Finish February Fit Challenge – Week 3

Hey Friends!

How was your Valentines Day? Mine was fun, and relaxed. The hubby gave me beautiful flowers and beaded earrings made by my little 14 year old neighbor.image

We celebrated with a dinner of grilled chicken, tasty grilled veggies and sweet potato around a crackling bonfire in our back yard.

A little of this banana blueberry softserve was consumed for dessert…and I’d be withholding information if I didn’t say it was fabulous bathed in some melted dark chocolate. 🙂image

In other news…we are into the 3rd week of our Finish Feb Fit Challenge! I can’t believe it.

If you are just reading about the challenge or getting a later start here’s what we did for Week’s 1 & 2:

Week 1 – HIIT
Week 2 – High Rep

For those of you doing the challenge currently, I want to encourage you to stay strong. It’s the 3rd week and I know you’ve been pushing yourself mentally and physically. Only two weeks to go, so keep up the excellent work, and push strong through through the next two weeks.

When planning for this week’s challenge the fact that I will be traveling came into play. We will be on the road for 22 hours, one way, and then back. Ugh…I know.
Staying active and fit is HARD when you are traveling, all the odds seem to be against you, and there is always an excuse for not getting in a workout. But, this is not my story. I’m ready to hit this challenge hard with you guys no matter what adjustments I may have to make to get my workouts in. 🙂

So…what’s the challenge?image

Bodyweight workouts!!

I LOVE bodyweight workouts because they FUN, versatile, and can be done virtually anywhere… in a small hotel room, a local park, a parking lot, basketball court, open field, driveway, kitchen, wherever…no excuses! 😉

Usually I incorporate at least one “bodyweight only” workout into my routine every week. Bodyweight workouts encourage you to use and practice good form, and allow you to push yourself to a new level because you aren’t hefting weights. You can challenge yourself by pushing your exercises to failure, adding in holds, plyometics, and cardio bursts to really burn out those muscles.

Also, bodyweight workouts are super fun and easy to create. All you need is a few exercises, an open space, and 15-20 minutes and you can pump out an amazing workout.

Here are some of my favorite bodyweight exercises:

1. Burpee – Squat down placing your hands securely on the floor on the outsides of your feet. Jump your feet together back to pushup position, core tight, back flat, no saggy tummy, or booty in the air. Jump your feet back to the start and jump up into the air reaching your arms over head.
*Looking for a new challenge? Try one of these variations.

2. Prisoner Squat – Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, toes slight turned out and hands placed lightly behind your head, elbows out. Slowly lower back and down into a squat, almost like you are sitting back into a chair. Lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor and then push through your legs back to the start. Be careful you knees never come out over your toes when you squat.

3. Pushups – With hands shoulder width apart securely on the floor, and legs together toes on the ground behind you, back straight, booty level, no saggy tummy; bending your elbows lower your body down until your chest is just a few inches from the ground. Push up to the start.
*Rockin’ your pushups like a fitness goddess…try, a variation of the pushup: military, diamond, incline, plyo pushups are all challenging in a new way.

4. Walking or Jumping Lunges – Basic lunge position shown below. Stepping forward perform a lunge on your right leg, push back to the start and moving forward like you are walking, lunge on your left leg.
Jumping lunges, from a stand jump straight up into the air and scissor your legs landing lightly in a lunge position. Immediately spring upwards, scissor your legs in the air again and land in a lunge on the opposite leg.
Backwards lunge (left)


5. Plank (and all it’s variations) –
High PlankLow side plank

6. Box, Bench, Jumps – Find a bench, stair, or step that is stable. Stand in front of it and using your legs spring up into the air coming down to land on the step with soft knees. Keep your core engaged throughout the movement. Immediately spring down of the step back to the ground.

7. Pistol Squats – Stand holding your arms straight out in front of your body, and raise your right leg, flexing your right ankle and pushing your hips back. Then lower your body standing only on your left leg, while keeping the right leg raised. Hold (yes, I know it hurts) then return to standing.
*When first trying these I used a low bench to squat down on. Then as I got stronger I used a chair with my hand on the back of it to help me keep good form. Now I can do a few on my own.
However, if you are a beginner, this is an advanced move and I recommend mastering the squat first. 

8. Handstands – Being a former gymnast I love the handstand as a whole body, bodyweight exercise. If you are just starting out please don’t try this without someone spotting you. If, you have strong upper body strength try kicking up to a handstand against a wall. Or if you’ve conquered the wall handstand, try kicking up to a full handstand, just make sure you know how to fall, and are on soft grass or a well cushioned area. Do not do this move on a hard surface.image

Handstand a piece of cake? Try handstand pushups. Use a wall or spotter until you have mastered the move.

9. Mountain Climbers – Great for your core, legs, and for a boost of cardio. Start in pushup position, arms straight, back flat, legs together resting on your toes, and no sagging bellies. Bring your left knee into your chest, and put it back, then your right. Do this quickly like you are moving quickly and efficiently up a mountain. You can also add a pushup after you bring each knee in once. This adds intensity to the exercise.

10. Tuck Jumps – Stand up straight, arms at your sides, as you jump straight into the air, bring your knees up to your chest, and try to extend them as you come down to land. Keep soft knees upon landing. Avoid kicking your heels back to kick your butt when you jump, your want your knees up. These are great tacked onto a burpee, or as a burner after a series of squat jumps.
Excuse the cute little photo bombin’ pooch.

Those are just a few of my favorites…but there are many more.

Feel free to use some of these bodyweight moves to put together your own workouts, or there are some great bodyweight workouts on my fitness/workout page as well.

Plus, Monday I’ll be posting a new (to me!) bodyweight workout, to keep things fresh and fun for this weeks challenge. So be sure to come and check that out!

Have a lovely Valentines Weekend!

~ Liesl

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