I had planned to post this last Wednesday, but somehow messed up the scheduling. I was already behind – I want to post at least three times a week, but that doesn’t always happen. I want to be consistent but I’m learning not to beat myself up too badly when I’m not. Life gets busy for all of us. Sometimes we need to make choices between to very important options. When I’m faced with those decisions, I try to choose the needs of a person over the needs of a thing. Last night my granddaughter needed to talk for a while. The night before that another family member needed some time and attention. These things mean a great deal to me, which means sometimes other things have to be put on hold. It gets frustrating because I want to be able to fit it all in. Anyone else feeling that?
Speaking of fitting it all in, I have that New Year’s Resolution – the one about getting into bikini shape. I’m approaching this as efficiently and sustainably as I can. It’s aboout short, effective workouts, because I don’t have often have an hour to an hour-and-a-half to spend in the gym. I’ve been mixing regular weight training with Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide (BBG). Yesterday I did the BBG Week 2 arm and ab workout. How’d I do? Welllll. . .
Some exercises were pretty easy for me, like squats with overhead shoulder presses, triceps dips and most of the ab workouts. Push-ups in their different variations have become a challenge. I hurt my shoulder (doing push-ups, as a matter of fact) and though it’s almost fully healed, it’s not strong. Rather than skip these moves, I modify. I do what I can in full form (even if it’s just one or two) then find a way to modify the move so I’m still challenged while I increase tone and strength.
Can’t do push-ups? Try modifying by dropping to your knees. Pull in your abs, tuck your hips and tighten your buns to create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Lower yourself as much as you can, then push back up. Voila! You’re training for push-ups! You should feel the same muscles working: chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders, abs. Keep your form correct, even while modifying. A modification isn’t a lazy version, it’s just a different version. Just as a beginning weight-trainer starts with lighter weights and build over time, modifications of body-weight exercises (those in which your own body weight creates the resistance) give you the ability to start with a lighter weight as your work on strength. Even as you modify, always try at least one full push-up before modifying.
Wrist problems? This issue plagues my sister-in-law. Don’t give up! There are still options. Try planks instead of push-ups. You will still get an ab workout but keeping your core tight and your hips tucked. You can also try push-up equipment, such as the Perfect Push-up or push-up stands. These tools are designed to help you acheive deeper push-ups, but they will also help you keep your wrists straight as you do a push-up of modified or normal depth.
My other challenge has been the move that takes me up and down from bent-arm planks to full-arm planks. Again, the shoulder. So I do as many as I can, then move to my knees like a modified push-up. Again, I’m getting the benefits, I’m getting stronger, and I’m not giving up. Let that be your story, too!
What are your favorite workout tips? I’d love to hear about them!