Fitness Challenge – June Shape Up – Arms + Core

Challenges are excellent at building strength, muscle and endurance. You will be surprised at how good you get at specific exercises and will be so proud of yourself – which in turn will build momentum for you to be better.

“If you continuously compete with others you will become BITTER. If you continuously compete with yourself you will become BETTER.”

This months fitness challenge is a mix of exercises, rather than focusing on one specific Muscle group. Last month we did the plank challenge - and I kept planks in this month because a few people loved them. I started out slightly simple for beginners – but if you’d like to up the time on some of these – go for it! Remember: It doesn’t matter if you start at the beginning of the month or not, just start! This calendar is used as a guide for any month of any year. Do this routine alongside your regular cardio or Strength Training and you will notice a difference!

June Challenge

How to do a plank:

1. First of all, having a Yoga Mat is best for this type of position, since you are balancing on your elbows for quite some time. I have actually gotten rug burns from doing this on the carpet so much. A good mat that I recommend is the Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat. Good for your body and the planet as it is free of many of the toxic phthalates found in other yoga mats. Once you have your mat, lay it out on the floor, get on it resting face down on your forearms and your knees.
2. Switch your weight onto your toes lifting up off your knees, but still on your forearms.
3. Make sure your toes are shoulder width apart.
4. Straighten your body out as flat as you can – flat as a board. Squeeze your core and hold.
5. You could also do a plan on your hands rather than your forearms for another variation.

How to do a Side Plank:

1. Once again, having a yoga mat is best for this type of position, and for your elbows, hands and sometimes your knee joints. A good mat that I recommend is the Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat. Lie on your side, get up onto your elbow and raise your hips and knees off the floor balancing on your feet (they can be on top of each other or one in front of the other). Hold for the required seconds.
2. If you cannot balance on your feet, you can always start off by balancing off your knee instead. Do this by starting on your side, lift up onto your hand and raise your hips off the floor. Hold for the required seconds.side-plank

How to do a tricep chair dip:

1. Get onto a chair, Workout Bench, stool or even a park bench would work.
2. Support the heels of your hands onto the sturdy chair/bench.
3. Slide your butt off the seat and support yourself on your hands, with your knees at a 90 degree angle.
4. Bend your elbows back, making sure to keep them tucked toward your body as you dip your bottom toward the ground.
5. Push yourself back up until your arms are straight. Repeat as many reps as required.
6. For a more advanced tricep dip, do these with your legs extended out, balancing on your heels.
7. You could also do another more advanced move: extend out one leg in the air as you dip. tricep dip

Print this calendar out (printer friendly version), download it or bookmark this post for everyday reference! When the month is over feel free to continue with challenging yourself to do these exercises even longer! Check in with us on here in the comments or on the Facebook page and chat with others about how you’re doing. Good luck ladies!

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