Twelve Days of Fitmas!

by Susan on December 10, 2012

Ok, who wants to have a little fun this holiday season?!  We’re going to hold the Twelve Days of Fitmas Christmas Challenge!  No cost to enter – just show up!  A fun and easy way to burn some of those Christmas calories!  I came across this idea last Christmas (have no idea who originally came up with the idea so I apologize for not giving credit to the creator of the idea!) and we had a blast with it!   This time I’m opening it to everyone; not just my current clients!  Even my kids all joined in last year and are this year too, so get your whole family moving!

When:  Thursday, December 13 – Monday, December 24
Why:  To burn those Christmas calories AND have a little fun doing it!
Where:  My Facebook page – – Go and like the invitation post there to let me know you’re in!  Then each day when you’ve completed the day’s exercise, comment DONE! on the day’s Twelve Days of Fitmas post!  Easy enough?

Need a little extra incentive?  Ok, ok, of course there will be a prize!  For everyone who checks in EVERY day throughout the 12 days (honor system here, ok?) will get an entry in a drawing for a free copy of Shaun T’s Insanity Fast & Furious workout to help you keep going with your daily fitness!

Here’s how it works:

Day 1 do one exercise – Day 2 do Day 1 and Day 2 – Day 3 do Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 and so on through 12 days

Day 1  1 Set of 100 Jumping Jacks

Day2 2 Sets of 1 Minute PlanksDay 3 3 Sets of Lunges (10 each leg to make a total of 60 lunges)

Day 4 4 Sets of Jump Ropes (30 Sec each set – total of 2 Mins) Rope Optional

Day 5 5 Burpee Push-up Jump-ups

Day 6 6 Toe Touchers

Day 7 7 Perfect Push-ups

Day 8 8 Calf Raises

Day 9 9 Parallel Squats

Day 10 10 Biceps Curls (10 each arm for a total of 20 curls)

Day 11 11 Chair Triceps Dips

Day 12 12 Mountain Climbers

 * Tip:  Especially as you get nearer Day 12, it’s a bit easier to break up the exercises throughout the day!

Some Exercise Move Explanations: (borrowed from Coach Rob Likes)

Performing a Basic Plank

Start on elbows and knees, locking hands together. Straighten legs and raise your body so that you’re supported by the balls of your feet, with feet hip-distance apart. Face the floor, being careful not to arch your back or stick your bottom in the air. Hold this position

Performing a Basic Lunge:

It’s important to do lunges properly so you don’t put unwanted strain on your joints. Here’s how to perfect your form: Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up (pick a point to stare at in front of you so you don’t keep looking down). Always engage your core. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your other knee doesn’t touch the floor. Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting position.

Performing a Burpee Push-up Jump-up

To perform a burpee jump-up, stand up straight with your arms by your sides and your feet at shoulder width. Squat down and place your palms face down on the floor in front of you. Kick your legs behind you so you are in a push-up position. Do one push-up, then pull your legs back under you into the squat position, keeping your palms face down on the floor. Stand and then jump in the air, bringing your arms over your head to reach for the ceiling. When you land, you will finish the first burpee-jump-up.

Performing a Toe Toucher

The toe toucher is similar to the V-up exercise. The difference is that the upper torso doesn’t come off the ground quite as high, making this exercise a bit easier to perform. There are three parts to this exercise: a leg raise, a pullover, and an abdominal crunch. Instructions for advanced toe touchers are as follows: Lie down on your back and extend your arms past your head. Next, contract the abdomen by lifting both legs off the floor. As your legs go up, take the arms and try to reach for the toes. If you cannot reach your toes, aim for the ankle or shin area, then slowly lower your upper body and legs down to the ground. Repeat as needed.

Performing a Basic Perfect Push-up

Start in a regular plank on your hands and toes. Make sure that your hips are in the same plane as your shoulders. Keep your head in neutral by looking at the floor about three feet in front of you. Widen your arms by taking both hands out to the side a few inches. If you are using a yoga mat, your hands will be slightly wider than the mat. Keep the middle of the palms in line with the middle of the chest. Keeping your eyes in front of you on the floor, squeeze your abdominals, relax your shoulders and bend your elbows out to the side in 90 degree angles as you lower your torso in one unit toward the floor. You can go all the way down to the floor if you want to work deeper into the shoulders or stop halfway which will keep most of the work in the chest. . Straighten arms and push back up into the plank.

Performing a Basic Parallel Squat

Performing good functional Parallel Squat movement starts by tilting the pelvis and pushing hips behind you forming a good arch in the low back, as though positioning to have a seat on a chair. Recommended range should not exceed a depth lower than thighs parallel to the ground. Hence, the name of the technique! That is, keep the hip joint no lower than knee level. Risk in doing so outweighs benefit. Once you reach the desired depth you reverse the movement to stand up straight to finish the move. Vary your stance in performing the Parallel Squat to focus the workload on either inner or outer thigh by choosing a wide or a close-footed stance. You can target the outer aspect of the upper thigh and hip area when assuming a close-footed stance with feet about 4-6 inches apart to enhance benefit to the Parallel Squat. However, you will feel more powerful in a wider stance, which recruits more inner thigh.

Performing a Chair Triceps Dip

Dips are an advanced exercise targeting the triceps. This is a compound move, involving both the elbow and the shoulder joint and it doesn’t require any equipment, making it a great travel exercise. You can add intensity by walking the feet out or by propping the feet on a bench or chair. Sit on a bench or chair. Begin with the hands next to or slightly under the hips. Lift up onto the hands and bring the hips forward. Bend the elbows (no lower than 90 degrees) and lower the hips down, keeping them very close to the chair. Keep the shoulders down. Push back up without locking the elbows and repeat for desired reps. Tips: Keep the shoulders down and away from the ears to protect them from injury. Keep the hips close to the bench or chair to keep the focus on the triceps and not the shoulders. To make it easier, move the feet closer in. To make it harder, walk the feet out or elevate them on another chair or bench.

Performing a Basic Mountain Climber

Get into the push-up position (arms straight), balls of your feet on the floor. Lift your right knee straight up towards your right arm, and then back down. Repeat with your left knee to left arm. Increase the speed of each rep so your legs are alternating up and down.

There you have it!  So, hurry up and head over to my Facebook page and join us in the Twelve Days of Fitmas!  See you there!

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