Day 1: No Whining…Just SQUATS!

It’s Day 1 and it’s leg dayScreen Shot 2017-05-31 at 2.17.34 PM!

We already run…that strengthens our legs enough right?

Running does make your legs stronger than if you were just walking or simply sitting on the couch. Whether you are running sprints or distance, you’re building muscular strength and/or endurance, but that is no excuse for not taking better care of your legs with strength training! Especially is you want to keep running on them for years to come!

In fact, of all the things that influence your running, strength training is one of the biggest factors that will impact your health, fitness, and performance.

A lot of runners, both male and female, do weight and resistance training for their upper-body but completely blow off lower-body weight training because they believe that running is enough to strengthen their legs. The reality is, running alone isn’t the best way to strengthen and maintain your legs for life.

Strength training the lower body gives you strength, stability, balance, and added support for running. It can also prevent injury.

The major muscle groups we use in sprinting or distance are the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Your upper body including your arms, shoulders and low back are recruited for momentum and stability and we know our core is what holds it all together. A weak core, which includes our hips, can lead to all kinds of running injuries.

We’ll talk about our core upper body another day….today it’s all about the legs!


Depending on what kind of running you are doing (sprints or distance) you are either conditioning muscular strength or muscular endurance in your legs. Essentially, your body contains 2 different types of muscle fibers:

Type I (Slow Twitch): Your body uses its slow twitch muscle fibers to run distances. Slow twitch fibers aren’t as strong as Type II fibers, but can work for extended periods of time without fatiguing.

Type II (Fast Twitch): These are the muscle fibers you recruit when you are running faster. They are strong and explosive, but fatigue quickly.

We our working our legs in order to strengthen those Type I & Type II muscle fibers and give them the power to fire when we need them.

Day 1 exercises: Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, and Calves – Sets = 2 – 3 x 10

  • Squats
  • Single Leg Balance
  • Pistol Squats
  • :60 Wall Sit

If you are running today, throw in the wall sit immediately after your run when your legs are fatigued. Great time to build strength!

You are probably already familiar with these exercises. They will fire up all the important muscles in our legs when done correctly. Check out the how to videos below for a reminder on form.

Squats: Chances are you’ve done a squat, but have you really done one correctly? Before even grabbing a set of dumbbells or trying a squat variation, watch this video to make sure your form is on point. You’ll learn what the body should look and feel like during a squat and what other exercises can help you master this one correctly. But, most importantly, you’ll be saving yourself from major injury.

Single Leg Balance: Great exercise to strengthen our glutes and lengthen our hamstrings and calf muscles!

Pistol Squats: This is a longer video but a REALLY good one if you’ve never attempted a Pistol Squat before. These are tough…so start high and work your way down to a lower position. Everything little bit counts!

Wall Sit: The wall sit is a really great exercise to target the entire thigh area, your quad, your inner thigh, the back of the leg, the hamstring, and your glutes.

Day 30: Last Day of May!

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We’ve had a great month and the end is here. But it’s not the end of our fitness journey….just another day to work on our goals and shoot for the moon!

Finish strong Crew!

Day 30 exercises:

  • 100 Squats
  • 100 Heel Touches
  • 100 Crunches
  • :60 Wall Sit

Bonus: Today and tomorrow…think about your goals for June. What did you do in May that you can change in June to help you reach your goals? What did you accomplish? Where did you fall short? Tell us how you can be even more accountable in June and make changes to benefit your future! Write a “final May” post and tell us what you loved and what you made the difference for you this month.

Happy Final Day of our May Challenge Crew. Shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars!

Day 29: Memorial Day Pass

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We’ve all worked very hard this month and today is a day to celebrate those who worked so hard and gave their lives to keep our country free and safe…so today we’re all getting a Memorial Day pass!

Enjoy your family, try to keep the overindulgent eating under control and have a wonderful day!

Don’t worry…we will make up today’s exercises tomorrow!

If you don’t want to double up…you can get todays exercises out of the way today….but don’t stress over it.

Day 29 exercises:

  • 100 Jumping Jacks
  • 30 Burpees
  • :60 Plank

Bonus: Family/Fun Picture Day – I would love to see pictures of your family/fun activities today. Show us how you’re celebrating!

