Holiday Challenge Week #3: Workout of the Week

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Week #3 of the Holiday Challenge, we are focusing on strengthening our lower body!

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 upper levels of an apartment complex.

General Reminders:

  • 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.

Workout Reminders:

  • 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 #3: Lower Body

  • 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.
  • For each exercise: 12 repetitions OR perform 30 to 45 seconds then rest 15 seconds
  • Side Lunge
    • Modification: Hold onto a wall or a chair for support.
    • Challenge: From the lunge position, bring your leg up to hip height and balance before returning to the starting position. Try adding weight.
  • Squat Jump
    • Modification: Perform a squat, then stand up on your toes for a calf raise rather than jumping.
    • Challenge: Try pulsing 3 times when you are at your lowest squat position (raise a few inches, lower back to lowest position, then repeat).
  • Calf Raises
    • Modification: Hold onto a wall or a stable chair for support. Try sitting in a chair with your feet planted flat on the floor. Push your toes into the floor and squeeze your calf muscles as you lift your heels.
    • Challenge: Try single-leg calf raises or hold weights by your side while performing this movement.
  • Side Lying Hip Abduction
    • Modification: Perform this movement in a standing position. Hold onto a wall or a stable chair for support.
    • Challenge: Try holding your leg up for 1-2 seconds before lowering back down to the starting position.
  • Sumo Rotational Squat
    • Modification: Try this without the rotation. Hold onto a wall or a stable chair for support.
    • Challenge: Try pulsing 3 times when you are at your lowest squat position (raise a few inches, lower back to lowest position then repeat).

Check out previous workouts of the week for more muscle-strengthening activities!

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