It was a LONG winter and we are all excited about spending some time outdoors! The park or playground is the perfect spot for the entire family to move together. While your kids are jumping, swinging and playing it is also a great opportunity for you to do the same with some adult variations. The same exercises and games that children do on the playground can be a challenging workout for an adult, not to mention FUN! I speak from experience. My 8 year old challenged me to do everything she did on a school playground. I made it 2 rounds following her course…….she played for well over an hour! A childs freedom of movement is amazing to watch and try! Try the following workout and let us know how you feel!
Warm-up for 5- 10 minutes. Run around the playground, jump rope, jump sqats, jumping jacks or burpees. Anything that gets your body warm, heart rate up and ready for exercise.
Squats – stand in front of a bench or steps and squat towards a 90 degree angle with the legs 10-15 reps
Monkey Bars – perfect spot for a set of pull-ups (change your grip to work different muscles) Underhand grip will target more biceps, overhand wide grip will target lats and rear shoulders, so mix it up or just trying moving across them like a child. Or challenge yourself or your child to see how long you can hang on the monkey bars in a flexed arm position. Do your best!
Step-Ups – alternate stepping up using power and control. Add a challenge by hopping up onto a step or bench (remember to step down softly). 10-15 each leg
Push-Ups and knee unders – a swing is also a great spot for atomic push-ups. Put your feet in the swing and assume the straight arm plank position. Do a set of push-ups, knee under or pikes. Try 10 of each variation
Swing – pull your navel to your spine and enjoy the ride. Do it until you or child gets board or you become nauseous 🙂
Tricep Dips – use a bench or step and dip towards a 90 degrees using the triceps. 10-15 reps
Play a round of tag with your child for 5-10 minutes
Either repeat this sequence and/or continue to play follow the leader with your child. Most importantly set the example for you child and have fun! Check out Core Sport’s owner Jaime White and fellow movement guru Benjamin Degenhardt playing in NYC!
With tank top season around the corner……..hopefully, the standing arm weights are a great add on to the mat work. You will only need a light weight of 2-3lbs to make these exercise effective. The more that you can actively put the work into your own body the heavier those 2-3lbs will feel!
Bicep Curls Front
- Stand on the mat with the legs firm and actively squeezing together, weight shifted slightly to the forefoot
- Zip up the waist and focus on proper alignment and posture as you move
- Bring the arms up to a 90 degree angle in front of the body with the top of the arm parallel to the floor – make sure the shoulders don’t round forward
- Inhale as you extend the arms away, exhale and you squeeze back to center
- As you move the arms, feel as though you are pressing through or against heavy resistance. Repeat 10x
Bicep Curls Side
- After you have completed the bicep curls front go right into bicep curls side
- Bring the arms to the side at a 90 degree angle, keeping the upper arm parallel to the floor and the palms facing your head
- Inhale press the arms away, exhale pull the arms back to center. Repeat 10x
Push-Ups are a great and effective way to strengthen the upper body. The important thing to remember is to keep the full body connection. Body is in a strong straight line from the head to heels. Arms are a little wider than shoulder width apart with the entire palm and all ten fingers actively pressing into the mat. The creases in your elbows should face each other. Shoulders are drawing down your back with your abs pulling in and up. Thighs and heels are actively squeezing together. Maintain these connection points as you move only the arms.
- Stand at the end of your mat with a tall lifted spine
- Keep the tailbone lengthening heavy to the floor
- Drop the weight of the head forward and round forward until your hands reach the floor
- Walk the hands out onto the mat until the body comes into a straight plank
- Keep the hands and arms actively pressing into the mat as you inhale and bend the arms lowering the body to the mat as far as you can control
- Exhale as you press the body back up. Repeat 3x
- Walk your hands back towards your feet and round back up
- Repeat the whole sequence 3-5x
The LegPull is basically the reverse of the Leg Pull Front. Once again, focus on finding and maintaining the ‘full body’ connection through out the movement. Holding the position and focusing on your breath and stability is a great option to build strength if you are not quite ready to add in the leg lifts!
