15 Minute Fat Burner Workout

Spring is officially here! Which means summer is right around the corner and so are barbecues, vacations, and beach days! What better time to start prepping your body than now with three products you can use time and time again. In today’s workout, I’ll show you how to make the most out of 15 minutes through this full-body cardio workout that will get you sweating up some calories using a jump rope and stretch bands! These 2 products have to be some of the best to workout and travel with for how lightweight and versatile they are to use. The workout I created today is a mix of low impact and high impact workouts divided into 5 different circuits. Each circuit is 1 minute less than the one before, resulting in a 15 minute cardio buzz that will leave you wanting more. Feeling brave? Try this workout 2x and let me know how you did in the comments below! Equipment // Yoga Mat Jump Rope Stretch Bands Workout Structure // Circuit 1- 5 minutes total Circuit 2- 4 minutes total Circuit 3- 3 minutes total Circuit 4- 2 minutes total Circuit 5- 1 minute Workout Details Workout Step-by-step // 5 rounds- 15 minutes total Circuit 1: Jump Rope (x3) High Knees Front Leg Kicks Circuit 2: Ankle Jumping Jacks Bridge Ups Circuit 3: Skater Hops Tricep Dips Circuit 4: Squat Jacks Jump Squats Squats Circuit 5: Tuck Jumps Punches Duration // 15 minutes Type // Cardio Breakdown // Jump Rope Step 1 // With jump rope in hand, jump in unison with rope, alternating jumping styles and speed for greater challenge. High Knees Step 1 // Keep core tight and engaged. Bring knees up to touch hand as high up in front as you as possible. Continue alternating between knees as fast as you can. Front Leg Kick Step 1 // Kick one leg directly out in front of you while standing on other foot. Alternate and repeat. Ankle Jumping Jacks Step 1 // Tie stretch band in a loop by tying ends in a knot and looping around ankles. Step 2 // With stretch band around ankles, perform jumping jacks as normal. Bridge Ups Step 1 // Lay back and feet on ground. Bring butt up towards sky then push knees outward with stretch band looped around thighs. Step 2 // Bring butt down, bring back up, open knees, and repeat. Skater Hops Step 1 // Hop side to side in rapid movements- extending arms and legs behind and in front of body. Tricep Dips Step 1 // Bring arms behind you with elbows facing back. Place feet on ground and butt close to ground. Step 2 // Slowly lower, putting focus on triceps. Continue to bring up and down in slow and controlled movements. Squat Jacks Step 1 // Stand with feet hip width apart. Step 2 // Squat in an explosive movement while also bringing arms up wide in air. Step 3 // Bring arms down when jumping back up and repeat. Jump Squats Step 1 // Start with feet a little wider than hip width apart. Step 2 // Squat, then push up and jump in one explosive movement. For modified version, squat without jumping. Squats Step 1 // Stand with legs hip width apart. Bring butt down as if sitting on chair, squeezing glutes at the top. Repeat motion.   This workout isn’t for the faint of heart! Remember to modify if you are a beginner. Challenge a friend to try this workout with you and cheer each other on! As always, continue to challenge yourself with my workout library and if you are in need of an accountability buddy, join our Facebook group to be part of the squad! Raising the Standard on what it means to be fit, Amanda ...

Intense Upper Body Sculpting Circuit

Working out upper body doesn’t have to be scary! This upper body workout requires only 5 moves and 10 minutes of your time. This workout can be done without equipment, but adding the medicine ball and wrist weights makes it so much more challenging with even better results. The wrist weights can easily be used and adjusted to fit around ankles as well, making it the perfect at home workout product for a full body, legs, and arms workout. In the video below, it’s being used specifically for toning and strengthening but can absolutely be used for any cardio moves – such as running or walking to kick up your workout a notch. Equipment // Medicine Ball Wrist Weights Workout Structure // Burpee Plank Tricep press-ups Push up-superman Jumping Jacks Workout Details Workout Step-by-step // First move – Burpee Second move – Plank Third move – Tricep press-ups Fourth move – Pushups to superman Fifth move – Jumping jacks Duration // 10 minutes Type // Tightening, Toning, Sculpting Breakdown // Burpees Step 1 // In standing position, instead of jumping, reach arms up into the air. Step 2 // Get down in push-up position, walk or hop your legs back. Step 3 // Hop or walk legs back in, standing position, reach up & repeat. Plank Step 1 // Place hands on floor with body perpendicular to ground. Step 2 // Lift arm up next to side body, one at a time holding plank and body as still as possible. Tricep press-ups Step 1 // With butt & feet on ground, place arms behind you on top of medicine ball. Step 2 // Start lowering arms and bending at elbow on top of ball to target triceps. This exercise can be modified and done without medicine ball or can be substituted for chair or bench. Pushups to superman Step 1 // Start in a pushup position, perform a pushup, and return to original position. Step 2 // Lift arms and legs up off the ground. Then return to neutral. Step 3 // Alternate between pushup and superman. Jumping jacks Step 1 // Perform regular jumping jacks, lifting arms and legs consecutively. Keep on wrist weights for added challenge.   Harder than it looks right? Make sure to keep this workout in your weekly rotation for arm day and you’ll be sculpting other muscles in your body too. Keep up the good work and let me know how you’re doing over at @amandarussellfss. Also check out the library of workouts over on my YouTube channel and leave a comment with what you’d like to see next! Raising the Standard on what it means to be fit, Amanda ...

