March 2014 Challenge

The plank. It’s simple. It’s functional. And it can make you cry.march_challenge
This month’s challenge is ‘The 5 Minute Plank’.

The Challenge
Everyday for the month of March try to hold a plank for a total of 5 minutes. Time starts when you when you are in a plank position, time stops when you break from the plank position. Your goal is to get a total of 5 minutes.

Goal
The goal is to hold a plank for 5 minutes without breaking position by the end of March!

Fit Fridays Challenge
Here’s your bonus challenge. Every Friday for the month of March, we want you to hold the plank for a total of 10 minutes! Same rules, just longer.

plank
Trainer Cues:
Keep your tummy tight and engaged
Keep your head in a neutral position
Keep your ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, and head in line
Don’t forget to breathe

Progressions
Start off the month with holding the longest plank you can. Use that as the standard for the next 30 days. Your goal is to hold a 5 minute plank by the end of the month. It’s hard to do, but it’s worth the effort!

If holding a plank is too hard, start with short intervals from your knees, come off your knees for a few seconds and return to your knees. Continue that until you build up the strength to stay off your knees for a longer periods of time.

Here are some tips on progressing up to that 5 minute mark:
Start with 30, 45, or 90s intervals, go shorter if necessary. For example, hold a plank for 30s, rest for 15s, repeat until you have 5 minutes in a plank position.

As you get better, extend your intervals to 60s, 90s, or 120s.

Use Fridays as a way to test yourself with how long you can hold a plank, see if you can improve your longest hold each week.

Tell us your progress
Check in every Friday with your progress by posting in the comments below!

Ready? Go!

Half Get-Up

Half Get-up

Add this great core exercise to your workout!

Try doing 10 reps on each side for 3 sets.

Cues:
Keep those legs straight!
Keep your eyes on the weight!
Start with light weight, master the movement, then go heavier.

Let’s Get That Body Summer Ready!

Despite the cold spring weather, summer is coming and with summer comes summer clothes. Are you ready for them? Here are a few ideas how to get your body ready for the summer wear!

SpringClean Up Your Menu
Challenge yourself to eat 5 different vegetables a day. Have fruit for breakfast instead of that bagel. Switch to black coffee instead of the sugary stuff you’re having now. Eat nuts for sustaining energy in the afternoon instead of that energy drink. You’d be surprised how making just a few minor changes can make you feel great and make a big change on the scale.

Get Moving
This is the obvious one, but you need to start exercising. It doesn’t need to be the endless intense session at the gym 7 days a week. Thirty minutes a day of activity is a great start. Walking, jogging, strength training, group exercise classes, swimming, it doesn’t matter just start doing something!

Track your progress
Need some motivation? Try on those summer clothes and track how they fit week by week. Hang that swimsuit on the mirror so you get reminded everyday of your summer goals. Each week write down how the clothes fit. Are they super tight? Can you zip up the zippers? Do you feel confident in them? Keeping a log can really help motivate you to make the change!

Challenge Yourself
Summer brings a number of exercise events around the area and now is a great time to start training for them! Make a goal to run a few 5Ks this summer or maybe run that first obstacle race. Whatever it is, challenge yourself to move!

Let’s make this summer the summer you feel confident in those summer clothes! Now get moving!