Derby Diva Workout with Jill Woods

Story by Jeff Howard

Photos by Jillian Clark

With Derby right around the corner, you can feel the excitement in the air. We’re all gearing up for one of the year’s best events and preparing to look our best for it. I recently began thinking about a good workout to prepare our bodies for Derby, so I reached out to my friend Jill Wood, personal trainer and owner of Red Ride Fitness. She has trained some of the best bodies in Louisville.

One afternoon, I met Jill at The George on Seminary Woods Place, which has a state-of-the-art fitness facility on the property. Jill walked me through the workout she does for all of her clients this time of year and has allowed me to share it with you.

If you know Jill, you know that her heart is as big as her determination to help people get fit, so she designed this workout to coincide with the Derby Divas event – which is happening at Rodes For Him For Her on April 19. The Derby Diva workout uses a formula of weight resistance training and cardio training, going back and forth between the two to utilize both energy systems and give you a full-body workout.

All you will need to complete this is a mat or a towel, hand weights, kettlebell (optional), a timer and water.

Kettlebell Swing

30 seconds

Start with a wide Plié stance. Bend your knees to where you feel comfortable, and lower the kettlebell or weights towards the ground. Thrust up and lift the kettlebell or hand weight above yyour head, then allow the weight to carry you back to the ground. Keep your chest elevated and try not to swing from the hips.

Goblet squat to overhead press

15 reps x 3

Start in the squat stand with your feet facing forward. Imagine you’re sitting back into a chair. Holding a single weight with your arm against your body, push the body up towards the sky with arms extended overhead. Bring the arm back down towards the body while bending the knees and lowering yourself back to the floor.

Burpees with a push-up and a jump

Repeat for 30 seconds

Start with your feet hip-width apart. Bending at the knees, lower yourself to the floor. Once your hands touch the floor, extend your leg and lower the body to the floor. Pushing your body back up, bring yourself back to a standing position and jump up. For a modification, lower yourself to the floor, drop to your knees, lower your body to the floor, push back up and bring yourself back to a standing position.

Reverse lunge with a bicep curl

15 reps on each side x 3

Starting in a lunge stance, make sure your knee is over your ankle and your hand weights are by your side. Lift the back leg forward and bend the knee upwards toward the sky as you bend your elbows into a bicep curl. Repeat on the same leg for a full set. For a modification, do not use hand weights and place your hands on your waist.

Mountain climbers

Repeat for 30 seconds

Starting on all fours, extend your legs into a plank position. Bring one knee up towards your chest and then the other – imagine if you were jogging in a plank position. For a modification, bring your knees to the floor and bring one knee in towards your chest, alternating.

Up and down plank

15 reps x 3

Start on all fours and extend your legs into a plank position. Starting on your hands with your arms extended, lower your body to your elbows one at a time. Then, lift the body up by extending the arm back into a plank position, repeating back to the elbows. For a modification, do this with your knees on the floor or hold a plank.

*Before you start any diet or exercise program, always consult with your doctor.

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