Morning Workout Routine

Morning workouts don’t necessarily have to be the most intense workout as soon as you wake up, especially if you’re not a morning person like me! Just moving your body any way you are capable of for at least a few minutes, is an accomplishment in itself. Today I am showing you one of my favorite ways to start my morning using just one piece of equipment to get your heart rate up and running. I love using these weighted gloves to do kickboxing moves from anywhere. They help sculpt every arm muscle and can even be used for cardio moves, like jumping jacks. Weighted gloves are great for burning more calories, sculpting and increasing endurance while sparring, kickboxing, walking, jogging, and cross-training. Each glove is 1 lb each and is the perfect accessory to have on hand for upper body sculpting. Will you be giving this workout a try today? Equipment // Weighted Gloves Workout Structure // Punches Jumping Jacks Side Kicks Kick Pulses Punches Side to Side Jabs Upper Punch Regular Punches Workout Details Workout Step-by-step // First move – Rapid Fire Punches Second move – Jumping Jacks with weighted gloves Third move – Side kicks and pulses(repeat on other side) Fourth move – Rapid Fire Punches Fifth move – Side to side jabs Sixth move – Upper punches Seventh move – Rapid Fire Punches Duration // 5 minutes Type // Cardio, Toning Breakdown // Punches Step 1 // With feet shoulder width apart, keep arms close to body and punch arms alternatively, as quickly as possible, keeping core tight. Jumping Jacks Step 1 // Jump while opening out arms and legs, return to starting position and repeat. Keep weighted gloves on for added weight. Side Kicks (Left side) Step 1 // Kick out leg sideways as high up as you can. Bring leg to standing position and repeat. Side Leg Pulses Step 1 // Keep leg up, parallel to ground, extend out and in, out and in- repeating rapidly. Side Kicks (Right side) Step 1 // Kick out leg as high up as you can. Bring leg to standing position and repeat. Side Leg Pulses Step 1 // Keep leg up, parallel to ground, extend out and in, out and in- repeating rapidly. Punches Step 1 // With feet shoulder width apart, keep arms close to body and punch arms alternatively, as quickly as possible, keeping core tight. Side to side jabs Step 1 // Stand with feet firmly planted on ground, swing one arm in front of you, then the other, keeping core tight and arms in place. Upper punches Step 1 // Punch upwards, one arm at a time, keeping core tight. Punches Step 1 // With feet shoulder width apart, keep arms close to body and punch arms alternatively, as quickly as possible, keeping core tight.   I’m sure you have at least a few minutes to try this routine at home, before heading out the door in the morning. Trust me, you’ll feel much better for it! Don’t let not having these weighted gloves right now be an excuse for skipping out on this workout. Try it without the weights and you’ll feel it just as equally. Leave a comment with what video you’d like to see next! Raising the Standard on what it means to be fit, Amanda ...

5 Minute Plyometric Workout

Plyometric workouts are among the most efficient workouts you can do. Bigger results, less time, and this plyometric workout doesn't disappoint! ...

Lower Body Workout with Molly’s Best

I am back with my beautiful friend Molly! But this time with an awesome lower body workout that will kick anyone’s butt (no pun intended), whether you are 9 months pregnant like Molly or not (like me). These are 4 lower body moves that require little to no equipment, a small space, and can be completed in less than 10 minutes. You can also pair this workout with Molly’s other video working on upper body or with a high intensity HIIT workout like this 6 minute one! And don’t forget, recovery is key! Set aside 10 minutes at the end of your workout to stretch out those muscles you just worked out with recovery tools, such as this foam roller. *If you’re pregnant, always consult your physician before starting any exercise program or performing physical activity* Equipment + Overview Yoga Mat Ankle Weights Workout Structure 4 Moves- Reverse Lunge Air Squats Hip Raises Donkey Kicks Workout Details Duration // 7 Minutes(recommended 3-4 rounds for a total of 21-28 minutes) Type // Toning/Strengthening Lower Body Workout Step by Step // Reverse Lunge Air Squats Hip Raises Donkey Kicks Breakdown // Reverse Lunge Step 1 // Start in standing position. Step 2 // Alternate between legs, step leg back into a lunge. Step 3 // Bring leg back to standing position, step other leg back and repeat. Air Squats Step 1 // Stand with legs hip width apart. Bring butt down as if sitting on chair, squeezing glutes at the top. Repeat motion. Hip Raises Step 1 // Start by lying flat on your back and knees bent with feet on ground. Step 2 // Bring hip up towards the ceiling and squeeze at the top. Bring glutes down and repeat. Step 3 // At the very end, hold glutes at top and pulse thighs out. **For added challenge, bring arms up and over while doing hip raises** Donkey Kicks Step 1 // Start on all 4 fours- palms and knees on ground. Bring leg up with knee bent as high as you can. Step 2 // At the end of this movement, start pulsing leg up and down in small movements. Step 3 // Straighten out bent leg and move in small circles. Switch to other direction and repeat circular motion. This workout is killer on its own but if you are feeling brave enough to strap on those ankle weights for an added challenge, go for it! Let us know how you did by tagging me at @AmandaRussellFSS on Instagram or leaving a comment on my Youtube channel (new workouts every week). Leave a comment with what video you’d like to see next! Raising the Standard on what it means to be fit, Amanda ...

