Do It Better – Week 4 Day 1

Welcome back! Are you ready for your last week?

Core and glutes today:

Lateral plank

The side plank is a great exercise for strengthening the obliques. You will hold your body on your side in a straight position supported only by one arm and the side of one foot. Strong obliques can be quite useful as core stabilization muscles. Your shoulder stabilizers keep you aligned as well. This exercise doesn’t put pressure on your lower back or neck as many core exercises do. This exercise can help you be able to sustain good posture and ease of movement by building a strong core and better balance.

  1. Starting position: Lie on your right side, legs extended and stacked from hip to feet. The elbow of your right arm is directly under your shoulder. Ensure your head is directly in line with your spine. Your left arm can be aligned along the left side of your body.
  2. Engage your abdominal muscles, drawing your navel toward your spine.
  3. Lift your hips and knees from the mat while exhaling. Your torso is straight in line with no sagging or bending. Hold the position.
  4. The goal should be to hold for 30 seconds. Change sides and repeat.

At first, you may only be able to hold the side plank for a couple of seconds. As soon as you start sagging or rolling forward or backward, it is time to end the plank.

Single leg glute bridge

The single-leg bridge exercise is a great way to isolate and strengthen the glutes and hamstrings. You need strong butt muscles for running and jumping. The single-leg bridge makes the list of the best butt exercises. Even if you’re not an athlete, everyone could use more glute activation to counter time spent sitting. In order to hold the pelvis level throughout the exercise, you need to contract both the abdominal and lower back muscles. This will help stabilize your spine. This move is great for any desk-bound worker because it improves hip mobility and lower-back strength. 

Lie flat on your back.

  1. Starting position: Bend your left knee and position your foot firmly on the floor, lift your right leg, bending your hip and knee 90 degrees. Allow your arms to rest by your sides on the mat.
  2. Exhale and gently press your left heel into the floor, activate your glutes, and raise your pelvis off the floor until your body forms one straight line from chin to the knees, resting on your shoulders. As you raise the hip, do not allow your back to arch. The lift comes from your glutes, and not from your back muscles.
  3. Inhale as you lower your pelvis to return to the starting position.

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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