(An A to Z Challenge entry)
While “C” is posted on Monday, April 4, I completed my workout and writing on Sunday night to share for Monday.
Day three brings me to “C” and while it looks like a super mighty list, several of these are stretches that started and ended my work out today. Taking a break on my arms from “B”, we return to the abs and bring the burn to the legs. My rotation included:
Five minutes of stretches, including: Cat stretches, child’s pose, calf stretches, and chin to chest stretches.
17 minutes of toning in repetitions of 40: crunches, left leg clams, crunches, right leg clams, and calf raises. Grand totals = 160 crunches, 120 of both leg clams and calf raises.
8 minutes of stretches (same as above) plus calves-SMR.
Let’s see how it all worked out!
All of these stretches I have done before, so they are nothing new to me, and I am not sure I need to spend any time explaining these as they are fairly self-explanatory. The only one that some may not know is the child’s pose (a popular yoga stance). With these stretches, I covered my back, neck, and legs — a great primer for my toning and an excellent cool down!
I decided I better return to my abs after a day break — keep that nice warm soreness going in my belly. These went pretty well, I could really #feelthebern, usually around repetition 30 each time and were a nice break in between my clams. I know I will be doing many more crunches in the future, as this is a pretty standard abdominal exercise.
I first learned clams while taking a strength and balance class several years ago. I knew I would feel these immediately. In case you aren’t familiar, bodybuilding.com provides an excellent instruction:
Talk about feeling the burn! These work your hip abductors, or the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus (the muscles that connect your hips to your legs). Right away I could feel my left side at around repetition 10. With round 2 and 3, it got stronger but still could tell those muscles on my left side are way weaker than my right. I know these are good for me but man do they burn!
Learning these way back in my soccer days, I revisited these during that same strength and balance class. Also knew these are good to do but can be painful. For each round of these, I was doing pretty good until I hit repetition 30 aaaaaand then I had to push myself through until 40. I am very glad that I also did calf stretches before and after these, as I hope it will help with the tenderness tomorrow.
Calves-SMR was the only stretching exercise that was completely new to me. I became familiar with these types of stretches from a friend — who told me how using a foam roller has really helped loosen her tense muscles. So in preparation for the challenge, I ordered a foam roller off Amazon last week. Here is a photo for your visualization from bodybuilder.com:
You roll your calves on the roller until you find areas of tenderness and soreness and then you hold there for 10-30 seconds. It is meant to simulate a pressure point massage to help stretch tight muscles. Eventually once I gain more strength, I can do more of how it is pictured above, which adds in a level of strength and balance. But for tonight’s purposes, I used it mostly to stretch and relieve my tender calves, especially after all of those calf raises!
I felt like I got some awesome toning in today! I anticipate that I will return to all of these workouts in come capacity in the future and look forward to being able to do more repetitions as I get stronger and stronger.
Health point challenge: Success!
What are some of your favorite “C” and/or toning exercises? Have you ever worked with a foam roller before? If so, how do you use it? Feel free to share your comments below!