Sherri McMillan's new-you workout: Week eight
Monday, March 12, 2012
Today completes your 2012 “New Year, new you” eight-week health and fitness makeover program. Now that you have the program in its entirety, you’ve got to stick to it long enough to experience life changing results. So follow the program for six more weeks and then it will be time to advance your program. Enjoy the journey and have an awesome 2012!
If you have missed any of the previous weeks, you can access the workouts at www.columbian.com/new-you. Today we will make our final addition to the program we’ve developed so far. Follow the workout below or follow along in the photo gallery.
Cardio conditioning: Continue three to five cardio workouts per week for 20 to 60 minutes and increase your volume of training by 10 percent every two weeks over the next six weeks. So if your total weekly cardio time has been 120 minutes, increase to 132 minutes.
Muscle conditioning: Perform one set of each exercise 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: External rotation. This is an important exercise for all you swimmers, racquet athletes including tennis, squash or racquetball, throwing athletes or golfers or for any of you who are at risk for shoulder pain or impingement. Start by standing sideways to a pulley/tube. Attach the handle on the pulley and adjust it so that it is positioned at elbow height. Hold the handle in your outside arm with your elbow at a 90-degree angle and positioned right beside your waist. With your palm facing the pulley, keep your upper arm completely still and your elbow at your side. Slowly rotate your forearm out away from your body. Return to the starting position. Repeat eight to 20 time each arm.
Torso: Abdominal alternating leg extension: Lie on your back and lift your legs up, bent at the knee. Position your legs with a 90-degree angle at the knees and hips so your upper thighs are perpendicular to the floor and your lower legs are parallel to the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and brace your spine. Slowly extend one leg out to a 45-degree angle while the other leg remains still. Return the leg to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. If the exercise is too challenging, do not lower to 45-degrees. If you want to intensify the movement, lower the leg closer to the floor but remember your reference points at all times. Repeat eight to 10 times each leg.
Torso: Full curl-ups. Lie on your back with your knees extended as far as you can while still keeping your low back in contact with the floor. Slowly crunch up, lifting one vertebra at a time off the floor. At about 30 degrees upwards, you’ll reach a “sticking point” where you’ll feel like you’ve hit a brick wall. At this point, it’s important to be patient and muscle through, using your abdominals to overcome the resistance. Don’t bounce or add momentum with your upper body and don’t lift your feet off the floor. Once you’ve almost reached a fully upright, seated position, slowly lower yourself down to the starting position. Do this at a speed of 4 to 5 seconds up and 4 to 5 seconds down in a controlled and slow manner. Do eight to 20 repetitions on each side.
High-intensity: Line ‘tire’ drill. Create two lines parallel to each other about a foot apart using duct tape or string. Now move your feet quickly in and out trying not to step on the tape/string. Continue for 1 minute leading with one leg and then repeat leading with the other leg.
Flexibility: Continue with previous stretches after each workout and add today’s stretch.
Spinal stretch. Lay on your stomach and prop yourself up on your elbows. Stretch your ribs up and away from your hips. You should feel a good stretch in your back and abdominal region.
Nutrition: Last week, we focused on making sure you have plenty of healthy food options readily accessible to you. A critical part that goes hand in hand with that approach, is making sure you eliminate any temptation foods from your home, office and car.
Helpful Tip: Write a reminder in your day planner to consult with a trainer to adjust your program in six weeks at which time you’ll plateau on this program if you do not make any modifications.