If I told you how long it’s been since I’ve consistently worked out, you wouldn’t believe me. After over a year of building up unhealthy habits, it was time to rededicate myself to my health and fitness. I realized that my fitness habits were almost nonexistent and there was little motivation to make a change at this point. Eventually the day came where I knew that my body could only take so much more. This awareness triggered an eager initiative to find a new gym home, plus I missed lifting weights the most!
A week after joining a new gym for a fresh start, the covid-19 pandemic errupted temporarily closing my brand new gym. Lucky me! Initially I sulked at home like everyone else for a while, but soon enough I felt like I was just positioning myself for a terrible end result by remaining sedentary. So instead of placing myself 3 steps back, I decided to challenge myself to take 5 steps forward. The motivation had returned!
At home I always have an exercise ball and resistance bands because they are accessible and a great way to maintain composition and/or strengthen the core. You would actually be surprised with the benefits you can receive from an exercise ball like core stabilization which recruits other muscles in order to keep the body in place. This benefit is not always incorporated in your everyday workout routine so it’s a great addition. You can also build strength, flexibility, balance/coordination and achieve aerobic output with certain movements that add variations and intensity. An exercise or stability ball will even help to burn an additional 50 calories by just sitting on the ball. Its subtle but interestingly effective due to multiple muscles being recruited to maintain your posture. With the influence of the exercise ball in mind, a challenge was born!
I prefer to focus on the complete body, so movements that target all major muscle groups are always included. I also wanted to start with movements that introduced fitness to the body without regretting it the next day especially since its been some time for me. You want to enjoy your workout while being challenged!
Join me and challenge yourself too! In about 15 minutes or less you will complete a full body high/low intensity workout and you can build from there depending on your fitness level. This challenge is also perfect for busy women that are looking for ways to incorporate some physical activity too. If that sounds like you or you’re simply searching for a fresh start as well then continue reading for #HERFitnessChallenge.
You are encouraged to warm up and cool down after the challenge is completed. Each movement should be performed with the proper form and modified if you require a beginner or advanced level. Remember to always stand with your feet shoulder width apart, keep some water nearby and breath. You are your own competitor! Take your time in between movements and create a playlist that will keep you motivated.
As you place your exercise ball eye level on the wall, palm the ball shoulder width apart. Begin stepping back until your arms are straight. You will then lean forward while the ball rolls down your forearm towards your elbow. As you keep your head straight and engage your core continue to extend the arms as tolerated to target your back, shoulders and core. Hold for 3 seconds and return to your neutral position.
Hopscotch Squats 30
With the exercise ball on the wall, place the ball on your lower back. After placing your feet shoulder width apart, bring your feet together by hopping twice then back to your neutral position for a squat. Go as low as you want since you have the support from the ball behind you. As you come up from your deep squat you will immediately jump into your double hops. The gluts, quads, hamstrings and calves are major contributors to this movement.
Tricep Touchdowns 45
Similar to the superwoman, you will place the ball at eye level but with your forearms on the ball instead of your hands. Your thumbs will be pointing towards you and you will maintain a comfortable lean without raising your heels. You can then proceed to press into the ball with your forearms then push yourself away from the ball straightening your arms. This movement is a subtle beast at targeting the triceps, shoulders, and leave you with some solid trap work.
Around the World 30
By incorporating this movement, you are guaranteeing high energy aerobic output. Prepare yourself! With the focus being on the lower extremities like the quads, hamstrings and calves, you will steady your ball in the middle of the room. Bring one foot up to tap the ball while standing on the other. After you tap the ball, alternate by hopping to the other foot and continue that around the ball as you tap it with intent to keep the ball in the middle of the room. If the ball moves dont worry, just reset and catch your bearings. An easy alternative to achieving this movement is performing it without literally tapping the ball. Both feet will complete 30 reps each.
Single Leg Bridges 25
As you lay on your back with your knees bent and feet shoulder width apart, place your exercise ball behind the knee of your right leg. Your left leg should remain bent while the right leg on top of the exercise ball is straight. You will then proceed to raise your bottom as tolerated to level the body. Throughout this movement you are working on the gluts, lower back and quads. Return to neutral position and repeat as each leg will need 25 repetitions.
Dolphin Pushups 25
Begin by kneeling with the exercise ball to your chest then proceed to use your hands to walk yourself over the ball until it is under your knees for support. Make sure to line your hands up with your shoulders. You are now in a plank position. Once centered, keep your head straight and begin elevating your bottom towards the ceiling as you roll the ball towards your ankles. Test your strength here! Keep your core engaged and take your time while you complete each movement. It is a finisher as you are pretty much utilizing your entire body for this one so take your time.
Challenge yourself! This can be a quick 15 minute workout that will give you benefits that you wouldn’t have ever guessed. Take your time with each movement as it will take some extra stabilization with the exercise ball included. One completion of the challenge will definitely provide you with an impressive workout but over time, try to work your way up to three sets of the challenge as your body adjusts. Of course you can modify as needed to meet your fitness needs and you can email email@example.com for modifications. Eventually you will build the strength to accomplish more as I will too. How long did it take you to complete #HERFitnessChallenge? Did you execute each movement to the last rep successfully? Let’s talk about it below.