Hey happy Monday! If you are anything like me, it’s your first day back to work in a few days and you are probably dragging a bit! Well why don’t we turn that all around with an awesome workout! I was able to get to a hot vinyasa yoga class this weekend and I remembered how much shoulder and core strength you need to power up into handstands and vinyasa flows. So I thought I would design a workout that centered around shoulder, core, and even some leg/tush work. Sounds pretty good right?
To work the shoulders, arms and the chest, I decided to do push-ups and tricep pushups. My absolute favorite ab move that I learned in yoga was boat to low boat pose and it’s the highlight of the show here 🙂 To makes sure we hit every part of the body, my favorite love to hate move – chair pose! Anyone else love to hate chair pose?
This entire workout is done with the Zen Active Cork Yoga Block. I love the cork block, and did a review of it before here on the blog. I use the block a lot when I’m practicing yoga at home and when we go to our slow flow yoga class during the week. It’s great to help bring the floor up to you when your legs are tight or to help you get a little bit deeper in a stretch if you are really feeling flexible. I like to stand on the block and then bend over and stretch all the way to the floor. The cork block gives me a further range of motion and I can get deeper into the stretch.
The Zen Active cork yoga block is denser than the foam blocks you see at most yoga studios. Because it is so dense, I don’t have to worry about it breaking under my weight when I stand on it like this. Another positive is that I can use it for core work and because it has a little weight to it, it even adds resistance! That’s always a bonus in my book! You will notice when you use the cork block, that it is not slippery like foam blocks. This is an added bonus in a hot vinyasa class, as the block never gets slippery.
I personally think that a Zen Active Cork Yoga Block would be an awesome gift for anyone who practices yoga. Even if they have a foam block at home, the cork block is really a great upgrade! Zen Active also has some other great products, like the Zen Active Non-Slip Mat and the Zen Active Non-Slip Yoga Towel. If you want to see a yogi jump for joy, get them all three and watch their face light up! I have all three products and I use them every week. The non-slip mat towel changed my practice and I recommend it to anyone that asks me about my towel. I often play on my mat outside of yoga and the extra thick yoga mat that Zen Active makes is so awesome to do core work and practice my headstands and handstands on because it is a little bit thicker than most yoga mats. Here is a coupon code for anything you order from Zen Active Good through the end of the giveaway!
As promised here is a workout using the Zen Active Cork Yoga Block. Be prepared to have your arms, shoulders, core and legs on fire by the end 🙂
Alternating hand push-ups on the cork block: Start in push-up position, with your right hand on the block and left hand on the mat. Push-up then keeping the core engaged, move the left hand to meet the right on top of the cork block. Switch sides so that left hand is now on the block and right hand is on the floor and pushup. Do 10 push-ups total then move to the next move.
Russian Twists with the cork block: Start sitting on the floor, feet in front of you, holding the block in both hands. Keeping the abs engaged, lean back slightly so that you are at about a 45 degree angle from the floor. You have the option to lift your feet off the ground or keep them grounded while performing the twist. To engage the obliques, twist to the side holding the block in both hands. Touch the floor with the block then bring it back to center. Twist to the other side, touching the floor with the block again. Do 25 total reps of this move before moving to the next exercise.
Chair to low chair: Stand up straight, put the block between your thighs. Squeeze the block together and lower your legs into a squat position – like you are going to sit down in a chair. Hold this position for one rep. Squeezing the block, engage the core and bring the belly button in as you lower down even further into the chair bringing your hands forward into low chair. Hold for one count before going back to chair. Do 20 reps (chair to low chair) before moving to the next exercise.
Tricep Pushups: Get into plank position with the block directly under your chest, the block should be long ways and flat so it has the most coverage on the floor (see pics). On your knees, move your hands so that they are holding both sides of the block. Your wrists should be right below your shoulders. Either go back to toes or stay on the knees. Lower down and bend your elbows (hands should still be under the shoulders) and elbows stay close to the body. Push back up to starting. Do 10 reps before moving to the next exercise.
Boat to low boat: Sit down with feet out in front of you. Lift your legs and bend at the knee so that you can comfortably rest the cork block on your shins. As you did in the russian twists, lean back so that you are about 45 degrees from the floor, ab engaged. This is boat position. Hold for one count. Keeping the block where it is, extend the legs out and lower the torso down so that your shoulders and feet are hovering over the mat. This is low boat position. I like to bring my hands into prayer but that is just what I”m used to for yoga- it’s not required. Engaging the core, come back to boat position. Do 10 reps.
Complete this workout as many times as possible in a 15 minutes.
If you liked this workout, you should try this workout as well! There is also a yoga inspired cardio blast workout on the blog over at ZenActive. You should go check it out, it is crazy fun and will get you burning fat quickly!!