Welcome to Week 3 of the Summer Strength Challenge.
At end of this week you are half-way through the Summer Strength Challenge! Time is flying by. This week Sami walks you through two more strengthening exercises to enhance your overall fitness and wellness. This week also includes a delicious indulgent treat that is actually good for you!
As always, your goal is to complete these challenges 3-5 days each week. If you’ve been working on 3 days for the past two weeks, can you add a 4th this week? Challenge yourself, but listen to your body. Don’t forget to track your exercises each day so you can see the improvement you are making from the start to the end!
Let’s Get Started!*
FITNESS | Deadlifts
Beginners do 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest for 3 rounds
Intermediate or advanced 10-12 repetitions for 3 rounds
Deadlifts are a great way to develop full body strength and increase calorie burning muscle quickly. Deadlifts are also an incredibly effective exercise that improves everyday life.
Simple deadlift tips:
- Find two weighted objects that will provide resistance.
- Stand feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward. Weight should remain in your heels.
- Drop your hips while keeping your chest upright, you should be able to see your t-shirt in a mirror. Look forward.
- As you grab the weights, focus on pressing your heels down to activate the back of the legs.
- Stand all of the way up to straight and pull your shoulders back, squeezing your butt to completely open up your hips.
- Pause and return to starting position. The lowering motion should be a steady and controlled pace.
- You do not need to reach the floor with your weights at each repetition, focus on form before depth.
CORE | Bridge
Complete 1 min of work. Rest 1 minute between sets for 3 rounds
Modifications are included in the video for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skill and fitness levels.
The bridge is a simple yet challenging exercise that targets the glutes and lower back. These muscles are the foundation of both movement as well as seated activities. Weak muscles can lead to lower back pain and tightness.
Simple bridge tips:
- Start by lying down on the floor or your bed (the softness of your bed can be more challenging and will engage additional muscles).
- Bend your knees and bring your heels as close to your hips as you can.
- Push your heels down as you lift your hips up. Try to elevate your hips to make a straight line from the knees to the shoulders.
- Pause and squeeze your glutes at the top. Slowly return to starting. Try to not let your hips rest at the bottom between repetitions.
- To make this more challenging, elevate your hips and keep them bridged up. Begin to “march” with alternating legs for your repetitions. See the video below for demonstration.
NUTRITION | Importance of Fiber
Fiber is a key nutrient for several body functions. Soluble fiber helps regulate bowel movements by binding to water and creating a gel like substance. Inside the body, it attaches and removes harmful cholesterol and excess free circulating estrogens that live in body fat. Fiber also helps keep blood sugar balanced.
You will get good fiber in many types of food including fruits and vegetables, oatmeal and grains. It is important to be hydrated for fiber to do its job, so keep up your hydration goals from week 2. Adults should strive for a minimum of 25 grams of fiber daily through their food.
Chia seeds pack a punch of nutrients and 4 grams of fiber per tablespoon. They can be used as crunchy topper to fruit or oatmeal or used in baking recipes.
Check out this simple recipe to the right for a healthy snack or treat packed full of nutrition!
RECIPE | Overnight Chocolate Brownie Chia Pudding
½ cup chia seeds
¼ cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted if possible)
3-5 tbsp maple syrup or honey
½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1 pinch sea salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups almond or light coconut milk
- Using a small whisk, mix together cacao powder, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Add a little dairy-free milk at a time and whisk until smooth.
- Add chia seeds and whisk once more to combine.
- Separate into 4 containers, cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 4-5 hours.
- Serve chilled.
Nutrition Per Serving (Makes 4 Servings)
RECOVERY | Pigeon stretch
The Pigeon Stretch is a great way to stretch out those glutes that you’ve worked this week! We often become tight in the hips and buttocks and this week’s workouts targeted these muscles in a whole new way!
For beginners – Sit on the edge of a chair and place one heel across the opposite thigh. Press the top leg down just above the knee. Try to keep your chest vertical for a bigger stretch. Hold for 15 seconds and switch sides.
Intermediate – Place your right heel and outside shin on a bench or chair. Lean your body forward while keeping the right knee down. Add pressure to find a stretch intensity that you can hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides.
Advanced – Sit down on the floor with your right heel in front of you, allowing the outside of the lower leg to rest on the floor. Stretch the opposing leg back and lean your body into the front leg. Hold for one minute. Switch Sides.
Go get it this week!
If you have questions along the way simply comment on a Facebook or Instagram post about the challenge, or reach out to Sami and Jerry through the links below the video.
If you’re a colorectal cancer survivor in the Kansas City area and interested in participating in a Cancer Wellness for Life class, you can connect through the WeBuild4Life website.
*As with any exercise program, talk to your doctor before starting.