I am excited to announce that Jennifer has been added to the schedule this fall! Starting September 4th, Jennifer will teach on Mondays at 9am & 10am, as well as Tuesdays at 1:30pm. She has subbed quite a bit for me already so many of you already know her, but here is a little more information to help you get to know her better.
In her own words, ” I started teaching aerobic classes in college at UNL over 20 years ago Received a BA of science with an emphasis in Exercise Science and corporate fitness. I worked as an Extended Care Trainer transitioning patients from PT to an independent fitness program.
Most currently, I am a full time mom of 3, became a certified STOTT Reformer Instructor and have been teaching the reformer for over 2 years.
[I] love Pilates because it allows me [to] constantly change and challenge my body and core in different ways without feeling overworked!
I enjoy running outside, swimming, movies and spending time with my family. I have a dog named Crew and I love chocolate covered pretzels.”
Jennifer’s first official class is Tuesday, September 4th at 1:30pm.
For the August Challenge, I will be joining nutritionist, Lisa Garrett in her challenge to Post-a-Plate! Join us as we post a picture of a meal every day for 14 days – any meal! Post a picture of the food you’re eating, good or bad, and share it with Eat 2 Succeed, #eat2succeed!! Make sure you Like and Follow the Eat 2 Succeed FB page! The Post-a-Plate picture with the most Likes over the 14 days wins a brand-new Ninja Blender!!! This is a piece of cake compared to last month’s Summer Abs Challenge! 😉 Here’s a link to the event on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/events/271696643427102/
The Challenge starts today so get your phone and start taking pictures!
Drinking water is a big component of a healthy lifestyle. Drinking enough water each day will help increase your energy, helps with weight maintenance, helps regulate body temperature, and cushions your joints. That’s why drinking water is our June challenge. How much water should you drink? Take you body weight in pounds and divide it by 2. That number is the amount of ounces you should drink each day. If the weather is extremely hot and/or if you exercised and sweated, you need to drink more than that to replace what you have lost. This may seem easy but it is so important! Plus, you are going to feel great! So, raise your glass!
Our next challenge is a 5K every day in May! The weather has improved so I want you to go out and hit the pavement! Let’s see if we can walk, jog or run a 5k every day in May. Five kilometers is equal to 3.11 miles. The only way your 5k counts is if your feet are hitting the ground. If weather doesn’t allow you to go outside, then a treadmill is acceptable, but I’d prefer you get outside. Bicycles, skates, scooters will not count!
There are many benefits to walking/running outside. The impact from walking/running will improve your bone density. Being outside has been known to improve your mood. Walking and running are great forms of cardiovascular exercise so it will improve your heart health, reduce your risk of disease, and helps you burn calories! Do I need to say any more?
Get out there and keep track of how many days in the month of May that you complete a 5K!
I’ve got my walking buddy! Get a friend to do it with you! You’ll be more successful!
Today we will be doing the second of the Fabulous Four abdominal exercises – Obliques.
The great thing about the Fabulous Four exercises is that you don’t have to change positions for any of them. You can go from one exercise to the next without stopping! So this exercise also begins like Single Leg Stretch – lying on your back with your legs in table top (feet off mat legs bent with knees over hips). Head and shoulders lifted off the mat with hands behind your head. Let your head rest into your hands. Keep the elbows pointed to the sides to prevent you from pulling on your head with your arms. Stabilized the shoulders by pulling them down and back. Keep the apple sized shape between your chin and chest by looking right above your knees.
Begin by taking a breath in. On your exhale, reach on leg straight as low as you can keep your abdominals pulled in and flat. Turn your upper body towards you bent leg. On the inhale, return your upper body to center and begin to switch legs. On your exhale, extend the other leg and rotate the upper body towards the bent leg. Continue switching legs.
Perform 8-10 repetitions.
Today we are going to do the Spine Twist. For this exercise sit tall on the mat. Legs can be straight or bent. Arms will be reaching out to the sides at shoulder height. Make sure your shoulders are pulled down away from your ears.