- Sit with your legs extended long and together on the mat
- Arms are extended long by your side with the palms actively pressing into the mat, fingers facing your hips
- Continue to actively press into the mat with the arms as you squeeze your glutes and thighs together and lift the hips off the mat
- Body is lifted and lengthened into a strong straight line
- Maintaining stability in the hips and torso, lift the right leg as high as you can
- Lower with control and switch sides. Repeat 3x each side
Leg pull front begins in a straight-arm plank position…….. think push up. When you are in the straight-arm plank you should feel every muscle in your body working to support the position and movement. Maintain proper alignment of the head and spine. Actively press your arms, palms and all ten fingers into the mat. The creases in your elbows should be facing each other. Keep your abs pulling in and up. Glutes and thighs are squeezing together tightly. Heels pressing together. Now you are ready! Remember, you can hold the position and work on stabilizing and add in the movement when you feel stronger.
Leg Pull Front
- Come into a straight arm plank position
- Keep the entire body stable, especially the hips, and lift the right leg off the mat with a small double kick
- Maintain stability as you switch sides. Repeat 3x each side
Swimming is a common exercise that you have probably done or seen in any fitness class. Swimming is a contralateral movement and therefore a challenging exercise when executed properly. Focus on maintaining a long lower back and putting more of the work into the upper back. The deeper you lengthen and put the work into your own body the greater the benefits.
- Lie on your stomach with arms and legs extended, forehead resting on the mat
- Actively squeeze your legs together, pull the abs in and lift the arms, head and legs away from the mat
- Keep your tailbone lengthen and your pubic bone pressing into the mat
- With control from your center, alternate lifting the right arm left leg and left arm right left
- Following a natural breathing pattern keep the movement going as you focus and lengthen the arms and legs from your center with each movement for 10 counts
From the teaser we move right into the hip twist. Your in the hip twist is to keep everything from the waist up stable as the legs are circling. Also, focus on keeping the chest lifted. The hip twist is a great way to stretch the lower back.
- From your teaser position, extend the arms behind you with the fingertips facing away or to the side. You can also prop yourself up on your elbows
- Legs are actively extending up to the ceiling at a 90 degree angle
- Keeping your ribcage tight and your abs pulling in, inhale as your begin to circle your legs to the right, down towards the mat to your point of control and exhale as your circle them left back to center
- Reverse the direction of the circle and repeat 3x to each side
- As you are circling the legs, try to bring the legs as close to your head as possible
Side kicks series challenges your stability while lying on your side. The closer the body is to a straight line from the crown of the head through your toes the more challenging it will be, so choose an angle that works for your body. As the leg is moving focus on creating as much length in the thigh as you can. Remember the more opposition and work you can put into your own body the more you will get out of each movement!
- Lie on your side in a straight line from the crown of your head down through your tailbone. From the hips the legs come forward towards the front corner of the mat
- Your top hand will actively press into the mat about 4 inches away from your chest.
- Actively draw your abs in – imagine you could slip a piece of paper between your waist and the mat
- Lift your top leg to hip height
- Kick the leg forward with control, kick the leg back with control. Repeat 6-10x on each side
It’s hard to believe we are almost half way through March MATness! By now you have hopefully developed and devoted yourself to a daily practice of moving well. Today we are doing Spine Twist, which is similar to the rotational twist in Saw, except that your legs stay glued together. A great tool to keep you honest in your rotation is to put your feet up against a wall. As you are twisting, keep your feet pressing into the wall.
- Sit tall with your legs long, thighs squeezing together and your feet flexed
- Arms are reaching to the sides creating as much length as you can from fingertip to fingertip with the shoulders anchored down your back
- Inhale, squeeze your glutes as you lift and lengthen your spine
- Maintain your height as you rotate to the right – the arms are moving only because of the rotation in the spine
- As you rotate, keep working the opposition of the arms, head to tailbone and the hips to heels
- Exhale twist back to center, inhale twist left. Repeat 3x each side