How to Partner Up for Workout Success

How to partner up for workout success

One of the things best things about HIIT workouts is that you don’t need much (if any!) equipment or space to do them.

In fact, HIIT workouts can be done outside, in a small apartment, a hotel room…pretty much anywhere you can fit your body!

And while bodyweight-centered HIIT workouts are one of the most efficient ways of getting a workout done fast, we all know that plateaus happen and sometimes we just want to shake up the regular routine.

A great way to do that is looking to a friend, family member, or partner to join in on your workout!

Read moreHow to Partner Up for Workout Success

Workout Highs and Lows: Why They’re Normal and How to Deal With Them

workout highs and lows: why they're normal + how to deal with them

Throughout your fitness journey you’re bound to experience highs and lows. Even the most experienced athletes can attest to this.

“Highs and lows” can look different for everyone, but here are some common situations I hear about from students and clients:

…You experienced rapid progress at the start of your journey, but your gains are slowing down or have come to a standstill. (plateaus)

…You challenged yourself to start a new skills program or fitness plan, and you’re really struggling. (need to scale back)

…You were motivated and on a roll, but now you’re lacking inspiration and skipping workouts. (boredom/lack of interest, or life change)

…You’ve recently been injured and don’t know how to keep up with your goals while working below full capacity.

Do any of these sound familiar?

As you continue to challenge your body and push your limits, you’ll likely run into roadblocks at times. Whether your progress has slowed, your motivation is lacking, or you’re just not seeing the results you expected, rest assured that every athlete experiences challenges like this.

Here are some recommendations for getting past the “lows” and getting back to the “highs” of exercise – progress, health, and happiness!

Read moreWorkout Highs and Lows: Why They’re Normal and How to Deal With Them

How to Bounce Back from Injury

how to bounce back from injury

If you’re active and moving your body, it’s almost a guarantee that at some point you will experience an injury.

Injuries can include everything from a pulled muscle to a broken bone.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—as you challenge your body and push your limits, you’ll inevitably run into minor injuries from time to time.

Yet when you get injured and can’t work out in the ways you’re used to, it’s easy to get discouraged.

This can lead to falling into unhealthy habits, or giving up exercise entirely.

At its worst, the mindset of “I can’t” starts to creep back in….

  • I can’t EVER do this exercise because of my injury
  • I can’t work out consistently without getting injured
  • I can’t ever get back to where I was pre-injury

It might not feel that way at the time, but these kinds of statements are often much more detrimental than the physical injury itself.

Here’s how to get out of the “I can’t” territory and bounce back from injuries in a healthy, sustainable way:

Read moreHow to Bounce Back from Injury

June Flexibility Challenge – Week 4: Chest, Back, + Core

12 Minute Athlete Flexibility Challenge Week 1: Chest, back + core

It’s the last week of the 12 Minute Athlete June Flexibility Challenge!

For our final week, we’re focusing on some often-forgotten areas to stretch: the chest, back, and core.

You’ve probably heard of these muscle groups being paired up in strengthening workouts…

…but stretching?

Most of us don’t dedicate these kinds of  stretches into our regular fitness routine.

But we should! Because the chest, back, and core are all MUSCLES.

That means that when we strengthen them, we shorten them. And it’s important to lengthen them back out if we want to keep using them to their full capacity.

So let’s give these muscle groups some TLC with the following exercises; do this routine at least three times per week in addition to your regular workouts to build a more flexible chest, back, and core.

It’s the last week – let’s see those progress posts! Use the tags @12minuteathlete and #12MAflexibility on our Facebook Group and Instagram for a chance to win my favorite foam roller and a signed copy of the 12 Minute Athlete book!

Looking for the full Flexibility Challenge calendar? Go here.

Read moreJune Flexibility Challenge – Week 4: Chest, Back, + Core

June Flexibility Challenge – Week 3: Flexible Hips + Glutes

12 Minute Athlete Flexibility Challenge Week 1: Flexible Hips + Glutes

We know you’re going to love Week 3 of the June Flexibility Challenge, because this week we’re focusing on a spot that’s tight for many of us…the hips and glutes!

Because 12 Minute Athlete workouts are HIIT and circuit-based and mainly focus on total-body strength, you’re using your hips and glutes in just about every exercise. Add that to walking around on your legs every day, and it’s no wonder that so many athletes have constant tightness in these areas.

Flexibility in the hips and glutes can benefit athletes in tons of exercises such as squats, side lunges, and step ups.

Plus, staying flexible in those areas will help you with mobility in non-athletic movements like picking up something off the floor, sitting comfortably in a chair, walking up the stairs, going for a stroll…

…you get the idea. These areas are involved in so many movements, so working on getting more flexible hips and glutes is a great goal for any athlete.

Aim to do this exercise routine at least three times per week in addition to your regular workouts.

Have you been posting pictures of your progress to the 12 Minute Athlete Facebook Group and on Instagram

Use the tags @12minuteathlete and #12MAflexibility, and you might be selected as the  winner of my favorite foam roller and a signed copy of the 12 Minute Athlete book!

If you’re just starting the challenge, click here to get the full challenge calendar!

