Happy New Year

5000 reps bodyweight exercises in the last seven days, check. What a way to ring in the New Year! My little end of the year challenge was a perfect way to send out 2012, and farm pond ice skating was the only way I could imagine ringing in 2013!

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Who needs a Zamboni?

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Don’t be fooled by my sister and niece, they’re much better skaters than I.

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Diversion for those taking turns with shared ice skates, four-wheeler ice sledding!

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A little fire on ice heating up for the after-dark skating.

Back to this past week where I challenged myself to 700 reps per day for the final seven days of 2012, basically any bodyweight exercise would do. This translated into about 20 minutes of exercises each day in addition to my regular running. Not really a big deal, but I did get some good burn from it. And since in my pregnant state I have this built-in baby bowling ball that acts like a kettlebell and weight vest in one, I needed a few modifications. For one, squats are a really good exercise but also quite dangerous with the extra weight. It’s much easier to trash the low back in a really bad way. Pregnant or not, when doing squats it is wise to maintain lots of abdominal contraction and focus on sitting back with the tush, keep the knees behind the toes, and a natural kyphotic-lordotic curve to the spine.

Also abdominal exercises are tricky while pregnant. The main thing is to try to let the rectus abdominis be and work the transversus instead. The transversus abdominis works like a corset and really tightens down the abs. For instance, imagine you’re about to be slapped in the gut, you tighten the abs and they sink in even flatter and more rock-hard than they already are, right? This is your transversus. Try to get to know it. If you need help, get yourself into a Pilates class and you should for sure get in touch with your transversus abdominis.

A New Year’s Eve of three hours ice skating, three treadmill miles running and 800 reps of lunges, squats, plié squats, push-ups and various other Pilates exercises and I felt so spent but spent in the best way possible. I even managed to stay up for cards well into the first couple hours of this New Year.

Now I feel so charged and am looking forward to great things to come in the next twelve months.

Here we go!

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