New Month, New Challenges

May 31, 2012

Dear world,

What is UP.



The news has been a little disheartening lately – stuff that need not be mentioned more than it has to and I would just love, really love, if all of us stopped for a second and did something GOOD for someone else.   Slow down and let someone have their turn to pull out or merge into traffic, hold the door for someone you don’t know, breathe through the moment when you’re cut off instead of driving like a maniac, give a compliment or just plain old smile.  Simple little things that I have to believe can make a difference.  Sheesh.  Thanks in advance…

Moving on.

Lets talk about June and some new goals for the month!  I know, I know – MORE goals?  But honestly, I’m pretty bad with staying at “status quo” and don’t trust myself to stay at status quo instead of regressing to some Paleolithic state (I kid…).  So to combat that, I like to come up with personal goals every so often to try and ensure I’m working on being a better person and finding new ways to improve.  There are a few things I’ve already set in motion for this, like taking some online courses.  Nothing for credit, but some short courses that should help me improve on areas that I think are lacking.  This summer I signed up for an online course in Personal Finance through our local community college.    Now that I’ve got my cc debt cleaned up, its time to take the next step and understand some of the finer points of my finances, so not only do I not get stuck in that position again (ahem, shopping), but because I truly believe that the best option when it comes to finances is to be in control and understand everything you can about it (thanks dad!).

You also read the other day that I think I need to work on my core strength in order to get stronger and better at running.   So I proposed a challenge to myself and of course anyone else who wants to join in, to do core work every day.  I’m pretty lucky that Monday, Wednesday and Friday I have built in core work with my body pump or Yoga classes.  So I’m going to try and incorporate a few of those moves into the rest of the week.  I thought it’d be fun to show you some of the ones that I find to be most challenging and plan on getting better at as the weeks go on.

First up:  The Sprinters Crunch.  We use this move in Yoga a lot to work our core and while we only do a few, they’re not easy, even though our instructor makes it look like a breeze!  You start lying down on your back in a T position,

and then in one move, exhale and bring opposite knee to opposite elbow and hold.

Then, before you go crashing slowly back down to the floor, extend your arms and leg and continue to hold.  Finally, slowly return to your starting position and repeat with the opposite elbow/leg combo.  It looks easy, but try not to use momentum to pull yourself up and control your descent.


Next:  C-crunches (for lack of a better term).  On Friday mornings, the last half of our body pump class is a CX class, which focuses on core and postural muscles.  Which I love.  For one of our tracks, we do variations of these crunches, mixed with some pretty wicked plank moves.   I’m pretty sure I’ve seen variations of this move with a medicine ball or exercise ball also, but in class, we do it with a weight plate.  I don’t have plates yet for my home gym, but I do have hand weights, which I’m going to try.  The variation that I prefer is the hardest version of the crunch – where you start with your arms at your head (with the weight) and your legs either at a 90 degree angle, or just straight up.

Then slowly lower both legs to the ground while reaching your arms (with the weight) backbehind your head.  Then crunch your legs in, while coming up to meet them with your hands/head in a “normal crunch” move.

















Did that make sense?   If this variation isn’t your thing – modifications that we’ve done in class include losing the plate, keeping your legs bent and touching down with your toes, or even just touching down one toe at a time.  Any way you do it, they are killer!

Planks/hovers:  Whatever you call these guys, they can be rough.  We do them in both Yoga AND Cx/Body pump, and supposedly they’re one of the most effective core workouts you can get.  Sign me up!   There are side planks, wide planks, planks on your forearms, planks on your hands, planks on your knees, planks on the exercise ball.  Its pretty crazy.  But the great thing is, any one of these moves WORKS.  Some of my favorite variations include the step out, step in approach (with hands OR feet), raising your opposite arm and opposite leg, the leg stomp (literally marching in place while in a plank position), or even the plank crunch.  This one is a little tricky, and requires you’re in the plank position with your hands (pre-pushup position).  Then lean forward on your toes and once you center your balance, bring your knee up to the opposite elbow.  A few of these and you’re thinking “ok, I can do this”, a whole song’s worth and you’re red in the face wondering why artists sing such long songs anyhow…

never mind the sweat streak, This was post run 🙂


I have a few other goals, but this post is pretty lengthy – so maybe I’ll save those for next time, but for now – whataya say?  Some smiles and core work everyday for June?  Sounds like a challenge to me, who’s in!?  🙂  I’ve got a head start and  did my core work after a cross training run.  Your turn!


One Response to “New Month, New Challenges”

  1. […] training, in the form of Yoga and Lifting.   I also developed a challenge to work on my core everyday  for the month of […]

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