100 A Day to B Strong Fitness Challenge: Day 2

Happy Saturday! And welcome to Day 2 of #100repsadaytobstrong! AKA Arms & Abs Day 😬

If you can, try to flow from 1 movement to another without really stopping. Yep, that means holding the plank for all 15 shoulder taps & 20 mountain climbers with no rest between!! [I do this ‘cause ily & I want you to realize how badass you really are ;-)].

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Here’s some info/tips on form:

  • Hand-Release Push-ups: core, chest & triceps. Head to the bottom of this post to learn more about proper push-up form & how to get better at them!
  • Superman Hold + Lat Pullbacks: I love supermans for strengthening your back & improving spinal mobility - b/c it’s important to bend without breaking, haha. Lat pullbacks are great for activating our lats - which tend to “check out” on us when we don’t deliberately move & use them. Not only that, SO many of us, [myself included], have cruddy scapular mobility - which can lead to tension/injury in our neck &/or shoulders. Training your shoulders to move smoothly through their full range of motion could save you a lot of aches, pains & frustrations in the future.

NOTE: when you pull your shoulders back during the lat pullback, get familiar with how you feel when your lats engage b/c you should feel those muscles engage, pulling your shoulders away from your ears & back toward your hips - anytime you’re doing a plank/push-up exercise!!!

  • Plank Hold + Shoulder Taps: right after working our scapular mobility, we focus on scapular & core stability. Because this is an *anti-rotation* core exercise, your focus here is to keep your hips square to the ground & avoid letting them twist when you lift your hand off the ground. A wide stance in your feet [1.5-2ft] helps with this, but moving your feet closer together is a great way to challenge your core if you’re feeling confident with the movement!!
  • Mountain Climbers: More CORE! Pay attention to your hips! Keep them at shoulder height or 1-2 inches lower & avoid poking your butt up to the ceiling/sky!

As you already saw, the very 1st exercise of the workout is push-ups. Yes, push-ups. Hate them? Wish you were better at them? Keep reading:

No matter what variation of push-ups you’re doing, remember that they’re a moving plank, so:

  • lats engaged

  • lower abs tight & butt squeezed to keep pelvis neutral

  • heels driving back so that all 5 toes press into the ground & quads engage

  • gaze at the floor

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!

WHAT IF PUSH-UPS HURT MY WRISTS?! Elevating your hands is a great place to start. Also... press your fingertips into the ground. Letting all your weight rest into the heel of your palms creates a lot of pressure in your wrists.

⚠️ You should also make sure you’re placing your hands the proper width &/or aiming your elbows in the proper angle! ⚠️

The closer together your hands are, [the more you’ll engage your triceps], the more your elbows should aim backward & stay tight to your midline. The wider your hands are, [the more you’ll engage your pecs & anterior delts], the more your elbows should aim away from your midline. If your elbows are bowing out wider than your wrists, either tuck them closer to your midline or adjust your hands to a wider stance.

Aight, that’s all the secret sauce! Godspeed!!