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Strong Abs Start With This 7-Minute Workout

Get the printable version of this seven-minute HIIT workout here!

When it comes to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), the pros definitely outweigh the cons. While it may feel unpleasant to push your body to go faster and harder for that short time period, the rewards are worth it: HIIT helps you blast more belly fat, save time, and burn way more calories (even after your workout is long over) than a lower-intensity workout alone. A 2013 study published in the American College of Sports Medicine's Health and Fitness Journal found that a few minutes of training at almost your max can accomplish all of this in way less time than a traditional workout. How much less? Try just seven minutes total.

The ACSM's interval workout consists of 12 exercises, which should be done at an intensity of eight on a scale of 10; each exercise lasts 30 seconds, with a 10-second rest in between. Repeat the circuit if you'd like a longer workout. Keeping the intensity up - and the rest periods short - is key, so keep reading to learn the moves and then get going! You'll need a mat and a chair or bench.

This post was originally published on May 21, 2013.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

The Top 4 Workouts to Avoid If You're Trying to Lose Weight

We encourage all types of fitness, for more reasons than just weight loss. While weight loss is an awesome side effect of working out and living a healthier lifestyle, exercise can benefit your brain, your mood, your sleep, and your overall health, too!

However, if you're focusing on dropping pounds, are there types of exercises you should flat-out avoid? We asked certified personal trainer John Rowley — International Sports Science Association (ISSA) director of wellness and founder of UX3 Nutrition — for his opinion on the matter. While we still encourage anyone to give these workouts a shot (in fact, we love all of them!), these four may not give you the results you're looking for if weight loss is your top priority.

  1. CrossFit: "CrossFit is number one on the hit list," Rowley said in an email. "The risk-to-results ratio just isn't there." If you're just beginning your weight-loss journey, you likely won't have the strength to get an effective workout without injuring yourself. "It's very popular, and I can see how fun and challenging it is," he noted. "But the way the exercises are done is very dangerous, especially for someone not in tiptop shape."
  2. Yoga: Rowley explained that yoga "has a lot of benefits, but losing weight is not one of them." Although you'll gain strength and tone up, if you're aiming to shed pounds, "you want to work as much of your body as possible to lose weight and to stimulate your metabolism," and Rowley said yoga is not the most effective way to do so.
  3. Indoor Cycling: While indoor cycling classes are great for exercise veterans, Rowley said, "they can get out of control as well," and the format of the classes can put you at risk for injury. "The rooms can get too hot, the movements can be too aggressive for some, and any vigorous exercise will make you hungry." More on that hunger in the next point . . .
  4. Cardio-Only Routines: Rowley said these should be avoided if your only goal is weight loss. Why? The munchies. "Cardio will help burn calories but can often make you hungry, leading to excessive calorie-consuming after workouts," putting you at a higher risk for undoing your progress. Additionally, if you're only doing cardio and not balancing with strength training, it can lead to muscle loss. "The loss of muscle destroys your metabolism; if you are going to do cardio, do it in conjunction with a well thought-out weight training workout."

Again, we love (and do) each of these workouts — and you absolutely can lose weight doing any of them. But if your number one goal is weight loss, Rowley warned, you might want to reprioritize your workout schedule.


So what should you do? "The only way for lasting, healthy weight loss that will change your body composition is through resistance training," Rowley said. "Lifting weights stimulates your muscles; your muscles burn calories even when you are eating and resting." We encourage you to be open to all types of workouts — get comfortable with movement of all types! But start with a good, healthy balance of strength training (as recommended by this trainer) and a bit of cardio to help build up your endurance so you can keep shedding pounds and crush your goals.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

I Gave Up These 6 Things to Be Truly Healthy For Life

The following post was originally featured on Fit Bottomed Girls and written by Alison, a contributor to Jenn, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

Losing 70 pounds is tough. Keeping it off for more than a decade is even tougher. Trust me, I tried everything. Once I lost the weight, I thought I'd feel relieved and proud all the time, but what I didn't expect were the feelings of panic and fear.

I was constantly afraid that I'd end up back where I started and keeping the weight off became an obsession. When I overindulged or wasn't able to work out, my first thought was that I was going to gain the weight back. It was exhausting and nerve-racking.


But somehow I've managed to keep it off and eventually found a way to do it that's effective, effortless and doesn't mean living in fear. Here's what I've learned about what it takes.

1. Workouts that I dread.

I used to assign value to workouts purely on the number of calories that they burn so I stuck to brutal, high-intensity workouts that sorta made me miserable and ultimately got me injured and left me feeling burned out. Then, it occurred to me that I'm more than just muscle and fat. So I started only doing workouts that felt good in my body and contributed to the overall well-being of my body, mind and spirit. Now, I actually look forward to my workouts, which means I've got no problem getting them in regularly.

2. Eliminating entire categories of food.

Legit food sensitivities and allergies aside, cutting out a whole classification of food is not sustainable, making it a one-way ticket to Frustration City. Our bodies were designed to take in quality fats, protein and carbs (in moderation of course) and each plays a vital role in proper bodily function. Now, over time, I've learned that there are certain foods that don't make me feel the greatest — for example, gummy candies cause my skin to break out, cereal makes me gassy and fried foods make me sluggish — but will an order of fries, a few celebratory cocktails or a birthday cupcake (or two) derail my inner peace and send me into a downward spiral of self-loathing and guilt? Absolutely not. I don't give food that much power over me anymore.

3. Thinking in terms of calories.

Calories get far too much attention considering that they only tell a small part of the story. So many other things have a direct effect on your body weight and overall health and well-being — for example, hydration, sleep and stress levels all affect how well your body's internal processes work, including digestion and metabolism. When we focus on calories, we learn that low-calorie means better … but it doesn't. Many of the most nutritious foods on the planet are calorie dense and many very low-calorie foods have little or no nutritional value. Remember that food is fuel, so quality and nutrition definitely matter.

