If you're looking for a great HIIT core workout, you want to choose one that targets all parts of your core—not just your rectus abdominis, the muscles that run vertically along the front of your abdomen.
To do this, you should focus on exercises that work your core through movement and anti-movement, Alicia Jamison, C.P.T., trainer at Bodyspace Fitness in New York City, tells SELF. That's because to really challenge your core, your muscles have to go through a range of motion as well as resist motion, which helps build stabilizing strength. Examples of anti-movement include anti-extension (where your core has to fire to resist the hyperextending of your lower back) and anti-lateral flexion (where you resist bending at the side), whereas flexion, or bending, is an example of movement.
By using various movement and anti-movement patterns, you'll challenge your transverse abdominis (the deep muscles on the front and side of your abdomen) and your internal and external obliques (the sides of your abdomen), as well as your rectus abdominis. This gives your core a 360-degree workout that you'll feel everywhere.
And training these muscles is super important, both in everyday life and during your workouts. After all, the main function of your core is to protect your spine. That's what helps you stay aligned when you're walking, twisting or rotating, carrying or lifting things, and sitting down, says Jamison. A strong core also helps improve your fitness and training, as it allows for a bigger transfer of energy from your upper body to your lower body and vice versa.
When it comes to core training, though, it can be tough to know whether your core is actually engaged—meaning, the core muscles you want to be firing (and which should be firing) are the ones that are actually working, rather than other muscles, like ones in your back (which you don't want to take over).
One tip: If you're doing a move where you're lying on your back, like flutter kicks or reverse crunches, push your lower back into the floor to eliminate the space underneath, which ensures the transverse abdominis and the rectus abdominis are engaged. If you're not lying on the ground, connecting to your breath is the easiest way to engage your core. “When you inhale, your ribcage opens up, and when you exhale, you can close the ribcage, engage the diaphragm, and pull those central tendons down into the core,” says Jamison. Essentially, you're contracting the muscles in your core as you exhale.
In this HIIT core workout created by Jamison, you'll be utilizing smaller moves for a big burn. And because it's HIIT-based, be ready to work hard with max efforts interspersed between your rest intervals.
Like with any HIIT-based workout, a proper warm-up is key: You definitely don't want to get into intense moves cold. Jamison loves doing low lunge twists—she calls them the “world's greatest stretch”—to dynamically warm up your whole body. To do this, reach down toward your toes and walk your hands out to a high plank. From there, step through with your right foot and place it outside your right palm, so you feel a big stretch in your hip. Then open up your chest, taking your right hand off the ground and reaching it up toward the ceiling for big T-spine mobility. Then do the other side.
Ready to hit the mat? Here's what you'll need for this short and sweet HIIT core workout.
The WorkoutWhat you'll need: An exercise mat for extra cushioning.
The ExercisesFlutter kickForearm side plank crunchReverse crunchRussian twistDirectionsPerform each exercise for 40 seconds, resting for 20 seconds after each move. Complete three times total.Demoing the moves below is Amanda Wheeler, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and co-founder of Formation Strength.
Fitness / Workouts
The Batman Workout
Today, I’m going to share The Batman Workout!
If you plan on fighting crime in your city, you’ve come to the right place.
We specialize in creating nerdy-themed exercise routines in our Online Coaching Program, because we like to have FUN with our training!
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- How would Batman train in real life?
- The Batman Workout Day 1
- The Batman Workout Day 2
- Exercises covered in the Batman Workout
- FAQ for Batman Workout
- How to train without a gym (Next Steps)
Alright, grab your cape, and let’s do this.
As Ryan from GMB mentions in the video above, Batman needs to train for:
Now, a gym could be useful here. However, sometimes we don’t always have access to a fitness facility.
Maybe we’ve been thrown into some sketchy prison somewhere (thanks Bane).
BUT, that doesn’t mean we can’t work out. It just means we have to focus on bodyweight exercises:
As we mention in our Guide to Bodyweight Training, you really don’t need any equipment to get a full-body workout in. You just need the right plan.
Let me show you what I mean.
The Batman Workout Day 1:
- Squat Jump
- Headstand Push-ups
Depending on your experience level, we can go with a Beginner or Advanced variation.
Day 1 – Beginner:
- Rolling Squat Tuck-up Jumps
- Side-to-Side Push-ups
- Modified Headstand Push-ups
- Jump Pull-Up with Tuck
- Handstands Against Wall
Day 1 – Advanced:
- Rolling Single-Leg Tuck-up Jumps
- Exploding Push-ups (Standard to Wide to Right Front/Left Back to Left Front/Right Back)
- Headstand Push-Ups
- Ice Cream Makers
- Free Standing Handstands
The Batman Workout Day 2:
- 180-Degree Jump
- Front Lever
- Back Lever
Again, we can roll with a Beginner or Advanced variation.