Take a breath in before you start the movement. On the exhale, twist to one side looking over your shoulder. Stay in this position and exhale 2 more times, trying to rotate slightly more and sit slightly taller with each exhale. Avoid any bouncy or jerky movements as you do this. Keep the connection with the abdominal muscles with each rotation. As you inhale, rotate back to center. Repeat on the other side. Complete 3-5 repetitions on each side.
Today we will perform the Half Roll Back. This exercise is performed in a seated position with legs bent, feet flat on the mat, and torso rounded forward and arms reaching over the legs.
Begin with an inhale holding the starting position. On your exhale, roll the torso away from the legs half way back. On your inhale, take the torso forward to the starting position.
For the entire exercise, keep the abdominal muscles engaged. Feel as if your belly button is pulling back away from your thighs. Also, the back should be round, but do not collapse through the front of the shoulders. Keep the shoulders pulled back and a space between your chin and chest.
Perform 5 – 10 repetitions of this exercise.
Today we will perform the infamous Hundred. This is an abdominal endurance exercise similar to the Ab Prep from Day 1, but held for 100 breaths. See Day 1 for a description of the position for this exercise.
Begin in your Ab Prep position with your head and shoulders lifted up. Hold your head and shoulders up with your arms reaching by your sides. You will gently pat your arms by your sides to create a rhythm for your breath. As you pump your arms, you will inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts all the while keeping your abdominal muscles pulled in and flat. Do this for 100 breaths.
As a beginner, you will perform this exercise with your legs bent and your feet on the mat. As you progress, you can move to legs in a table top position. From there you would progress to keeping the legs in table top for the inhales, and extend the legs away from the body on the exhales. Finally, you when strong enough to keep the abdominal muscles pulled in the entire time, you could hold your legs in the extended position for the entire exercise.
Don’t progress too quickly! Make sure your form is correct before moving forward. If you experience and tension in your neck or shoulders, feet should be down on the mat, and you may lower your head to the mat while continuing the breathing.
Today’s mat exercise is called Breast Stroke Prep. In the video, I show 3 different ways to perform the exercise. I begin with the easiest and progress to the more challenging of the three.
The first way to perform the Breast Stroke is to lie on your stomach with your legs straight and your hands under your shoulders. Abdominal muscles should feel pulled up away from the mat, and hips bones should be pressing into the mat. Begin with an inhale. On your exhale, reach through the top of your head and lift up away from the mat. Think of keeping your body in a long line rather than trying to bend your back. Also, don’t put a lot of weight into your hands to lift up, instead use your core muscles to do the work. Hold for one inhale, then exhale and lengthen back down to the mat.
The second way is essentially the same except that you have your hands by the sides of your legs. Reach down the sides of your legs as you lift up. Hold for one breath. Then exhale to lengthen back down.
The third way is the same except for placing the back of your hands to your forehead. You will lift your arms with your head and shoulders. Hold for one breath. Then exhale to lengthen back down.
If you are new to the exercise, begin with the first version. Perform 3-5 repetitions.
It’s that time of year again! My annual 28 Day Plank Challenge. I’ve been doing this every February for a while now and it’s a popular challenge with my clients and friends because it’s a great full body exercise that’s not complicated and you can do it easily anywhere!
Here are the details: You will perform a plank every day for 28 days increasing the length of time that you hold the plank by 15 seconds every 4 days. I start with 30 seconds and build up to 2 minutes. However, you may choose to start with however many seconds you like! You could start with 15 seconds if you have never planked before, or you could start with more. It’s totally up to you!
Also, you choose the plank that you want to perform for the 28 days. There are 4 variations of a prone plank: elbows & knees, hands & knees, elbows & feet, or hands & feet. I would pick one and stay with it for the entire month. You could also choose a side plank, but then you have 2 planks to do each day because you would need to hold the plank on both sides for the same amount of time.
I’ve included pictures of the 4 prone planks for you as well as the calendar I will be following for my plank challenge. You can print this off to help you remember to do your plank each day and cross off the days as you go. Or make your own calendar if you are adjusting the time for holding the plank.
I hope you will take on this challenge as it is a great way to strengthen your core and it is so easy to do on your own that you really have no excuse not to!!!