Band Challenge: Day 6

Move 1: Lunge with a frontal press

This move is very similar to the lunge with overhead press that you did yesterday. You wrap the band around your back foot, lunge forward with the other foot, drop down low, come back up, and then do a press straight up. The difference is that your arms aren’t out to the side this time bent at a 90 degree angle. Instead, your elbows are pointed down in the start position, and your lift straight up. Do your lunge, and then the press when you get back up out of your lunge. Repeat this sequence on one leg for 30 seconds, and then switch to the other leg for the final 30 seconds. As an extra little challenge if you’re up for it, try doing an extra 10 seconds of just the frontal press from an upright position.

Move 2: Squat with a calf raise

This move is similar to the lunge with a calf raise, only instead of a lunge before the raise, you do a squat. You will stand on top of your band with your feet shoulder width apart, and you will hold your band by the handles or below at your hips. You will squat down, rest your hands on your knees for balance if necessary, and come up into a calf raise. You might wobble a bit on this one because you’re doing a squat and a calf raise at the same time, but you’ll get better over time. You will repeat this sequence for 1 full minute. As an extra little challenge if you’re up for it, try doing an extra 10 seconds of just the calf raises from an upright position.

Move 3: Sumo squat with jab punches

By now you should be familiar with the sumo squat, but essentially you will be squatting with your feet wider apart than your typical squat and your toes pointed outward. Instead of standing on your band for this exercise, you will actually have to wrap it around your torso. Take the band and hold the center of it to your belly, wrap one end around your back and to your front, and then repeat on the other side. Once you have a grip on both of the handles, drop down into your sumo squat, and then you will alternate arms and punch an invisible target in front of you. Try to aim at chest height, and try to hit the same spot each time. If this gets too hard, you can drop the band and continue the punches without it, but only if it is absolutely necessary! Otherwise, continue with the sumo squat and punches for 1 full minute. You don’t need to squat up and down on this one, you just stay in that sumo squat position throughout the full minute. It will burn, but that is a good thing! If you need a little break, you can just come up slightly to rest for a few seconds, and then drop right back down.

Move 4: Lawn mowers

With this move you will get into a lunge position and step on your band with your forward foot. You will need to step closer to the end of the band for this move, and you will only use one end of the band. All you have to do is imagine yourself trying to start a basic lawnmower with the pull cord. You stay in the lunge position for 30 seconds with your other hand resting on your knee for balance. Meanwhile, the hand opposite to your forward foot will be pulling on the band and trying to bring it up to the shoulder. You should feel this in the back of your shoulder, and it will feel almost like you’re trying to bring your shoulder blades together. Once the initial 30 seconds are up, switch to a lunge stance on the other side and pull with the other arm for the final 30 seconds.

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Band Challenge: Day 5

Move 1: Bowler’s lunge with a row

This move is a little bit complicated, but you just have to imagine yourself about to bowl. Get in a lunge position, but instead of your back leg being straight out behind you, your back leg will cross behind you. Most of your weight should be on that forward leg, and you should be able to lift that back foot off the ground. If you can do that, you’re in the right position. You will need to have the band wrapped around your forward foot, and you lunge down, come back up, and then do a row by raising your arms up toward your chest. Repeat this on the same leg for 30 seconds, and then switch to the other leg for the other 30 seconds. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try doing an extra 10 seconds with just the rows.

Move 2: Bicep curl with a leg raise

This move is going to require some balance, and everyone is going to start at a different place depending on your fitness level. You are going to stand on your band in the center and hold the handles in front of you for the curl. Start by curling your arms up toward your chest, and slowly lift one leg out to the side while crunching your body toward the leg raise a little bit. You don’t have to lift your leg high in the beginning, and if you have to tap your toe on the ground periodically to get your balance that is totally okay! Try not to let your foot come back down to the ground until you’ve lowered your arms back down from the bicep curl, and then repeat the move on the other leg. Alternate legs with the bicep curl for 1 full minute. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try doing an extra 10 seconds of just the bicep curls from a standing position.