4. Punishing myself for "slipping up."

Workouts aren't punishment and deprivation is cruel. Think of it this way: if your child or pet screwed up, is it okay to run them into the ground or withhold a meal from them? No. So why, oh why, it is okay for us to do it to ourselves?

5. Ignoring the need for recovery.

I used to wear my perpetual muscle soreness like a badge of honor and told myself that I had to work out every day in order to "earn" my calories for that day. Honestly, I wish I could get back all that time I wasted — it didn't make me stronger, leaner or happier. Our bodies can self-heal, but only if we give them the time to do so. Pushing yourself to the limit every day may seem bad-ass, but it's robbing your body of the chance to rebuild, adapt and grow stronger.

6. Choosing my workouts based on what I want to look like.

My current workout routine reflects how I want my body to function so that I can do all the things that make my life fun and enjoyable — like teaching yoga, running ultra marathons, playing with my 3-year-old niece and carrying all my groceries in one shot. Here's the thing: I've been a size 18 and I've been a size 0 — and everything in between — and it didn't change how I felt about myself. Losing 70 pounds didn't make me any less self-conscious about my body. You know what did make a difference? Learning what my body is capable of and developing my strengths. The shape and size of my body don't define me or affect my overall quality of life.

Have you successfully maintained weight-loss long term? Tell us what you've learned. —Alison

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

This Might Be the Most Intense Workout Class You've Ever Taken

Switch Playground has been described as NYC's hardest workout on more than one occasion, but it's more like a fitness fiend's paradise! The class, which is structured on a partnership principle, splits participants into pairs and has them go through over a dozen training stations for one of the sweatiest workout you'll ever try. This week on Hannahgram, Hannah put Switch to the test. Check out the verdict above.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

10 Fierce Zumba Workouts on YouTube That You Can (and Should) Do at Home

Love to Zumba? Good news: you don't need a gym membership or a Groupon to get in on the hip-shaking (and calorie-burning!) fun. Plenty of certified Zumba instructors actually upload their choreography to YouTube for anyone to follow along. The obvious downside is not having anyone there to point out your mistakes, but if you have two left feet, you might just view that as a positive.

Either way, trying out a new workout is a great way to jumpstart your healthy 2017 goals! Keep scrolling to follow along as these professionals demonstrate superhot routines set to some of your favorite Latin songs. Then, turn up our extra-motivating playlist.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Over 35 of the Best Costumes From the Disney Princess Half-Marathon

Mirror, mirror on the wall, whose race day costume is the cutest of them all? It's impossible to pick! These Princess runners raced a 10K and half-marathon this past weekend at Disney World Orlando for the Disney Princess Half-Marathon weekend and Glass Slipper Challenge, inspiring us with their mileage, their smiles, and, of course, their attire.

The creativity this year was out of control - check out these women and start planning for your future princess race!

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Sculpt and Tone Your Booty and Abs With Our No-Equipment 10-Minute Workout

These trainer-favorite moves are going to totally rock your core and burn those booty muscles. There are five ab exercises from Barry's Bootcamp trainer Erica Stenz and five booty exercises from Equinox trainer Caroline Jordan; you're going to build out that bubble butt while carving out your midsection, in turn creating better posture and a stronger body as a whole.

Ten moves, one minute each, no equipment. This ultraquick workout will have you sweating up a storm in less time than it takes to watch two commercial breaks of your favorite TV show (hint, hint).

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

These Badass Muslim Athletes Are Breaking Barriers and Stigmas All Over the World

We love watching strong, empowered women break down barriers in all ways - but we're particularly fond of athletic endeavors. Right now, we're especially inspired by these insanely impressive Muslim women who are breaking all sorts of records: in action sports, in the Olympics, and even in CrossFit. Strong in both body and mind, these are just some of the ladies who are making history, and they're doing so without compromising any part of who they are.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

This Workout Is Only 8 Minutes But It's Intense: Total-Body Tabata

Ready to work your entire body in less time than it takes to make lunch? All you need is eight minutes to complete this high-intensity Tabata workout - perfect for when you want to a lot of burn calories in little time. During each Tabata set, you'll alternate between two total-body exercises, that will build lean muscle while also getting the heart rate up, up, up. You'll work hard for 20 seconds, taking a 10-second rest in between each move. Try this fun way to melt the fat away!

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Tone Up Your Inner Thighs and Booty With This Powerful Sculpting Move

Get ready to sculpt EVERY muscle in your legs with this powerful toning and strengthening move - it's low-impact, no-equipment, and do-anywhere!

  • Stand with the feet hip distance apart.
  • Keep your upper body straight, core engaged, with your shoulders relaxed, and your chin up.
  • Step forward with your right leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, and your other knee gently lowers softly to the floor.
  • Activate your inner thighs by squeezing your legs toward each other, and keep the weight in your front heel as you push back up to standing, keeping your right foot in place so you can lower back down.
  • Continue to lower and lift with your right leg forward for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat with the left leg forward for 30 seconds. This completes one rep.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Let Your Abs Say Ahh With These Stretches

After an intense session of core exercises, your abs are screaming for relief. Here are some stretches you can do right after working your abs to help relieve soreness the next day.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

You'll Feel Pretty Accomplished After Finishing This 60-Minute Treadmill Workout

Weight loss on the mind? Kick it up a notch with this hour-long treadmill interval workout that will burn around 500 calories in one session. Complete it five times in a week and you'll be well on your way to burning or cutting out an extra 3,500 calories — the magic number to lose one pound in a week.

Be sure to warm up for at least five minutes before getting started. If you find that this workout is too easy or too hard, just adjust the speed to fit your level.

