This exercise challenge was created to beat the holiday bulge, strengthen your core muscles, keep working and improving leg strength, and increase upper body strength. It is a mixture of exercises that will help us ladies feel good and look good! And every time you want to swear at me for making you do a push up, think about the fact that you are tightening your pecs and helping to keep your upper body nice and toned and perky!! Join me, get mad at me, and show me up by getting fit and healthy and preventing the holiday weight gain!!
The main exercises we will focus on are:
Squats: Strengthen your lower body and core muscles such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, gluteals, lower abs, and lower back muscles. To perform a squat appropriately, you want to squat straight down (feet hips width apart) as if you are about to sit in a chair (think butt out) as far down as you can go keeping your balance and posture, then stand back up straight.
Planks: Strengthen your upper, middle, and lower core such as the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, oblique muscles, pectoralis, serratus, and the quadriceps muscles. You can perform a plank from your knees OR resting on your elbows with your forearms resting on the ground (modified) OR from a high plank position with your hands shoulder width apart, straight body, and on the balls of your feet. Hold steady keeping your back straight and butt in!
Push-Ups: Strengthen and tone abdominals, pectoralis, triceps, and bicep muscles. You can perform a push up from your knees (modified) or from a high plank position (hands shoulder width apart, straight body, and on the balls of your feet), with a straight body, in a controlled motion, lower your body to 6” off the ground, and push back to the top position.
Reverse Crunches: strengthen and tone the lower abs, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Perform laying flat on the ground (with hands under your lower back from comfort, if necessary), pull your knees into your abdomen, then push out to straight legs with pointed toes 6” off the ground, and pull them back in.
Oblique Crunches: Strengthen and tone the external oblique abdominal muscles. Perform with your legs at a 45 degree angle raised 6” off the floor and your upper torso also 6-8” off the floor, either with a medicine ball or pretending to hold one, twist to the left with your upper torso and keep your legs in the same position, then go back to center and repeat on the right side. Each side is considered one “crunch”.
Straight Crunches: Strengthen and tone your core abdominal muscles. Perform with your hands interlaced behind your head, not pulling on your head or neck, and with your knees bent and back flat on the floor, pull up using our core abdominal muscles to a 45 degree angle and release, in a controlled fashion.
The Challenge (should you choose to accept it):
Day 1: 50 Squats & 2 minute Plank
Day 2: 75 Squats & 3 minute Plank
Day 3: 85 Squats & 25 Push-ups
Day 4: 100 Squats & 40 Push-ups
Day 5: 50 Push-ups & 3 minute Plank
Day 6: 4 minute Plank & 100 Squats
Day 7: Rest Day
Day 8: 5 minute plank
Day 9: 40 Reverse Crunches & 110 Squats
Day 10: 50 Reverse Crunches & 6 minute Plank
Day 11: 60 Reverse Crunches & 50 Push Ups
Day 12: 50 Oblique Crunches & 50 Reverse Crunches
Day 13: 7 minute Plank
Day 14: Rest Day
Day 15: 50 Push Ups & 80 Oblique Crunches
Day 16: 120 Squats & 8 minute Plank
Day 17: 140 Squats & 60 Oblique Crunches & 60 Reverse Crunches
Day 18: 100 Straight Crunches
Day 19: 60 Push Ups & 60 Straight Crunches & 60 Oblique Crunches
Day 20: 8 minute Plank
Day 21: Rest Day
Day 22: 100 Reverse Crunches & 75 Push Ups
Day 23: 160 Squats & 120 Straight Crunches
Day 24: 170 Squats & 80 Oblique Crunches & 80 Reverse Crunches
Day 25: 80 Push Ups & 140 Straight Crunches
Day 26: 200 Squats & 100 Oblique Crunches & 100 Reverse Crunches
Day 27: 9 minute Plank
Day 28: Rest Day
Day 29: 90 Push Ups & 150 Crunches
Day 30: 100 Push Ups & 230 Squats
Day 31: 10 minute Plank
And as always, if you have any medical problems, please speak to your HCP before starting the challenge, and you can always modify the exercises to prevent any injury!
Yours in Good Health