Monday, November 16, 2015

Cross-training with Workout Videos

Hey guys! How was your weekend? Mine was pretty good. Had a nice 8-miler on Sunday, my longest run in a while. The group I went with was doing 5:1 run, walk intervals, so I did that. I don't usually like to walk unless I have to but I was able to keep a slightly faster pace by doing that. It was still a lot easier of a pace for them than it was for me, hopefully it's helping me improve my endurance pace.

PiYo for Runners Image from BeachBody.com
 Anyway, today is Monday and on the Hal Higdon plan I'm following that means it's "Stretch and Strength" day. Sometimes I use this as a more general cross-training day since there are no days specifically marked "cross-training" on this schedule, but I usually try to get some kind of stretching in there, figuring that cross-training fits the "strength" part as it working muscles, right? Cross-training has so many benefits. It helps with recovery (active recovery, yo!) and works muscle that may not get used much during your main sport but supports muscles that do.

Sure, mainly people choose to go to the gym for their cross-training but with a budget and little kids that's not possible for me. What I will often do on these days is get up a little later than my running days (yea sleep!) and follow along with a workout video. Sometimes it's PiYo, sometimes yoga, other times a simple weight routine with either dumbbells or a kettlebell. Today, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite sources for these workouts I use on my cross-training or "Stretch and Strength" days.

Image from Amazon
I used to really like the videos from Gaiam's "Wake Up Work Out" series when they were on Hulu, but they are no longer there and I miss them. Rodney Yee did a couple of the workouts I really liked from that series, so I was able to find a couple of his DVDs, like Yoga Burn with Rodney Yee and Yoga Conditioning for Athletes. I really like all of his videos and he's a great example of how yoga can really work your muscles. He even has a Family Yoga video that I've done with the kids a couple of times.

Then, of course you have the PiYo videos from Team Beachbody and Chalene Johnson, that I've talked about before. I still love these and while I'm not following the schedule right now, on one of my "strength and stretch" days or "rest" (that just means no running) days, I will choose one of the PiYo videos, or a video from Chalene's older set Chalean EXtreme, based on how much time I have and what area I want to focus on. I often choose upper body or core, since my lower body gets plenty of work through running and biking.

Bikini Kettlebell Image from ToneItUp.com
Some videos that I've known about for a while but only recently started following regularly are from Tone It Up. I still haven't explored everything on their site, but I know they also have some food plans and other fitness/health tips on their blog and even some makeup and hair stuff. They also have a book, which I have not read. I really just watch the videos they have on their YouTube channel. Occasionally I find them annoying as instructors, but most of the videos are pretty short so I don't have to put up with it for long, ha! I do prefer Katrina (the blonde) over Karena as an instructor. They have all different types of workouts from full body to yoga to focused toning exercises. One of the first videos I watch from them was a kettlebell instructional when I had first bought a kettlebell; it was very helpful. They also have challenges and community programs you can join, which I've never done, but I know that helps some of you stay motivated, so check that out.

Do you have workout videos you follow regularly? Any favorites? Let me know in the comments below.

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