March Madness: Bring on The Next Plank Challenge

Plank Challenge March 2014

We are a third of the way through the year. How is your fitness journey going so far? Do you feel like you are on your way to becoming a fitter, stronger, and healthier version of your amazing self?

I hope you are crushing your goals!

Do you feel up to a planking challenge?

Do you remember our plank challenges throughout last year? I’m thinking it is time for another one – the first one for 2014. What do you say?

Benefits of Planking

A simple plank, when done correctly, can work and target the entire body: core, quads, glutes, abs, shoulders, chest, back and arms. Did I miss anything?

This plank challenge is just a fun way to see the awesome progress we are making on our journey to better health and fitness.

Are you ready? Let’s do it!

Plank Challenge March 2014.

If you are new to planking, here’s a breakdown of the process:

    1. Lie face down on a mat, resting, with palms down flat on the floor.
    2. Push up off the floor and rest your arms on your elbows. (You can also push up with arms fully extended if you prefer.)
    3. Keep your legs extended and straight behind you.
    4. Keep your back flat with a neutral spine (a straight line from head to heels).
    5. Brace and contract your abdominals, making sure your backside doesn’t stick up in the air or your body sags in the middle.
    6. Hold the position as long as you can.

This is my preferred method of planking: on the elbows.

Here I am with arms fully extended.

Click here to watch a video demo if you like!

You do what you feel is best as long as you are getting it done. Deal?

Now, get your stop watch ready and go!

Share Your Results

Take a look at how I did this month:

Plank Challenge

I can’t even believe it! I have more than doubled my time since our very first plank challenge back in November 2012! I am slowly and surely making progress, and so are you! Strong and fit, baby!

Feel free to upload a screen shot of your time or simply share your time and results.

Tag me (@EmSwanston) on Twitter or on Instagram.

You CAN do it!

15 Minute Total Body Blast

Today, I want to present a fast but effective 15 Minute Total Body Blast.

To complete this workout, you will need a set of dumbbells or some resistance bands. You could also use your own body weight as resistance. Be sure to use weights or bands appropriate for your strength, but do not be afraid to challenge yourself.

If you complete 8-10 reps of each exercise and repeat the entire sequence for a total of 3 sets, you will have a great workout in only 15 minutes. Be sure to take a 1 minute rest between each of the three sets.

Remember to take your time, concentrate, and breathe through each movement in order to make it count.

15 min Total Body Blast

Before starting the exercise, please take about 5 minutes towarm up. Run on the spot, do some jumping jacks, jump rope, dance around the living room, etc.

Are you ready?

15 Minute Total Body Blast

After completing 3 sets, finish with a cool down and stretch. You

could simply take a walk or walk in place, as long as you are doing something to bring down your heart rate. Finish with a few of your favorite stretches. Stretching is like dessert for the body, something you earn after working so hard. Speaking of dessert, if you need a post workout refuel, try these tasty Maple Vanilla Latte Smoothies.

If you get confused or need a demonstration for any of the exercises, click on the links below from Exercise Prescription.

- Squats

- Push Ups

- Dead Lift

- Over Head Press

- Lunges

- Lateral Raise

- Tricep Dips

Question of the day: Did you set any health or fitness goals for this year? Tell me, what’s your plan?

Announcing 42 Simple & Healthy Dinners {Kindle edition}

42 Simple & Healthy Dinners |
Well, it’s finally here, y’all! The dinner recipe companion to 42 Days to Fit is now available for Kindle!

We’re so excited to share this book with you all, in hopes that it helps you in your journey to living a fitter, healthier lifestyle.

Food really should taste good, and to us, there’s no better tasting food than real, unprocessed, whole foods.

What You Will Find in This Book

While we can’t promise that every single ingredient in this book is a perfect whole food, what we do promise is that you will find 42 recipes for dinners that are:

  • delicious
  • different
  • nutritious
  • family-friendly

As moms, Stacy, Emma and I know how busy you are and that often, by mid-afternoon, you dread opening the
pantry wondering what to make that won’t squash all your hard work you’ve invested into your family’s health and fitness.

42 Simple & Healthy Dinners to the rescue!

We worked together, putting several of our own personal healthy dinner recipes together into this cookbook, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed writing it for you.

42 Simple & Healthy Dinners |

You can use this book in conjunction with your 42 Days to Fit journey, or as a stand-alone cookbook for your kitchen. Either way, you will find 42 recipes to help you get a simple and healthy dinner on the table every night for you and those you love.

You can have your copy in just a click or two. Just hop on over here and we’ll get you cookin’ in no time!

Don’t have 42 Days to Fit, the original fitness challenge? No problem. You can get that here.

Workout of the Day: Chest, Shoulders & Arms

Today, we are going to focus on a simple and serious upper body workout. Are you ready?

Complete 10 reps of each exercise and repeat the entire routine through 3 times total. Be sure to rest for 1 minute between each round.

Before You Get Started:

Grab something to use for resistance: a set of hand weights, resistance bands, a bottle of water, your handbag or purse, even your baby. Be creative and use what you have at home.

Remember to concentrate, focus, and breathe through each movement.

Listen to Your Body: Give each exercise your full attention. Then, move as quickly as possible with little to no rest between exercises. If you need a second to grab a drink or catch your breath, do it. But try to push through to the end of the set. Then, you can savor your 1 minute of rest.

10 reps x 3 sets with 1 minute rest. You can do it!

Workout of the Day: Chest, Shoulders & Arms

Warm Up: Before starting the exercises for the day, warm up for 5 minutes (i.e. run on the spot, do jumping jacks, or jump rope)

Workout of the Day.jpg

After your

third set, cool down by taking a slow walk. After your heart rate settles down, finish with a few of your favorite stretches.

If you need a visual guide or a detailed breakdown for how to complete any of these exercises, please click on the links below. These links give you informational videos, provided by Exercise Prescription.

- Chest Fly

- Over Head Press

- Bench Press

- Tricep Dips

- Lateral Raise

- Push ups

Do you prefer to split your workouts into separate muscle groups or work the entire body at once?