Doing Burpees at the Park

Strength Training Challenge 

If you are looking for a way to kickstart an exercise routine that will build muscle, consider the Seven-Day Strength Training Motivation Challenge. The key is to keep track of your time or the number of repetitions you do.

There are several ways to incorporate strength training — which helps improve the strength and endurance of your muscular system — into your day. If you’re looking for a place to start, here are two strength training techniques to try. Choose either challenge or do one the first seven days, then the other the next.

Marissa’s plank challenge

A plank exercise builds core strength and stability. It’s done by holding your body up and straight, as in a pushup, for as long as possible. It’s important to start with small amounts of time and work your way up to holding the plank longer.

Here’s how to do the moves

Shoulder taps: Start in a tall plank position (arms fully extended beneath your body) with your hands and feet about shoulder-width apart. Lift one hand off the ground and tap the opposite shoulder, then return that hand to its original position. Repeat on the other side.

Walking planks: Start in a plank position, resting on your forearms with your body forming a straight line from shoulders to feet. Then push up from the ground, one arm at a time, into the tall plank position maintaining your rigid plank form.

Beginner: Record how long you can hold a plank.

Intermediate: Record how many shoulder taps you can do without stopping.

Advanced: Record how many walking planks you do without stopping.

Options:

  • Do all moves on your knees.
  • Do all moves on your toes.

Tips to remember:

  • Don’t hold your breath.
  • Keep your neck neutral.
  • Keep your elbows under shoulders.
  • Keep your core tight.
  • Don’t let your hips sway.
  • Push your hands and feet into the ground.

Cindy’s burpee challenge

Burpees are a challenging exercise that work many muscles in your body. It’s a two-part exercise, starting with a pushup then a jump in the air. It’s important not to overdo. Start with a small number of burpees and work your way up to more.

Before you start:

  • Listen to your body and resist the urge to push yourself too quickly.
  • Wear proper clothing and shoes when exercising.
  • Perform each exercise slowly and under control, paying attention to proper form.
  • Stop your workout if you feel a sharp or stabbing pain. If the pain doesn’t go away when you stop exercising, seek medical attention.
  • If you have a health condition, talk with your doctor about an exercise program that’s safe for you.

Record how many burpees you can do in one minute.

Beginner: Walk your legs out.

Intermediate: Jump your legs out.

Advanced: End with a jump.

Tips to remember:

  • Don’t hold your breath.
  • Keep core tight.
  • Wear supportive shoes.
  • Be aware of your form

Consult with your doctor prior to beginning any exercise program. Learn more about the Seven-Day Strength Training Motivation Challenge in this Blue Cross Virtual Well-BeingSM webinar. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and general interest webinars here, where you’ll find past sessions and resources.

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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