Wednesday, February 18, 2015

CHALLENGE #2: Walking 21s... But Not Really

Okay, so my lovely, active and fit friend Ashley has requested another challenge. So here we go...

A few years back I was working at The Addiction Recovery Center (ARC), a part of Boulder County Public Health, and someone brought up "Walking 21s". Pretty simple actually, it's just one squat, one push-up. Two squats, two push-ups. Three squats, three push-ups, and so on up to 21. So as a staff we started competing with one another to see who could get closest to 21. Don't get me wrong, the concept is simple but completing the task is hard. Really hard. Especially the push-up part. If you complete the whole thing you'll have done 231 push-ups and squats, total. 

I did a quick google search for the term "Walking 21s" and didn't find anything that was on par with what was originally described to me, so I'm not real sure of where it came from or anything like that. I do like the idea though, and sometimes incorporate it into my workout just to see how many I can do. The most I have ever completed is 15 rounds, and even then I rested in between each of the last few rounds. At some point you might want to try to test it out and see how far you get, but in terms of a complete workout, try this:

Warm Up:

Start with a simple yoga flow (if you use yoga as part of your workout regimen): downward facing dog, through high to low plank, upward facing dog and so forth (whatever works for you). If yoga is not something you're familiar with, do simple stretches of your hamstrings, glutes, and calves. Also stretch out your arms, neck and back.

To get your blood pumping a bit:
1:00  Jumping Jacks
:30    High Knees
Repeat x3


Walking 11s (if you will)

1 - squat, push-up
2 - squats, push-ups
3 - squats, push-ups
4- squats, push-ups
5- squats, push-ups
6 - squats, push-ups
7 - squats, push-ups
8 - squats, push-ups
9 - squats, push-ups
10 - squats, push-ups
11 - squats, push-ups

*If you're a beast, keep going!

Complete all 11 rounds without resting in between. Definitely have water handy, but try to get a gulp in while you squat. If you notice yourself struggling (if you're like me, you'll have more trouble with the push-ups than the squats), the take your time on the easier move (i.e. move slowly from standing to squatting).

Cool Down:

I also like to utilize basic yoga poses to initiate the cool down phase of my workouts. It gives your body and heart an easy transition from working hard to bringing it back down, while still keeping your muscles working and engaged. Stretch the hamstrings, glutes, and calves in whatever manner you'd like but make sure you don't go from 100 to 0 without some sort of gradual decline.

Finish with this:

1:00 Alternating (or walking) lunges
1:00 Arm circles (:30 forward circles, :30 backward circles)
Repeat x3; decrease by :15 each round if you're just donezo at this point ;)

Let me know how it goes!

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