DAY 3 - Mat Work - Upper Body
10 Superman + Lat Pullback Combo
5 Hand-Release Push-Ups
5 Superman + Hand-Release Push-Up Combo
[x2] = 40
10 Plank to Downdog
5 Downdog Press-Ups
5 Plank to Downdog + Press-Up Combo
[x2] = 40
10 C-Sit Arm Circles [5 clockwise + 5 counter clockwise]
[x2] = 20
In this workout we’re doing hand-release push-ups. Why?? They’re an effective way to build up strength & practice proper form through the *full range of motion* of a push-up, [which you eventually want to do properly - without resting on your belly at the bottom ;-) ]. Focus on lowering yourself so that your entire body reaches the floor at the same time - avoid letting your hips sag & touch the ground before anything else. Then reverse it! Press everything up all at once & avoid any worm-like action ;-)
FYI --- Another helpful way to build up strength if you struggle with push-ups, [the struggle is SO real btw], is to elevate your hands. The higher you elevate them, the easier. Start with your hands on a countertop; then progress to a bench/chair; then the bottom step of a staircase; then shoot for the real deal!
No matter what variation of push-ups you’re doing, remember that they’re a moving plank, so:
- lats engaged [pull your shoulders away from your ears - "un-shrug" them]
- lower abs tight & butt squeezed to keep pelvis neutral
- heels driving back so that all 5 toes press into the ground & quads [front of thighs] engage
- gaze at the floor
WHY DO PLANKS / PUSH-UPS HURT MY WRISTS?!
- It’s all about alignment, baby ;-) When you’re in a plank, you should have a straight line from your shoulders to your elbows to your wrists... as well as from your shoulders to your hips to your heels. When those straight lines become curvy, your wrists will let you know immediately - LOL. One of the worst ones I see with exercises like mountain climbers & face melters is the shoulders moving forward & ahead of the wrists. This is bending them backward [yikes!] - which is obviously super uncomfortable!! So when you’re moving in a plank, be sure to stay static - move in place.
- Engage your *whole* hand! Oftentimes, without even realizing, people will create a ton of torque in their wrist joint because they sit all the weight they’re holding up in the heels of their palms... like when you’re super fatigued & practically clawing your fingertips into the floor out of pure desperation - hahaha. So, intentionally press your entire palm & the ends of your fingers into the ground to engage the muscles that stabilize your wrists.
- If necessary, do it with your hands on a flat, hard surface. For some of us, the cushioning of a mat/rug may work against us when it comes to keeping our wrists properly stabilized. Go ahead & keep your knees over the mat, but walk your hands forward so that they’re on the flat, hard floor.
- And if worse comes to worse, try doing it on your fists! It sounds WAY riskier than it is - I do it often. But definitely be sure to squeeze your fists tight for the same reason as #2 - you want to be sure your wrists are supported. [Another similar but less nerve-wracking option is to hold onto the handles of dumbbells, which will take the pressure off your knuckles if that's preferred!]
Superman + Lat Pullback Combo: while you are moving your back into hyperextension, [letting your back arch], your focus is less on arching & more on reaching. As you lift, your goal is to lengthen. Create the longest possible line from your fingertips to your toes! And per usual - engage your lats [shoulders away from ears - even when you reach forward!] & squeeze your butt ;-)
OK, I think that's enough coaching... it's time to start DOING! Let's get to work!