Hello, and I hope everyone had a weekend as excellent as mine was! More on that later this week. For now, let’s get into your challenge.
This week’s fitness challenge is not really a “challenge” exactly, but a little experiment I want us all to do. I recently read a blog post somewhere but I honestly have no idea where.(I’m really sorry. I know I keep doing this and I really need to start writing these things down). However, the author of this blog (who is a personal trainer) said that he has all of his clients perform a series of light, bodyweight exercises immediately upon waking. They do this not as a workout, but to sort of “wake up” and activate the central nervous system. What I got from this blog post was that he believed that this would help to activate the healthy movement patterns that we use both in our workouts and in our normal daily lives, in order to encourage those movement patterns from the get-go.
So what I’m doing this week is just a little spin on this idea and taking it to a really basic place. I’m really not asking you guys to do a lot this week. This is more of an experiment… and also a little break before I kick your butt with a killer sprint workout next week.
Your challenge for Week # 5 is:
For those of you who aren’t familiar, a reverse lunge is exactly what it sounds like — you are stepping back into a lunge instead of stepping forward. Start standing on both feet. Step back with right leg and bend until your right knee is barely touching the floor, and left leg is at a 90 degree angle. Step back far enough so that you can have both legs in a good position without your front knee coming out over your toes. Push off your right toes, activate your left glutes, and return to start position. Switch legs and repeat. (Complete 20 each leg)
This is a “good” lunge. You can see some pictures of “bad” lunges for reference below. And on another note, you probably won’t be outside. But Hey… if you DO wake up outside, I’m not judging you, I swear.
Key points to remember when doing these lunges (especially when completing them first thing in the morning:
- Catch your balance at the bottom and top of the pose before progressing. If you’re wobbling around at the bottom of your lunge, chances are you’re not going to get into a true good lunge position, and you also risk injuring yourself.
- Take your time! Rushing through these with poor form will completely defeat the purpose.
- Make sure to keep your trunk/torso elevated; avoid leaning too far forward.
- Make sure that your front knee always faces forward; do not let it “cave in” towards your midline.
- If you absolutely can’t do a lunge without your front knee caving in, chances are you’ve got a lot of work to do on your gluteus medius and other hip abductors/stabilizers! (That’s a whole other post in itself… and will probably be coming soon).
- No, this is NOT your workout for the day. Don’t skip your normally scheduled workout because I asked you to do 2 minutes of lunges in the morning. Think of it as a supplement; instead of asking you to take a fish oil pill every day, I’m asking you to do lunges. Simple as that.
The second part of your challenge is very simple. Take a moment each day to notice how you feel. Do you hate me the first day, but then find them getting easier each day? Does doing this help you to wake up a little bit quicker? Do you feel more energy throughout the morning when you do this? Does it give you more motivation for your workout later?
I’m not even sure how I feel about this yet. I might hate it, I might love it and do it forever. Who knows if you don’t try, right? It might make a difference in my day, it might not. All I know is, when I step out of bed and stand at the stove like a zombie, stirring my oatmeal, I feel like crap. Maybe giving myself a little kickstart and a little blood-flow boost will make me feel way better?
Let me know how you do! Send me an email sometime this week (or several if you please) at firstname.lastname@example.org, and give me your thoughts on this. Now lunge away… and as always… Enjoy!