Marching on the Spot

Week #3

A Morning Journey in a Valley

Image by dustinsapenga via Flickr

Week #3

Carry on repeating Weeks #1 or #2 if you do not feel ready to move on to Week #3.

Week #3 is for those who have done last weeks’ prep exercises.

By now you should feel quite familiar with Marching On The Spot and getting your knees up high.

This week we will be progressing to High Knees.

To begin this progression you need to start with gentle bouncing from one foot to the other.  Already, I can hear some of you saying, “nope – this isn’t for me”.  Which is completely fine; stick with Marching On The Spot until you are ready to give it a try.  For the others, resist the urge to skip ahead.  I know some of you want to get to the tougher exercises, but believe me your body will thank you if you take it one day at a time.  This is an exercise in patience for the Ego too.  We are doing these exercises in bare feet, but, of course wear running shoes if you have a pre-existing condition which requires you to do so during exercise.

Reminder:  Be mindful of your feet and arches.  The following exercises will be more taxing and it is easy to lose focus and just want to get to the end.  Try to be present and mindful of each repetition.

Day 1 (week #3)

  1.  50 Marching On The Spot.                                                                                           Place your arms tight by your sides.  Now bend at the elbow creating a 90-degree angle. (Arms point forward). Your forearms are now parallel to the ground.  Keep your forearms still with palms downward).  Each time you March a knee up, make your knee touch your hand.  Do NOT lower your hand to contact your knee.  Bring your knee UP to touch the hand.
  2.   20 Bend Down & Reach Ups with Toe Raise
  3.   Repeat circuit 4 times to equal 4 rounds total.

Day 2 (week #3)

  1.   50 Ground Toe Taps

Introducing some small hops.  Alternating hops. Put all your weight onto your left foot.  Right leg bends slightly at the knee, which lifts the right heel off the floor, leaving the right toe lightly touching the floor.  Now hop and switch sides so that all your weight is now on the right leg.  Your left leg should naturally bend slightly causing the left heel to come off the floor, leaving the left toe lightly touching the floor.  Repeat 50 times.

  1.   20 Bend Down & Reach Ups with Toe Raise
  2.   Repeat circuit 4 times to equal 4 rounds total.

Day 3 (week #3)

  1.   50 Step Height Toe Taps

Introducing slightly bigger hops.  Same as above, only this time the toe will no longer make contact with the floor.  Make your toe come 1 to 6 inches from the floor.  Even if your toe still touches the floor, at least make it a light touch.  If this is too difficult, then stick with the Ground Toe Taps from Day 2.

  1.   20 Bend Down & Reach Ups with Toe Raise
  2.   Repeat circuit 4 times to equal 4 rounds total.

Day 4 (week #3)  Repeat Day 1 (week #3).

Day 5 (week #3)  Repeat Day 2 (week #3)

Day 6 (week #3)  Repeat Day 3 (week #3)

Day 7 (week #3)

  1.   50 High Knees with arms bent at 90-degrees as in Day 1.  Same as Day 1 Marching on the spot where you bring your knees up to meet your hands, however, with High Knees one foot is only on the floor at a time. You hop to switch legs, as in Step Height Toe Taps.
  2.   20 Bend Down & Reach Ups with Toe Raise

3.  Repeat circuit 4 times to equal 4 rounds total.

For comfort, ladies may want to wear a sports bra for the hopping exercises.

So sorry, the videos are coming…I am having technical difficulties.

Leave me a comment about your progress so far.

4 Minute Mornings – Week #2

A Perfect Morning

Image by Extra Medium via Flickr

Week #2

By the way, it’s ok to repeat Week #1 as often as you like. Developing self-discipline is our first line of defense.
The following is what week #2 looks like.

Days 1-2 & 3 (of week #2) are the same as Day 7 (from week #1). The only difference is that you will do a toe raise when you reach up to the ceiling.

Days 1 – 2 & 3 (week #2)

1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high & pumping arms).
2. 10 Bend Down & Reach Ups with Toe Raise
3. Repeat circuit four times, to equal 4 rounds.

The effect of the toe raise, is to gradually strengthen the arches of the feet and develop balance. Notice what happens when you rise up onto your toes. What happens to your arches? What happens to your balance? Do you lean more onto one side than the other? What do you have to do to remain centered?
So often the feet are forgotten when we exercise the body. The foot, being the foundation of our body, directly impacts the rest of our body’s alignment.

