Good Morning dear readers!
I’ve been under the weather with a sinus infection (my 4th in the last 5 months – what is up with that?!) since the wee hours of the morn on Monday, and my antibiotics have finally started to kick in, so I’m in a pretty good mood this lovely summer morning. Oh, and it is officially summer now too, since the solstice was yesterday! I’m loving the long days (even though I was cooped up inside for the last few), and it makes me a little sad that they will start to shorten now. Oh well…I’ll take advantage of the sunlight while I can!
I took the workout outside with my sunrise sweat class this morning. I teach my fitness classes in the high school where I also teach kids, and we usually use one of the gyms, but it’s final exam time, so the gym is full of desks. I didn’t really know how the outdoor workout was going to go, since even though it’s summer it can be a little chilly at 6am…but it was actually pretty perfect – I’m glad we’ve been displaced from our regular indoor location!
This is the workout I lead this morning – a simple One Hour Track Circuit:
I took out some mini pylons that I got at Fitness Depot. I spaced out 16 of the pylons around the track as we did a brisk walk to warm up; they were about 25m apart, but I didn’t actually measure (I only know that now because I just divided 400m x 16 and got 25 on my calculator!).
After the quick warm up, we got right down to business with some walking lunges to the first pylon. At the pylon we did 10 jumping jacks, and then carried on with that pattern until we got half way around the track – 8 pylons in. At that point, we switched to a side shuffle, followed by 10 squats at each pylon. Because it’s important to keep balance in the body, we switched our lead leg for the side shuffles at each pylon, so that we did 4 with the left and 4 with the right leg leading. That brought us back to our starting point, where we had placed our mats on the ground.
We brought in some ab work here with what I call “Star Abs:” lying on your back, spread arms and legs out wide as though you are making a snow angel – your body looks kind of like a star, and maybe you feel like one too*! From there, gather your hands and feet in toward the centre of your body, like the star is puckering up, and then spread them back out to the original star position. We did 10 reps. This was followed by 10 pushups (either from knees or from toes) for a bit of arm and chest work. Because “Three is the Magic Number” (Oh, Shannon Hoon how I miss you…LOVE Blind Melon!), we did 3 sets of the Star Abs/Push ups combo.
From there, we got back up and headed around the track again…this time doing running leaps. If you’re not sure what those are, picture leaping forward from one foot to the next as though you’re trying to jump over a big puddle while exaggerating the swing of your arms. At each pylon we did 10 butt kicks, until we got to the halfway point. Then we switched to backwards jogging between pylons with 10 high knees at each stopping point.
This brought us back to the start, where we did some more abs:
1. Reverse Crunch: Cross your ankles and raise your legs upward. Place your hands palms down, and engage your core muscles. Use your abs to lift your legs straight up until your hips lift off the ground. Lower back down and repeat 10x.
2. Bicycle Crunches: with your elbows bent and finger tips at your ears, and legs lifted and bent at a 90 degree angle, gather your right elbow and your left knee together as you extend your right leg outward. With a slow, controlled movement, change your legs and gather your left elbow and right knee together as your left leg extends. Repeat 10x.
3. Vertical Crunch: With ankles crossed and legs straight up in the air, engage your abs and crunch upwards until your shoulder blades lift off the ground. Lower back down and repeat 10x.
Thanks About.com for the photos!
Again, three is the magic number, so we repeated this ab set (10x Reverse Crunch – 10x Bicycle Crunch – 10 x Vertical Crunch) three times.
We stayed at our starting point for the next set: 10x Mountain Climbers and 10x Sumo Squat Jumps (there is a great video for Sumo Squat Jumps here; however, I usually bring my hands lower to the ground – like a Sumo wrestler – and then clap my hands overhead with the jump). We repeated this 10x Mountain Climber/10x Sumo Squat Jump combo three times.
Our last set was a bit more cardio: we ran from pylon 1 to pylon 2, then walked to pylon 3, repeating that sequence twice around the track. If you’re trying this sequence using pylons, remeber to pick them up on your last trip around the track!
We finished up with a cool down of walking to about the 1/4 mark of the track, and then turning around to come back to our starting point. We did various arm stretches as we did this cool down walk, and then returned to our mats for some leg stretches. All in all it was a fabulous workout…crisp, fresh air and lovely morning sun on our backs. Even though I’m still feeling pretty weak and foggy from the sinus infection, it was clearing and centering to get things moving in my body again after 3 days of illness induced lounging. Do you find that a work out is good when you’re sick?
*I picture Molly Shannon in the 90’s SNL film Superstar, but don’t get nervous and put your fingers in your arm pits then smell them…you’ve been working out, remember? You’re probably a little sweaty!