Holiday Challenge Week #7: Workout of the Week

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Week #7 of the Holiday Challenge, we are focusing on strengthening our entire body with an EMOM (every minute on the minute) workout!

Every minute on the minute (EMOM) workouts are a type of HIIT workout and combine short, maximal efforts with rest intervals. While this is a muscle-strengthening workout, performing it in a HIIT-style also makes it an aerobic activity that contributes to your weekly aerobic activity minutes. You always have the option to perform this as a traditional strength workout with sets and repetitions if that better fits your needs and preferences.

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.

This workout follows a different format than our previous ones. Follow the workout as written if you would like to try the EMOM option. If you would prefer a traditional workout, aim for 3 sets of 12 repetitions for each exercise. As always, make any adjustments and focus on maintaining proper form.

Week #7: Total Body – EMOM

  • Each minute, perform 6 repetitions of the first exercise, followed by 6 repetitions of the second exercise without resting in between. After completing all 12 repetitions, rest for the remainder of the minute.
    • Minute #1: Perform 6 reverse ab crunches, 6 crunches, then rest for the remainder of the minute.
    • Minute #2: Perform 6 push-ups, 6 triceps kickbacks, then rest for the remainder of the minute.
    • Minute #3: Perform 6 squat jumps, 6 reverse lunges, then rest for the remainder of the minute.
  • Repeat this 3-minute cycle 3 to 6 times for a heart-pumping and muscle-strengthening workout.
  • Adjust the number of repetitions to fit your needs. Aim for about 15 – 20 seconds of rest each minute.
  • If you are getting less than 15 seconds of rest after completing both exercises, try decreasing the number of repetitions by 1 or 2 for each exercise.
  • If you are getting more than 20 seconds of rest after completing both exercises, try increasing the number of repetitions by 1 or 2 for each exercise.

Minute #1

  • Reverse Ab Crunch – 6 repetitions
    • Modification: Perform a single-leg stand or reverse marches.
    • Challenge: Fully extend your legs before bringing them back to the starting position. Try extending your arms overhead or even holding a weight with straight arms above your chest or head.
  • Crunches – 6 repetitions
    • 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.

Minute #2

  • Push-Ups – 6 repetitions
    • 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.
  • Triceps Kickback (a canned food item makes a great weight) – 6 repetitions
    • Modification: Try this exercise using only your body weight. Engage, or squeeze, the muscle in the back of your upper arm as you extend backwards.
    • Challenge: Hold your arm in the backward, extended position. Try pulsing upwards.

Minute #3

  • Squat Jump – 6 repetitions
    • 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).
  • Reverse Lunge (with or without rotation) – 6 repetitions
    • Modification: Hold onto a wall or a chair for support.
    • Challenge: From the lunge position, bring your back leg up to hip height and balance before returning to the starting position. Try adding weight or performing plyometric (jumping) lunges.

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

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