Move 3: Sumo squat with an overhead press

Get into your sumo squat position with your feet planted firmly on top of your band and your toes facing outward. Grab the handles of your band, and hold them up with your arms bent at 90 degrees. You will do a sumo squat, come back up, and then raise your arms up toward the ceiling for your overhead press. Repeat this for 1 full minute. As an extra little bonus if you’re up for it, try doing an extra 10 seconds with just the overhead press from an upright position.

Move 4: Lunge with a calf raise

For this move you will need to wrap your band around your back foot. You lunge forward with your forward leg, drop down low, come back up, and then do a calf raise with your forward leg. You stay in that split stance and repeat that sequence for 30 seconds, and then you switch to the other leg for the final 30 seconds. You can rest your fists and the handles of the band on your forward knee as you do the calf raise for balance if necessary. As an extra little bonus if you’re up for it, try ditching your band and just doing an extra 10 seconds of fast calf raises from a standing position.

Band Challenge: Day 4

Move 1: Squat with a side bend

Start with your feet shoulder width apart on your band and your hands holding the band at your hips. You will squat down slowly, come back up to a standing position, and then crunch your body as far as you can to the right. Try not to lean sideways when you do this, but instead feel the crunch of your obliques so that only your upper body is bent. You will alternate back and forth with the side bend after every squat for 1 full minute. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try holding the band in both hands in front of your chest and just doing the side bend crunches side to side for an extra 10 seconds.

Move 2: Lunge with a tricep extension

This move will require you to wrap the band around your back foot once, and then you will lunge forward with your other leg. Hold the handles of the band up high by your chest, and then extend your arms back as far as you can. Your elbows shouldn’t move around, they should stay right by your side. Only your forearm should be moving forward and backward as you extend the arm out. You will stay in the lunge position on one leg for 30 seconds, and then switch to the other leg for 30 seconds. You start by lunging down low, coming back up, and then doing your extension. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try doing an extra 10 seconds with just the tricep extension. For this move you just stand on the band in the center, hold the band by the handles behind your head, and extend your arms up straight toward the ceiling.

Move 3: Sumo squat with a bicep curl

You should be familiar with the sumo squat by now, but basically you’re in a squat with your feet planted on top of the band a little further apart than your typical squat and your toes facing outward. You are going to squat down, come back up, and then do a bicep curl with one arm. Alternate arms for the first 30 seconds, and then for the final 30 seconds you can do both arms at the same time. Repeat the squat in between every curl. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try doing half range bicep curls in a standing position for an extra 10 seconds.

Move 4: Deadlift with a row

With this move you will be standing on top of your band with your feet shoulder width apart. You will hold the band at your hips, and then bend your body forward with your back straight as low as you can go. Come back up slowly, and you should feel this in your hamstrings and the backs of your legs. When you get to the top and are back in your standing position, you are going to raise your band up toward your chest in a row. Repeat this for 1 full minute. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try creating extra resistance with the band by making that small circle and do an extra 10 seconds with just the rows.

Band Challenge: Day 3

Move 1: Deadlift with a posterior fly

You will start this move by standing on your band with your feet shoulder width apart. You will hold the handles or make the circles and hold the band to your hips. Slowly bend down toward the floor and lower your arms down as low as you can go while maintaining a flat back. Slowly come all the way up, and then you will bend back down ¾ of the way, and do a posterior fly in that bent position. You’ve seen the posterior fly before, but if you need to see it you can google the images. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try holding the band a little lower and doing 10 extra seconds of just the deadlift.

Move 2: Lateral raises

You will start this move with your feet shoulder width apart on the band below your feet. You can choose whether to hold the handles or to make it harder by creating a circle and holding the band below the handle as well. For the first 30 seconds you will alternate arms by bringing your arm up and out to the side. For the final 30 seconds you will bring both arms up and out to the sides simultaneously. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try holding the arms straight out to the sides for an extra 10 seconds. You’ve seen this kind of move before, so it should be familiar to you. If not you can search google for images.