Lower Body Butt Workout

If there is one piece of fitness equipment I can’t live without these days, it’s ankle weights, hilarious right? But it’s TRUE, this routine has changed my body and I’m sold! This lower body workout is challenging on its own but if you are looking to push yourself a little more- try incorporating the ankle weights. You can even use them when going for a walk or cleaning up around the house. I love that the possibilities of using ankle weights are endless! As with most of my workouts, this 7-part lower body routine can be done with absolutely no equipment! All you need is a small space and your body. The whole workout takes less than 10 minutes to complete, which means you can go for 2 or 3 circuits for a full lower body workout! Now… who’s ready? Valeo Fit: Lower Body Workout from Birds Nest Productions on Vimeo. Equipment + Overview Yoga Mat Ankle Weights Workout Structure Bent Over Leg Lifts Leg Pulses Toe Circles Standing Airplanes (repeat these 4 steps on the other side) Fire Hydrants Knee In’s Rainbows (repeat these 3 steps on the other side) Workout Details Duration // 7-8 minutes for one circuit Type // Toning/Strengthening Lower Body Workout Step by Step // Bent Over Leg Lifts Leg Pulses Toe Circles Standing Airplanes Fire Hydrants Knee Ins Rainbows Breakdown // Bent Over Leg Lifts Step 1 // Bend over with one leg up, perpendicular to the ground, with hands on floor. Step 2 // Lift and lower lifted leg, having toe touch the floor. Bring back up and repeat. Try to keep legs straight, but allow for a slight bend in knees if more comfortable. Leg Pulses Step 1 // Starting in the original position as step 1, make small pulses with lifted leg. Toe Circles Step 1 // Starting in the original position as step 1, make small circles with foot, switch and turn the other direction. Standing Airplanes Step 1 // Starting in the original position as step 1, bring knee in towards elbow. Step 2 // Push knee and leg out and bring back to elbow. Repeat. Fire Hydrants Step 1 // On all fours, bring knee out, perpendicular to floor. Step 2 // Bring back down to original position, lift up, and repeat. Knee In’s Step 1 // On all fours, twist knee in towards body and bring out extending above with knee still bent. Step 2 // Continue to bring knee in and out. Repeat. Rainbows Step 1 // On all fours, with one leg extended out, lift extended leg behind you and form a “rainbow” or half circle, crossing over into the other side. Step 2 // Repeat this motion with leg, going back and forth. How did you do? You should be a nice burn! These workouts always look easier than they really are right? Keep this up and put it into your weekly workout routine- working out lower body 1-2 times a week. Comment below with what workouts you want to see more of! Inspire Yourself, Amanda ...

Upper Body Workout with Molly’s Best

I have a special guest working out with us today, the one and only celebrity dietician, Molly Knauer. What’s even more special, Molly is 9 months pregnant for this workout! Which means you can definitely call this a GREAT pre-natal workout, but even if you’re NOT pregnant, it’s an awesome toning workout outline you must add to your mix! WE are lucky to have Molly as the official nutritionist and health/food expert for our January Get Fit 30 Day Challenge. If you haven’t already signed up for this challenge where you receive a 4 week meal plan created by Molly herself, make sure to sign up here. Whether you’re in your third trimester, or simply just want to tone up (pregnancy not needed fo do this ;-), this workout is focusing on upper body. We will be doing 3 upper body moves followed by a full body “cardio buzz” at the end to finish strong. Of coarse, you know your body best, so feel free to modify the burpees for squats or something similar depending on how you feel! *If you’re pregnant, please consult your physician before starting an exercise program* Equipment + Overview Yoga Mat Hand Weights Workout Structure 4 Moves- 1 Minute Each Shoulder Press Chest Press Tricep Dips Burpees Workout Details Duration // 4 Minutes(recommended 3-4 rounds for a total of 12-16 minutes) Type // Toning/Strengthening Upper Body Workout Step by Step // Each move is 1 minute each Shoulder Press Chest Press Tricep Dips Burpees Breakdown // Shoulder Press Step 1 // Stand with feet hip width apart. Hold hand weights with arms out by your side, perpendicular to the ground. Step 2 // Lift arms up and then bring back down to starting point. Repeat. Chest Press Step 1 // Lay on back. Hold weights in both hands with fists facing the ceiling. Step 2 // Lift weights up extending arms completely in front of you, bring back down & repeat. Tricep Dips Step 1 // Bring hands together with elbows above you and bend at elbow, targeting triceps. Burpees Step 1 // Reach up or jump in standing position. Step 2 // Get down in push-up position, walk or hop your legs back. Step 3 // Hop or walk legs back in, standing position (jump or reach) & repeat. This workout is great for everyone and is easy to do at home using hand weights. If you don’t have hand weights, use water bottles or something similar as a substitute. Comment below to tell us what kind of workout you want us to do next! Inspire Yourself, Amanda ...

