Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Twenty Minute Tuesday: Steps & Planks Galore

Working out can often be one of the hardest things to do in a day. You'll find all the reasons not to, citing phrases like "I don't have time", "When I do have time I'm exhausted from the day", or the good old "I eat well, I don't need to work out".  Trust me, my favorite was "I don't have time".

Teaching high school english in a high needs district gave me every reason not to. I was out the door by 6am, I didn't get home until 7 most nights, and then when I did get home, I had another 5+ hours of lesson planning, grading, IEPs, and grad school work to get done. Getting up earlier in the morning wasn't an option because it was too dark and I didn't live in the safest of neighborhoods to run alone. But you know what I could have done? Work-outs in the house. There are so many home workout programs out there that in hind-sight, I had no excuse. I just wanted an excuse. Had I taken 20 minutes before bed to do some Yoga, aerobics, calisthenics, and on the nights I did have more time, 60 minutes for a P90x workout I would have gotten my body moving, given myself the opportunity to sleep better after tiring myself out after a good sweat and  felt better after giving my body the workout it needed after a long day of standing in front of a classroom. Instead, I chose to gain 30 pounds, kept making excuses, and pretended like skipping meals would help.

I changed that last February. I choose to make time every day, even if I can't fit in a 5 miler. I started out with small 20 minute workouts, and that motivated me even further. Now, I'm out the door every morning for about an hour, running my butt off. And on those crappy weather days, I have plenty of indoor workouts & P90X to get me going, even if it's not out the front door. Routine is very, very good.

Enjoying my morning run.
Each Tuesday, I'm going to give you a 20 minute workout routine to incorporate into the next week. By no means does that mean if you have a full hour, that you can't repeat the workout 2 or 3 more times. Use the time you have, but if you don't have much time, there's no reason not to wake up the 20 minutes earlier for a quick run, do one of our indoor routine after the kids go to bed, or fit one in during nap time.

It's not if you have the time, 
it's whether or not you make the time.

If you have time to watch a 30 minute TV show, you have the time to fit in a healthy exercise.

(And if I have blog friends who have 3 kids and can still run 2 marathons in a month and train for ironmans, I sure as hell have no reason to not workout at least 4 days a week for an hour.)

This week's workout:

Steps & Planks Galore- we're starting out simple. It's a new, fresh beginning and you can always work your way up into more difficult exercises.

1. (Inspired by G's spontaneous Facebook Plank offs:) 1 minute plank: Get in the pushup position. Put your forearms on the floor and legs shoulder width apart (or closer). Literally, put your body in a plank position, hovering just inches above the ground. Hold your stance for at least a minute and avoid the urge to lift or drop that butt. This will warm up your core muscles.
Photo from Newtrition Blog to show the correct plank position.

2. Do 10 reps on your steps. 1 rep= up & down steps.  Between each rep at the bottom of the steps, do 10 jumping jacks.
3. 1 minute plank
4. 4 reps of steps; 10 jumping jacks between reps
5. 10 pushups
6. 2 reps of steps; 10 jumping jacks between reps
7. 10 pushups
8. 1 minute plank

Depending on your skill level, steepness and height of steps, speed going up and down, and how long you break between exercises (shouldn't be more than 30 seconds to 1 minute), this should take you around 20 minutes. If it didn't, repeat. If you have a full hour, repeat. If 1 minute of planks is too easy, challenge yourself to 2 minutes. If 10 pushups is a breeze, do 30. Challenge yourself and make the most of the 20 minutes. This is meant to be an outline, but make sure you're always challenging yourself and pushing yourself further. 

Just because it's 20 minutes doesn't mean it's easy.

Try doing this workout every other day until next Tuesday. We're proud of you. Keep pushing yourself. 

Love yourself, your body, and your health. 
Here's to another year of healthy living.



  1. happy to be your reason not to skip a workout! Good luck getting them all in!

  2. I've been successful so far. Changing my mindset months ago on MAKING time has been a huge help. I just hope others can be just as inspired.

  3. You inspire me. . . Did my planks this morning, love me some planks!!

  4. Great post! I'm always looking for some extra strength workouts that can squeeeze in. :)