Move 3: Lunge with a core rotation

You will need to wrap your band around your forward foot for this move, while making sure that the band is even on each side. This time you will be holding both of the handles in your hands at the same time. Lunge forward, and then reach your arms to the right, then to the left, and then lunge down a little more, and step back. When you reach your arms to each side, you should try to crunch your body in that direction as well to work your core and your oblique’s. Repeat on the first leg for 30 seconds, and then switch to the other leg for 30 seconds. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try standing on the band with your feet shoulder width apart, and then do just the core rotations for an extra 10 seconds.

Move 4: Back kicks

With this move, you will need to wrap your band around one foot and hold the handles or make the circles and hold the band to your hips. You will need to balance on the foot without the band, and then kick straight out behind you with the leg that the band is wrapped around. Try to look back in the direction that you are kicking as you do it. Do one leg for 30 seconds, and then wrap your band around the other leg and repeat on the other leg for the last 30 seconds.

Band Challenge: Day 2

Move 1: Post delt fly hold

For this move you will start by holding the band straight out in front of you, with your grip in the middle of the band. You’ll have to make that circle again so that you’re holding the band and the handles. Then you will pull both arms out away from one another and to the sides simultaneously, and then when they are straight out to the sides, you slowly bring them back to center. Repeat this pattern for 30 seconds, and then for the last 30 seconds hold the band with your arms straight out to the sides for 30 seconds. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try taking a 15 second break to shake out your arms, and then hold your arms out to the sides with your band for an extra 10 seconds.

Move 2: Sumo squats with a hip lift

With this move you will be working your legs, hips, butt, and core. You will start by stepping on the band in the center and holding the handles to your hips. Spread your feet further apart, and point your toes out to the sides, and then get down into a sumo squat. Come back up slowly, and then inch your feet back shoulder width apart, then balance on one leg while raising the other out to the side. Try to crunch your body toward the leg lift as you do it, and that will work your core and your oblique’s. Alternate legs each time you come up, and repeat the pattern for 1 full minute. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try an extra 10 seconds just doing the sumo squat.

Move 3: Lunge with posterior fly

For this move you will need to wrap the band around your forward foot, making sure that the band is even on each side. You will lunge forward, with your forward leg at a 90 degree angle, and then you will raise your arms up and out to the sides. Your arms should be bent at a 90 degree angle, and it will feel like you’re trying to press your shoulder blades together. Imagine you’re squeezing a pencil between those muscles when you do that fly. If you need to see how it looks, you can search posterior fly on google for a picture. You will do one leg for 30 seconds, and then switch the band over to the other leg for the final 30 seconds. As an extra little bonus if you’re up for it, try standing on your band with feet shoulder width apart and doing just the fly for an extra 10 seconds.

Move 4: Bench press with a leg lower

You will need to be lying down for this move, so if you have a mat you can bring that out. Otherwise, you can use carpet, or put a towel or a blanket down. Just position the band across the mat, and then lie down on your back on top of the band. You may want to make the circle again for more resistance, but I will leave that to you. You will start with your arms straight up in the air in front of your face, and your legs also raised straight up into the air. Slowly lower your legs toward the floor as you bring your arms down to the sides. The arms will bend at 90 degrees when you get to the bottom, but do not allow your elbows to rest on the floor at the bottom. Don’t let your legs hit the floor on the way down either, just hover and then slowly bring both the arms and the legs back up. Repeat this for 1 full minute. As an extra little bonus if you’re up for it, take a 15 second break and then continue for another 10 seconds.

