November 24: Gearing Up

November 24: Gearing Up

As we are gearing up for the coming holiday, so let’s get our mind and body ready with a quick, core focused workout. A tabata of leg lifts and bridges, do 4 sets of each exercises alternating to do 8 sets total.  Each set is 20 seconds of as many proper leg lifts or bridges as you can in 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest x 8 = 4 minutes. For the leg lifts lay on the floor on your back.  Place your hands under your glutes with your palms facing down. Keep your legs as straight as possible.  Slowly raise your legs perpendicular to the floor. Hold the contraction at the top for a second, then slowly lower your legs to the start position. Envision your body as one muscle you’re trying to elongate and contract. Focus on keeping your lower back connected to the floor. Redinfining Strength at gmail had this brilliant description of how to do proper bridges: “Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the ground just close enough that you can graze your heels with your fingertips when you stretch your arms down by your side. Your feet should be about hip-width apart.  Bend your elbows to 90 degrees so that only your upper arm is on the ground. Then drive up through your heels and upper back to lift your glutes off the ground. Drive your hips up as high as possible, squeezing the glutes hard. Keep your belly button drawn in so you don’t hyper extend your back. Do not push backward off your heels. Make sure you are driving straight up and that your knees aren’t caving in. Squeeze your glutes for second or two at the top and lower all the way back down to the ground before repeating. You should feel this move in your glutes and hamstrings and not in your low back. Do not rush through glute bridges. Take time to hold at the top and feel the glutes activate.” Today I am grateful for my incredible work window and the the lovely iconic view of Bloomington it gives me. How about you? What sparks your gratitude today?