Day 2 – Beginner:
- 180-Degree Jump Turns
- Front Lever Hold with Tuck
- Back Lever Hold with Tuck
- Low Frog Hold
Day 2 – Advanced :
- Single-Leg Jump 180 Degree Turn
- Front Lever Hold
- Back Lever Hold
- Floating Frog Hold
Let’s now cover the exercises in the workouts found above.
#1) Squat Jump
#2) Single Leg Squat Jump
#3) Side-to-Side Push-up (Knee)
#4) Side-to-Side Push-up
#5) Exploding Push-ups
#6) Modified Handstand Push-up
#7) Handstand Push-up
#8) Jump-up Pull-up with Tuck
#9) Pull-up with Tuck
#10) Ice Cream Maker – Tucked
#11) Ice Cream Maker – Can Opener
#12) Ice Cream Maker – Front Lever
#13) Handstand (In)
#14) Handstand (Out)
For more here, check out our guide How to Do a Handstand.
#15) 180-Jump Turn
#16) 180-Jump Turn – Single Leg
#17) Front Lever – Tuck
#18) Front Lever – Can Opener
#19) Back Lever – Tuck
#20) Back Lever
#21) Low-Frog Hold
#22) Floating Frog
Let’s answer some of your questions on the Batman Workout.
#1) When should I advance on with the workout?
Once you get proficient at a level, go up one level for that exercise and work on mastering that within the workout.
Don’t try and jump up to the next progression too quickly. Focus on form and performing each rep as cleanly as you can. That is what will get you strong and help you master the moves. Be sure to:
#2) How many reps should I do? How long should I perform the holds?
- Perform no more than 5 reps per movement for up to 3 sets.
- Work on performing holds for 5 to 8 seconds per set.
- Perform all sets of one exercise before moving on to the next exercise.
#3) How often should I do the Batman Workout?
Give yourself at least a day of rest in between the workouts.
#4) What if I don’t have a bar?
In the video below, Coach Jim walks you through what to do if you don’t have a pull-up bar:
For more here, check out How to Do Pull-ups Without a Bar.
#5) Can I wear a cap while doing the Batman Workout?
Maybe you hate gyms. Maybe you travel like crazy. Maybe you just enjoy exercising outdoors.
Just ask Jimmy here:
Jimmy didn’t want to leave his home to train, so we helped him build a plan to do just that.
Want some help from us too?
Here’s how Nerd Fitness can get you ready to fight crime:
1) If you want step-by-step guidance, a custom bodyweight training program that levels up as you get stronger, and a coach to keep you accountable, check out our killer 1-on-1 coaching program:
2) If you want an exact blueprint for working out at home, check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).
Try your free trial right here:
3) Join the Rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion.
Sign up in the box below to enlist and get our guide, Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know. It’ll help you start incorporating bodyweight moves into your training.
- Everything you need to know about getting strong.
- Workout routines for bodyweight AND weight training.
- How to find the right gym and train properly in one.
Alright, that about wraps it up for today.
Tune in for more next time!
Same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel.
photo source: ©rosinka79/123RF.COM, batman action figure,
In Training, Consistency Is the Key to Your Fitness Goals
Consistency is arguably the most important component when working to accomplish goals, in or out of the gym. Without consistency, programs are unorganized, the body has a harder time adapting, and forming habits may be more challenging.
Build and Follow Workout Programming
Whatever your goals may be, they require a consistent level of training for you to reach them. One way to ensure consistency within the scope of your goals is to build a program. Programs make it much easier to stay on track because you won’t have to think about what you’re going to do at the gym today—it’s already written out. Most programs are designed to be followed for a set amount of time, typically about 4 weeks. Depending on the desired goal, the program will have a different focus—hypertrophy, endurance, strength, and so on. Each day is designed with the goal in mind, while ensuring that you are training in a way that minimizes imbalances within the body. If you aren’t following the program consistently, the chance of it working is reduced.
Theoretically, if you have a program and you don’t follow it, the body is not going to be able to adapt to the program because there isn’t an opportunity for progressive overload, which is when the amount of stress on the body is gradually increased over time, leading to increased strength and performance.
Work Toward Adaptations
Biologically, a lot of things happen in the body during exercise. Over time these reactions change the body to become stronger, grow, or run more efficiently. Different factors affect adaptations in everyone, so it’s impossible to predict when these changes will occur. But being consistent with training will increase the likelihood of seeing adaptations sooner.
