Tune up for the Season

To paraphrase the lyrical master Fergie Ferg – We’re Winterlicious (so delicious), Your body staying vicious. We be up in the gym just working on my fitness, You’re my witness (oh, wee)

Before you start, consult your doctor before beginning any physical training program. I would also just like to say that I am a fitness enthusiast, hold up no I’m a crossfit enthusiast actually because I want the most bang for my buck and yes, I lift, bro, that said, by no means am I an expert and these are only opinions not words to live by.  

To kick things off I’d like to introduce you to Rachel Billo – our esteemed fitness model for the day. Rachel runs the entire mountain (that is 4 individual mountain scales per day) and never misses leg day, so naturally she was a fantastic choice to demonstrate the below movements. 

Do I run? Yes. I run out of patience everyday.

Before you start anything you should get warm. An easy way to get your heart rate going is by my favourite thing, dancercise. Now before you stop reading – it’s a new version of that and trust me its more exercise than dancing.

What do you mean?

EXACTLY!!!

You’re going to start by finding What Do You Mean by Justin BieberWhat do you mean is roughly 120 BMP so it is a great cardio song. This song is 3 minutes and 27 seconds so it’s the perfect warm up length. You will start by picking one of four movements.
Level One: March in place.
Level Two: Jumping jacks.
Level Three: Skipping.
Level Four: Double Unders.
The bulk of the song you will be doing this movement, however every time the Biebs says “What do you mean” you are going to do a burpee. Once the burpee is over you go back to marching, jumping jacks, skipping etc. While it may seem silly – trust me your heart rate is going to get elevated quickly.

When in Doubt, Squat it out!

I believe it was LMAFO that once yelled “Squats, Squats, Squats, Squats, Squats, Squats, Squats, Squats, Squats, Squats, Squats, Squats, Squats, Squats, Squats, EVERYBODY” Maybe it was shots – but we support the remixed version of SQUATS.  If done correctly squats strengthen your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings (otherwise known as your legs). They improve mobility and keep your bones and joints healthy. While it might sound easy, without proper form and technique you can get hurt – so slow and steady and focus on form.

Step 1 – Smiling is important.

Step one: Find a stance that feels good for you. Your feet should be shoulder width apart with your toes pointing slightly outwards.

Step two: Act like someone is going to punch you in the stomach and clench your abs.

Step three: Look straight ahead, stand tall.

Step four: Lead with your butt. Push your butt back and down to the floor. Think of the movement of sitting into a chair.

Things to watch for:

Your knees – if you’re starting the movement from your knees – stop, this is incorrect. Pop that booty out an feel the weight shifting through your heels.

If you cannot get that low, only go to where you feel comfortable. If your knees cave inwards and get closer together – this puts a lot of unnecessary stress on your joints. It takes time to drop it down low, so be patient and go with what feels good to you. Keep your back straight, it is easy to arch or hunch when you’re tired but keep your head up starring at a object a little higher than eye level. Put your hands out in front of you, relax your shoulders and remember to open up your chest.

Lunge is just a fancy word for Power Stance.

Like squats, lunges can be done anywhere and they also target your lower body, which helps you get those Jane Fonda Buns of Steel. As the same with the squats, proper technique is needed so that you avoid extra strain on your joints and muscles.

Step one: Find a stance that feels good for you. Keep your upper body straight, shoulders back and relaxed. Feet should be hip width apart. 

Step two: Act like someone is going to punch you in the stomach and tighten your abs.

Step three: Look straight ahead, stand tall.

Step four: Take a big step forward with one leg. Start to shift your weight so your heel hits the floor first. Lower your entire body so that your right thigh is parallel to the floor, and your right skin is vertical. Both knees will be bent at a 90 degree angle.

Things to watch for:

Keep the weight in your heels as you push back to help with the knee to foot alignment. Make sure there is a gap between your feet when you step forward. If you step in front of your other leg, you will loose your balance and fall. Last thing to watch for is your front foot heel pop. If you step too shallow your heel will naturally come up when you shift your weight forward.

If you want to make it a bit challenging, you can do this in reverse, so you step backwards into a lunge. You can also do walking lunges, so you link one to another instead of standing in the same place.

Hakuna MaSquata

Now that you are a squatting pro – we are going to take it up a notch and add a hop into the movement so that we are tackling the much feared “Jump Squat”

Step one: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

You got this

Step two: Do a regular squat.

Step three: Act like someone is going to punch you in the stomach and tense your abs.

Squat it down low

Step four: In one explosive movement, jump up.

Step five: When you land, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep.

Things to watch for:

All the same things as the squat. Keep your chest up and open. Keep your eyes on a target just above eye level. Start slow. Proper technique is better than hitting 100 reps. It should feel like one fluid movement, so slow it down to a pace where you can keep it all flowing together.

Planking – more than an internet craze

While the fad of planking was big in the early 2010’s, this is an exercise that targets the abdominal wall to turn your case of beer, into a 6 pack. A plank is actually a full body exercised that tones your abs, glutes, arms and shoulders. There are a few variations you can do based on your skill level.

Step one: begin in the plank position (it is also the starting position of a push up). Your forearms and toes should both be on the floor.

Step two: Act like someone is going to punch you in the stomach (it’s a common theme). It will help to engage your core. You will want to keep  your back straight, keep your bum down (it will naturally want to go up when you are tired). You should be able to draw a straight line down your back  from your head to your heels.

Things to watch for:

Start with a 10 second hold, 3 times. Slowly increase the amount of time as your form gets better. If you’re sagging down, or raising up into a downward dog, then stop and add more repetitions for shorter time periods. 

When you get more comfortable you can go up on your palms with straight arms for a tall plank, You can rotate to the side and balance on one arm for a side plank, and add in a side crunch into the mix for a real ab burner.

Let’s do the twist again, like we did last summer

It is time for the final abdominal exercise – Russian Twists. This one takes a bit of coordination but really targets the love handle areas which keeps your core in check for the long days on the mountain.

Step One: Sit on the floor. Bend your knees so that you’re sitting at a 45 degree angle and lean back slightly.

Step Two: Engage your core (remember the punching thing) and lift your feet about a foot off the ground. If this is already a large challenge, work on holding this position for 10 to 15 seconds.

Step Three: Keeping your core engaged, you are going to rotate your torso (or twist it) from side to side without moving your legs. Aim to do about 10-14 reps each round (even numbers or one side gets more attention than the other).

Things to watch for:

If your entire body is rocking and rolling as you twist, stop and start with the basic hold position. It is easy to get lazy with this move as it is what I like to call a sneaky move. It will tire you out before you know it. If you’re looking for more of a challenge, you can add weights. Grab a medicine ball, some hand weights, soup cans or a heavy-ish household object. Get creative!  

Now that we’ve shared a few fitness tips, you’ll be fitting in this snowsuit before you know it. Remember I am just a crossfit participant and in no way am a certified expert and while these exercises work really well for me you should always consult your doctor before beginning any physical training program.

Published by Melissa Kurtin

Resident Gryffindor of the Marketing Team, combines her passion for the outdoors with her love of rule following to help you get the most of your Blue Mountain experience

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