Do It Better – Week 3 Day 1

I´m sure you´re already aware that it takes 21 days to make a new habit stick. So, this week is key. Ready?

It´s monday, which means core and glutes, my friend.

Crunch

Crunches have been the mainstay of ab workouts for decades. They target the rectus abdominis, the six-pack muscle that runs along the front of the torso. This muscle flexes to bring your chest towards your hips. Building this muscle is one part of developing your core muscles for stability and performance.

  1. Starting position: Lie down on the floor on your back and bend your knees, placing your hands on your thighs. Pull your belly button towards your spine.
  2. Exhale and slowly contract your abdominals, bringing your shoulder blades about 1 or 2 inches off the floor. Your hands will advance through your thighs and reach your knees with your fingers.
  3. Inhale as you slowly lower back down, but don’t relax all the way. It’s easy to let your shoulders fall to the floor but a more effective approach is to keep the tension on the abs throughout the entire movement. You never want to completely relax the shoulders onto the floor.

The crunch is a subtle movement, lifting the shoulder blades just a few inches off the floor. Jerking the shoulders up adds momentum and reduces the effectiveness of the exercise. It takes time to build strength in the abs, so it’s best to take your time and do the move slowly rather than using momentum to get the body up.

Clam

The clam is a simple exercise that tones the glutes, and hips. It also teaches pelvic stability as the leg rotates inward and outward at the hip. This exercise is calling on your deep six hip muscles. These smaller and lesser-known hip muscles help with the movement of your legs and hip, create pelvic movement, and are important to the overall health and integrity of your hip. The clam is often prescribed in physical therapy for people who have knee pain as it activates the muscles needed to support good knee function. It is also used in rehabilitation after total hip replacement and hip fracture. 

Lie down on one side of your body with your arm stretched out to support your head.

  1. Starting position: Bend your knees, so they rest at a 45-degree angle and keep your legs on top of one another.
  2. Loop a resistance band around your thighs, just above the knees. Use your arms for stabilization, and pull your core muscles inwards.
  3. Exhale and rotate your upper knee, so it moves away from your bottom knee, as far up as you can.
  4. Inhale as you lower your leg back down again.

Keep your feet in contact with one another as you raise your upper knee as high as you can, without moving the hips or pelvis. Don’t allow your lower leg to move off of the floor.

Tips to get the most out of this workout

  1. Read the instructions on how to do the exercises. If you skipped it, scroll up. It´s important to keep the technique in mind to perform the exercises correctly.
  2. Watch the first two sets before you start and visualize yourself performing the exercises.
  3. Grab the equipment you need (mat, resistance bands), put them in position, and keep close your bottle of water.
  4. Mute your phone. Next 10 minutes you´ll be unavailable.
  5. We aim for a total of 10 sets (5 sets each exercise), with no rest in between. However, if you need to rest, press pause and take your time.
  6. Each set is 1 minute long. If it´s too much for you right now, do as many repetitions as possible.

Are you ready? Here we go!

Well done!! See you tomorrow.

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Rest 30 seconds

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Lower Back

The Erector Spinae is not just one muscle, but a bundle of muscles and tendons. Paired, they run more or less vertically. It extends throughout the lumbar, thoracic and cervical regions, and lies in the groove to the side of the vertebral column.

Latissimus Dorsi

The latissimus dorsi is the larger, flat, dorsolateral muscle on the trunk, posterior to the arm, and partly covered by the trapezius on its median dorsal region.

Deltoids

The Deltoid muscle is the muscle forming the rounded contour of the shoulder. It is divided into three portions, anterior, lateral and posterior, with the fibers having different roles due to their orientation.

Infraspinatus

The Infraspinatus muscle is one of the four rotator cuff muscles crossing the shoulder joint and is commonly injured. It is the main external rotator of the shoulder joint.

Biceps

The Biceps brachii is  actually two separate bundles of muscles (heads). The two heads of the Biceps vary in length and as a result, are called the Short and the Long Biceps heads.

Triceps

The Triceps Brachii muscles  have three muscle heads: Lateral, Medial and Long head. Primarily responsible for the extension of the elbow joint. The lateral head is used for movements requiring occasional high-intensity force, while the medial fascicle enables more precise, low-force movements.

Forearm
(Anterior muscles)

The Pronator teres pronates the forearm, turning the hand posteriorly. If the elbow is flexed to a right angle, then pronator teres will turn the hand so that the palm faces inferiorly. It is assisted in this action by pronator quadratus.

Forearm
(Posterior muscles)

The Extensor Digitorum muscle helps in the movements of the wrists and the elbows. It extends the phalanges, then the wrist, and finally the elbow. It acts principally on the proximal phalanges. It tends to separate the fingers as it extends them.

Pecs

The pectoralis major makes up the bulk of the chest muscles in the male and lies under the breast in the female.

The pectoralis minor is a thin, triangular muscle, situated at the upper part of the chest, beneath the pectoralis major. 

Abs

The Rectus Abdominis is the most superficial of the abdominal muscles. It is this muscle which forms the six-pack shape! It is a paired muscle running vertically on each side of the anterior wall of the abdomen. There are two parallel muscles, separated by a midline band of connective tissue called the linea alba.

Obliques

The External Oblique is situated on the lateral and anterior parts of the abdomen. It is broad, thin, and irregularly quadrilateral. It is the largest and the most superficial (outermost) of the three flat muscles of the lateral anterior abdomen. 

Glutes

The gluteal muscles are a group of three muscles which make up the buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The three muscles originate from the ilium and sacrum and insert on the femur. The functions of the muscles include extension, abduction, external rotation, and internal rotation of the hip joint.

Rest 40 seconds

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Quadriceps

The Quadriceps Femoris is the knee extensor muscle.  As a group, the quadriceps femoris is crucial in walking, running, jumping and squatting. It´s subdivided into four separate “heads”.

Hamstrings

A hamstring is any one of the three posterior thigh muscles in between the hip and the knee (from medial to lateral: semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris). The hamstrings are quite susceptible to injury.

Lower Leg

The gastrocnemius and the soleus form what we know as calf. They are involved in activities such as walking, running, jumping… 

Rest 120 seconds

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Rest 90 seconds

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Rest 60 seconds

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Trapezius

The trapezius is a broad, flat and triangular muscle. The muscles on each side form a trapezoid shape. It is the most superficial of all the back muscles.

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