6 Minute No Gym HIIT Routine

This HIIT workout is AMAZING! This 6 minute, high-intensity, interval training (HIIT) workout will be just what you need to work off any extra ‘L B’s’ you may be carrying! I will walk you through each step of this workout. Equipment is optional and you only need a small space to perform! We know that the most requested workouts should be short, challenging, but always training your brain to try something new. This workout is no different in that it can be completed in as little as 6 minutes from the comfort of your home. This routine consists of a mix between high-intensity plyo and toning. If you do this right, you will finish feeling accomplished and ready to take on the day- so grab your partner, roommate, friend, or anyone else who wants to do something good for their body today and have them join you! Equipment + Overview Yoga Mat Medicine Ball Dumbbells – 2 to 5 lbs Workout Structure Total 12 exercises- one minute rounds: 30 seconds of plyo, 30 seconds toning, 10 seconds recover. Six segments for a total of 6 minutes Workout Details Duration // 6 Minutes(recommended 3 rounds for a total of 18 minutes) Type // Cardio HIIT Routine Workout Step by Step // Each move is 30 seconds each High Knees Squats with weights(optional) Split Jumps Tricep Dips with Medicine Ball Jump Squats Side Lunge with Medicine Ball Long Jump Ball throws Mountain Climbers Curtsey Lunge Tuck Jumps Side Arm Raises Breakdown // High Knees Step 1 // Stand with feet hip width apart. Step 2 // Bring knee up, alternating between the 2 in rapid movement. For advanced version, bring arms straight up above the head. Squat Step 1 // Start with feet a little wider than hip width apart. Step 2 // Start squatting, bringing butt back as if you were going to sit. Step 3 // Stand back up and squeeze at top. Repeat. For advanced version, hold weights by shoulders while squatting. Split Jumps Step 1 // With one leg back and one in front, start in a lunge position. Step 2 // In one explosive movement, switch between legs, alternating lunges. Repeat. Tricep Dips Step 1 // Place feet on floor with medicine ball behind you and palms on top of ball. Step 2 // Press down on ball and push up. Repeat Jump Squats Step 1 // Start with feet a little wider than hip width apart. Step 2 // Squat, then push up and jump in one explosive movement. For modified version, squat without jumping. Side Lunge Step 1 // Grab medicine ball. Step 2 // Side lunge on one side, touch ball to foot, bring up and keep leg lifted. Step 3 // Repeat the same thing on the other side for 15 seconds. Long Jump Step 1 // Take one large jump forward. Step 2 // Take 2 smaller jumps back. Step 3 // Alternate, taking one jump forward and 2 jumps back. Ball throws Step 1 // Grab medicine ball. Step 2 // Throw ball directly above you, catch, and repeat. Mountain Climbers Step 1 // Start with hands on floor. Step 2 // Move feet rapidly beneath hips, alternating between feet. Curtsey Lunge Step 1 // Start with one side. Lunge leg behind and in front for a total of 15 seconds. Step 2 // Switch sides & repeat the same thing for 15 seconds. Tuck Jumps Step 1 // Start in a pushup position. Hop your legs to standing position. Jump. Step 2 // Repeat these movements rapidly, one after another, for 30 seconds. Side Arm Raises Step 1 // Bring arms up simultaneously up to shoulder height with 2-5 lb dumbbells. Step 2 // Bring down, bring back up and repeat. For modified version, do not use weights. I know the workout may not come easy  which is why I’m sooo incredibly proud of you for sticking it out and finishing! Inspire Yourself, Amanda ...

Keeping those New Years Resolutions a Reality

Whenever January rolls around, the concept of a ‘new years resolution’ seems to subtly (or not-so-subtly) nag at the back of your mind. Why? Because New Year’s Resolutions are usually goals you make for yourself that you know will ‘be good for you’ but not particularly easy or enjoyable to achieve and maintain (if it were easy it wouldn’t really be worth making a resolution about right?). One of the top New Year’s resolutions in North America deals with health and fitness; most of which fall into one or more of the following six categories: Weight loss Diet Exercise Physique/Body Health Fitness Level Almost everyone struggles with or can improve in at least one of these areas (myself included)! It can be daunting to decide where to even begin picking a New Years resolution that is best for you – In fact, it is often easier to just scrap it or pick something so easy it won’t be much of an accomplishment to reach (this seems to be my approach in the past). This year, as I reflected on what I wanted to improve or make better in my life, I thought, WHY go at this alone? With this incredible partnership with Valeo Fit and the beauty of social media, we have a platform to do it together, to have mutual support and build positive relationships. This is why I, alongside Valeo Fit and some of my favorite friends created the 30 Day FIT CHALLENGE starting Jan 2, but you can hop in and do it ANY day of the year!. This is NOT a sales proposition, it is entirely FREE and it is truly to do something better together and create more positivity in life. All the information is here. So here’s to making THIS the year we make positive change to our bodies, our minds, and our relationships. We all have to start somewhere, and I’m a walking testament that simply starting with healthier eating and exercise has a massive positive and transformative effect on every aspect of your life. But it’s not enough to say things like, I’m going to “get healthy”….”get fit”… “lose weight”, that’s way too vague! Studies show that lasting success comes from having specific, measurable, time bound goals and a plan to execute. Hence the reason for the CHALLENGE. We did the work of planning it all for you, and we are here to be your friends and coaches along the way. All you have to do is: COMMIT (stop reading right now and MAKE THE COMMITMENT) then: SIGN UP here. SHARE it, grab a friend or family member, sharing is caring, and having an accountability partner in your life will not only make your relationship stronger- it will make you more likely to stick with it, and enjoy the whole journey. So I am formally inviting you to do the same! Make 2019 a new year, a better year and decide upon one thing you can change or improve in your life – and the hardest part: to share it here with me on this blog or on our Instagram. I would love to hear your goals (and hopefully it will inspire someone else), you never know who you touch. But if you do decide to post, I warn you not to be surprised if I check in with you for a progress report. ~Inspire Yourself Amanda ...

