Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
At the age of 49, I started my social media wellness brand to help others see that age is only a number, and we are only as old as we let ourselves feel! I’m often referred to as the “jump rope queen” because of my passion for jump rope workouts to stay lean and fit. It’s a great exercise to incorporate in total-body HIIT workouts.
My love for fitness stems from my childhood when I danced professional ballet. It extended into teaching exercise and nutrition classes in my twenties and eventually competing and placing in figure competitions over the age of 40. Now, my teenage daughters and I enjoy training together. It’s a great way to stay healthy, fit in a workout and make quality time for one another.
Aside from jump rope, I also practice a series of conditioning exercises called “dynamic cardio workouts” that are designed to be fun, energizing and amazing for burning fat and building lean muscle. I want to share one of my favorite circuits with you.
The workout below will only take 30 minutes, can be performed anywhere, and will help you achieve cardio endurance, overall conditioning, strength and flexibility. Not only will these exercises have you looking good, but feeling good as well!
A workout for improving cardio endurance
Perform the first exercise for one minute, then rest for 30 seconds before continuing on to the next. This circuit should be performed four times for a total of 30 minutes.
Butt Jump Kicks
The butt jump kick is a form of dynamic cardio that’s great for building endurance and strength. I will warn you, it’s a tough one, but you will quickly become addicted. This move will get your glutes, hamstrings and quads fired up while increasing your overall stamina. Sink into a deep squat. Fire up and jump as high as you can. Think of a string pulling your body up into the air. Then, with a burst of energy, kick your heels to your booty!
The jumping jack is a classic, but should always be a staple in any training program. Jumping jacks get your body moving in all directions and help burn fat and develop shoulder strength. Plus, they’re a lot of fun! When you perform jumping jacks, make sure your posture is on-point and you’re not slouching or giving half of an effort. This should be a “purposeful” movement with lots of energy and hand-clapping. You can intensify jumping jacks by adding small resistance bands around your lower calves, which will create tension on the glutes, offering up an exhilarating burn.
The straight leg kick is great for flexibility and range of motion. It allows you to increase your flexibility and focus on quad strength. Make sure you’re not cheating and bending your knee. Flex your heel and kick your leg as high as you can, then touch your toe. You may notice one leg is more flexible than the other. That is normal. Keep practicing and eventually your flexibility should increase on both sides. Don’t forget to keep your core engaged for the extra tummy-flattening benefits.
Ab twists are a perfect core exercise to engage all parts of your abdomen, including your lower and mid-abdomen and obliques. Make sure to hold your tummy tight, moving your arms to alternate sides, while bicycling your legs. The slower you move the better. Point your toes and remember to breath. You may find using a mat more comfortable for this one. Holding a small medicine ball and passing it between hands as you alternate sides provides an added challenge. You may feel sore the next day, but it’s worth it.
The plank hold is a great way to develop core and back strength. Holding this posture increases muscle endurance. When performing a plank, form is critical. It might be a good idea to take a video of yourself to make sure everything is in position. You may be surprised at what you see. This will allow you to more easily correct your form. When doing a plank, your head should be down with your neck in alignment with your spine, your elbows should be in line with your shoulders, and your booty should be not be popping up or sinking below. Create one straight, strong line with your body. Hold the position and squeeze everything.
I know you’ll love this total-body HIIT workout as much as I do because it doesn’t require you to spend hours at the gym, but still has the perfect balance of exercises to hit each body part. It will increase your heart rate and help boost your metabolism. Try waking up a little earlier each morning to fit this workout in and then enjoy the rest of the day!