Looking for the weekly exercise posts? Find them here:

Read moreJune Flexibility Challenge – Week 3: Flexible Hips + Glutes

June Flexibility Challenge – Week 2: Flexible Shoulders

It’s Week 2 of the June Flexibility Challenge! Are you feeling more flexible yet?

This week we’re focusing on overhead and shoulder mobility. Flexible shoulders can help you in SO many exercises, like handstands, pull ups, burpees, and more!

Building up your shoulder flexibility is also a great way to counteract the slouched position that so many of us spend time in these days.

If you spend a good portion of your day sitting at a desk working on a computer, these stretches will help you straighten out and make your shoulders feel AMAZING!

Keep sharing pictures of progress with the tags @12minuteathlete and #12MAflexibility for the chance to win my favorite foam roller and a signed copy of the 12 Minute Athlete book!

Check out my Instagram or Facebook page to find videos, and download the full workout calendar here.

Aim to do the exercises for Week 2 at least three times this week, in addition to your regular workouts.

You can also continue to do last week’s stretches to keep building up that hamstring and hip flexor flexibility.

Just joining us? Find the challenge info and workout calendar here, or click here to head over to the Week 1 exercises

Read moreJune Flexibility Challenge – Week 2: Flexible Shoulders

June Flexibility Challenge – Week 1: Flexible Hamstrings + Hip Flexors

It’s time to get bendy! To kick off Week 1 of the June Flexibility Challenge, we’re focusing on building more flexible hamstrings and hip flexors. 

Many athletes struggle with chronically tight hamstrings, and that can inhibit your workouts – not to mention making you really uncomfortable in any kind of straight-leg position.

Some of our favorite 12 Minute Athlete exercises like pistol squats, front splits, and mountain climbers rely on mobility in the hips and hamstrings to truly get the best out of the workout.

So we’re going to open them up to see what a difference more flexible hamstrings can make!

Getting more flexible hamstrings might seem like a long shot now, but do this exercise routine at least three times per week in addition to your regular workouts and see if you notice a change!

Follow along with the 12 Minute Athlete community by posting pictures of your progress on our Facebook group  with the tags @12minuteathlete and #12MAflexibility.

Remember, one lucky participant will win my favorite foam roller and a signed copy of the 12 Minute Athlete book.

Visit the main challenge page to download the workout calendar to help you stay on track with your exercises.

Oh, and don’t forget to warm up first! You can either do these stretches immediately after your workout or after a short dynamic warm up. You should never stretch completely cold.

Read moreJune Flexibility Challenge – Week 1: Flexible Hamstrings + Hip Flexors

The 12 Minute Athlete June Flexibility Challenge

12 Minute Athlete Flexibility Challenge

“Get more flexible” is a common goal in the 12 Minute Athlete community. So for our June community challenge, we’re focusing on building flexibility through targeted stretches and mobility work. 

Flexibility isn’t just helpful for stretching into cool-looking poses, although it’s an awesome perk! Improving your flexibility and mobility can help you maintain proper form in your workouts, help your muscles recover faster, and improve your overall posture in your daily life.

If you…

  • Want to feel less tight following a workout
  • Spend most of your workday sitting at a desk
  • Want less back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, etc.
  • Have trouble getting through a workout because of tight muscles
  • Want to improve your form during workouts
  • Feel muscle imbalances when you have extended exercise (like walking, running, and hiking)

…then this challenge is for you!

Download the challenge calendar here. 

Read moreThe 12 Minute Athlete June Flexibility Challenge

Why Working Out Isn’t Just For Looks

Like so many people, when I first started my fitness journey, I worked out solely because I wanted to lose weight, get leaner, and feel better in my body.

And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to feel confident about how you look, in my experience working out for looks alone has several different issues with it:

  • Every time I would miss a workout, “cheat” on my diet, or eat dessert, I felt like a failure.
  • It wasn’t very easy to track my progress, since stepping on the scale alone isn’t a reliable measure of weight loss progress.
  • Working out to “look good” didn’t motivate me in the long-term, so I constantly struggled with consistency.

It wasn’t until I found other intrinsic reasons to work out that had nothing to do with my appearance that I was finally able to develop a lifelong fitness habit and become the become the athlete I had never before believed I could be.

Here are some really good reasons to work out (that have nothing to do with your appearance):

Read moreWhy Working Out Isn’t Just For Looks

How to Become a Workout Person for Life

You might not know this about me, but I wasn’t always a “workout person.”

Although I played soccer and basketball growing up, as soon as I left for college, I stopped doing any movement of pretty much any kind.

I didn’t go to the gym or work out. I didn’t have any fun active hobbies that I did regularly or play any sports. I barely even walked on a daily basis.

Not only did I gain the typical freshman fifteen (or twenty) as a result, I also had low energy, low self-esteem, and felt just super lost and unconfident about my life in general.

It really took finding fitness to get me out of that rut—but it didn’t happen overnight.

It took years of experimenting before I finally considered myself a “fitness person” and built a workout habit that finally stuck.

Here are my top tips to get there much quicker than I did:

Read moreHow to Become a Workout Person for Life

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