It’s the New Year and for a lot of people, health and fitness are at the top of the list for resolutions in 2020. It’s easy to say we want to lose weight, get a six pack, or discipline ourselves to work out every day, but hard to know where to start. If you’re anything like me and got into a couch potato state over the holidays, then a little guidance to jumpstart your fitness goals is necessary. I’m in the 20th week of my second pregnancy and because of morning sickness, I barely worked out in the first trimester. My New Year’s resolution is to get back on track with regular weekly workouts, even if it’s just a 30-minute home workout while my daughter naps. Here is the first workout I did in 2020 to wake up all the muscles in my body. Grab some dumbbells and follow this full body workout to jumpstart your fitness goals!
Single Leg Down Dog Plank Crunch– Start in a down dog position with one leg up in the air. Press your palms and heel down into the ground as one leg is lifted in parallel. Engage your glutes, quads and abs to lift your leg as high as possible. Transition through a plank position as you use your abs to pull your knee into your chest. (If you are pregnant and your belly is in the way, turn the leg out and pull your knee in towards your elbow instead.) As you extend your leg back out and up, press back into your down dog position to complete one rep. Do 8-10 on each leg.
Row, Kickback ,T’s– With one dumbbell in each hand, stand with your legs hip distance apart and bend your knees slightly as you lean your torso forward with a straight back. Pull your abs in and allow your arms to hang straight down. You should feel your hamstrings engage while holding this position. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your elbows back and up and then slowly release back down to perform one row. Next for the tricep kickback, pull your elbows back up and extend your arms straight back without dropping your elbows. Reverse the movement to release your arms back down with your palms facing each other. Do the last movement by opening your arms straight up to your sides into a T position, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower your arms back down to complete the rep and repeat this combo for a total of 10 of each movement.
Squat Lunge– Rest your dumbbells on your shoulders, holding onto them with your hands. Keep your abs pulled in and back straight as you squat down with your legs apart. You can keep your feet in parallel or slightly turned out at hip distance apart. Just be sure to track your knees over your toes and keep your weight on your heels. After doing one squat, step your right foot back to perform one lunge on your left leg. To help with balance, keep your legs slightly separated so that they’re not in one line when you step back. Make sure you take a big enough step so that your left knee is in alignment with your left heel and your right hip over your right knee when you lunge. Step your right foot back to your squat position as you come up and do one more squat before repeated the lunge on your other leg. That is one rep. Do 8 reps total.
Side Plank Crunch Foot Tap– Get into a side plank on your left forearm. You may modify this exercise by doing a side plank with your bottom leg bent and top leg straight out. For the advanced version, keep legs straight and stacked. You can also hold a light weight in your right hand for more of a challenge. Straighten your right arm over your head and lift your right leg to hip height. Do one crunch by bringing your right knee to a bent right elbow. (If you are pregnant and your belly is in the way, turn the leg out and pull your knee in towards your elbow instead.) Straighten your arm and leg back out and bring your right leg forward to tap your toes on the ground in front of you as close to your face as possible without changing the shape of your torso. Stay strong and lifted in your left lat and oblique so that there’s no sagging in your shoulder blade or hip. Bring your right leg back to your left at hip height to complete the rep. Do 10 before switching sides and repeating.
Hamstring Stretch– Stretching is just as important as strengthening and it often gets overlooked, resulting in tightness, soreness or even pain. Your hamstrings are a muscle group that should be stretched regularly to help prevent injury and back pain. If I don’t have much time to stretch, I’ll do my hamstrings at the very least! Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. If you aren’t flexible enough, use a towel or exercise band and hook it around the arch of your foot. With as straight of a back as you can manage, bend forward from the waist holding on to one foot or either end of your towel and lift the leg straight up to stretch your hamstring. This position encourages proper alignment of your hips and back so that you get a true hamstring stretch instead of rounding your spine and straining your lower back. Bend your elbows to bring your leg in as close to your face as possible keeping both hips on the ground. Breathe deeply and hold this stretch for 10 breaths.
What are your fitness goals for 2020 and what have you done to start making them happen?
Photo & Video: Crystal Chin