Congratulations — you just burned 511 calories! Don't forget to cool down and stretch afterward. Get a photo-free printable version of this workout to take to the gym.


*Calories burned calculations are based on a 130-pound woman.

**RPE = rate of perceived exertion

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Is Bruising After Foam Rolling Normal?

Foam rolling is one of those "it hurts so good" love-hate relationships. You dread it and look forward to it simultaneously. It's essential to muscular recovery, but how can you tell if you've gone too far with this "good" pain?

My first foam rolling experience was excruciating; after a physical therapist told me I had "the tightest IT bands" he'd ever seen, he explained how he was going to roll them out for me, and that it was going to hurt, and that it was going to bruise the next day — but it was nothing to worry about.

He was right — I had blue-green bruises from my hip to my knee for about five days. It was freaky, but I did feel better after the bruises subsided. From then on out, I committed to rolling my extratight IT bands regularly.


Have you ever bruised after foam rolling? My bruising experience years ago was forgotten until recently when I was rolling my VMO muscles with a lacrosse ball — and subsequently bruising the crap out of them. I consulted Dr. Kristin Maynes, PT, DPT, and Michael Heller, sports performance analysis coordinator at Professional Physical Therapy, to ask their opinions on post-foam-rolling bruises.

Is Bruising Normal?

Short answer? Yes. "Especially if you're really tight in that area," said Dr. Maynes, or "if it is the first time performing it," said Heller. Another reason you might be bruising? If you're staying on one area for too long. Dr. Maynes noted that if you're rolling one muscle area for two to three minutes, you're bound to see some bruising the next day.

What Causes Bruising?

When you're foam rolling, you're breaking up scar tissue and adhesions (a specific type of scar tissue that occurs from inflammation, trauma, etc.). When you put your "bodyweight pressure on a concentrated myofascial area," you are "breaking adhesions, as well as [creating] small tears in tightened muscle fibers," said Heller. "This causes blood to be trapped under the skin, giving the appearance of a bruise."

It's nothing to worry about, but don't go rolling that area again until the bruise clears up . . . ow!

How Far Is Too Far?

How do you know the difference between normal discomfort and injury-inducing pain? "Foam rolling is done to a person's pain level tolerance and threshold," said Dr. Maynes. "If it's too painful, don't do it." Seems pretty simple, right? Don't push it too far, and make sure you stretch. "If it's causing more harm than good (physically and mentally), and if it's too painful you can't stand it, then stop," she said. "It's not for everyone and it's not going to make or break your recovery if you don't foam roll!"

In terms of pain threshold, she said there's a "good pain" that is similar to the sensation of a deep-tissue massage, and that if you experience it, proceed with your rolling regimen.

Can you overdo foam rolling? Heller says no. "You cannot overdo foam rolling, as it can be performed seven days a week, and it even serves as a good warmup and cooldown when working out."

Use these guidelines:

  • Only stay on the area for 30 seconds to one minute.
  • Don't roll an injured area unless advised by a medical professional (including your nearest physical therapist).
  • If the pain is more than some soreness/tightness, stop.
  • Stretch afterward — "You need to supplement with stretching for foam rolling to be effective," said Dr. Maynes.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

The 5 Worst Mistakes I Made as a New Runner and How You Can Learn From Them

I went from not running at all to running quite a bit in a very short period of time. With essentially no guidance or coaching, I pushed myself from huffing and puffing around the track to doing five half-marathons in less than two years. Sounds great, right? A total "started from the bottom now we here (at the half-marathon finish line)" kind of story. But I've had some painful setbacks because of things I didn't know as a beginner and had to learn the hard way.

For one, I got patellofemoral syndrome (runner's knee) in both my knees, particularly the left — it's something that hurts almost constantly, and I have to do physical therapy for it. I also learned that intense cardio, including running, can induce stomach pain, and I've ended up with some crippling stomachaches.

Here are the five pieces of wisdom I wish were bestowed upon me when I first laced up and began my running quest, things that may have spared me some unnecessary pain and made this process even better. You might have heard some of these, but you also might not know any of them (that's what I'm here for)! I hope my follies and learnings can help you avoid injury, discomfort, and curveballs that might keep you from pursuing running, because running is actually really awesome and life changing. Let's get into it!


1. You Actually Have to Warm Up

I wish someone told me that one, warming up is important, and two, how to actually warm up (because seriously . . . how?). When I was training with some Adidas prorunners at Kezar Stadium a few weeks ago, I got an epiphany-status piece of insight from them: "We don't run to warm up; we warm up to run."

It was the first time it finally clicked — running isn't a warmup, and I need to warm up for this workout just like I would for any other workout. Strengthening the legs, hips, and butt can have a significant impact on performance, stability, and injury prevention.

Try warming up with different lunges: reverse lunges, curtsy lunges, and side lunges. Stretch your quads, and bring your knees to your chest. Dynamic warmups and stretching can have a huge impact on your form and strength and on your body's ability to prevent injury.

2. There's a Thing Called the "Talk Test," and You Need to Try It

I interviewed ultramarathoner and run coach Robin Arzon about what advice she gives to new runners. It seems so simple, and maybe this is common knowledge for some of you, but I had no idea what the "talk test" was until she brought it up.

"You should be able to have a conversation," she said. If you can't, "you're going way too fast." In my past runs and races, I had tried to keep up with other, more seasoned runners and pushed myself to a pace that wasn't comfortable . . . well beyond being able to talk comfortably. I still find myself doing this now and then, even though my current pace is much quicker than it was a few years ago.

You don't have to be fast when you start running. In fact, you don't have to be fast at all. Find the pace that is comfortable for your body, so you can keep running for miles and get the best workout possible.