Band Challenge: Day 1

Move 1: Band LAT pull

With this move you will hold the band a bit more than shoulder width apart in the middle, and make a circle with the end of the band so that you’re holding both the band and the handle. This will protect you from getting hit with the handle as you go. Raise your arms straight up over your head, with an incline slightly in front of your face to keep you from getting hit with the band. Now you will slowly lower one arm down toward your leg, and raise it back up. Repeat the same thing on the other side, and keep alternating like this for 30 seconds. Next you will go back to your start position, and bring both arms down simultaneously for 30 seconds. If you find that it is too hard to keep your arms straight as you do this, you may just need to widen your grip on the band to give you more room to move. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try holding the band with your arms straight out to the sides for 10 extra seconds.

Move 2: Squats

With this move you will hold the band by your hips, and step on the center of the band. If you don’t get any resistance by holding the handles, which is probably going to happen, all you need to do is make a small circle like you did on the last move so that you’re gripping the handle and the band below it to increase your resistance on the move. With squats I want you to alternate a bit. Start with 4 regular squats, then do 2 really slow squats, and then do 2 half squats (this is when you only squat down half of your normal range). Repeat that pattern for 1 minute. As a bonus if you’re up for you, try doing the half range squats for 10 extra seconds.

Move 3: Bicep curls

This has a similar stance as the squats, and again you may need to make that circle to give you more resistance. You start with your elbows by your side, and they stay by your side throughout the whole exercise. You should always feel your elbow by your side. Now you start by curling one arm all the way up and dropping it back down slowly, then switch to the other arm, and so on. Alternate arms for 30 seconds, then do both arms simultaneously for 30 seconds. As a little bonus if you’re up for it, try doing half range curls for 10 extra seconds. Just like the squats, this is simply going only half of your normal curl range, so you would stop when you’re arms reach a 90 degree angle and come back up instead of letting the arms go down all the way.

Move 4: X Band walk

Start in a similar stance as the last two moves, with your feet standing in the middle of the band shoulder width apart. Start by holding the handles this time because this is a challenging move, and then do your circle 30 seconds in if you need more resistance or want a bigger challenge. With this move you need to cross the band in front of you so that it makes an X, then hold the handles at your hips. Now you get down into a squat position, watch your shoulders and make sure you’re standing straight and not bending too far forward, and walk over two to the right. Alternate going 2 to the right and to the left for 1 full minute. No bonus with this one because it is a doozy lol.

Killer leg/butt exercise (Band required)

If you follow my blog, you are probably aware that I am currently doing the 21 Day Fix Extreme home fitness program. Well, sometimes I like to take the toughest moves and use them as a little challenge for my health and fitness group participants. Share the love I always say, or in this case, pain! lol

During my workout yesterday, I came across this move. It had my legs and butt on FIRE.

If you watched that video, and you have access to a band, I triple dog dare you to attempt this move! Go until your legs can’t take it anymore, and then comment on this thread and let me know how long you made it.

Enjoy ;)

My Insanity fit test results are in!

I have been looking forward to trying Insanity for a long time now, and I finally got the chance to do it! I threw the fit test in today because I was curious to see how I would make out. I was actually pleasantly surprised at my results, which were pretty dang good considering I am not a huge fan of cardio!

Here are my results for the 1 minute intervals (after the warmup of course!)

115 Switch kicks (57 ish each leg)
53 Power jacks
90 Power knees
30 Power jumps
10 Globe jumps
15 Suicide jumps
17 Pushup jacks
60 Low plank obliques (30 each side)

I challenge anyone reading this blog post to complete this fit test! You can follow along with this Australian fitness instructor on Youtube so that you can see what to do. Comment below with your results (if you’re comfortable with that, if not, just let me know you did it) when you’ve finished!

Remember that I’ve been working out for almost 2 years, so I don’t expect you to get the same numbers that I did if you are relatively new to fitness. All I want is for you to do the best YOU can, not the best I can!

INSANITY-Banner

If you enjoyed this fit test, feel free to email me at hfmxj@stu.ca with the subject line “Insanity” for more details on the full fitness program. You should also know that this is one of the programs now available via Beachbody On Demand for streaming!