Amanda’s Healthy Holiday Guide

“Tis the season…. the most Exciting, yet Frenetic and Stressful time of the year. “Healthy” and “Holiday” seem like a paradox? Let me guess, your exercise regimen tend to fall off the wagon (or sled) in an attempt to keep up with everything going on? Meal planning and healthy eating becomes the exception versus the rule. And relaxing and enjoying the seasons festivities? HA, well that gets completely swept away in the holiday hustle. If all this sounds familiar – you’re NOT alone, which is scary if you think about it… We all just run around in furies of “busyness” and stress and never actually enjoy the ride, while losing our waistlines, our energy and our health (mental and physical) in the process (UGH)!!!! So let’s make THIS YEAR DIFFERENT! I’ve created this FREE Healthy Holiday Guide with EVERYTHING you need to get and stay healthy and fit and sexy this month! WORKOUTS  (that you can do ANYWHERE (30 min or less) Holiday 600 Rep Challenge Hot Holiday Serious Abs Workout The Hotel Travel Workout Max Calorie Burning Workout Holiday Travel Workout – TOTAL BODY BLAST GIVEAWAYS GALORE – ENTER HERE TIPS, Food & RECIPES: Healthy Holiday Food Swaps Healthier Lower Calories Alcoholic Beverages Healthy’n’Light Holiday Hot Cocoa Recipe Low Calorie Eggnog Recipe FITNESS PLAN: The Ultimate 7 Day “Red Dress Ready” Workout Plan is READY to go. It is the roadmap for the busy babe who doesn’t want to think about it. Just 7 days to reset your body, get you on track and lose those extra “LB’s” without sacrificing any of the fun or festivities of the season. CHRISTMAS SHOPPING: I’m ALL OVER THIS unique gift idea with the special Fit Strong and Sexy membership. Give your girlfriend a fruitcake for the holidays and your friendship is suddenly on life support. Give that same friend a Fit Strong and Sexy membership or “Little Black Dress Plan: and you’re a goddess of unusual caliber. To purchase a gift, simply click reply here and let me know who you are shopping for, and I can build a special gift for them based on your budget and the person! How’s THAT for the perfect gift? Here’s to Raising the Standard on what it means to be fit this season, Love, Amanda The NEW YEAR CHALLENGE – JOIN ME! Join me and my friends this  January for our FREE 30 Day Fit Challenge! It’s the busiest people who seem to be the ones that find a way to be healthy, and get more out of every day! So next time you think you’re “too busy or stressed”, step back, take a breath, and re-prioritize. Wishing you all the joys of this festive season, Amanda ~Raising the Standard on what it means to be FIT. ...

10 Minute Total Body Torcher

This 10 minute metabolism revving workout is perfect for those who are short on time and need workouts that will challenge them step by step. Our total body torcher is made to target and challenge every muscle in your body. This workout is comprised of 10 moves. Each move you will be doing for one whole minute with no breaks. By the end of the workout, you will have completed 10 minutes of a full-body, cardio workout. As with all the workouts we do here at Valeo, you need little to no equipment to do this. Although it may be too cold to do this workout outside this time of year, you can easily do this in a small space, like your living room, hotel room, or bedroom. . Embrace every minute of this workout as you get stronger with every move you complete!   Workout Details Duration // 5 minutes Type // Toning/Strengthening Booty Blast Workout Step by Step // Side Plank Hip Drops Curtsy Lunges to Kick Tuck Jump + Burpee Spider Walks Goddess Squat Swings Squat Jacks Side Plank Stars Straight Leg Scissors Plank Arm X-Body Mountain Climbers   Breakdown // Side Plank To Hip Drops Step 1 // Start in a plank position with elbows on ground. Step 2 // Rotate hips from side to side. Curtsy Lunges To Kick Step 1 // Stand with feet hip width apart. Bend knee behind you into a lunge. Step 2 // Bring lunging leg up and out into a “kick”. Step 3 // Repeat. Alternating between a lunge and a kick. Tuck Jump + Burpee Step 1 // Jump, bringing knees to palms in high knees. Step 2 // Bring hands to floor and push legs out into a plank position Step 3 // Jump legs back in and stand, repeating high knee tuck jump. Step 4 // Repeat and alternate between tuck jump and burpee. Spider Walks Step 1 // Get into a plank position with arms fully extended. Step 2 // Bring knee up towards elbow, slightly extending outwards. Step 3 // Repeat, alternating knees. Goddess Squat Swings Step 1 // Stand with feet spread wide and a weight in between hands with arms extended. Step 2 // When squatting down, bring weight up in front of face. Step 3 // When extending legs to stand, lower weight down. Squat Jacks Step 1 // Stand with feet hip width apart. Step 2 // Squat in an explosive movement while also bringing arms up wide in air. Step 3 // Bring arms down when jumping back up and repeat. Side Plank Stars Step 1 // Start with a side plank, with elbow on ground. Step 2 // Lift outer leg up while also lifting outer arm up in the air. Step 3 // Bring back down and repeat, lifting both arm and leg simultaneously. Straight Leg Scissors Step 1 // Lay on your back facing up. Step 2 // Lift leg up while bringing opposite arm up, reaching for shin. Step 3 // Alternate this same movement between arms and legs. Plank Arm Step 1 // Start in a plank position with arms fully extended. Step 2 // Lift one arm up while also lifting opposite leg up. Step 3 // Alternate between lifting opposite legs and arms. X-Body Mountain Climbers Step 1 // Start in a plank position. Step 2 // Bring in knees towards chest, alternating between knees, as fast as you can.   So, what did you think? These kind of workouts are always easier said than done but if you accepted the challenge to tackle this workout today, then give yourself a pat on the back! You did it! Inspire Yourself, Amanda ...

