On the first day of Christmas my trainer to meeee 12 FREAKIN’ awesome mooooovves…wait. That is how it goes right? No? Oh well, here are my 12 moves for you to do this holiday season. I have focused on 12 of my top primary type movements so anyone can do these since you can modify them in so many ways!
Okay, its not really ONE given move, but Cardio is great! As you know my cardio of choice is running, but cycling is a close second. Find what YOU enjoy to do and get to it. I get it! Running is not the most enjoyable for everyone, so if you like cycling..CYCLE! or if you like playing soccer, join a team! Do what ever it takes to get those cardio minutes in! I always tell people to aim for at least 20 minutes a day. I mean you watch TV for 30 minutes? 20 minutes is so doable! If you can’t run consecutively yet, run for 90 seconds and walk for 2 minutes or what ever intervals work best for you! just get out there. Another one of my favorites? Jump rope while you watch your favorite TV show and perform jumping jacks during the commercial breaks. If you don’t have a jumping rope just mimic the jump rope motion by hopping and circle your hands as if you were holding onto handles!
Think squats are just for your legs? Wooah buddy. Wrong-o! This one is a full body exercise! Yes it does work your lower body but you must remember. Core is engaged (squeeeeeze those tummy muscles!), Shoulder blades are retracted and down (pretend you are squeezing a pencil in between your shoulder blades and if you let go..it falls! Don’t let go), chest is proud, knees do not surpass your toes, hips go back as if you are about to sit in a chair. You can modify this bad boy by adding a barbell on your shoulders or holding a dumbbell. If you are new to squatting and you find pressure on your knee, put a chair behind you and sit down just to tap your bottom on the chair and stand back up.
If you are a runner, I hope to hear you squat! This is not only great for those glutes, but for your hips, hamstrings, and core. All very important to runners.
Oh goodie! Another great move for my runner buddies. There are so many ways you can modify these. You can do them stationary on one leg then do the next set on the other leg. You can alternate them. You can walk while doing lunges. You can even make these a plyometric exercise by performing jump switch lunges!
This is also very good for runners, it strengthens the tissue around your hip girdle. Very important! Core must be engaged, slight bend in the standing knee and keep the moving leg straight. Bring the leg up as high as your flexibility will allow. You can bring balance into this by not holding onto something while preforming this.
Yeah! Channel that inner donkey! This little gem is great for the booty! (I have a kick-butt booty circuit I could post one day if there is enough demand for it 😉 No pun intended? who am I kidding, totally intended.) Make sure you keep the core engaged on this too and you don’t arch your back.
I have heard mixed reviews on exercising your calves. I believe you should, I think it has strengthens the muscle around the ankle joint. I used to sprain my right ankle CONSTANTLY but haven’t in sometime! I have heard some trainers disagree since you walk around all day and work them that way. Anyway, you can hold onto a chair while doing this or hold dumbbells to make it slightly harder.
Core engaged, shoulders over top of your hands, hips not too high or dipping too low, and when you bring your chest to the floor, don’t push your elbows out directly to the side. This may create tension on your rotator cuff and cause pain.
You can preform these from your toes on the ground if you feel that you can keep proper form while doing so. Or you can preform them on an angle like the photo shows or on a higher angle like off the back of a bench. I prefer people to preform pushups off an angle rather than the modified knee pushup since it is a better transition into the full pushup.
Triceps are those little muscles that are on the back of your arm. They work as a team with your biceps. When preforming this move make sure you keep your elbows point back, finger tips pointing forward, bum is close to the bench. To make this easier, keep your knees bent. To make it more difficult, straighten your legs or prop your legs up on a step or another bench.
9.) Pull-ups (assisted or not)
This is one I am still working on. In 2013, I WILL preform an unassisted pull-up. MARK MY WORDS! Until then, I will use bands or the assisted pull-up machine.
Core is engaged, squeeeezing those shoulder blades back and down, not letting your shoulders shrug up or come forward, chest is proud and feel that pinching in your Lat (the muscles on the sides of your upper back) and in your arms.
When ever working out your abs, you want to make sure you give your lower back some loving. Your abs and back work together! If you have a week core you will have soreness in your lower
back and vise versa. So with supermans you can either do 12 reps where you come up into the superman position. Or you can hold for 10-15 seconds and rest and go back into that hold.
So you can modify this by preforming this from your knees instead of from your feet. You want to keep those abs engaged and bring the hip to the ground JUST TO TAP your hip on the ground. No resting! Just a little love tap! Aim for 8-12 reps each side 🙂
Last but CERTAINLY not least, the plank. The MOTHER of all core work. This bad boy works more than just your abs. It is also a full body workout! Engage those abs. Suck the belly button into the spine. Have your shoulders over the elbows, hips are level..not too high or low, Spine is neutral and looking at the mat. You can make it more difficult by preforming half of the time balancing on one foot then switch feet. If you find this too hard to hold more than 10 seconds, hold for as long as you can and then drop down to your knees. Pop back up when you feel recovered! Aim for 30 seconds and work yourself up!