3. You Might Not Want to Eat After Your Run (You Might Even Have a Stomachache)

When I got started, I totally expected "runger" — this was one of those "insider" terms I had actually heard at the beginning of my running journey. So naturally, I expected to be coming through my front door after a run, feeling sweaty and exhausted and ravenous. But this has actually never been the case for me. In fact, I almost always have to force myself to eat something to get nutrients — my appetite can be suppressed for hours!

I also had no warning that I might get a pretty bad stomachache, especially as a beginner. "When performing high-intensity exercise, blood is shunted from digestion to the periphery in order to accommodate the oxygen demand to the working muscles," said DIAKADI trainer Elijah Markstrom. This means that depending on what you eat or how sensitive your stomach is, you could be in for some serious intestinal distress.

There are solutions to preventing and treating runner's stomach pain, but I really wish I had some kind of warning — I thought something was seriously wrong! Now if it happens, I know it's somewhat normal and how to treat it. So heads up! What and when you eat impacts how your stomach feels on a run, and sometimes there's just no controlling the digestive woes . . . they happen!

4. Don't Go Crazy With Mileage — Gradually Increasing Is Key

As aforementioned, I drastically increased my mileage in a short period of time. Had I heard of the 10 percent rule of running? Absolutely not. Would it have potentially saved me from injured knees? Probably.

Here's how it works — never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent from the previous week. Going from running 0 miles a week to 10 and then from 10 to 20 is actually not that awesome for you, especially if you don't have any other kind of base-level physical competence (read: this is what I did). When I was a new runner, I was a new everything: no group fitness experience, no gym experience . . . nada. So rapidly amping up my mileage without this gradual percentage rule set me up for injury.

5. A "Foam Roller" Will Be Your Best Friend (and Worst Enemy)

Another "WTF is this" moment I had was when I first saw a foam roller. I thought it was a torture device (I was kind of right, TBH). My supertight IT bands were also a contributing factor to my knee woes, as my physical therapist told me. This is yet another instance in which I could've prevented injury if I had known how essential recovery was after each and every run and the right way to do it.

If you're a new runner, get a foam roller. If you feel some soreness, that's OK — think of it like a deep tissue massage (this is why many runners have a love-hate relationship with their roller). It's essential. Roll your IT bands. Don't be lazy. Don't skip your cooldown. Take time to work on your muscles. You'll appreciate those extra two to five minutes SO much in the long run.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Britney Spears's Yoga Video Will Have You Screaming, "You Better Work!"

Adrienne's Dramatic Before and After Is a Total "Eff You" to the Scale

We've said it before: a number on a scale doesn't mean anything. More proof of this? Adrienne Osuna's two-pound weight loss, and her total body transformation.

Adrienne: Before (182 Pounds)

As a mom of four boys, Adrienne had struggled with yo-yo dieting and weight gain after her pregnancies. "After I had my babies I had lost and gained again about 80 pounds," Adrienne told POPSUGAR via email. "I was tired of dieting and always only caring what the scale said. I was tired, often sick, and very unhappy with how I looked and felt."

"I finally decided I was going to focus on what my body could do and what it's capable of instead of what it weighed - and I started heavy lifting."

Not only was she feeling terrible, but her relationship with the scale was also extremely unhealthy. "After baby number four I lost 62 of the pounds and reached 182, at which point my body was done. I was not eating enough. My metabolism was shot. I was training for my third half-marathon, breastfeeding, and barely eating 1200 to 1400 calories a day. If I messed up one day on my diet or the scale wouldn't move, I'd binge."

Six months post-pregnancy, Adrienne made a decision to change her focus, and it changed her life. Her lightbulb idea? Weightlifting. "I had wanted to start powerlifting but was scared I would gain a bunch of muscle and look bulky and manly, but I finally decided I was going to focus on what my body could do and what it's capable of instead of what it weighed - and I started heavy lifting."

Adrienne: After (180 Pounds)

Weightlifting is what transformed Adrienne's body. Her fears of looking "manly" proved to be unfounded, but she was still put off by the number on the scale. "After a few months friends and family kept telling me I was shrinking and losing weight, but I kept saying 'I wish! The scale hasn't moved!'" Then it dawned on her - her body was changing, regardless of her weight.

"Finally I realized all my clothes were too big! I compared pictures and couldn't believe my eyes." (Another reason to take those before and progress pictures!) Adrienne realized that she was "almost the same weight but dramatically different" in shape and appearance. "Then I realized what was happening, and it fueled me. It also made me want to share with other ladies the scale is not the ultimate factor in your success."

Adrienne: Before and After

Adrienne had mentioned on Instagram that she didn't diet to get her transformation (she attributes it all to weight lifting) but told POPSUGAR that she does "generally eat pretty healthy." She doesn't follow a strict diet, but has been dabbling in intermittent fasting.

"I eat a lot protein and veggies, but I also enjoy treats and don't restrict myself," she said. "A key part of me is I do intermittent fasting. It helps me to not have late night snacks, and to keep the amount of food I consume in check without having to meticulously track every item I eat." She told us she started this plan six months into her weight lifting journey, and credits intermittent fasting and her lifting regimen as "an amazing combination to burn fat."

"The scale is not the ultimate factor in your success."

"I currently fast overnight 15 hours," she said. "Usually from 7 p.m. to 11 a.m., six nights a week - I do have coffee with a little heavy cream in the morning during my fasted state." She also told POPSUGAR that her exercise routine consists of lifting four days a week, and doing cardio exercises two days a week, with one rest day. "I currently do a combination of powerlifting training and bodybuilding," she said.

And the best part of this whole thing? She says "I feel so amazing. I am happy, healthy, and comfortable in my own skin. I love seeing how much more I can lift, it's so empowering to me." That's a much better mark of success than a smaller number on the scale, in our book. And she agrees - "I really want women to know that the scale should not be the only factor they go off of," she said. "They should take measurements and pictures and go based on how they feel and look! Freedom from the scale is so liberating!"

