What’s on the agenda for your weekend? A few things I have going on are¬†a party to attend,¬†plans to go to brunch with my hubby, and the final evaluation of the 6-week fitness challenge that I’ve been participating in happening. I’m looking to beat all the numbers I had set at the beginning evaluation of the challenge, but more on that to come!

backyard backbend play

Speaking of working out, today let’s chat about exercising at home. While I often workout at my HIIT studio, exercise outdoors, pop into my yoga studio or try out a new gym, I also enjoy being able to workout at home sometimes. My guest bedroom also doubles as my fitness room, and it’s nice to have the option to just pop in there for a quickie workout when I don’t have a lot of time to sweat.

Typically I do workout DVDs or YouTube workouts when I exercise at home, but the at-home workouts in my household got more serious and flexible recently…

bike trainer-1

…with the addition of a new¬†bike trainer that allows my hubby and me to make our road & mountain bikes stationary. It’s so nice to be able to hop on the bike for a quick cardio workout while watching TV. I’m diggin’ it!

bike trainer-2

Right now the bike in our living room because we’re redoing our fitness room, and as you may be able to tell,¬†my pup thinks that cycling time = playtime. She takes out all of her toys when I get on the bike and patiently waits so that she can jump on me and try to play once I step off of it. I’m not sure what it is about the bike that gets her all riled up, but she’s such a nut!

She also runs full speed at me to photobomb a yoga pose photo!

She also runs full speed at me to photobomb a yoga pose photo!

Earlier this week I came up with an interval workout that uses the bike. This workout alternates between 5 minute cycling rounds and rounds of 4 different exercises – simple but effective moves like pushups, squats and planks. It works the entire body, and takes about 30 minutes to complete.

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The Work-Off-Those-Holiday-Treats Cardio Workout

‘Tis the season to be jolly… and to be faced with many options of¬†sweets and treats to enjoy! I’m all for indulging in moderation, but to avoid weight gain and feeling low-energy during the holidays, I try to offset those extra drinks, desserts, and heavier food than I usually eat by making sure to fit my workouts in. In the spirit of active living throughout the holidays, today I’m sharing a workout that you can do whenever, wherever – no equipment required.

balance quote

I laughed a little when I titled today’s workout, because I don’t really like when the instructors at this barre studio I take classes at from time to time make comments about ‘working off that drink/dessert/bread you had last night.’ I workout because it makes me feel strong, healthy, and happy, and that’s what I like my focus to be on during exercise – not equaling out a glass of wine that I enjoyed a few hours earlier.

When I Move-quote

However, while it’s not healthy to obsessively focus on¬†canceling out a particular indulgence with a workout,¬†the fact is that exercising does give you¬†the ability to offset some of those excess calories. I’d much rather enjoy my holiday favorites like red wine and chocolate cream puffs and make sure to squeeze in workouts, rather than deprive myself.

So without further adieu, here is a holiday workout that focuses on basic cardio moves and some core work. It can be done anywhere, and I’m bound to do this workout at my parents’, father-in-law’s or mother-in-law’s houses while I’m back in Jersey for Christmas!

Holiday 2015 workout-2

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My Workouts Lately: Frequenting The Fit Mill

Hi friends!

First thing’s first: the winner of my Fit Body Bakery giveaway is Danielle Priser. Congrats, Danielle! I’ve emailed you for your contact info.

Let’s dive into the topic of the day: recent workouts!


You might know this by now, but I have total exercise ADHD. One month I do a ton of barre, hiking, and cycling, then the next month I’m all about boxing, Pilates and tennis. Sitting on the elliptical with a magazine every day is a horribly boring idea to me. I just love switching my workouts up and keeping things interesting!

So what have my workouts been like lately? I’ve been doing a lot of yoga, HIIT sessions, and at-home kickboxing, with a few Pilates classes and hikes mixed in (really only because the last few months were too hot for hiking inland in SoCal). The other thing I’ve been doing a lot is taking classes at The Fit Mill in Carlsbad.

The Fit Mill

I briefly mentioned this studio the very first time I took a freebie class there a couple of months ago. Well, I liked it so much, I decided to buy a package and frequent it more in September and October… and I loved it!

If I were to open a fitness studio, it would embody many of the things that The Fit Mill does: The instructors are spunky and personable. The workouts are dynamic, challenging and always evolving. The classes incorporate a nice balance of cardio and strength, and the moves change often.  The Fit Mill-2

With each class, you workout at each of their six circuit stations: biking, TRX, rowing, the gravity machine, the wall station where you usually work on your core in some way, and what they call “Toys” – which includes exercises with a step, and sometimes incorporates bars, weights and/or medicine balls, among other things. Each circuit includes 3 rounds of 4 exercises. The focus on fast timed intervals makes the classes always whiz by for me. You go, go, go and then before you know it, you’re done!

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Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30 DVD Review {Weekly Workout Recap}

Hello, hello!

Since I’m making sure to hold myself accountable while I’m on the east coast visiting with family and friends, I’m back with a recap of my workouts last week. ¬†I stayed put a lot more than my crazy week prior to that – though I did have¬†a girls’ night out in NYC (more on that to come!). Without mountains to climb and my usual fitness studios around, and with a lot of people to spend time with,¬†it has been the Jillian Michaels’ DVD show around here.

Ripped in 30 workout burn

Sunday I did a 30-minute Jillian Yoga Inferno DVD with my mom. This was the day after my best friend’s wedding festivities and I was feeling pretty sluggish, so I was happy I squeezed any movement in at all.

Monday morning I did a 20-minute workout via Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred DVD, and in the evening I did a 30-minute FitnessGlo HIIT workout.

Tuesday¬†I did week 4 of Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30 DVD (30 minutes), plus a 20-minute Jillian Michaels cardio kickboxing video focusing on upper body.

After working and playing with my nephews all day on Wednesday….

Brayden-Aug '15

Hanging with my oldest nephew, Brayden

My youngest nephew, Braxton

My youngest nephew, Braxton

Wednesday night I went¬†to a yoga class…taught by my sister! She has earned her 200-hour¬†yoga certification since I was last home, and it was fun to get to take one of her classes while I’m here. Being a yogi must run in the family, because my grandpa has also taught it for many years!¬†¬†

FindYourFlexibility poses

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