New Year, new you: Week three
This is the third week of an eight-week series created by Sherri McMillan, owner of Northwest Personal Training. If you missed the column, you can access it at www.columbian.com/livewell. You can also access a photo gallery corresponding to each week’s workout. Each week, McMillan will add to the program and provide you with more tips to advance your program and ultimately reach your goal of looking and feeling your best.
Lunge – Stand with one leg positioned in front of the other leg. Keep the front knee over top of the ankle. Keep the back knee underneath or slightly behind your hips.
Slowly lower the back knee towards the ground keeping the front knee over top the ankle the entire time. Keep your body weight positioned over the front leg - this is your working leg. Maintain proper posture and keep your abdominals contracted. Only go as low as you feel comfortable. To increase intensity, you can hold hand weights. Complete 8-20 repetitions each leg.
Upper Body - Reverse Flies: Lay on your stomach over a bench, grab a light set of handweights and position both arms straight to the side beside shoulders. Use your back muscles to slightly extend your spine so you are not collapsed and flexed over the bench. Position your arms perpendicular to your body with elbows just slightly bent.
Now slowly lift both arms upwards while pulling shoulder blades together. Keep your neck in a neutral position, abdominals contracted and back stable. Perform 8-20 reps.
Torso: Oblique crunches. Place your hands behind your head to lightly support the weight of your head. Keep your chin away from your chest and focus your vision at about 45 degrees into the ceiling. Avoid looking straight up to the ceiling or towards the opposite wall. Now slowly lift your torso up on an angle. As you lift your upper body, lift the opposite leg at the same time. An oblique crunch does not need to involve a large twisting action. Contract your abdominals on each repetition. Alternate 8-15 reps each side.
High Intensity: "Rectangle Drill." Place four cones in the shape of a rectangle or square with each cone about 20+ feet apart from each other. Start at one corner and sprint to the top of the square.
Then laterally shuffle back to the start. Do this 30-60 seconds one way. Take a break and go the other way.
Flexibility: Perform each of the stretches you've learned up to this point after each workout. You can compliment these stretches with others you already do or perhaps, consider taking a Tai Chi, Yoga, Stretch or Pilates class.
This week's stretch: Inner thigh on the wall. Sit with your back straight up against the wall. Now bring the souls of your feet together and allow your legs to just drop out to the side. Feel the stretch through your groin.
Sherri McMillan, owner of Northwest Personal Training.