core challenge
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Can you believe it’s almost August? Yay to all of you ladies who have hung in the Mile a Day Challenge in July! It was super fun keeping up with y’all on my Facebook page. I have to admit the last few days have been completely uninspiring for me because it’s so hot outside- I had to get it done on the treadmill. But I got it done! Every dang day for the month of July. I’ll end up racking up over 62 extra miles in July! That’s nuts! And honestly, my legs and lower body feel amazing now after so much extra hiking. More than anything it really helped me to be intentional and set the HABIT of moving more every day. So, heading into August, I’ll be able to continue my daily hikes without much trouble. For August, I was trying to come up with something that everyone would be like “Yeah- I need to do that”, lol. SO I came up with a Core Challenge.

*Disclaimer: I am not a fitness or health professional. Undertake this or any fitness challenge at your own risk and check with your doctor for medical advice.

Let’s be clear here- this isn’t about having a 6 pack. I mean you CAN do that…..you totally CAN achieve that. But getting to that point is so much more than just ab work. It’s a lot of time and discipline with your diet as well as much more rigorous daily workouts.

It’s All About the Core

This core challenge is about strengthening your core muscles. Your core includes everything except your arms, legs and head! Y’all- this is SO important as we age.

Do you know the most common cause of back pain and injury? Weak core muscles. Yep- a strong core protects your back.

A strong core is directly tied to your balance. How is your balance these days? I’m telling you, it’s one of the things that I notice as I age……I have to work on my balance (I love yoga for that!). Poor balance can lead to so many injuries. A strong core can give you stability, allowing you to be stronger and just overall less injury prone.

Your core muscles affect how you move, how you stand and your overall posture. Don’t want the dreaded hunch? Strengthen your core. If you want to see what this looks like in real life, go back to this past Presidential Inauguration day. Compare the way Melania Trump moved and walked with the way Jill Biden moved and walked. It’s all about the core. Watch how people shorten the length of their stride as they age. It’s all about the core.

Have I convinced you?

P.S- Sign up for my newsletter and follow on facebook to get more tips and encouragement for the month of August.

The Core Challenge

Here’s how it works:

5 days a week. Pick 2 exercises. Do 2 rounds of each one, as many reps as you can do without having to stop or lose your form. Rest for 1 minute in between each exercise.

Example: Leg Lifts, Bicycle Crunch

Do as many leg lifts as I can.

Rest 60 seconds.

Do as many leg lifts as I can again.

Rest 60 seconds.

Do as many Bicycle Crunches as I can.

Rest 60 seconds.

Do as many Bicycle Crunches as I can.

Done! (I like to write down the # of reps or time I complete so I can see my improvement.)

I’ll be posting something for encouragement and accountability on my Facebook page every day. You can chime in underneath the post!

My Favorite Core Exercises

These are some of my favorite ab/core strengthening exercises. I like to switch mine up each week, so I’m not bored and so that I work different areas of my core, but thats up to you. If you just did planks every day for a month, you’re going to have a stronger core! Be sure to check the linked videos for proper form. Proper form is critical for effectiveness and injury prevention! Use a modification if you can’t get the form right. Concentrate on the muscles you are working/building as you perform these exercises. What is important to get the most out of this is that YOU get to YOUR “point of failure” i.e, when you can’t perform another rep w/ proper form.

I’ll try to get these done as soon as I get up in the morning, but you decide what time works best for you, just get it done.

Planks

Crunches

Reverse Ab Crunch

Plank Ups

Leg raises

Shoulder Taps

Side Plank

Mountain Climbers

Bicycle Crunch

What To Expect in this Core Challenge

If you do this challenge you will probably be sore for a bit, since you’re doing the reps to failure each time. Soreness (not PAIN….soreness) is a positive when training any muscles. If you are too sore, try switching to different exercises, or doing a modified version to still get your reps/time in.

These won’t take up much of your time at all! I like to do them first thing in the morning, and then head out for my walk.

You will feel this. And once you’re a few weeks in, you will definitely feel stronger in your center body. You are building muscle here. The more muscle you have, the more fat you’ll burn. Win-Win! If you keep your walking habit from the month of July, and you add in these core exercises 5 days a week- you will definitely see and feel an improvement in your body overall!

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter! I’ll have tips and encouragement as we go through the month of August. And I hope to answer all your health and fitness questions, as well as have a printable calendar for the challenge in the newsletter as well. Use the buttons below to share on social media to get your friends to join in! The more the merrier.

If you can’t do the Core Challenge right now, or if you want to do it again at any time during the year, just pin this post to Pinterest for later. And thanks so much for so many of y’all following there! Follow me on Pinterest here. let’s do this!

core challenge