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Exercises Your Trainer Doesn't Want You to Do

There are literally hundreds of exercises you can do in the gym or at home. Some you love; some you hate. Some work; some don't. You can find any number of videos online with moves that the trainer, expert, or guru says you have to try. The truth is there are probably some exercises you shouldn't be doing - or ones you should do instead. We spoke with certified personal trainer Heather Neff and got her list of the top three moves she has her clients avoid and what to do instead.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Here's a Total Body, No Equipment, Under 10-Minute Workout

Short on time, but need a butt-kicking total body workout? We've got your back . . . and arms . . . and legs and booty and abs.

This quick, effective, and challenging workout uses every muscle group, so you're definitely going to break a sweat! With a little cardio, a little plyo, and a lot of bodyweight resistance training, you'll get the most bang for your buck, in under 10 minutes. Six moves, no equipment - just you and your sweat. Pro tip: put on a fun, happy playlist to power through.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Should You Exercise When You Are Sore?

Even if you exercise regularly, you've felt it: the aching, can't-sit-down-or-lift-my-arm muscle soreness the next day after a workout. That pain you feel a day or two after an intense workout is known as DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness, and is caused by muscle microtearing, which helps build muscle fiber and make them stronger. As easy as it may be to use muscle soreness as a reason to skip your next-day workout (guilty as charged!), DOMS is rarely a good excuse to bypass the gym. Here's what you should be doing instead.

  • Don't premedicate. "Don't mask what your body is telling you," says Crunch trainer Tim Rich. He advises clients to not take painkillers before a workout so they can understand how their body reacts to a workout. Taking Advil before your workout could, for example, cause you to push yourself farther than you should go or mask an injury until it's too late. If you're experiencing DOMS after a workout, however, an NSAID or other anti-inflammatory OTC painkiller and icing where you hurt can help.
  • Assess the pain. It's one thing to have DOMS, which is a good thing. But if you finish a workout and feel like you are uncharacteristically sore, or that you've injured yourself, pushing through the pain may not be the best thing. "If you're new to working out, aches and pains are normal," says running coach Eric Chen. However, when workout pain feels more like a burning sensation, it "automatically means stop right there and rest." In addition, Eric recommends seeking out professional advice if you experience an abnormal pain that reoccurs when you exercise again. Make sure you pay attention the difference between an injury pain and normal muscle soreness, and stop and rest if you feel like you've strained something.
  • Eat protein. Muscles are made out of protein, so to shorten the time it takes muscles to heal, try to eat some sort of protein right after you exercise - this will also help you build more muscle over time. Studies have found that recovery drinks that contain protein help decrease muscle soreness compared to normal carbohydrate-based sports drinks.
  • Alternate workouts. Being too sore to work out may be a popular excuse, but it's not always a good one. If you're nursing sore legs from a rigorous hike, spend the next day working on your abs or arms. Allowing an overworked part of your body time to rest while working on another is a great way to optimize your time and ensure that you stay on track. You can also opt for another aerobic exercise or yoga - cardio and stretching can both help soothe your muscles.

No matter how you deal with muscle soreness, it shouldn't last forever. Go see a doctor if you find that your soreness isn't getting any better.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

5 Reasons Working Out at Night Will Change Your Life

I don't like to work out in the morning. I'm not a morning person. The aroma of coffee isn't something that wakes me with a smile. The light shining through the blinds at the crack of dawn is something I avoid as much as possible. The heaviest thing I want to be lifting in the morning before work is my pillow. As I said, I'm not a morning person. But wait, we're supposed to work out in the morning, right? Actually, no. You don't have to. In fact, there are a bunch of reasons you should train at night. I do and it changed my life from the first time I tried it.

First things first: Let's put the elephant in the room to bed. You won't be kept awake by training in the evening. That's an old lie that morning people cooked up with their elaborate breakfasts while we were hitting the snooze button and getting a well-deserved rest. In fact, a National Sleep Foundation study found that there was no difference in the quality of sleep for those who exercised vigorously in the evening.

1. You'll sleep better!
Numerous studies like this one have shown that people who lift weights in the evening have better sleep quality and duration than those who lift in the morning or afternoon hours. So, it will actually help you sleep better at night. Not only is a good rest imperative for muscle growth and recovery, but sleeping deeper and longer will enable you to feel better and fully rested by morning. You should definitely be more perky and ready to face the day ahead.


2. You'll have better workouts!
In addition to helping you sleep better, several studies found that training in the evening was the path to significant greater muscular gains and improved endurance. What does that mean for you? You can get more out of your workout if you train at night!

3. You'll have lower blood pressure!
A Journal of Strength Conditioning Research study found that people who trained at night lowered their blood pressure by 15 percent more than those who worked out in the morning.

4. You'll have better results, sooner!
A study from The New England University of Birmingham found that those who work out in the evening can go 20 percent longer and at a higher intensity. That means even more burned calories at night and the residual benefits of better workouts: tighter arms, stronger legs, leaner abs, and an overall healthier life!

5. Your body will be primed to work out!
Not just because you will be getting more recovery sleep and burning more calories either. According to research, our cortisol levels are higher in the mornings, which can inhibit muscle growth. But, testosterone levels are higher in the evening, which will boost muscle growth. So this is a great way to get those results even quicker.

With all these amazing benefits of working out at night, are you ready to give it a try? Go ahead, mix up your routine and see how much better you sleep, feel, and advance in your fitness goals. It just might change your life!

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

My 6-Month CrossFit Transformation Isn't What I Thought It'd Be

I wasn't going to write this post. I didn't want to share these photos. I felt too embarrassed. But it was for that reason that I felt compelled to. You see, when I started my CrossFit journey to getting completely ripped, I was convinced that after six months, I'd have amazing transformation photos to share. But as you can see, I don't.

