Day 8: Crab walking with Jillian Michaels!

Tonight I did Day 2 of Jillian Michaels workout in “Making the Cut.” It was the usual 5 circuits of hell; actually wasn’t too bad. It was a mixture of lunges and weight lifting. We did a LOT of lunges so I can only assume that I’ll be pretty sore tomorrow when I do my first round of Fartlek training.We also completed mountain climbers (love this from yoga.) I know I look totally ridiculous, but I feel so great after they’re finished (had to do almost 5 minutes worth.)  I found the step ups rather difficult tonight, but I’m my own worst enemy – I doubled the height and it was exhausting! I also almost clipped a guy while running on the track; what the heck people: check your blind spot before you merge onto the track!

Another awesome part of circuit training tonight was the crab walk – actually, I truly dislike the crab walk. In fact, I questioned why one would include this in a workout and interestingly enough, found this on the Livestrong website:

1. Crab Walk to Health  

The crab walk puts you in a position never used for non-exercise or daily motion purposes. Balancing on your hands and feet with your front facing the ceiling and your hips thrust upwards, the crab walk challenges muscles to work in an unfamiliar way while stretching the muscles together and your body as a whole. Simply maintaining the position is a good workout but taking a few crabby steps back and forward and to either side results in extra strengthening and stretching for a full body workout.

2. Raise Your Pincers

Once you’ve gotten into the crab walk position you can do some more muscle toning by raising one leg into the air and trying to get it as close to perpendicular to the ground as possible. Then, switch to raising the other leg while balancing on your three planted limbs to work your glutes and your entire back as you stretch the hamstring of the raised leg. To enhance the full body stretch of the crab walk try to raise your hips up towards the ceiling as high as you can.

3. Transition From a Crawl

To include the hips in the stretching bonanza start off on all fours with your front towards the ground. Raise up so that just your feet and hands are touching the ground and your butt is in the air. Move your right leg to put it on the spot where your left hand is resting as you lift your left hand off the ground and turn your body so your front faces the ceiling. Plant your left hand behind you and you’re back in the crab walk position. Do some crab walking and then switch back to the all-fours position so you can repeat the transition in the opposite direction.

4. Change Your Hands to Help Your Shoulders

Shoulder tightness leads to injury and exercise deficiencies almost across the board. Doing the crab walk with your fingers pointed away from your toes is a good way to improve shoulder flexibility. If you want to take the shoulder stretch to the next level, rotate your hands inwards so your fingers point towards your toes as you do the crab walk. You should only move to the new hand position once you’ve become comfortable with the crab walk.

5. Band About

One other “crab walk” exercise targets many of the same muscles as the traditional version but does so in a very different way. Step into the loop of a looped exercise band (if you have regular bands you can tie the ends together to make them a loop). Make sure the bands are snug around your ankles when your feet are just shoulder length apart. Keeping your left foot in place, step to the side with your right foot, pushing against the tension of the band. Take five steps to the right and then return in the other direction for a great hip flexor and core workout.

Want to learn how to crab walk properly? Click here. And for funny crab walk video from Family Guy, click here. 

So needless to say, I’ll continue crab walking (not the Lindsay Lohan style though).

Anyway – another day closer to half-marathon. YAHOO!!! Hope everyone is doing well out there. Will check in tomorrow- Happy trails!

Day 1: I think Jillian Michaels may be my arch nemeses!

Tonight was Day 1 of my preparation for the half-marathon. Not sure quite what to do, I thought I’d consult with fitness guru and the spawn of Satan, Jillian Michaels. Several years ago I picked up a book of hers called “Making the Cut”  (not to be confused with the Canadian reality TV show)- despite her fierce delivery, Michaels book is a phenomenal source for everything fitness-related from her designer daily meals to a 30-day gruelling workout routine. When I originally bought the book, I completed the entire workout twice over. Then, as usual, I grew bored of it and it landed in a box. But after two years, it finally made its way back to my Calgary bookshelf and then my gym bag.

The first workout was a mixture of weights, resistance training, yoga (I added this in), jump rope and biking. I was cursing Jillian by circuit 2, but by the last circuit (5) I felt fantastic – knowing full-well that I’ll most likely be sore tomorrow for my 4 mile run. There is something totally satisfying about being able to complete the workout without throwing up – so I must pat myself on the back! I also committed a gym faux pas – I wore grey! I know, I know… you’re not supposed to wear grey because it shows sweat marks, but I’ll let you in on a secret: I was so excited to get this show on the road I didn’t care if people knew I was sweating! I finished the night with a 1o minute bike ride. It was boring. However, I did manage to find someone at the gym who was wearing the Vibram shoes I had recently posted on Facebook. He said they were great and I was happy to hear that you can buy them at Mountain Equipment Coop downtown, so I’ll be making a pit stop down there later this week. But I’m still curious to hear how women like them? I’ve read that if you’re a heel runner it’s extremely hard to adapt. I don’t know much about my running technique other than I’m usually slow and probably not meant to be a runner…

So tomorrow is my first run day. To run with or without the stroller … what should I do?

If you have any training suggestions for me, please share!!