“Good medicine always tastes bad.”
Ok, I don’t totally agree with author Ron Hall on this one, but that’s because I’m with John Mellencamp on this one: sometimes it hurts so good! This week is all about CHALLENGING ourselves! Today we’ll begin a 7 day MOVEMENT as MEDICINE challenge - Seven Minutes in Heaven! - followed by CONSCIOUS CONSUMPTION and MINDFUL LIVING challenges on Wednesday and Friday. #BONUS: Keep your eyes peeled for a giveaway associated with each challenge!
This movement challenge is a SEVEN minute circuit that requires NO equipment whatsoever and is a FULL-BODY workout that... you guessed it... hurts so good!
The circuit is executed with 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest/transition time between exercises. If you are new to exercising or pressed for time, aim for 1 or 2 rounds. If you’ve been exercising regularly, shoot for 3-4 rounds or use this as a burnout (no limit on rounds!) at the end of your regular work-out.
1. Eagle crunch (right). Come into eagle pose lying on your back (right leg crossed over, right arm under). Slowly crunch until your elbows meet your knees. Do your best to keep your neck long and to maintain space between your chest and elbows. (Probably my favorite move from Ab'Asanas)
2. Eagle crunch (left). Switcharoo.
3. Reverse tuck crunch. It can be challenging to work the lower abs, but this one is right on the money! Lie flat on your back and bend your knees, drawing your heels towards your bum. Keep your low back flat on the floor and scoop the lower abdomen (between the belly button and the pubic bone), lifting your knees towards your chin. Do NOT straighten your legs, because then you’re relying on momentum! Doing your best to maintain a tucked position (this one is harder than it looks!) is what helps to target the lower abdominals. Expect a small range of motion! Form comes first!
4. Reverse alternating lunges (check out some great tutorials for leg exercises here). Start with your feet hip’s width distance apart. Step back with right foot, and engage core, glutes, and legs to drop into a low lunge where both knees bend to 90 degrees. Step your right foot forward to return to starting position. Alternate sides for 40 seconds. For an added challenge, try alternating jump lunges!
5. Squats (can you push yourself to try some squat jumps?). Start with your feet about shoulder-width apart or a bit wider. Lean your weight slightly into your heels and hinge gently at your hips keeping your chest lifted. Sit your butt back into a squat until your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Drive energetically through your heels to stand (or jump!) back up. Squeeze your butt as you stand and get ready to keep on squatting! (For squat jumps: swing your arms down by your sides for momentum, and keep your back straight and chest lifted. Always land softly - think bent knees - right into your next squat.) In both squats and squat jumps, be mindful of preventing your knees from reaching past your toes (ouch!).
6. Triceps dips. Place your palms (fingers facing forward) onto box or step or chair - get creative! - behind you. Bend at your elbows to lower down (keep your tush from hitting the floor), then straighten your arms to lift back up. Play around with moving your heels closer or further from your bum and notice the change in difficulty!
7. Good old-fashioned push-ups (try diamond push-ups for an added challenge - SELF magazine tutorial here). Start in high plank. Bend your elbows to lower your torso toward the ground to do a complete push-up. Keep your core tight and engaged, creating a straight line from the crown of your head to your heels. To modify, drop knees to the ground. #MindfulReminder: don’t let modifications demotivate or demoralize you! Modifications are safe stepping stones - remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
- If you’re new to working out or have taken a little break, play with your intervals. Start with 30 seconds of exercise and 30 seconds of rest and then work your way to 40/20. For an added challenge, go for 45/15.
- Modify as needed! Modifications always win over sacrificing your form.
- Do not sacrifice your form for speed. There is no trophy for the most reps done in the time allotted. I would prefer you execute 4 perfect push-ups with a tight plank than 15 sloppy ones!
- Use an app (there are a ton of free ones) - so that you can set it and forget it!
#CHALLENGE #GIVEAWAY: Win a set of resistance bands! What better way to up your at-home or on-the-go workout routine. I travel a LOT for work and my resistance bands always find their way into my suitcase!
How to enter: you must post all 7 days to either your account or your story, tag @jen.practices, and use the hashtag #JP7MINSHEAVEN
It can be a video or a picture, caption or no caption, the goal is to practice 7 Minutes in Heaven together for 7 days! Winner will be announced next Monday!
Comment below if you have ANY questions or comments or want to ask about a modification! If you’d like to ask privately, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Can’t wait to practice Movement as Medicine with you!