I could have chosen to not share them, to wait a year, or however long it took to get the six-pack abs I'm working so hard toward, but I feel like these transformation photos are even more important to share than ones that are jaw-droppingly impressive. Because they show that losing weight and getting toned takes time, and probably more time than you want it to.

Losing weight and getting toned takes time, and probably more time than you want it to.
When progress doesn't go as quickly as expected, it can be so damn frustrating. I actually quit CrossFit for a few days after three months. I was pissed that I was getting up at 4:50 a.m. five days a week to go to class, eating clean, and my body wasn't getting close to where I wanted it to be. I still had my baby belly, and I actually gained weight and my muscles grew. I was thicker all around, and even my sports bras were feeling tighter. WTH!

But my husband talked me down off my "I hate CrossFit" ledge and said, "First of all, you look amazing. And I can totally tell you're getting stronger. But CrossFit isn't just about what it's doing to your body, it's how you feel." And that's true. I loved how badass I felt snatching bars over my head and slamming medicine balls to the floor, and how my heart thumped in my chest and sweat dripped off my nose while doing a bazillion burpees. I loved how energetic and confident I felt when I came home from class, and how that set the tone for my entire day. I'm happier when I work out regularly, and that spreads out into my life, my work, and my relationships.

I also talked to a ton of women about how I was feeling. I told them, "I've gained weight, everything has gotten bigger, including my butt, and my jeans are tighter." They felt the same way, that they didn't love their huge muscles at first, but now they do because it means they're strong. Some of the women even said they wished their muscles were bigger, and now they just care about what their bodies can do, and what their goals are like to squat more weight, or do higher box jumps.

Doing CrossFit for six months has taught me one unexpected lesson that I feel like I've been trying to learn my entire life. To love my body. To genuinely feel proud of what it can do, and to not poke and prod at it for what society tells me it's supposed to look like.

I just turned 40 years old, and it's taken me a lifetime and two pregnancies to get my body to this point, so how could I expect everything to change in just six months? Even though I don't see the physical progress I thought I would in half a year of intense workouts, five days a week, the progress I see in what my body can do is what's become my focus.

I've hit some pretty monumental goals like climbing a 15-foot rope, doing my first strict pull-up, and a handstand push-up, and that feeling of pride has overcome my feelings of insecurity about my flabby, wrinkly baby belly. It's given me this newfound confidence and inspiration to become even stronger. It feels like for most of my life, I've been in a constant battle with myself, to do everything possible to shrink down and take up less space, but I actually like the feeling of taking up more.

So what if I'm not where I want to be? I'm getting there, right? And I'll continue to take progress photos each month so that one day I'll look back on these six-month pictures and see how this was just one step in my journey to becoming the strongest, best version of me.

And even though sharing these photos of me not quite reaching my goals is a little mortifying, the one thing that makes it easy is to think that someone on their own weight-loss or fitness journey relates to my story, and finds inspiration to keep pushing themselves and celebrate every moment of progress, no matter how small they think it is.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

5 Latina Fitness Influencers You Should Be Following on Instagram

Now that social media has such a firm grasp on pop culture, health and fitness content has blossomed into its own fitspirational category, especially on Instagram.

Personal trainers, health coaches, and nutritionists are using the photo-sharing app to share their healthy living content with the masses, creating virtual communities of people looking to stay motivated, and some of the most popular influencers in this space just so happen to be Latina. Read on to discover the gurus you need to follow to stay motivated through your workout routine, and then get pumped up with our energizing workout playlist.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

This Plank Workout Challenges Every Muscle and You Can Print It

It's time to plank! We've gathered our favorite variations into one challenging workout that will strengthen and tone your arms, abs, back, and butt. Pretty much, it will strengthen you all over. Click here for a printable PDF of challenge and get at it.

Need a refresher on some of these moves? Learn the details on each plank here.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Lea Michele Just Showed Off Some Serious Flexibility in Hawaii

The 1 Shame-Free Community That Made Me Fall in Love With Dance Again

This Fitness Marshall's Dance to Bebe Rexha Is So Fun, It's Electric

The new Bebe Rexha song is INSANELY fun, so of course we're dancing our butts off to it with The Fitness Marshall. This song's theme is "casting a love potion on someone to make them fall in love with us," so Caleb's choreography will naturally have some hilariously themed moves (read: gathering and snatching ingredients, including cream cheese . . . and the heart of a llama).

Our favorite line? "We're missing one ingredient, and that's hair flips." Trust us, you won't be able to stop moving to this song, or listening to it, or laughing at the hilarious coaching.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

23 Lightweight Running Jackets For Spring Workouts

The weather's warming up, which means it's time to say goodbye to the treadmill and hello to running on the streets. But as temperatures fluctuate, sometimes you still need an extra layer. We've found 23 jackets that will suit your Spring running needs - at any price point. Check it out and then hit the ground running!

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Shake Off Winter Blues With This Superhappy Workout Playlist

Best cure for seasonal affective disorder? Shaking off the Winter blues with an outdoor workout and a superpeppy playlist. These upbeat, dancy pop jams will help rid the Winter staleness and put a smile on your face, all while you're sweating to the beat.

If this mix isn't your speed or style, check out all of our workout playlists to find something that suits your taste. Just download the free Spotify software or app to listen to our playlists.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Reshape Your Butt With This Move

I like being a little sore the day after strength training. I consider it positive feedback that I am building new muscle right where I want it. This single-leg toe tap is so simple and effective that it always leaves my butt sore, in the best way possible. This move fires up the glutes through a large range of motion combining the benefits of a deadlift with a deep single-leg squat without putting extra pressure on your knees. What's not to love?