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RESULTS DON’T LIE!

These are real people, getting REAL results. Are you going to join them in their success?

10 Day Plank Challenge!

Do you want to build a strong core and get abs? If so, you should try this challenge! Planking is actually really good for your core and abdominal muscles. It isn’t easy, which is why you increase the time incrementally throughout the ten day timeframe.

If you are new to fitness I would suggest probably starting out by using your forearms to hold yourself up. As you build strength, you should try holding yourself up with your hands. If your arms get too shaky, come back down onto your forearms. You want to push yourself to do better, but you don’t want to push yourself to injury!

I’ve posted this challenge in my free health and fitness group for all of my members, and you are invited to join us! Just comment on this thread and let me know if you would like to participate, and we will go from there :)

Hip and Thigh exercises

Contrary to popular belief, you actually can’t spot train! All of these exercises will work the hip and thigh area, but they also work other areas in your legs as well. If you do any of these, or even many of the exercises in the “butt exercises” note, they will work these areas. One thing I’ve learned throughout my own journey is that you just have to do leg exercises in general, and the weight will come off wherever it feels like coming off lol. I still have fat on my hips and thighs that I would like to get rid of, but doing only these exercises wouldn’t make that happen any faster. It would actually be counter-productive because this area natually takes longer for us as women to lose, so you might as well work all the other areas while you’re at it so that you see progress everywhere else while you wait! The key is that you’ll be building muscle, and the muscle is what is going to burn off the fat.

-Squat with leg lift (Do a regular squat with feet shoulder width apart, then when you are standing up lift one leg out to the side. Be careful not to lean to the other side, and focus on standing straight just lifting the leg up and out to the side. You can alternate legs if you want, or you can do one leg then the other)

-Standing hip opener (Stand straight and bring one knee up so that the top part of your leg is parallel to the floor, then bring the leg out directly to the side but keeping it at the same angle, and then lower the leg back to the ground. Again, try to remember to stand up straight and not to bend into the turn. This will work your legs as well as your core and your abs from balancing and using that core strength to stand straight)

-Bowling lunge (Get into a lunge stance with most of your weight on the forward leg, and then inch the other leg behind you and to the side. You should be able to lift your back toe off the ground and balance on the front leg for a few seconds. It will feel like you’re about to throw a bowling ball. Once in position, lunge down, then come back up slowly. Repeat as many times as you can)

-Sumo squats (Get into a wide foot stance with toes facing outward. Squat down and then come up slowly. Again, repeat as many times as you can)

-Pulsing sumo squats (Same as regular sumo squats only this time instead of coming all the way up when you finish the first one, you only come halfway up. Do that pulse three times, then on the fourth you can come all the way up. This counts as one rep)

-Hip raises (Lie on your side on your mat and hold yourself up with your arm resting on the mat and your foot closest to the ground on the mat on its side with the other foot resting on top of it. Slowly lift your hips off the ground so that the space between your body and the mat forms half of a triangle. You can do this with your knee on the mat instead of your feet if you don’t have the strength to get up, but try it with the toes first)

-Leg lifts (Get in the same position as the hip raises only this time you will lift the top leg up into the air as high as you can)

-Wall sit (Get into squat position with your back against the wall. Your legs should be at a 90 degree angle, with the top part of your leg parallel to the floor. If it starts to burn too much just come up for 10 seconds and then inch back down. If your legs start shaking too much, you’re done)

-Step ups (If you have a stepper or a small stool this would come in handy. Otherwise just use something about the same height or even just a regular stair if you have to, but ideally it will be a bit higher than a typical stair. You just step up with one leg, step back, and then lunge back with the other leg. This is one rep, and do as many as you can on one side before switching to the other)

-Toe touches/deadlifts (If you have weights you can use them to make this a deadlift, otherwise you can use cans of soup or something to make it at least a little more difficult. Stand up straight and then bend down but keep your back straight as you come down and try to bring your hands or the weights as low as you can)

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