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Fusion Workout: Cardio, Strength and Yoga

by Linda Freeman-Webster on Jan 19, 2018

Group fitness fans love creative total-body workouts, and this class perfectly fits the bill by combining 3-minute intervals of cardio, strength and yoga into one fun, balanced experience. Customize this template to play to your strengths as a teacher and get people moving!

Sweat, Strength & Stretch (S3) Details

Goal/emphasis: total body

Total time: 1 hour

Equipment: yoga mats, one set of “heavy” dumbbells (10–12 pounds) and one set of “light” dumbbells (5–8 pounds) per person, jump ropes (or resistance bands), and a timer or stopwatch for the instructor

Music: Play a midtempo mix (132–135 beats per minute) for the warmup and main class, and then switch to a slower mind-body/mellow mix for the last 10 minutes, which is all yoga-based. If you’re making your own playlist, search for a variety of styles, genres and lengths to potentially avoid needing a timer/stopwatch (sync movements to music).

Warmup (5 minutes)

Perform each of the following for 30 seconds:

  • alternating knee lifts (pull knee into chest)
  • alternating hip circles (roll shoulders back)
  • alternating hamstring curls (gently pull foot closer to glute)
  • alternating side lunges (reach arm across body)
  • alternating high front kicks (reach opposite arm toward toe with big arm circle)
  • alternating reverse lunges (reach arm up to ceiling)
  • step-out squats right and left (reach arms forward)
  • sumo squats

Hold last squat and shift side to side for 10–20 seconds. Walk out to plank and do 5–10 pushups (modification: from knees). Walk hands back to feet and roll up through spine.


This class includes these components:

  • a 5-minute warmup
  • five 9-minute work segments consisting of 3 minutes of cardio, 3 minutes of strength and 3 minutes of yoga
  • 10 minutes of yoga practice for cooldown and stretch

Segment One (9 minutes)


  • Place jump rope or band in long line on floor.
  • Do lateral shuffle along length of rope (30 seconds).
  • Step forward and backward over rope while moving side to side (30 seconds).
  • Perform small side hops with both feet over rope while moving forward and backward (30 seconds).
  • Repeat all.

Strength (heavy weights)

  • Lunge back on R foot and do biceps curl with L arm; return to start and continue, 1 minute.
  • Switch to other side and repeat, 1 minute.
  • For last minute, perform bilateral triceps kickbacks from forward-bend position. Switch to lighter weights if needed.


  • Perform 2–3 rounds of sun salutation A, flowing from one posture to the next.
  • Hold downward-facing dog for 2 breaths.
  • Keep an even flow. Focus on the breath and do not stop for any significant amount of time.

Segment Two (9 minutes)


  • Do jumping jacks, 30 seconds. Offer low-impact options.
  • Do high knees or fast marching, 30 seconds.
  • Lightly leap or step side to side, 30 seconds (over the yoga mat is a fun option).
  • Repeat all.

Strength (one light weight)

  • Start in side plank, holding weight in upper hand, arm at side.
  • Perform lateral raises, bringing arm slightly higher than parallel to floor, 30 seconds.
  • Transition to pushups, 1 minute.
  • Do side-plank series on other side, 30 seconds.
  • For last minute, hold forearm plank or high plank or do more pushups.


  • Flow through sun salutation B, holding final downward-facing dog for 2 breaths.
  • After 2 cycles, if time permits, do alternating leg lifts from downward-facing dog, opening front hips.

Segment Three (9 minutes)


  • Jump rope for 1 minute.
  • Perform fast feet for 1 minute, emphasizing athletic-ready position.
  • Transition to high skipping in place.

Strength (one heavy weight)

  • Hold dumbbell at chest.
  • Squat with alternating knee lifts and torso rotation, 1 minute.
  • Hold weight overhead with both hands and do alternating lateral flexion, 30 seconds.
  • Repeat all.


  • Move through 2–3 rounds of sun salutation C.
  • Choose from knee-down hip flexor stretch, crescent lunge, standing lunge twist, etc.
  • Hold each posture for just 1–2 breaths. Allow participants to feel lengthening in the muscles without becoming too static.

For segments four and five, please see “Sample Class: Sweat, Strength & Stretch: S3” in the online IDEA Library or in the January 2018 print edition of Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at 800-999-4332, ext. 7.

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About the Author

Linda Freeman-Webster

Linda Freeman-Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Linda L. Freeman—IDEA Master Personal Trainer, author and frequent IDEA presenter—loves to fuse formats and share new ideas with other fitness colleagues. Owner of Guru Fitness® LLC, she presents workshops worldwide and stars in multiple fitness DVDs.