  • Holding a 10-pound dumbbell in your right hand, stand on your left leg with your right foot lifted.
  • Keeping your back flat, bend your left knee while bending forward at your hips to lightly touch the dumbbell to the ground. Keep your right knee bent and your right leg close to your body.
  • Push through your left heel and return to the starting position to complete one rep; try to keep your right foot off the ground as you complete all your reps.
  • Do 12 reps each leg for a set, and do two to three sets.

If you're new to strength training, try this exercise without a dumbbell and work up to adding weight.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Use This Pro Tip to Run Without Feeling Like Your Lungs Are Imploding

A couple weeks ago, we headed to the track at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco for some running drills with Adidas athlete and pro marathoner Neely Spence Gracey, who taught us an ingenious breathing trick for running longer without feeling like our lungs were going to implode.

Breathing is one of the most challenging aspects of running for beginners. And as a powerhouse endurance athlete, Neely has mastered the art of maintaining speed and power for hours on end, meaning she's had to fine tune what she eats, how she moves, and most importantly, how she breathes.

Her key to breathing success and more comfortable lungs? Match your breathing to your steps. "Breathe in for two steps, breathe out for two steps," she said. Neely suggests that if you're running slower, try breathing in for three steps, out for three; or even four and four. Find the pace and counts that work for you, and keep it consistent.


It seems simple, but it'll keep you from exhausting yourself or even hyperventilating. It will also ensure a steady delivery of oxygen to the muscles that need it most, so fewer chances of cramping or injuring yourself. Now remember: inhale, exhale. You've got this.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Own the Treadmill With This Interval Run - No Matter Your Level

Time to blast some fat with a drop-set interval run - perfect for your next treadmill workout. Because we love this workout so much, we've created three versions of this run, so choose the workout that works for your level. If you are new to running, try the walk/run plan. If you want to increase your speed, use the run faster program. And there are printable versions of all three levels. Can you tell? We really want you to try this effective workout.

Beginner: Walk/Run

Time Speed Incline Notes
0:00-5:00 2.5 0.0 Warmup
5:00-6:30 3.5 0.0 Easy
6:30-7:30 4.0 0.0 Moderate
7:30-8:00 4.5 0.0 Hard
8:00-9:00 2.5 0.0 Recover
9:00-10:30 3.5 2.0 Easy
10:30-11:30 4.0 2.0 Moderate
11:30-12:00 4.5 2.0 Hard
12:00-13:00 2.5 0.0 Recover
13:00-14:30 3.5 4.0 Easy
14:30-15:30 4.0 4.0 Moderate
15:30-16:00 4.5 4.0 Hard
16:00-17:00 2.5 0.0 Recover
17:00-18:30 3.5 2.0 Easy
18:30-19:30 4.0 2.0 Moderate
19:30-20:00 4.5 2.0 Hard
20:00-21:00 2.5 0.0 Recover
21:00-22:30 3.5 4.0 Easy
22:30-23:30 4.0 4.0 Moderate
23:30-24:00 4.5 4.0 Hard
24:00-25:00 2.5 0.0 Recover
25:00-26:30 3.5 6.0 Easy
26:30-27:30 4.0 6.0 Moderate
27:30-28:00 4.5 6.0 Hard
28:00-33:00 2.5 0.0 Cooldown

Intermediate: Run

Time Speed Incline Notes
0:00-5:00 4.5 0.0 Warmup
5:00-6:30 5.0 0.0 Easy
6:30-7:30 6.0 0.0 Moderate
7:30-8:00 7.0 0.0 Hard
8:00-9:00 3.5 0.0 Recover
9:00-10:30 5.0 2.0 Easy
10:30-11:30 6.0 2.0 Moderate
11:30-12:00 7.0 2.0 Hard
12:00-13:00 3.5 0.0 Recover
13:00-14:30 5.0 4.0 Easy
14:30-15:30 6.0 4.0 Moderate
15:30-16:00 7.0 4.0 Hard
16:00-17:00 3.5 0.0 Recover
17:00-18:30 5.0 2.0 Easy
18:30-19:30 6.0 2.0 Moderate
19:30-20:00 7.0 2.0 Hard
20:00-21:00 3.5 0.0 Recover
21:00-22:30 5.0 4.0 Easy
22:30-23:30 6.0 4.0 Moderate
23:30-24:00 7.0 4.0 Hard
24:00-25:00 3.5 4.0 Recover
25:00-26:30 5.0 6.0 Easy
26:30-27:30 6.0 6.0 Moderate
27:30-28:00 7.0 6.0 Hard
28:00-33:00 3.5 0.0 Cooldown

Advanced: Run Faster

Time Speed Incline Notes
0:00-5:00 5.5 0.0 Warmup
5:00-6:30 7.0 0.0 Easy
6:30-7:30 8.0 0.0 Moderate
7:30-8:00 9.0 0.0 Hard
8:00-9:00 4.5 0.0 Recover
9:00-10:30 7.0 2.0 Easy
10:30-11:30 8.0 2.0 Moderate
11:30-12:00 9.0 2.0 Hard
12:00-13:00 4.5 0.0 Recover
13:00-14:30 7.0 4.0 Easy
14:30-15:30 8.0 4.0 Moderate
15:30-16:00 9.0 4.0 Hard
16:00-17:00 4.5 0.0 Recover
17:00-18:30 7.0 2.0 Easy
18:30-19:30 8.0 2.0 Moderate
19:30-20:00 9.0 2.0 Hard
20:00-21:00 4.5 0.0 Recover
21:00-22:30 7.0 4.0 Easy
22:30-23:30 8.0 4.0 Moderate
23:30-24:00 9.0 4.0 Hard
24:00-25:00 4.5 0.0 Recover
25:00-26:30 7.0 6.0 Easy
26:30-27:30 8.0 6.0 Moderate
27:30-28:00 9.0 6.0 Hard
28:00-33:00 4.5 0.0 Cooldown

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Work Your Arms and Legs Together With This Lunge Variation

Ready to work your inner thighs, booty, calves, arms, shoulders, and back . . . all at once?? One move, no equipment, 20 reps alternating sides - ready? Let's go!

