I hope that your first week of the 30 Day #SayNoToCrunches Challenge has been successful. I still have one more day to go, and I’ll be leaving my own feedback from Week 1 on the blog later this week. Since some of you started a day before me on January 1, I wanted to get the Week 2 exercises up right away. Remember this challenge is here for you whenever you want to do it – next week, next month or next year. That’s why the calendar doesn’t have any dates on it!
Your cardio exercises remain the same, and their descriptions and modifications are on the 30 Day #SayNoToCrunches Challenge Week 1 post. I hope that now that you are familiar with the cardio exercises, you can work on perfecting your technique a little more and push a little harder and faster, to really get your heart pumping and the calories burning. The workouts are so short, so don’t be afraid to go breathless!
This week is “Perfect the Plank” Week. It’s all about working to get the most out of your plank. You can always modify plank by putting your knees on the floor. You could also come back to the hover position that you got to know so well in Week 1.
Something important to remember: This is a core centric workout. Part of the reason that this is a #SayNoToCrunches challenge is that I wanted you to train so much more than your abs. Your core is not just your abs. It’s essentially from your breast bone to your hip bones and everything all around. So this means that when you are in plank, I want you to not only tighten your abs by pulling your navel to your spine and closing your rib cage, but I want you to squeeze your butt, contract your pelvic floor, and bring your shoulder blades closer together. I know – so much to think about, but if you do it, you will be working so many more muscles (which means better results)!
Here is a description of the “Perfect the Plank” exercise and modifications (M):
Plank: Your position should be that of the top of a push up. Shoulders are directly over hands. Feet are shoulder width apart. Back is straight and long. Pull your navel in tight so that your low back does not sink. If you are struggling to hold this position, take your legs farther apart to create a wider base of support. M: Besides taking your legs wider, you can also just bring your knees to the floor.
Single Leg Plank: From plank position, pull one knee into your chest and hold. M: Put your supporting knee on the ground.
Jack ‘N Plank: From plank position, soften your knees (like a jumping jack) and pull your feet together, so that your feet and legs touch, including (and especially) inner thighs. Soften your knees again and jump your legs back out. Repeat. M: Begin with feet together and alternate tapping one foot out to each side. If needed, you can also tap your knees down and rest for a moment after each rep.
Pigeon ‘N Plank: From plank position, alternate bringing one foot forward at a time so that your right foot touches your left wrist. Try to keep your hips square to the floor the entire time. M: This takes some flexibility, so you can always just tap your foot half way up. If needed, you can also tap your knees down and rest for a moment after each rep.
Cross ‘N Plank: From plank position, alternate reaching your foot all the way through to outside of the hands. In this variation, allow your hips to rotate so that you can bring your leg all the way through. M: If needed, you can tap your knees down and rest for a moment after each rep.
Squat ‘N Plank: From plank position, jump your feet in to a sumo squat position. Keep your chest lifted as much as possible. Then jump your feet back to plank. M: Walk your feet into your squat one foot at a time and back out to plank one foot a time. You can also do this from a plank position on the knees.
Reach, Extend ‘N Plank: From plank position, reach opposite arm and leg out at the same time. Hold for 15 seconds before repeating on the other side. M: You can perform the exercise as is with the knees on the floor, or just lift one limb at a time.
Download this for Week 2 “Perfect the Plank”: SaraHaley#SayNoToCrunchesWeek2
And if you need the 30 Day #SayNoToCrunches Challenge calendar again, download this:SaraHaley#SayNoToCrunchesCalendar
Remember: Each week I’ll be giving away a copy of my Sweat UNLIMITED DVD along with another one of my favorite products. This week you can win some of my favorite Prismsport workout wear. The winner will be announced on Friday, January 16 (the first day of Week 3), so start sharing your pics ASAP. I want to see you sweat even more this week!