3 Worst Ab Mistakes

When it comes to abs, there are SO many factors, they are like fussy children (sigh) – it’s a delicate balance to get them on their best behavior. ‘Abs’, also known as your stomach/belly region is a major trouble zone so many of us struggle with and the myths out there are not only overwhelming, but many are downright false! So first things first, let’s get clear on some important ab topics to know and keep in mind. Abs are mainly nutrition Your diet is just as important, if not more, than your workouts. Have you ever thought about why you do ab workouts over and over again, but still aren’t seeing the results you want? Has your diet been a reflection as to why that could be? Make sure that you not only have a solid ab routine workout in place but also a healthy diet to complement and help shape you, instead of defer you from reaching your goals. Train Hard Just like anything else in life, one needs to train and work hard in order to see results and creating abs is no different. It’s important to have diversity in your workouts and really feel the burn. There is no better feeling than working hard for something and then seeing the fruits of your labor, aka your abs, come to life. Total Body Workouts There’s no such thing as spot training, meaning you can’t simply do crunches and think a 6-pack will appear. You have to work your whole body, and be burning more than you consume in order for those abs to come through. Incorporating full body workouts is a MUST! So get started, we have a whole free library of Valeo Fit full body videos ready to get you sweating in no time!There are no shortcuts, if you want the flat toned stomach, it’s going to take work, a combination of consistent quality training, full body workouts, and proper nutrition! Here’s one of our ‘go-to’ routines:   Equipment + Overview Yoga Mat Dual Ab Wheel     Workout Details Type // Toning Ab Moves Step by Step // Planks Ab Roller Workouts   Breakdown // Planks Step 1 // Start in position with forearms on floor, parallel to each other and toes on the ground. Imagine back in straight line.Step 2 // Focus on holding and bringing in stomach, careful to avoid raising hips. Ab Roller Workouts Step 1 // Start with knees on floor with hands on either side of the ab roller. Step 2 // Roll ab roller away from you while keepings knees and legs in place Step 3 // Reverse and roll back in, switching back and forth between in and out.   Is your stomach on fire? I hope so! Let us know what your trouble zone is and what kind of workouts you’d like more of in the comments below.   ~Inspire Yourself, Amanda ...

5 Minute Butt Blaster Workout

You may only have 5 minutes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get ta GREAT workout in!  This workout is designed to give you more energy, help you avoid that dreadful holiday weight gain and make you earn your dinner! Go ahead, why don’t you join me and click the play button below so we can get started? I love this 5 minute butt blaster because I can do it in one sitting without taking up too much space. In other words, are you away from home right now visiting family and don’t have a ton of space to workout wherever you may be? No problem. I created this workout especially for you guys who don’t have a lot of wiggle room to deal with. This workout is also very apartment friendly in that there is no jumping around to disturb your neighbors around you. 🙂 If you are feeling strong repeat this workout 3 more times for a total of 20 minutes for a booty burning blast. After getting in a good burn, I guarantee that meal is going to taste even better! . This workout has a total of 5 moves, with 30 second intervals each side each for a total of 5 minutes of non-stop burn. If you have a knee injury, make sure to use extra padding underneath the knee to make it comfortable for you. And remember, just because you may be showing less skin this time of year due to cold weather doesn’t mean your workout routine has to suffer because of it! No gym, no time? No problem. Our workouts are quick, efficient, and most require little to no equipment so let’s get our sweat on.   Workout Details Duration // 5 minutes Type // Toning/Strengthening Booty Blast Workout Step by Step // Donkey Kicks Donkey Kick Pulses Rotate Leg Left and Right Cross Knee Down and Extend Leg Lateral Leg Pulse   Breakdown // Donkey Kicks Step 1 // Get into tabletop position. Step 2 // Lift one leg up, in 90 degree angle and bring knee back to floor. Step 3 // Repeat this for 30 seconds. Donkey Kick Pulses Step 1 // Keep leg in donkey kick position and lift keeping it lifted the entire time. Step 2 // Perform tiny pulses up and down for 30 seconds. Rotate Leg Left and Right Step 1 // With left lifted in 90 degree, move leg towards left and right, alternating for 30 seconds. Cross Knee Down and Extend Leg Step 1 // Bring knee to the floor behind opposite leg. Step 2 // Bring knee up and out extending laterally. Step 3 // Repeat these 2 steps for 30 seconds. Lateral Leg Pulse Step 1 // With leg lifted laterally, start pulsing it up and down with very small movements focusing on inner thighs for 30 seconds. So, what did you think? These kind of workouts are always easier said than done but if you accepted the challenge to tackle this workout today, then give yourself a pat on the back! You did it! Inspire Yourself, Amanda ...

Amanda Russell on Becoming a Self-Made Fitness Influencer

What does it take to turn a passion into a side hustle, and a side hustle into a business? Fitness influencer Amanda Russell, the creator of Fit, Strong, and Sexy, shared her story with 24Life—including how she landed a high profile corporate job with zero corporate work experience, and built a digital fitness empire using YouTube, despite her family’s concerns about taking an unconventional path to success. ...

5 Min Power Yoga Routine

Rev up your metabolism and immediately garner incredible energy with this 5 min power yoga routine! I created this for when I want a metabolism-boosting energizing pick-me-up, and I don’t have patience to sit through a long drawn out yoga class! I’m all about getting more out of less time, and this delivers. Watch Now: I challenge you to the 7 Day Workout Body Reset PLAN! 7 Days to lose the extra pounds, and set your energy and metabolism on fire! Love, Amanda ...

5 Reasons Why HIIT is all The Hype

It’s no secret that HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is all the rage right now. And there’s good reason for it. CNN.com recently released an article naming HIIT the number one fitness trend in 2018.   The Feel It, See It, Share It New Year Challenge that I’m working on with Amanda Russell of Fit, Strong and Sexy includes HIIT-inspired workouts for 28 days in January (we’re currently wrapping up the final week). The workouts are challenging but highly-effective and can be done in a short amount of time. I can say from personal experience that the program 100% WORKS and that’s due in large part to the incredible effectiveness of HIIT.     Here are 5 reasons why HIIT is at the top of the trending list in 2018:   Boosts metabolism even after working out.   High-intensity interval training burns fat, preserves muscle, and boosts your metabolism. HIIT triggers a reaction called the Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) during the recovery periods after intense bursts because your body is overcompensating for the lack of oxygen when your heart rate is being pumped to the max, and the effects of EPOC can last for 24-48 hours post-workout, continuing to burn fat in a resting state.   Can be done in a short amount of time.   One of the best features of HIIT is that it can be done anywhere and in an extremely short amount of time – you can easily squeeze it in during a lunch break at the office. Research shows that short bursts of high-intensity interval training for 15 minutes can be way more effective than running on a treadmill at the same speed and incline for 45-60 minutes. Because you’re pushing yourself to the max during the intense bursts, you’re increasing your aerobic endurance in a shorter amount of time when compared to long and steady cardio.   No gym equipment needed.   There are great pieces of workout equipment for HIIT, like a treadmill, spin bike, or jump rope, but the beautiful part about this form of exercise is that you can use your own body weight. The main goal of HIIT is to engage in plyometrics, also referred to as “jump training” or “plyos”, in which your muscles exert maximum force in short time intervals (such as high knees or jumping lunges). In fact, sometimes using additional equipment can hinder the effectiveness of HIIT (if you aren’t using a high enough resistance on a spin bike, for example, and would probably feel and see better results with high knees or jumping jacks).   Aids in heart health.   The extreme training in this technique produces extreme results, pushing you into your anaerobic zone which is 80-90% of your maximum heart rate. You may be breathing heavy when working this intensely, but getting into this zone helps to reduce the risk of developing heart-related diseases. Increasing cardiovascular fitness gets your heart pumping to deliver oxygen more effectively to your muscle cells, which use it to produce energy.   Lose weight but keep muscle.   A fantastic benefit of HIIT is that you burn fat but preserve your hard-earned muscles underneath. Burning fat requires oxygen and since HIIT provides an oxygen shortage during the intense bursts, your body is overcompensating in asking for more oxygen during recovery periods. So you achieve that lean, sculpted, sexy look (think ‘Michelle Obama arms’ ;-)).     So clearly, HIIT is highly effective and back on trend for good reason.   Keeping all of the above in mind, stay tuned for a very special announcement coming soon from yours truly!   xo Melanie ...

How Do You Really Lose That Belly Fat?

There’s the idea that performing ab exercises helps you lose belly fat. A common symbol of health is a muscular abdomen. Is there just one way to lose belly fat? An Overview Of The Core Muscles The muscles in your core region perform a variety of functions. They protect organs, provide support, and assist with movement. The four muscles include the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, external oblique, and internal oblique. Differentiating Between Abdominal Fats Abdominal fat is a common health concern for many people, as it can be linked to ailments such as diabetes, heart disease or metabolic syndrome. (1) Not many people are aware of the fact that there are two differing types of abdominal fat. Visceral Fat Found above your organs, in the abdominal cavity. This is the type of fat associated with conditions like diabetes and metabolic syndrome as well as heart disease. (2) (3) This kind of fat also influences hormones in the body and puts many processes of disease into motion. Subcutaneous Fat Found between the skin and the muscles. This is fat that you can physically touch, though having a healthy amount of this type of fat will not drastically increase your propensity for disease. (4) All in all: There are two distinct types of abdominal fat, subcutaneous and visceral. Having A Six Pack And Losing Weight Are Two Different Things We all know that working a muscle group is key to help maintain its strength. Despite this fact, exercising a certain muscle group will not reduce the amount of fat present over said muscle group. For the abdominal muscles, the presence of subcutaneous fat is what stands in the way of your skin and muscles If you want to look in the mirror and see a six-pack on your abdomen, losing the subcutaneous fat will be the first step. Only after losing this fat will your toned abs shine through. All in all: To have a visibly toned abdomen, you need to lose the subcutaneous fat between your muscles and skin. Wait, Can Ab Exercises Help You Lose Belly Fat? No, ab exercises will not inherently work away your belly fat better than any other sort of exercise will. Though it is a common belief that focusing on this muscle group can disproportionately encourage abdominal fat loss, much of the current science suggests that this notion is entirely false. What is Targeted Fat Loss? When thinking about how to lose belly fat, many people look to target fat loss. Target fat loss is based on the idea that when you work out a specific area, you will lose fat only in that particular area. While working out a particular area is beneficial for the muscles, this doesn’t translate to targeted fat loss. In a study on people doing consistent ab exercises over the course of five weeks there was no correlation found between this sort of activity and the loss of subcutaneous abdominal fat. (5) This is not a finding limited to belly fat either, in a study done on arm training it was shown that participants were working off fat on their body as a whole rather than just on the arms being trained. (6) Studies Don’t Support This… There are, however, other studies with contradictory results. Another study done on arm training in participants showed that fat was disproportionately reduced in the trained spots. (7) A similar study supporting this theory was done on whether or not fat being located near the muscles being trained was being worked off faster than the fat in areas surrounding resting muscles. Though these few studies did confirm findings that fat near the working muscles reduced more than that near non-working muscles, the majority of evidence points to the contrary. All in all: You can’t lose belly fat in targeted areas; it naturally comes off the whole body during exercise. How To Lose Belly Fat With Exercise When exercising, you’ll notice an increase in metabolism and calorie burning. Cardio helps burn visceral fat on the abdomen. (8) It has also been shown that fat mass is burned most effectively when undergoing a higher intensity workout as opposed to a lower intensity one. (9) (10) An essential part of exercising for weight loss is in consistency, with making high-intensity workouts a part of your daily routine. (11) Many find success with doing even as little as 20 minutes of intense training only three times per week. (12) The exercise you would be doing will build muscle mass, a process which encourages your body to shed more fat. Try Alternative Exercises to Lose Belly Fat Studies show high-intensity interval training helps you lose belly fat compared to the average aerobic exercise. (13) (14) This exercise type is structured by short periods of very intense training that lead to longer periods of less intense training. The benefits of this are numerous and include higher rate of fat loss and decreased appetite. (15) (16) Though this is an effective strategy for weight loss, it is not the only effective strategy. If you start walking daily, you will still be losing more weight than if you weren’t. All in all: High-intensity interval training helps you lose belly fat compared to other exercise routines. Diet Is Everything to Lose Belly Fat Many people try to compromise in weight loss by exercising, yet keeping their dietary habits the same. However, it is a fact that getting all the nutrients you need on a daily basis is just as important as exercising regularly. The most common dietary change to lose belly fat involves removing processed or sugary foods. Most Americans have an excess of these things in our everyday foods. This can lead to some major health concerns like heart disease or diabetes. (17) (18) It would be beneficial to look to a high-protein diet as a replacement for a diet high in sugar content. Studies suggest that a high-protein diet can not only aid in weight loss, but also prevent diabetes and reverse pre-diabetes. (19) Another important thing is to make sure what you’re eating is a real, whole food as opposed to something processed. The list of nutrients commonly lost in processed foods includes things like vitamins, minerals, and even fiber. Research confirms that diet and exercise is essential if you want to lose belly fat. “Yogurt: The ultimate flat belly food, with active bacteria that is just so good for the gut! A trick I use is to eat a couple spoonfuls of yogurt multiple times throughout the day to keep me feeling satiated and constantly digesting.” states Amanda Russell, Founder and Chief Editor of Fit Strong and Sexy. All in all: The key points of a healthy diet are cutting out processed foods and consuming a moderate amount of calories The REAL Way To Lose That Belly Fat By this point, it’s evident that doing a myriad of crunches in your spare time will not shed any excess belly fat you may have. One of the most useful tools for fat loss can be a high-intensity exercise routine. A healthy diet is also monumentally important when you’ve set out to lose weight. The key to lose belly fat centers around boosting metabolism and reducing caloric intake. (This article was originally posted on DietSpotlight by Summer Banks on January 29, 2018) ...