This reverse lunge adds some simple arm work to sculpt your back, shoulders, and upper arm muscles while working your legs and glutes. It's low impact and kinder to your knees, and will give you an excellent resistance workout - an awesome calorie-burner!

  • To begin, stand tall with your arms straight in front of you, making two loose fists. Take a large and controlled step backward with your left foot.
  • Lower your hips, coming into a lunge with your right thigh (front leg) parallel to the floor with your right knee positioned directly over your ankle. Your left knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor with your left heel lifted.
  • As you're lowering your hips, squeeze your shoulder blades together, bringing your elbows wide while keeping your arms parallel to the floor.
  • Return to standing by pressing your right heel into the floor and bringing your left leg forward while reaching your arms back to the starting position. Alternate legs, and step back with right leg to complete one rep. Yes! One rep equals lunging backward on each leg.
  • Continue alternating for a total 20 reps.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

11 Workouts For Ab Day Inspiration

This post is a love letter to ab day, because who doesn't love a workout dedicated to just your midsection? From two minutes to 20 minutes, we hope that one of these 11 workouts will be central to your next ab day.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Take 10 to Tighten and Tone Your Waist With This Abs and Back Workout

Take 10 minutes to work your waist with one of our favorite trainers on YouTube, Rebecca-Louise. You don't need any weights for this workout, which targets your abs, especially the obliques, and your back. Bonus: strengthening your core will help you stand taller too, and who doesn't want better posture. What are you waiting for? Just press play and work it!

On Anna: Lorna Jane, Onzie, and APL (Athletic Propulsion Labs)
On Rebecca: Asics, Lululemon, and APL (Athletic Propulsion Labs)
Manduka Mats

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

The Cheat Sheet to Washing Your Workout Clothes the Right Way

Activewear can be crazy expensive. The first time I bought a pair of full-priced Lululemon leggings, I had a miniature stroke; I had never paid that much for workout clothes. I kept them untouched with the tag on for days, just looking at this glorious, luxurious piece of athletic fashion — it was this treasured, unattainable thing that had finally become my possession, and it felt surreal. I imagine it's how my dad or brother would feel if they bought a Lamborghini. My Lambo was $100 yoga pants.

The glamour dissipates the moment you realize you're going to get really, truly, disgustingly sweaty in those treasured leggings. You're quite literally going to soil your expensive pants. Then you're going to toss them in the laundry, because gross. Sweat. Ew.

When you're returning your cherished activewear to its immaculately clean state, make sure you're doing it the right way. Improper washing and mindless missteps can destroy or significantly reduce the life of your workout clothes — and if you're like me, that is the last thing you want for your investment pieces. Even if you're not into the expensive stuff, you likely have a favorite pair of running shorts, the sports bra that fits you better than anything has ever fit you, or that one tank that just looks SO good on you. Very much like Beyonc√©, they're irreplaceable.


Here's a helpful guide to the right way to wash your clothes so they stay clean, fresh, and in your rotation for years. We chatted with the experts over at Nashville-based activewear brand Harper Knit, which essentially affirmed our laundry routine and gave us some solid stain-removing tips, too!

  1. DO: Use the right detergent. Sport-specific detergents can help fight odor from intense sweat sessions and remnant bacteria. Many of these detergents are also made to protect technical sports fabric.
  2. DON'T: Use too much detergent. Did you know that too much detergent can actually cause a new kind of stink? The experts at Harper Knit told us that because the washer only puts in enough water to wash out a set amount of detergent, the excess detergent gets left behind in your clothes, "creating a perfect environment for fungal growth, which can lead to a mildew-type odor." GROSS.
  3. DO: Turn it inside out. Since most of the sweat and bacteria is on the inside of the material, flip your clothes inside out. This will also help to protect the color and any kind of detail on your clothes (like foil logos or printed designs).
  4. DON'T: Use fabric softener. This is probably the cardinal rule of activewear maintenance. This is threefold: for one, fabric softener coats the clothing, which can trap the bad smells. Awesome. Secondly, coating can build up over time and damage fabric. And thirdly, if your activewear is moisture-wicking (drawing sweat to the surface), fabric softener will inhibit this technology — and usually that's the technology that warrants the inflated price!
  5. DO: Use cold water. Keep it fresh, keep it cold. Use a cold, gentle cycle to prevent shrinkage and the breakdown of materials. You'll also notice that on nearly every piece of activewear you own, the instruction label says cold-water wash only.
  6. DON'T: Throw your clothes in the dryer. Air-dry always! This prevents pilling, decoration dulling, and melting off (particularly reflective detail) and aids in the overall longevity of your product. I've seen too many cute reflective Nike logos fall off and perfect pairs of yoga pants start to pill and unravel to let you make the same mistake. Just air-dry it.
  7. DO: Remove stains safely. So you wore your yoga pants to breakfast after your AM Vinyasa and dripped aca√≠ all over yourself (trust me, I've been there too. . . . Did I mention those $100 yoga pants were white?). Maybe you have some hardcore sweat stains from working out super hard (badges of honor, honestly). Don't freak out — Harper Knit gave us a DIY stain-removing paste. Use three parts baking soda to one part water, rub the paste on the stain, and let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes before blotting it with a warm, damp towel. Then wash (with cold water, inside out, and no fabric softener!) — those nasty, set-in stains should be gone!
  8. DON'T: Let it sit in sweat. Your clothes are going to get smelly and nasty in a way that is hard to combat. If odor is a major issue for you, try soaking your clothes in half a cup of vinegar before tossing in the washer.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness