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Nine Days of Fitness

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I've a bunch of fitness posts over that last week that I've wanted to put up, but something else kept interfering like a heroic 6-year old or rodeo cowboy, so I'll just throw them all into one compound, full-body, functional fitness post. It all started last Tuesday when Dwight asked me to cover his fitness class since he was stuck at work. The Stairs and Sandbags workout from two weeks ago has gotten my nostalgia hormones acting up, so I decided to break out another dreaded blast from the past: Sandbag Burpees. These are exactly what they sound like: You grab and sandbag and do a burpee. The original workout was to do 100 sandbag burpees as quickly as possible: Matt Raffa, one of our former instructors, managed to get them in under 11 minutes at his best. This time we did an actual proper warm up and then 10 minutes of as many reps as possible. I ended up covering Dwight's Thursday class as well. He said he was busy at work, but I actually think he's noticed that I'm putting on weight and is trying to trick me into getting back in shape. In that workout we worked mainly on hip strength and mobility, using a lot of squats with focus on proper form. When you squat and really work to put your butt back and keep your chest up, you get a huge hip stretch in addition the strength work.

I was training with Craig all during the week too, so by the time Saturday rolled around I was desperately ready for the stretching seminar. Going into it I suspected that the seminar would be more physically challenging than the name implied, and I was right. It was taught by gymnast/contortionist/dancer Annalise Bowman, who took us through a long series of exercises that ranged from advanced to octopus. [caption id="attachment_2156" align="alignnone" width="320"]Stretching Seminar Annalise is much more tolerant of questions than I am.[/caption] I'll admit that many of the exercises were way past what I'm currently capable of, but it gives you something to strive for. And she had plenty of technical tips on the stretches and positions that helped me get more out of them. I think the one I liked the most was doing the Downward Dog position with your hands on the wall. For many people like myself, we're not flexible enough to get a good hamstring and shoulder stretch out of that position and it ends up being more of a shoulder workout than anything else. Putting the hands on the wall was much more productive. I was more sore than ever after the stretching, which is typical when you're really tight, but managed to recover enough to take Kim's fitness class Wednesday night. We did a ladder of kettlebell swings, box step-ups, and sit-ups, starting at 15 of each, going all the way back down to one, and then coming back up as far as you could go in 23 minutes. It was pretty hard of course, but the worst part is that when I do a lot of sit-ups I always lose some skin on my tailbone, and we must have done a couple hundred last night, on the rougher fitness mats no less. I could have gotten one of the pads out, but there was a bit of competition going on and there was no time for niceties. So today I am sitting down very carefully, and I'll have to take a few days off from sit-ups. Unfortunately there's about 1000 other ab exercises so I can't get away with doing nothing.

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