Good morning to all of you!
I hope you had a great week starting to get moving with WOWMW #1! If you ever have any questions, please feel free to post in the comments or to contact me directly, I’m always here to help out!
Before we get into this week’s workout, a few quick words. If you are NEW to these workouts, then WELCOME! If you haven’t done WOWMW #1, then start there, and you can continue to follow along week-to-week. As the song goes in The Sound of Music, “Begin at the very beginning, it’s the very best place to start!” It’s very important to start slow, as it’s so easy to injure yourself, cause a muscle to tighten up, or overdo it when you’re just starting out. *All images are the property of Physiographe.
So, without further ado, here is this week’s workout!
We’re going to keep 1 of the stretches from week 1, because it’s a great back stretch, so let’s start with that:
This is our ‘cow’ and ‘cat’ position. As you raise your head to get into the first position, breathe out slowly. Then, slowly arch your back like a cat, lowering your head to look at your knees, and breathe in. Repeat this as many times as you think you can; this week, we’re going to go for 5 repetitions with this one; if you’ve been doing 10, you can stick with that.
If you’ve been sedentary, or mostly sedentary, it’s really important to start stretching out your neck and shoulder muscles. In this exercise, it may help you to do this in front of a mirror. Start with your head aligned with your shoulders, and move it forwards and slightly down. Keep your shoulders back, don’t let them hunch forwards. You will feel a stretch in your neck and at the top of your shoulders. Start with 3 or 4 repetitions if you’ve been largely sedentary; you can do 6-8 if you’ve been a little more active.
We’ve all seen or done this one before! Believe it or not, you can really mess up a muscle in your neck or shoulder (trapezius) if you’re not careful on this one. Make sure that your shoulders are back, and gently tilt your head to one side until you feel a stretch. You do not want to push that stretch to the point of discomfort right now! That’s when you’ll get a knot in your shoulder, which can cause serious headaches and shoulder pain. Switch to the other side. Try to repeat this one 3 times on each side. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds. This will allow that muscle to relax.
For this stretch, you’re going to need a chair. Place your feet about shoulder-width apart, and far enough away from the back of the chair that you can get a good 90 degree angle between your legs and torso. Extend your arms in front of you and lightly grasp the back of the chair. Keeping your hips as straight as possible, turn so that one shoulder is pointing as much toward the ceiling as you can, hold for 20 – 30 seconds, and repeat on the other side. Check your posture throughout to ensure you’re not twisting your hips as you do this. Repeat 3-4 times/side.
Instead of laying on a bed or table as depicted in the image, lie on your yoga/exercise mat, with both legs extended in front of you. Raise one leg and grasp the back of it, pulling it in towards your chest as far as possible. You may feel no stretch, or you may feel a leg stretch, and you may even feel a bit of a stretch in your lower back. That’s okay. Just keep your head and shoulders relaxed on the mat, and don’t stretch to the point of discomfort. Hold for 20-30 seconds, aim to repeat 3-4x/side.
THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE!
This week, try to intersperse WOWMW #1 with this workout – one day do #1, one day do #2. Aim to do them every day, or at least 5 days/week. It doesn’t take very long, and you’ll feel so much better as we begin to move into stretching out our whole bodies, and then progress into some strengthening. Keep a journal of each day’s workout, to keep you accountable. You can do this on your computer with Excel, or, if you prefer, write it on your calendar, or in a notebook. This way, you’ll be able to track your successes, figure out your weak areas, and be able to pat yourself on the back for every day that you took the time to do something for your fitness!
Until next week, take care, and have fun!