Different modes of exercise elicit different adaptations. Endurance training will produce different changes than resistance training. While there are far too many adaptations to discuss in this blog, a few examples reported by the CDC include the following:
Improved ability of muscles to use fat as energy Stronger ligaments and tendons Increased VO2 max and lactate threshold Increased number of capillaries in muscles Cardiac muscle hypertrophy Increased force production
Each of these changes is beneficial for different scenarios. The body is either becoming more efficient or stronger, or performance is enhanced. However, these long-term benefits are seen only after consistent training over a period of time.
We are creatures of habit. The more we practice something, the more natural it becomes. We experience this when we learn to walk as babies, when we learn to drive, and when we exercise. It’s normal to feel out of your element when you try something new, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you feel.
Current research suggests that to make a habit stick it must be performed for 68 consecutive days. The idea of sticking with something brand new for 68 days may feel overwhelming for some people. When taking on a new challenge, focusing on taking it day by day might be a helpful mindset. Yes, we might be aiming to create a lifelong habit; however, thinking about just starting a habit to last for years could seem daunting. Start by doing it for one day, and then two, and then three, and so on.
Once you feel comfortable with one small change, add another small change, and so on. Small changes are more sustainable over the long term and add up to form new habits. There will likely be days that your plan doesn’t work out how it was supposed to, but that doesn’t mean all progress is lost.
Our bodies adapt gradually to exercise. In the end, consistency will help you reach your goals. Without it, you might not have enough structure to allow for growth. Work first on figuring out your goals, determine the best route to achieve them, and get started with one step. If you’re not sure how to get started, the trainers at NIFS can help you set goals and develop programs tailored to those goals.
This blog was written by Hannah Peters, BS, CPT, Health Fitness Instructor. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.
Out with the Old: Change Your Workout to Improve Wellness
Take yourself back to the 1970s when Arnold Schwarzenegger was preparing for the Mr. Olympia contest. Everybody wanted to try his incredibly intense workouts. It has been rumored that Arnold’s workouts were so intense that at least three different trainers would have to give him separate workouts in order to keep up with him.
Following in the king’s footsteps, anyone who wanted to be a bodybuilder or get into shape undeniably thought that working out six days a week, two times a day, was the way to make this happen. Luckily for us and all of America, workouts have evolved from the old-school mindset to the new school.
Varying Your Workout Old School: Sticking to the same workout for months.
Although this was the go-to, this pattern isn’t always going to work. When you do the same sets and reps for every workout, you miss out on allowing your body to change.
New School: Implementing the SAID principle.
The SAID principle is an acronym for Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. When the body is put under different stress, it starts to adapt. In other words, the body is trying to get better. By providing your body with different types of sets, reps, and loads, you are able to tap into more of your muscle fibers, increase strength, and avoid plateaus.
Targeting Training Old school: Focusing only on the trouble spots.
This type of focus won’t work for the majority of people who are coming to the gym to work out or lose weight. When there is variety in your workouts, there is room for growth and development. Focusing only on the areas that are the weakest isn’t going to help the areas that are already strong continue to get stronger.
New School: Correcting trouble spots while also training strong areas.
Correcting a weakness and building on a strong point at the same time will enable you to improve your body as a whole. A way to correct those problem areas is to figure out exactly why they are causing you problems. The Functional Movement Screen captures fundamental movements, motor control within movement patterns, and competence of basic movements uncomplicated by specific skills. It will determine the greatest areas of movement deficiency, demonstrate asymmetries, and eventually correlate these with an outcome.
Cardio vs. Strength Old School: Focusing only on cardio will increase weight loss.
While it’s important to incorporate cardio into your workout regimen to help build and keep your cardiovascular systems stronger, it is not the only type of exercise that is needed for weight loss. Focusing only on cardio will lessen your chances of building muscle.
New School: Getting a healthy dose of both cardio and strength training will improve overall health.
Much like how a car stays warm after it turns off, the same can be said about your body after you finish a workout. EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) explains how your body’s metabolism can continue to burn more calories. Resistance training can provide a greater EPOC effect than running at a steady speed.
Out with the Old and in with the New
Training methods will come and go, and at some point the new-school methods will become old school. At NIFS we offer a wide variety of programs, assessments, and education to help turn those old habits into new routines. Stay positive, be willing to accept change, and explore to find what works best for you!
This blog was written by Ashley Duncan, Weight Loss Coordinator. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.
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