Sherri McMillan's new-you workout: Week seven

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“We have aspects of ourselves hidden deep within, waiting to blossom.” -Ken Dychtwald

I love this quote and I encourage you all to allow your best self to surface and shine bright for all to see. By doing so you will inspire others to reach for their best!

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. A photo gallery of the workout is also available.

photoStanding tube pulls. Wrap a tube around a pole at about shoulder height. Stand back until your arms are extended in front of you.
photoNow slowly pull your arms backwards until they finish in a “Hands Up” position. Repeat eight to 20 times.

Cardio Conditioning: Continue with three to five cardio workouts for 20 to 60 minutes and this week, try increasing your volume of training by 10 percnet. So if your total weekly cardio time has been 100 minutes, increase to 110 minutes.

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/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.

Upper Body: Standing tube pulls. Wrap a tube around a pole at about shoulder height. Stand back until your arms are extended in front of you. Now slowly pull your arms backwards until they finish in a “Hands Up” position. Repeat eight to 20 times.

photoBicep curl. Position two hand weights at your sides, palms facing forward, arms straight. With elbows locked at sides, raise both forearms until they are almost at your shoulders.
photoLower to the starting position and repeat eight to 20 times. Try to do this exercise while standing on one leg. Halfway through your set, switch to the other leg.

Upper Body: Bicep curl. Position two handweights at your sides, palms facing forward, arms straight. With elbows locked at sides, raise both forearms until they are almost at your shoulders. Lower to the starting position and repeat eight to 20 times. Try to do this exercise while standing on one leg. Halfway through your set, switch to the other leg.

photoTubing rotations. Wrap a tube around a pole at about mid-thigh height. Stand sideways to the pole holding the tube in the hand farthest from the pole and standing far enough from the pole so there is tension on the tube. Start with your outside arm positioned so that it hangs down just in front of your body.
photoKeep your abdominals contracted and slowly pull the tube across your body in an upward motion as your trunk rotates outwards. Perform eight to 20 repetitions each side.

Torso: Tubing rotations. Wrap a tube around a pole at about mid-thigh height. Stand sideways to the pole holding the tube in the hand farthest from the pole and standing far enough from the pole so there is tension on the tube. Start with your outside arm positioned so that it hangs down just in front of your body. Keep your abdominals contracted and slowly pull the tube across your body in an upward motion as your trunk rotates outwards. Perform eight to 20 repetitions each side.

High Intensity Interval: Create a line using a piece of tape or string on the floor. Now jump (or step) over that line back and forth as fast as you can for 1 to 2 minutes.

Flexibility: Continue with previous stretches after each workout and add today’s stretch.

photoPillow arches. This is a great stretch to do every night right before bed. It will help to counteract that forward posture we sit in all day, especially for those of us who sit at a desk or computer. Place two to three pillows on the floor or bed. Lay on your back over the pillows so that the pillows are at about the level of your shoulder blades. Stretch your arms to the side and up over your head. Relax and hold the position for 30 or more seconds.

Pillow arches. This is a great stretch to do every night right before bed. It will help to counteract that forward posture we sit in all day, especially for those of us who sit at a desk or computer. Place two to three pillows on the floor or bed. Lay on your back over the pillows so that the pillows are at about the level of your shoulder blades. Stretch your arms to the side and up over your head. Relax and hold the position for 30 or more seconds.

Nutrition: Allow time to shop for foods that maximize results. Here is a list of excellent items to put on your grocery shopping trip. See the full shopping list.

Helpful Tip: Try to move your body more every single day. If we parked farther, took the stairs more and looked for simple ways to expend more calories throughout the day, we wouldn’t have to spend hours in the gym.

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