Tag Archives: Push-up

Holiday Travel Workout

With so much traveling going on this holiday season, there’s not time to worry about packing equipment or finding a local gym. Here’s a four-exercise, full-body routine you can do anywhere. Time yourself (not including the warm up or cool down) and try to beat your time on subsequent runs. *click on each gallery to see larger images.
WARM UP – 3-5 minutes(yoga vinyasa, dancing, or gentle stretching)
15 reps/side              HALF to FULL STATIONARY LUNGE
Step forward about the length of one leg, come down halfway, lift up and then come down into a full lunge so that both legs come to a 90 degree angle. Lift all the way up to the starting position and repeat 15 times. Come back to standing, switch legs and repeat on the other side. *make sure to keep your abs engaged, body upright and knee aligning with your 2nd toe.

10 reps/side              SINGLE LEG TRICEPS DIPS
Start down in a crab position – fingers pointed towards your body, and lift one leg. Engage the abs to keep the leg lifted. Bend the arms and come back to a fully extend position to activate the triceps. Dip 10 times, lower your leg, switch sides and repeat 10 more times. *If you are having trouble with your balance, come down to two feet.

20 reps                      DYNAMIC SQUAT
 Start standing then jump feet apart and touch hands down to the floor as you come into a squat. Keep the chest lifted and don’t go further than thighs parallel to the floor. Squeeze the butt and abs as you jump to a standing position. Repeat 20 times.
10 reps                      PUSH UP TO SIDE PLANK
Start in a plank position with your wrists under your shoulders, and feet hip distance apart. Perform one push up and then come up through plank and rotate into a side plank with your right arm up. Feet should stay hip distant apart. Hold for four seconds, come through plank to perform another push up and then rotate to the left and hold for four seconds. Each side counts as one repetition and you’ll want to go up to 10.

*If you have trouble performing a push up in good form, come down to your knees for the push ups and then come back up to full plank before rotating.
Go through all exercises back to back without a break. At the end of the fourth exercise, rest for 90 seconds. Repeat once or twice depending on your fitness level.
COOL DOWN – 3-5 minutes (yoga vinyasas, or gentle stretching)
Warm up – 3-5 minutes (yoga vinyasa, dancing, or gentle stretching)
15 reps/side             Half to full stationary lunge R/L
10 reps/side             Single-leg triceps dips R/L
20 reps                      Dynamic Squat
10 reps                      Push-up to Side Plank (4 second hold in side plank)
Cool Down – 3-5 minutes (yoga vinyasas, or gentle stretching)

Plank Time

If you have ever been to a gym chances are that you have seen, or performed, the plank exercise. In its basic form you hold your body up in a push-up position anywhere from 30 seconds to over an hour (though I wouldn’t suggest holding for that long). While it’s an exercise promoted for core strength and stabilization, it’s actually an exercise that, when executed properly, can also work the muscles in your arms, shoulders, back and legs. With that being said, let’s talk about proper form.

1.  The easiest way to make sure you are in the correct position is to start by lying flat on the ground with your feet slightly apart. Position your hands right next to your chest so that your palms are directly under your shoulders. Make sure your fingers are spread wide. *If you have tight or weak wrists, you can perform a variation by putting your elbows on the ground right under your shoulders to prop you up.

2.  Curl your toes under and push your upper body up leaving your knees and feet on the floor. Swivel your arms (not hands) so your elbows are pointing back towards your body then lock your arms out so they are nice and straight. In this position you should be making one straight line from your head to your knees.

3.  Squeeze your shoulder blades together and down. This will prevent you from scrunching your shoulders  up to your ears. Tuck your tailbone slightly under and squeeze your abs, butt, and legs extending to a straight position. You are now in a perfect plank.

4.  Once in position, gaze slightly forward (not down or at your feet). This will keep your neck happy. You should be able to draw a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.  (No sagging back or butt sticking up). Make sure that your arms are locked, shoulders are away from your ears and your tail bone is tucked. Tucking the tailbone will save your low back and put more of a demand on the lower abdominal muscles.

Take a moment to feel your body in this position. This is where you want to be each time you get into a plank. If you’re new to this exercise, start slow with a 30 second plank each morning or night and work your way up to one or two minutes.  If you have little ones in the house, get them involved by timing you and cheering you on. Once you are able to comfortably hold a plank for a minute, you will be able to do all sorts of fun variations.