4 Min Butt and Thigh Workout (Home Workout)

No excuses, it’s 4 minutes, everyone has 4 minutes! Do this 4-5 times a week and watch your butt literally lift, tone and tighten, not to mention sculpt those sexy legs! Pair this with my Intense 6 Min Ab Workout, and you literally nail it all in just 10 minutes! So there you have it… let’s get to it! The Workout Like my workouts? Want to get fit and follow my fitness program? Get your full Virtual Fit Strong and Sexy Gym Membership (no equipment needed): https://fitstrongandsexy.com/monthly-membership/ You receive: Daily Fitness Plan and videos Nutrition Guide Over 100 recipes Tips, Motivation and personal access to as me any questions and get support along the way! And so much more!   Get Full Access by joining here You’re going to the results and the amazing feeling you get from it! ~Here’s to raising the standard on what it means to be FIT! Love, Amanda ...

5 Self-Care Tips in 5 Minutes (or Less)

There are so many amazing self-care techniques out there, but not all of them are necessarily attainable because they can be too time-consuming. In today’s fast paced world where we value productivity and mental wellbeing, I thought it might be helpful to compile a list of my 5 favorite self-care activities that can be done in 5 minutes (or less):   Calming 5-second Breathing   Sit in a comfortable position (can sit with your legs crossed, on your heels, or in a chair), making sure your back is completely straight, your chin is slightly lifted, and your shoulders are down and back. You can also do this exercise standing or walking with the posture described above. Slowly inhale on the count of 5 through your nose expanding the air in your rib cage, hold your breath to the slow count of 5, and then slowly exhale all the air out through your mouth to the count of 5 (can make noise in your nostrils and out your mouth as you breathe in and out). Repeat at least 10 times and if it is helpful, you can close your eyes and set a timer so that you can allow yourself to fall into a meditative state. This is a great breathing practice to help slow down the heart rate that can be done anywhere – at work, at home, or to calm anxiety when waiting in a long line with tons of people at the supermarket.   Free Writing or Doodling   Take a few minutes to simply write down or draw whatever comes to mind, without regard to grammar, spelling, topic, or perfect artistry. Set a timer to 5 minutes so you are free to be entirely creative and expressive without any regard for a ticking clock. Free form writing or doodling sparks creativity, reduces self-criticism, and provides clarity and focus that you can bring to your work or any other activity throughout the day.   Listen to Music or Audio Book   You may not always have the time to dive deep into reading a book, but you can certainly put on Spotify when commuting on the train or walking to work to calm anxiety and re-energize for the day. I also love listening to Yoga with Adriene playlists on YouTube – just listening to her breathing exercises calms me down and unblocks creativity when I want to sit down to write (I’m actually listening to her right now 😉. Find whichever story or whoever’s voice resonates with you and have a ‘go-to’ on your phone whenever you need a quick stress reliever or ‘feel-good’ fix.   1-minute Push-ups and Plank   Sometimes it just feels good to work out and release bottled up energy as opposed to standing or sitting still. Try a quick 1-minute strength exercise first thing in the morning of a series of push-ups for 15 seconds, holding plank pose for 30 seconds (can try advanced variations such as lifting opposite arms and legs), and then ending with more push-ups for 15 seconds (try different push-ups like keeping elbows in for toning triceps). Pay special attention to your breathing too, making sure it’s smooth, even, and consistent. You can of course add on more time and variations as you get stronger (and if time allows).   Express Gratitude   Take a minute or two to identify three specific things that you feel lucky to have in your life at this very moment (people, pets, and/or inanimate objects). You can write these down or simply identify them in your head and take a moment to internally thank them for positively adding to your life. If you are writing the three things down, write down why they make you happy and exactly what you want to say to give thanks. Gratitude practice can significantly decrease stress hormones like cortisol and even boost your immune system.   Hopefully these 5 tips will be useful for you even on your busiest days. Just one to five minutes a day of devoted, consistent self-care can have a huge positive impact on the rest of your day, your week, and ultimately, your life.   Namaste,   Melanie ...