There are two key mileposts in every workout program - and both begin with the number three. Both have to do, not with the workout itself, but about how our mind works. Continuing a habit (such as a workout) for three weeks makes it part of your lifestyle. The third day is almost always the toughest from a mental aspect - for much the same reason.
I like to think of Day Three as the extra pounds reacting to my new choice of partner in my new, fit body. It's as if Squishy is saying, "What? You don't want me anymore? Well, what if I don't want to leave?" So I show it that I'm in charge, knowing that Day Four will be smooth sailing and another step closer to my goals.
It's the Table Top again - a foundational exercise that is so gentle on our body I've even performed it without pain when I injured my back. Along with the Table Top, I'm adding a new exercise, one I call, "Hug and Release."
In exactly the same way that I did it yesterday, I performed the Table Top three times this morning. Then, still on my mattress, I rolled over to lay flat on my back.
It's time for Hug and Release.
First, I extend my arms out to my sides so that they're at a 90 degree angle to my body. Then I slightly bend my elbows, as if I was preparing to hug a barrel. I pull my navel toward my spine (THIS IS KEY IN ALMOST EVERY EXERCISE I DO) and gently tighten my abdominals (not as hard as in Table Top, but enough so that the muscles are engaged throughout Hug and Release). Then, counting to four, I slowly hug the air in front of me as hard as I can, flexing through the entire motion (which is a four count movement). I stop after my hands have passed each other and end up close to my elbows.
That's the Hug part of Hug and Release.
Now, without relaxing anything, I pretend that I'm breaking free of chains that bind my wrists. I slowly reverse the movement, flexing throughout the entire range of motion until my elbows touch the mattress.
That's one repetition.
I did five.
That's the morning's exercise.
This morning's walk extended to three blocks. That may not seem like much, but if you count the sides of the rectangle that I walked (three there, one across, three back, one across) and consider that each is approximately 1/10 of a mile, the morning walk is now up to 0.8 miles. Just think, four days ago I wasn't walking at all. Now it's almost a mile.
The evening workout tonight will start with another five reps of Twist (No Shout). Then it's time to introduce a new exercise, one I call Bobble Head.
Keeping the same starting position as described for Twist (No Shout) which was described in yesterday's workout. I bend to the side, keeping my hips motionless. First, I bend toward the right, keeping my abdominals tight for a count of four. Then four counts back to the middle. Then four counts down to the left. Then four counts back to the middle. I don't keep my back perfectly straight throughout this exercise, but kind of gently curve (or "crunch") in the direction I'm bending. This is totally personal preference as I feel the movement in those muscles more this way. When I hurt my back, I was VERY CAREFUL and tended to keep my spine straight throughout the movement.
That's one repetition.
There are two keys to this movement. The first is to pull my navel toward my spine and keep my abdominals engaged throughout the entire motion. Just as important is where I put my focus.
In the down motion, I focus my attention on that side of my body. For instance, if I'm bending to the right, I focus my attention on my right side. In the up motion, I focus on the opposite side. So when I bend to the right, my focus is on my right side. When I straighten up, I focus on the left. I keep my focus on my left as I bend to the left and then shift it back to the right to straighten back up.
Tonight I'll do five Twist (No Shout)s and five repetitions of Hug and Release. Each portion of the movement will be done slowly with my navel pulled toward my spine and my abdominal muscles engaged. When done continuously with no break between the two exercises, that brings my evening workout to almost three minutes.
That's three days of exercise in the books - and three days closer to my goals.