Week #1 of the Holiday Challenge, we are focusing on strengthening our core!
Every week throughout the Holiday Challenge, we are posting a resistance workout for participants looking to engage in muscle-strengthening activities. Each workout has a different focus, but all include modifications so that individuals of various fitness levels can participate. We encourage everyone to look up additional modifications if necessary. Try searching YouTube for standing workouts, standing abs, no jumping workouts, or similar phrases to find more options that better suit your needs. No jumping and no noise workouts are great options for individuals looking for low-impact routines or for those living on the upper levels of an apartment complex.
- Disclaimer: Individuals should seek medical evaluation and clearance from a doctor before beginning any exercise regimen. All activities should be carried out at a pace and intensity that is comfortable for the individual.
- Be as physically active as any health conditions, injuries or disabilities allow. Refer to these resources to find activities that work for you.
- Increase your activity levels gradually. Take into account where you are now, where you want to be and increase your activity over time.
- Warm up your muscles and increase your heart rate with 5 – 10 minutes of a low intensity activity like walking or marching in place.
- Prioritize proper form over the number of repetitions, amount of weight or time you perform the exercise. Using proper form will prevent injury and help you to focus your efforts on the intended muscle(s).
- Adjust the number of repetitions, sets, exercise duration and/or rest intervals to fit your needs and to ensure you maintain proper form.
- For most exercises that involve movement, using a slow and controlled tempo is best.
- All exercises can be performed without weights (even if the animations include them).
- Workouts or exercises can be performed with specific numbers of sets and repetitions or by performing the exercise for a specific amount of time and resting for another specified time interval.
- Don’t be afraid to try any of the modifications or challenges or search for additional resources.
- Cans or water bottles make great light weights for at-home workouts if you would like to add a little bit of an extra challenge to an exercise.
Week #1: Core
- Aim for 3 sets of each exercise. Adjust sets, repetitions and times to fit your needs and ensure you can maintain proper form.
- You may perform all sets of each exercise before moving to the next, or perform each exercise once and then repeat all of them for a circuit-style workout.
- Plank – Hold for 30 to 45 seconds then rest for 15 seconds
- Modification: Try placing your forearms or hands on a stable chair or on the wall or lowering your knees to the floor.
- Challenge: Try a plank march, alternating the arm you begin with. You could also try slowly raising and lowering one leg at a time while maintaining your plank position.
- Crunches – 12 repetitions OR perform 30 to 45 seconds then rest 15 seconds
- Modification: Perform standing crunches. Place your hands behind your ears, raise one knee towards your chest as you bend your upper body to your knee. Alternate the knee you raise.
- Challenge: Try bicycle crunches.
- Russian Twists – 12 repetitions OR perform 30 to 45 seconds then rest 15 seconds
- Modification: Try trunk rotations either standing or in a chair. Extend your arms straight out in front of you if possible.
- Challenge: Hold a weight in your hands.
- Dead Bugs – 12 repetitions OR perform 30 to 45 seconds then rest 15 seconds
- Modification: Extend only your legs or perform a single leg stand while alternating legs.
- Challenge: Try not to let your feet touch the floor or fully extend your legs and/or arms.
- Bird-dogs – 12 repetitions OR perform 30 to 45 seconds then rest 15 seconds
- Modification: Lift and extend one arm, lower, then lift and extend your opposite leg. Try balancing on one leg and lifting your opposite arm above your head and then switching.
- Challenge: Draw arm and opposite leg in to perform a crunch by touching your elbow to your knee under your stomach and then lower both to the ground.
Stay tuned for next week’s workout of the week!
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