Whether you are just beginning to contemplate my 4 Minute Mornings or are a seasoned athlete, stand in front of the mirror and take a look at your feet and arches.
While exercising or just walking around, I would like you to bring some awareness to your feet.  Better yet, have someone video your feet as you rise up onto your toes and lower back down.  Watch the mechanics of your feet.

The link below is a two-minute video clip featuring Jesse Enright, from Smart Yoga, describing the three arches of the foot. Yes, there are three arches!

http://www.myyogaonline.com/search?q=jessie+enright

Click the video for: Smart Yoga For The Foot.

Day 4
1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high & pumping arms).
2. 12 Bend Down & Reach Ups with Toe Raise
3. Repeat circuit four times, to equal 4 rounds.

Day 5
1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high & pumping arms).
2. 15 Bend Down & Reach Ups with Toe Raise
3. Repeat circuit four times, to equal 4 rounds.

Day 6
1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high & pumping arms).
2. 18 Bend Down & Reach Ups with Toe Raise
3. Repeat circuit four times, to equal 4 rounds.

Day 7
1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high & pumping arms).
2. 20 Bend Down & Reach Ups with Toe Raise
3. Repeat circuit four times, to equal 4 rounds.

Note the increase in repetitions each day for the Bend Down & Reach Ups with Toe Raise.

I hope this makes sense and that you are able to follow along without a video at this time. Next week, we will take it up a notch, so be sure to do the toe raises from this week in order to be adequately prepared.

One more thing…we are practicing these exercises with bare feet.  Of course, wear running shoes if you have a pre-existing condition which requires you to do so during exercise.

Check back for week #3 and leave me a comment on your progress.

4 Minute Mornings – Week #1

Big Sur in the Morning

Image by Stuck in Customs via Flickr

How to do a 4 Minute Morning

Week #1

Do this at a low to moderate effort.  It is first thing in the morning after all.  After a week or so, you will notice improvements and with that your level of intensity will increase, naturally.

Follow this progression.  Besides building on your physical strength, we are also building on your mental strength.  You will start with a little each day and add a little more the following day.  Don’t skip ahead.  We are doing these exercises in bare feet, but, of course wear running shoes if you have a pre-existing condition which requires you to do so during exercise.

Below is what Week #1 looks like.  Keep a log of what you’ve done.

Day 1 (approx. 1 Minute)

  1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high).
  2. Rest 10 seconds
  3. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high).
  4. Rest 10 seconds

Note: you should be able to do 50 Marches in 20 seconds.  Each knee up counts as one repetition.

Day 2 (approx. 2 Minutes)

  1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high).
  2. Rest 10 seconds

Note: 50 Marching on the Spot + 10 second Rest = one circuit.

3.  Repeat this Circuit 4 times, to equal 4 rounds.

Day 3 (~1 Minute)

  1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high).
  2. 10 Bend Down & Reach Ups

Begin standing with legs and feet together. Bend down at the knees and hips (feet stay flat on the ground –like squatting on a very low stool, chest lifted.  Touch the ground with your fingertips (or just as close to the floor as possible), then straighten up to standing.  Reach arms up to ceiling.  Repeat.

Day 4 (~2 Minutes)

  1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high).
  2. 10 Bend Down & Reach Ups
  3. Repeat circuit twice, to equal two rounds.

Day 5 (~4 Minutes)

  1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high).
  2. 10 Bend Down & Reach Ups
  3. Repeat circuit four times, to equal 4 rounds.

Days 6 & 7 (~4 Minutes each) = Same as Day 5

Depending on your speed/pace, this circuit (repeated 4 times) should take about 4 minutes.

You can set a stopwatch to see how long it takes.

IMPORTANT!

Go easy on yourself.  This is not a race.  By doing these exercises you are being kind to yourself.  Many people have the belief that a workout has to be a punishment or must hurt.  It doesn’t.  There is a difference between working hard in a good way and working hard in a bad way causing injury.  I have a safe progression for you to follow which will establish a solid foundation.  Just do not skip ahead.  You have to put in the time in order to prepare your muscles, ligaments and tendons.  Within three to six months you won’t believe what you will have accomplished.  A big part of this is the self-discipline needed to actually do these 4 minutes of exercises every day.

Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?  In fact, you probably think it looks too simple to be effective at all.  Try it for one week, every morning.  Let me know how it goes.

Demonstration video, coming soon.

For Week #2 click https://youasamachine.com/about-4-minute-mornings/week-2/