New Lily

My Favorite Workout: The Cardio/Core Combo

IMG_0019The other day I wrote about my least favorite workout…Plyometrics. Lest I appear like a whiner, I will write today about my favorite kind of workout…the Cardio/Core Combo. I like this kind of workout because I never have time to get tired of one thing. Typically I don’t use weights for this, just my body and a few extras (like bands and a medicine ball). However, it is still considered “strength training”. Using a timer, I only do each exercise for about one minute, but I am always amazed how hard this can be. By doing Cardio first, I feel warmed up and ready for the Core exercises. The other reason I like to get the Cardio out of the way is that I am forced to do the Core work under time pressure. I usually don’t have much more than about an hour and 15 minutes to exercise, so I have to work fast and I don’t have time between sets. My first choice for Cardio is always running, but I don’t like to run more than four days a week if possible. When I can’t run, I usually do the elliptical machine or the exercise bike (we have a Lifecycle at home…but no elliptical). One thing I like about the elliptical or bike is that I can read while I workout. Since it is difficult to find time during the day to read (and I usually fall asleep immediately after I open a book before bed), I love the chance to fit it in.

The following is a great example of this Cardio/Core Combo, and it happens to be what I did this morning!
25 minutes at level 9 (out of 20) on elliptical machine. (30 minutes is ideal…but I didn’t have time).
Did the following exercises for one minute each (three times through):
Monster walk (bands around ankles taking one step at a time with legs wide and bands tight…squat to touch floor between each step).
Push-up rows (do push ups with hands on 10 lb. Weights…between each push up, lift up weight into row position)
Lateral squat with 8 lb. med. ball (pushing med ball out with each side step squat) I like to use the 10 lb. ball, but going lighter due to shoulder
TRX reverse rows Don’t have this at home, but wish I did!
Single leg balance reach on foam pad (standing on one leg, squat down and reach with opposite hand toward floor…foam pad added for extra balance)
2 min. Plank

When I do this kind of workout, I like to switch between an upper body exercise and a lower body exercise. That way by the time I’m through, I know that I have done a full body workout. This Cardio/Core Combo beats Plyo any day, right? What is your favorite type of workout?


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