Days 27 & 28: Memorial Day Weekend!

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YAY for a long holiday weekend full of lots of activity, family get togethers….and lots of holiday sweets and treats!

As we take time to remember those who died to give us our freedom, it’s ok to have fun and enjoy ourselves, but keep in mind all the hard work you’ve put in this month and keep your eating in check. I’m not saying you can’t indulge a little…just don’t go crazy. 🙂

And yes…we still have work to do. One of my favorite core exercises is on tap plus a little arm work. Get it done first, then you’ll feel better about letting lose!

Day 27 exercises:

  • Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners
  • 100 Russian Twists
  • 40 Tricep Dips
  • :60 Plank
  • :60 Wall Sit

Day 28 exercises:

  • 30 Push Ups
  • 100 Russian Twists
  • 50 Squats
  • :60 Wall Sit

Get those miles in and don’t forget to stretch!

7 Key Stretches for Runners

Who’s got a fun Memorial Day race or is putting in some good long runs? Let us know so we can cheer you on! I know Lisa Gibbs has a fun 10 mile race coming up. 1 week post marathon and she is going to stretch out those legs and have a blast! 🙂

Need a reminder “how to” videos for the Russian Twist? Here’s how to do it…this can be done on the floor or a bench, and with or without a weight. Make it it work you!

 

Day 25: Break It Down

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Large asks often look unmanageable when you look at the whole. But when you break it down into manageable pieces, it doesn’t look so scary.

Instead of looking at today’s exercises and thinking, that’s impossible…think of how many times you’ve broken races into smaller segments, work projects into smaller goals, house cleaning into rooms…apply that to today’s workout… and suddenly the impossible…becomes possible.

Day 25 exercises:

  • 50 Burpees (5 sets of 10)
  • 100 Plank Jacks (5 sets of 20)
  • 100 Squats ( 5 sets of 20)
  • :60 Wall Sit

Check out the burpee variation and the “how to” video for plank jacks below.

Make the impossible possible today Crew!

Burpees: I know you are moaning and groaning but remember…nothing is impossible. Check out these combat burpees and do them in place of traditional burpees today, there’s always more than one way to get things done!

Plank Jacks: Great full body exercise that works our arms, core, glutes and legs!

 

Day 24: The Total Package

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 6.07.38 AMA little arms, legs and core….good little full body workout today Crew!

Just for good measure, let’s throw in some hip strength to round out a fantastic hump day!

Who’s sticking with our “No Junk Food Challenge” through the end of the month? Only 7 more days to go!

Day 24 exercises:

  • 30 Push Ups
  • 60 Squats
  • 100 Mountain Climbers
  • 1:00 Wall Sit

Bonus: Modern Moms/Dads Hip Strength!

How to Videos: Push Ups, Squats & Mountain Climbers

Push Ups: Watch Michelle Trapp show us how to get started with beginner push ups and work your way up to full body push ups!

Squats: We squat all the time – doing yard work, picking things up off the ground and just the movement that comes along with sitting, to name a few examples. So building strength in your legs by adding the squat to your exercise routine is a smart way to help prevent injuries while doing your everyday activities.

Mountain Climbers: Great full body exercises with an emphasis on our all important core!

Day 23: Lock and Load…It’s Crunch Time!

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 4.42.44 AMI’ve written about this topic numerous times….so you tell me…why do runners need a strong core? How will strengthening this area help you during a race or long run?

Does “Tiny Tuesday” and crunch day give you added incentive to make this a good day all around? Remember, Tiny Tuesday means watching your portion sizes and even though we’re past the 21 days of our “No Junk Food Challenge” it’s a great idea to incorporate this into your routine today too.

Core work, small portion sizes, and no junk food make for a REALLY good day! Can you commit to a healthy Tuesday?

Day 23 exercises:

  • 100 Crunches
  • 60 Side Lying Leg Raises (per leg)
  • 50 Reverse Crunches
  • :60 Plank

One last thing…only one week left of our May Challenge. Likes? Dislikes? Ideas and suggestions for June? Help me make June awesome!

To make sure you are doing the correct exercises today, please check the videos below.

Crunches:

Side Lying Leg Raises:

Reverse Crunch:

Plank: