By Jenna AndersonSpring is starting to show a little more every day, and summer will be just around the corner. Which means … swimsuit season! And with swimsuit season comes the mad dash to “fix” your body in order to look great in the water and out of it.
Well, this year I want to set you up for success, and not just a summer program to help you out if you’ve wintered well. Instead, this spring, join me on Facebook for a transformative event to help you move better, feel better, and improve your lifestyle in any way you choose, along with follow-up workouts, tips, articles, recipes, and accountability. You’ll get a chance to post your changes, ask for help, and surround yourself with others wanting a positive “you can do it” attitude. To start your transformation, you’ll want to find the Facebook event Fit Flathead Spring. It’ll work great by itself, or supplement an already active lifestyle.
RUSSIAN LUNGE WITH ROTATION Stretch out in a long lunge, right foot forward, knee over ankle, back leg straight and strong. See if you can press forward on the ball of your back foot, squeezing hard through the leg and glute of the back leg. Now, stay in a static lunge up and down, 12 times, on the front leg. After the 12th lunge, you’re going to let your hips drop and reach for the floor. Plant your left hand on the floor close to your ankle (use a block or bench if you need it). Remember, you’re trying to keep your back straight and long. Use your right hand on your knee and gently rotate without letting the left hip collapse to the floor, and hold for 10-20 seconds. Yes, it’s supposed to burn. Make it easier by dropping the knee to the floor. When you’re done, switch. Repeat 3-4 times on each leg.
BAND SCAPULA PULLS These insanely simple movements are going to be harder than you think, and are designed to help create a connection between your mind and the pulling muscles in your back. Set a band up high, about shoulder level, and step back until the tension on the band pulls your arms straight. Keep your arms straight and squeeze your shoulder blades down and back. Watch your elbows – they’re going to want to bend, but don’t let them. Do 15-20 in four sets. Make it easier by having someone touch between your shoulder blades, or help slide your shoulder blades to start.
BAND WALKS These help strengthen the outside of the hip, quad and hamstrings, and teach the knees to track forward as you’re moving. Remember not to stand up straight when you do this, but keep the knees bent and tracking forward, maintaining tension on the band. Start with placing a band around your quads, just above the knee. Shift your weight to the balls of your feet, and think about getting down into a runner’s “set” position, though not quite to the floor. With the right leg forward, keep the tension on the band, your core tight, body hinged just slightly forward, and step the left leg forward without letting the band slip. Do 20 steps forward, and then try 20 steps back.
BAND CRUNCHES A great way to create some tension in your core and amp up your basic sit-up is by strapping a band between a door or around something firm and then lying on the floor far enough away that there is tension on the band when you hold one end in each hand above your head. You don’t want so much tension that you can’t move, but enough that you’re working. Keep your chin off your chest and your hands stable, and crunch up. When you come down, don’t let your hands pop over your head, which releases the tension of the band. Instead, keep them tight. Start with 10 crunches and work your way up to three sets of 20.
Do each exercise 3-4 times. The hip strengthening, core, and back strengthening will help you as the weather begins to warm up and you find yourself beginning to take on more and more outdoor activities, including running, walking, and even Nordic walking.
See you at the Facebook event! I can’t wait to hear from everyone!
Jenna is a trainer and competitive physique athlete with a passion for yoga. She can usually be found at Flathead Health and Fitness in Kalispell teaching classes. She also offers personal training. Contact her at www.innerpowertraining.com.