Yesterday Frederick and I went to play Squash for the first time in our lives. I really didn’t know anything about this sport at all, and I must admit that I felt kind of intimidated at first. I was intimidated by the people who work at the club, the more experienced people who were playing on the other courts and the sport itself. It was just like when I first went to the gym and started working out. Anything new that you have never tried before and makes you step out of your comfort zone can create resistance inside. If I hadn’t pushed through and just made myself go and try it, I would never have discovered how much fun this sport can be. Both Frederick and I were laughing our heads off the whole time while we ran around the court trying to hit this little ball that looks like a plum without smacking each other with our rackets. We just played for one hour, but by the end of the 60 minutes we were both soaked. If you ever get the chance to try Squash, we highly recommend that you give it a shot. We were talking on the way home about how much of life is exactly like this experience. We both have things that we missed out on, because we were too afraid or intimidated to make little changes. We both agreed that life slips by way too quickly not to step out and take these little adventures that can bring so many rewards.
Todays workout will take you only 20 minutes and the only thing you will need is your interval timer. I am using my Gymboss Interval Timer which helps you focus 100% on your training by automatically keeping track of your time and intervals. Set your timer for 6 rounds of one 40 second interval, which gives you a 4 minute long circuit. You will be doing the following exercises back to back. As soon as you hear the beep from your Gymboss, move directly to the next exercise. No rest until the end of the 4 minutes!
1. Over and Under (from left to right) 40 seconds
2. Over and Under (from right to left) 40 seconds
3. Happy Dancing Crab 40 seconds
4. Tripple Knee Tucks 40 seconds
5. Pistol and Kozacek 40 seconds
6. Swimming Push Ups 40 seconds
Repeat this 4 minute long circuit 5 times.
Over and Under exercise. Imagine that you have and obstacle right next to you and you want to step over it. It is quite high so you need to lift your heels up off of the ground and get on your toes. As soon as your step over the first obstacle, there is another one. This time you will go to the opposite direction and under. Imagine that the second obstacle is at your waist so you will have to bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground and bend at your waist forward keeping your back straight. This is one rep. Do as many as you can during the 40 second interval.
Happy Dancing Crab – This is a fun exercise to do. Get into the starting position, keeping your weight on your heels and your hands. Your arms are extended and your shoulders are away from your ears. Push off of one heel and bring your hips up while lifting one leg and the opposite arm. Do it again with the opposite arm and leg and then get into a squat. As soon as you get into the squat, push up off of your heels and jump up just a few inches off of the ground. Land softly on the balls of your feet and bend your knees slightly as you land.
Tripple Knee Tuck. Get into plank and engage all of your muscles to keep your body tight and in one straight line. Don’t drop your hips or arch your back. Lift your left foot off of the ground and bring your knee out to the side and as far as you can towards your elbow. Turn your head and look at your knee. The foot of the leg that is supporting your weight is not moving or turning.
Bring the foot back on the ground and immediately drive your knee straight forward towards your chest. Bring the foot back down and drive the knee towards the opposite elbow. This is the triple knee tuck. Repeat the same exercise with the other leg.
Pistol and Kozacek (Russian Dance). Get into a one leg squat as shown in the first picture. Extend the other leg and both arms in front of you. Try to keep your weight on the heel and your shin vertical. Try to keep your chest up, shoulders away from your ears, and your back straight. Your back won’t be exactly straight, but your goal is to keep your back from rounding. Get comfortable in this position and when you are sure that you found your balance, push off of the heel and drive your hips up into the standing position. Squat down, find your balance and push off of the heel again to do a small jump switching the legs in mid air (if you can’t do the jump, simply skip it and switch legs). Get up into the standing position on one leg and repeat as many times as you can. We have talked before about some of the different ways you can assist yourself while doing pistols. You can place your hand on a sturdy chair beside you and use it for balance and to take some of the weight off of your leg. For those of you who have the Ultimate Body Press dip station – this is an excellent tool for assisting yourself with pistols. Pistols are challenging, but I keep coming back to them because I have found them to be one of the absolute best exercises for shaping and toning the butt.
Get into a plank and do a regular push up. As you get to the plank again, make a big circle backwards with one arm. Do another push up and backwards circle with the opposite arm. Do as many reps as you can during the 40 second interval. This movement reminds me of swimming – that’s why I called it Swimming Push Ups.