Finish on Your Forearms: Week 4 of the #SayNoToCrunches Challenge

The final week of the 28 Day #SayNoToCrunches Challenge¬†has arrived! ¬†I’m so proud of you for getting here. And if you haven’t started yet go HERE to sign up and get your free workouts.

This week is called “Finish on Your Forearms,” and I’m just warning you that it will probably feel like the hardest week yet. But have no fear! Take breaks when you need to (preferably between exercises), and remind yourself that you are so close! ¬†If you miss a day, just make it up later¬†(read HERE about the best way to make up a missed day), and don’t beat yourself up over it!

Remember to take pics or video, share them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag @SaraHaleyFit & #SayNoToCrunches. This way we can all see the pics and cheer you on!

Here are the descriptions of this week’s¬†“Finish on Your Forearms”¬†exercises and modifications (M). For my pregnant mamas, depending on how big your baby is, you may need to do these exercises in a full plank on your hands. Also, remember you can always elevate yourself on a bench, couch or even a wall to help make room for baby.

Forearm Plank: Forearms are on the floor with your shoulders and elbows in line. Pull your navel to your spine and squeeze your butt to create a flat back.  You want to avoid letting your lower back sink down but also be careful of rounding the back too much. Push your shoulders down away from your ears.  The closer your legs are together, the harder this exercise will feel.  M:  Take your legs farther apart or lower down to your knees.

Forearm Plank Taps: From your forearm plank position, lightly tap your knees down to the floor and then raise them back up. M:  Hold the taps longer.

Forearm Plank Rocks:  From your forearm plank position, slowly rock your body forward and back, so that your body weight shifts over your shoulders and then bring it back in line.  M: Do the same exercise but on your knees.

Forearm Plank Reach:  From your forearm plank position, reach one arm forward at a time. Squeeze your glutes and widen your feet if you need to, in order to keep your hips square to the floor.  M: Do the same exercise but on your knees.

Forearm Plank Runs: ¬†From your forearm plank position, pull one knee into the chest at a time. Really focus on hollowing out your abs as the knee comes in. ¬†Do not rush this exercise. Focus on getting it right before moving faster. ¬†M:¬†From all 4’s, bring one knee into the chest at a time, and then extend it out long behind you.

Forearm Plank Up-Downs:  From your forearm plank position, walk up to a full plank on your hands, and then walk back down to your forearms. Lead with your right arm for one rep and then lead with the left.  M:  Do the same exercise but on your knees.

Forearm Rotational Rows:  Begin on your forearms but turn them so that they are horizontal with your right in front of your left. Rotate to your right, so that you are in a side plank with your right foot crossed in front of your left. Row the right arm back to your hip.  Come back to plank in the center and do it on the left.  Continue alternating. M:  Do the same exercise but on your knees.


Just as a reminder here are the cardio exercises:. They are the same from last week, except that you perform each one for 60 seconds each.

High Knee Runs: Lift one knee at a time like you are going for a run. Bring your knees as close to your chest as possible, so that you get a nice contraction in your abdominals. Pump your arms as you run in place.  M: March in place with high knees. PM: If you are very pregnant, you may need to bring your knees out to the side to allow room for baby.

Praying Mantis Runs: Rotate out from the hips so that when you run in place your knees are coming out towards the corners of the room, like a praying mantis. Keep your hands up open up your chest and bring your elbow towards your knee by laterally bending at the waist. This move will most likely make you feel awkward, and you will want to laugh (so laugh!). M: Lift one knee at a time as you bring your elbow towards our knee, so you are marching instead of running.

Burpees: This is one of the best full body movements you can do. Squat down (Make sure your heels stay not the floor) with your hands in front of your feet. Walk or jump back into a plank and lower yourself to the floor.  Once your chest touches the floor, walk or jump your feet back to the squat. Stand back up or push off flop into a light jump. M: Just go out to a plank rather than lowering your chest to the floor. Also, if you are pregnant you will want to take your legs wide into a sumo squat, or you may want to use a chair. Place your hands on the chair and walk your feet back and in towards the chair. Taking the jump at the top out is also an option.

Skaters:  Step out to the side, like you are doing a step touch, but cross one leg back. Repeat to the other side. Feel free to push off the floor so you have a little air time between sides. As an added challenge, when you cross back, keep the foot off the floor.  Reach the arms across with the legs. M: Keep your body more upright and just step side to side, reaching the arms.

Split Lunge Jumps:  Lunge back on one leg. From here push off the floor to attempt to straighten your legs. Land back in the lunge on the same leg. (Note: You are not switching legs. You do 30 seconds in a row on EACH leg).  M: Take out the leg and just lunge up and down, quickly.

Tuck Jumps:  Soften your knees and swing your arms back. Jump up and bring both knees to your chest and your hands to your knees.  Please take breaks between jumps. M: Lots of options here.  If you still want to jump, just do a soft jump up like at the end of a burpee, rather than tucking your knees. You could also do quick squats in place or lift one knee at a time like the High Knee modification.

Knee Repeaters: Split your legs so you are in a long lunge. Clasp hands together and swing them back like a baseball back. Keeping your knee over your ankle on supporting leg, get as low as you can. Bring your back leg into chest and swing your arms across chest. You should feel a slight twist in the torso and a burn in your glute (butt cheek) of the supporting leg.  Repeat this motion aggressively, until it’s time to do the other side.  **Keep in mind you also do this exercise for 30 seconds on EACH leg.  M: If this bothers your knees, do not go as deep into the lunge. PM: If you are pregnant and your belly is in the way, just tap the foot in, rather than lifting the knee up.



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