30 Day Challenge: Day 4

Right, so.  I wasn't going to have sugar today.

But then I got home from running Beans to grocery shop, which is a five-mile round-trip, and on the way back it's all uphill with forty or so pounds of groceries stuffed into the bottom of the jogging stroller... and I caved.  I needed a snack, and so I ate the last piece of that zucchini and sweet potato bread.  I will spare you the list of things I ate today-- it was similar to yesterday. 

I did have a great workout this morning. 

2 mile warm-up
BOSU crossover crunch:  4 sets of 25 each
1.  EZ-bar triceps pressdown:  4 sets of 20 @ 40 lbs.
2.  Rope triceps extension:  4 sets of 20 @ 70, 60, 50, 40 lbs. (5 reps at each weight, approx.)
1.  Arnold press:  3 sets of 15 w/ 15 lb. dumbbells
2.  Plank knees-to-elbows:  3 sets of 25 each
3.  Lateral raise:  3 sets of 15 with 15 lb. dumbbells
4.  Supine hip raise / leg drop:  3 sets of 25

I love plank variations.  Planking is great for the transversus abdominus, which is the long swath of core musculature underneath your rectus abdominus (your external abdominals).  The TA is responsible for stability and endurance, and when it's strong, it takes a lot of pressure off your back and facilitates easier movement between the upper and lower body.  It also tightens down as it becomes stronger, giving you a leaner, narrower waist.  Plank also works the glutes, the shoulders, and the chest. 

In the knees-to-elbows variation, it also works the rectus abdominus and the obliques, so you get a more complete abdominal workout.  To perform it, start in plank, with your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders, as though you were about to do a push-up, on your toes.  Draw your shoulders back away from your ears, squeeze your butt nice and tight, and make sure your back is flat.  Draw your abs in tightly. 

Bring one knee up under the body and across toward your opposite elbow.  Squeeze the belly in tightly, and then return that foot to starting position.  Complete the same movement on the other side.  Alternate sides, driving each knee toward the opposite elbow (see if you can touch!  It's hard!), until you have completed 25 reps on each side.  Take a 30 second break, and then repeat. 

Tomorrow:  No sugar.  Right?  I think we have a play-date with our neighbors across the street.  And I need to cook some chicken for snacks.  I love having pieces of cold oven-fried chicken or cold braised chicken in a little glass dish in the fridge to snack on.  It's much better than this banana-fixation I seem to be harboring.  

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