Happy New Year!
Welcome to my new blog, I am so excited to have you and ready to get started on our journey together to help uncover the very best version of YOU!!!!
Let’s start the new year off right by carving out a few minutes every day to spend on yourself. For each day of the week I will list the exercise to do and briefly describe how to properly perform it.
Please feel free to contact me with questions or follow me daily on my facebook page Patty Jones Fitness for daily reminders, encouragement and pictures!
So let’s get started:
Day 1: Perform 1 60 Second Plank
You can do this either all the way up, with your hands flat on the floor, lined up under your shoulders and your arms extended fully or resting on your forearms (this option is better if you have hand or wrist issues like carpal tunnel and is just as challenging for your abs). Your feet should be hip width apart and the goal is to keep your back nice and flat while lifting your belly up off the floor and keeping it engaged and tight through the whole minute.
Day 2: 2 Minutes of Jumping Jacks
Just like in grade school you start with arms down and feet together and then jump out while lifting your arms up and outward. Come on….you remember! Now get to it, start your timer and see how many you can do in this 2 minutes.
Day 3: 3 Sets of 10 Squats
Line your feet up slightly more than hip width apart, hips stacked over your knees and knees lined up over your ankles.
Pull your shoulders back and down away from the ears to start with a nice straight back. It’s important to maintain this neutral spine throughout the entire movement.
Extend your arms out straight, parallel with the ground, palms facing down (you remember how you dance with somebody in grade school? hold them up and out just like that!)
Start the squat by slightly pushing your hips back (as if you were unlocking them) as you keep pushing your hips backward (come on-stick it out, it’s ok, no one is watching!) start bending your knees. As you begin the decent don’t forget to think about keeping your spine straight and those shoulders back.
Bend your knees as you stick your bum back until you drop as low as your body allows but for most people you should aim to stop when your thighs (or Quads) are parallel with the floor, keeping your knees lined up over your feet.
Now that you are down there how do you get back up? Just focus your weight through your heels, squueze through your thighs and bum and pull yourself back up keeping your arms out, core engaged and back nice and flat.
(TIP: if you find its hard to keep your knees from drifting forward you can try to stand facing a wall which will force your body to drop back and the knees to stay straigh during the squat)
Day 4: Complete 4 Flights of Stairs (up and down!)
Find yourself a nice staircase and at whatever speed works for your fitness level go up them, and then turn around and come back down. Turn around, take a breath, repeat times 4! (Make sure to time yourself and jot it down somewhere so that you can see your progress the next time you try the same thing!)
Day5: 5 Burpees
Now these are one of my favorites but honestly most people you ask would probably call me crazy. Don’t listen to them-try them out and judge for yourself! It is a multi part move so it will take longer for me to explain that for you to do. Essentially, it is a drop down to a pushup and then a return to a standing postition. You can modify this depending on your fitness level. If you are a beginner: start in a standing position, bend at the knees until you can touch the floor with both hands placed shoulder width apart and then step back one leg at a time to end up in a plank position (or the top part of a push up). From this position do 1 push-up if you are able, keeping your back nice and flat and core engaged and then step your feet back in toward your hands one at a time. Squeeze through your glutes (bum), tighted your belly up and return to a standing position. Hurray!!! You did it!!! The best thing about burpees is that there are lots of ways to increase the challenge as you get stronger. Instead of stepping back into the plank, you can jump your feet back, do the push up, jump back forward and then instead of just standing up, you can add a little jump at the end or for the advanced fitness level add a nice strong tuck jump to the end of each burpee. Today do 5, and don’t forget to keep breathing!
Day 6: 6 Full Sun Salutations
This is a yoga move consisting of 12 asanas (or body positions) that is a wonder full body stretch. As I am not a certified Yogi, rather than try to explain it myself here is a link to a quick video: Sun Salutations for beginners
While you go through the positions think about your breath, connecting your breathing with your body movements, allow your muscles to relax and feel it get easier as your body adjusts to the new positions. Don’t judge yourself here, allow it feel good and use your first attempt as a personal starting point that you can improve from as your become stornger and more flexible.
Day 7: 7 Forward Lunges with Each Leg
Start with your feet together, tighten your abdominal muscles (or squeeze that belly in tight) and pull your shoulders back and down as though you are trying to tuck your shoulder blades in toward your spine.
Lift your right leg up off the floor, balancing on your left leg and then step the right leg forward. Keep your back straight and control your hips so that the movement and work is focused in your legs. Put the heel down first and then follow through with the entire foot so it is flat on the floor as your body weight shifts forward and your hips lower closer to the floor and the right knee bends until your thigh is parrallel to the floor. Pay attention to that front knee and don’t let it creep out past your toes.
To return to the standing, firmly push off with the front leg, activating both your thighs and butt muscles and pull the right foot back to it’s starting position. Now repeat with the left leg and do each leg 7 times.
CONGRATULATIONS! That is week 1 of this fitness challenge done. Finished. Complete. Check it off your list. Pat yourself on the back. Give yourself a high five in the mirror. Awesome job! Now don’t forget to follow through with Week 2.