Sherri McMillan's new-you workout: Week four

Part of the New Year, new you eight-week fitness program

By

Published:

 

“Do not be afraid to demand great things of yourself. Powers which you never dreamed you possessed will leap to your assistance…”

—Orison S. Marden

Always remember that you are stronger than you think you are. Take the time to do what you need to do to be at your best. And just know that it will positively impact every part of your life!

If you have missed any of the previous weeks of the eight-week “New Year, new you” program, you can access it at www.columbian.com/new-you. Today, we will continue to add onto the program we’ve developed so far.

Cardiovascular conditioning: Continue with three to five cardio workouts for 20 to 60 minutes; and this week, I’d like you to register for an upcoming community event. Perhaps there is a charity fun run or walk that you will commit to. By doing this, it will give purpose to your workouts and, in the process of training to get ready for the event, you will increase your fitness level, lose weight and achieve incredible results. Here’s a list of websites that post local fitness events that you can choose from. Trust me. This works!

www.energyevents.com

www.racecenter.com

www.nwpersonaltraining.com

Follow along with week four here, or in the photo gallery of this week's exercises.

photoBridging. Lay on your back on a mat with legs bent, feet flat on the floor.
photoTighten your abdominal and buttock muscles and slowly lift your buttocks off the floor until you are resting on your shoulder blades and your knees, hips and shoulders are in a straight line. Keep your hips square to the ceiling and contract your glute muscles on the way up and the way down. Slowly lower your hips back to the ground. Perform eight to 20 repetitions.

Muscle conditioning: Perform one set of each of the exercises you’ve learned up to this point two to three times on alternating days and add on today’s new exercises. (Intermediate and advanced exercisers can try two sets.) Remember to breathe comfortably throughout each exercise — exhaling as you exert and inhaling as you recover. In each of the exercises maintain proper posture and keep your abdominals pulled in.

Lower Body: Bridging. Lay on your back on a mat with legs bent, feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles and slowly lift your buttocks off the floor until you are resting on your shoulder blades and your knees, hips and shoulders are in a straight line. Keep your hips square to the ceiling and contract your glute muscles on the way up and the way down. Slowly lower your hips back to the ground. Perform eight to 20 repetitions.

photoDumbbell chest press. Lie back on a bench. Position your body so that your feet are suspended in the air (this will involve more balance and torso stabilization). Lift dumbbells and start with them positioned over your shoulders.
photoDumbbell chest press. Lie back on a bench. Position your body so that your feet are suspended in the air (this will involve more balance and torso stabilization). Lift dumbbells and start with them positioned over your shoulders.

Upper Body: Dumbbell chest press. Lie back on a bench. Position your body so that your feet are suspended in the air (this will involve more balance and torso stabilization). Lift dumbbells and start with them positioned over your shoulders. Slowly, controlling the weight, lower the hand weights down and laterally. Do not allow your elbows to drop below your shoulder joint; lowering below this point will place excessive stress on your shoulders. Now push your arms back to the starting position without locking your elbows. Make sure your abdominals remain contracted throughout the entire exercise. Perform a set of eight to 20 reps.

photoV-sits. Sit upright with perfect posture: chest out, shoulders back. Now slowly recline a few inches while keeping your abdominals contracted and back in its neutral position. Hold for two to four counts and then return to the starting position. Continue for 60-90 seconds.

Torso: V-sits. Sit upright with perfect posture: chest out, shoulders back. Now slowly recline a few inches while keeping your abdominals contracted and back in its neutral position. Hold for two to four counts and then return to the starting position. Continue for 60-90 seconds.

High Intensity Interval: Skipping. Pick up a skipping rope, and jump for 1-2 minutes. It will definitely get your heart rate up.

photoToday’s stretch is hips and back. Lay on your back and start with both legs straight against the wall. Now slowly let both legs fall to one side. Bend the bottom leg and keep the top leg straight. Try to feel this stretch through your hips and lightly through your back.

Flexibility: Add today’s stretch and continue with all the stretches you’ve learned so far.

Today’s stretch is hips and back. Lay on your back and start with both legs straight against the wall. Now slowly let both legs fall to one side. Bend the bottom leg and keep the top leg straight. Try to feel this stretch through your hips and lightly through your back.

Nutrition: Try to avoid eating anything substantial three hours before bed. Remember, you’re just going to bed so how much energy do you really need?!

Helpful tip: Try to enroll a friend to workout with you to help with your adherence. It’s good for them too!

A photo gallery guide to this week's workout is also available.

Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver. She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com.