Many of you enjoyed the 12 Days of Fitness Competition in December.
(If you missed this, it was 12 days of fitness activities (a play on the song The 12 Days of Christmas on the Zumba with Royale Facebook page. The people who participated had a chance to win FREE classes.)
Some of you were on the road, visiting family, baking goodies (that you gave away), or just meeting other obligations so making it to Zumba (or working out) was a tough add-on to your already busy schedule. Many of you mentioned, “I don’t want to gain over the holidays, but I know it’s going to be tough to make fit working out/Zumba into my schedule.”
I happened to notice my friend, and fellow Zumba instructor, Stefanie (from Boston), was hosting this online challenge for her Zumba classes.
My thoughts…Perfect. This is exactly what everyone needs…something they can do at home…with a little bit of an incentive (a chance to win free classes).
I know that eventually, these posts will disappear from our Facebook page, so I decided to “save” the 12 Days of Fitness in today’s blog. Now you don’t have to scroll through all of the posts to find them. They will all be in one place for you, so you can continue to do these great fitness activities at home.
Oh…and, now that the madness of December is over, you can add them to your weekly Zumba visits. 🙂 Right?
Day 1: Tricep Dips
Remember to watch your form here – shoulders stay down, elbows point to the back of the room, and most importantly, do NOT let your chest collapse in – keep it open and strong to ensure that the triceps do the work.
Day 2: Plie Squats
Stand with your legs straight and feet wide apart with your toes turned out. Keep your abs tight and your shoulders down. Make sure you do NOT slouch forward while you bend the knees deeply until they are directly over your toes! On the last plie, you can life and lower your heels together like the picture; you may also hold something like a chair until you are comfortable without.
Day 3: Shoulder Blade Squeezes
MODIFICATION: If you feel your neck tensing up, it means the weight you are using is too heavy. Switch to a lighter weight or use no weights at all – just your own body resisting against gravity!
Day 4: Jumping Jacks
Remember to keep your form in check – abs stay tight; breathing; pull your arms down by your side to engage your back muscles.
MODIFICATION: You can slow these down to double-time jacks – jump out and hold a count, jump in and hold a count – to ease the impact on your joints. Those who want to kick this one up a notch can do the jacks holding LIGHT weights.
Day 5: Glute Squeezes
Day 6: Bicep Curl / Chest Fly Combinations
MODIFICATION: If you feel your neck tensing up, it means the weight you are using is too heavy. Switch to a lighter weight to keep yourself from compromising your form and to avoid potential injuries.
Day 7: Push-ups
Really watch your form here. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your weight balanced on your toes and hands. Keep your shoulders back and down and your back straight so your body forms a straight line.
Modification: Same but with knees on the ground.
Day 8: Burpees
Day 9: Youtube video of a Christmas song using the Zumba Fitness formula.
Day 10: Jogging.
Even if it’s up and down your stairs during this time of year.
Day 11: Side Planks
Hold a plank on each side for at least 15 seconds (try for 20 – 30 if you can!) Remember to keep your abs contracted and BREATHE the entire time. Try to imagine yourself being pulled up by a string to engage your obliques (side abs).
Modified Plank: Hand under the shoulder joint, top leg extended, bottom leg bent and rested on the floor, top arm listed overhead, face forward or up, abdominals in, and breathe…
Day 12: Center Plank
Look at the photo for proper form. The body should form a straight line; the back should not arch down; and the behind (boot-ay) should not be sticking up in the air. Your abs are contracted and you are breathing the whole time.
Modification: Drop to your knees while doing the above position – still keeping abs contracted and breathing.
I hope these are helpful, and I’m looking forward to doing The 12 Days of Fitness again next year! Remember, there are always easy ways to add fitness to your daily routine … even at lunch, at the office, at home, etc.