Holiday Challenge Week #6: Workout of the Week

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Week #6 of the Holiday Challenge, we are focusing on strengthening our chest and back!

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 #6: Chest & Back

  • 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.
  • Supermans – 12 repetitions OR perform 30 to 45 seconds then rest 15 seconds
    • Modification: Try raising only your arms, then lower back to the ground before raising only your legs. You could also raise one arm or one leg at a time. Replace with bird-dogs or any of its modifications (listed below).
    • Challenge: Try holding for 3-5 seconds in the raised position. Hold a weight in your arms while performing this movement.
  • Push-Ups – 12 repetitions OR perform 30 to 45 seconds then rest 15 seconds
    • Modification: Try this exercise on your knees or try placing your hands on a stable chair or on the wall.
    • Challenge: Try holding for 1-2 seconds at the bottom of the movement, or perform a tricep push-up. You could also add a single-leg raise or stagger your hands.
  • 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 by moving one arm from your forearm position to a straight arm position, followed by the other, and then lowering back to your forearms. Alternate the arm you begin with. You could also try slowly raising and lowering one leg at a time while maintaining your plank position.
  • Shoulder Stabilization – 12 repetitions OR perform 30 to 45 seconds then rest 15 seconds
    • Modification: Perform this exercise standing. Be sure to engage, or squeeze, the muscles in your back. Eliminate the “O” position or any other positions if they are outside your range of motion.
    • Challenge: Hold light weights (such as a canned food item) while performing this movement.
  • 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.

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

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