May in Motion Weekly Exercise Challenges

WEEK 1

Monday, May 3: Take a walk! If you have a tracker, use it. If not, try to go for time. Shoot for 1 mile or 25 minutes. Not enough time to get outside? Try some variations of marching in place!

Tuesday, May 4: Air squats. These body weight squats can be done anywhere. The video is a great breakdown of proper squat technique that can be carried over to weighted squats. If you have physical limitations, only squat 1/2 way. Do 20 air squats 3-4 times today. If this exercise doesn’t work for you, try doing 3, 30 second wall sits throughout the day. Click here for instructions on how to perform the perfect wall sit. If you need to decrease the time to 15 seconds, or if you choose to increase the time to 1 minute, go for it!

Wednesday, May 5: Nothing jump starts the day like push-ups! Don’t worry, there are many modifications for a push-up, including modified knee position, and those where you don’t have to get on the ground. These variations use a chair or a wall! Do 5-10 push-ups in the morning, mid-afternoon and late afternoon! If you are feeling ambitious, do as many as you can until fatigue, or until proper form is lost.

Thursday, May 6: Jumping Jacks. This video shows modifications from a seated jack, all the way to a power jack. Try a total of 75-100 jacks today. Start with a low impact version to get your heart rate up and then move up to a traditional jack if you can!

Friday, May 7: Bicycle abdominals. This Instructional video demonstrates form for a basic floor bicycle abdominal exercise.  If you don’t care to get on the floor, try variations for a seated position. 2 sets of 10-20 on each side!

Saturday, May 8: Step-ups. Find a step in your house or at work. Step up and down with the right leg for 30 seconds, then the left-take a break and repeat 2-3 more times. If this is too much on your knees, march in place for 1 minute and repeat 2-3 times (1 minute rest in between).

Sunday, May 9: Modified burpees are a great introduction to the traditional burpee, or for folks who prefer not to do high impact exercise or go to the floor. Use your bed or back of a couch for higher hand placement. Warm up with a 2 to 3-minute walk or march in place before doing this exercise! If you are a master at the burpee, you can up the challenge to that technique. 3 sets of 5-10!

WEEK 2

Monday, May 10: Take a 15-minute walk today. While you are walking, think of 3 things you are thankful for. No time to get outside? Try this 15-minute indoor walking routine!

Tuesday, May 11: Reverse lunges are a great substitution for squats, especially for folks with tight hamstrings. If these are a problem due to physical limitations, go back to the wall sit from May 3, but try to increase your time on each by 10 seconds!

Wednesday, May 12: Modified Dips are an awesome exercise to strengthen your upper body muscles. Throughout the day, try to find an object to support you (a couch or bench works well) and do three 3 sets of 10 modified dips! Here is another modification demonstrated on the floor.

Thursday, May 13: Meditating, even 5 minutes a day, is proven to reduce stress and promote self- awareness. Try this 5-Minute Meditation to reset your day in a positive way!

Friday, May 14: You’ve made it halfway – YAY! Celebrate by choosing 3 of your favorite exercises so far and doing 3 sets of 10 -15 each!

Saturday, May 15: Yoga has numerous health benefits to achieve a peaceful body and mind. Try this 5-Minute Yoga to start your morning or relax before bedtime.

Sunday, May 16: Take a 20-30 minute walk today, but this time, try some intervals! After 5 minutes of walking, try to increase your walking pace for 30-60 seconds. A good test of your interval intensity is the talk test. You should be breathing heavier than during your normal pace. It should be difficult for you to hold a conversation during this time. Try incorporating two more 30-60 second intervals into the remaining 15 minutes of your walk. If you have to stay inside today, refer to the 15-minute indoor walking routine from May 10!

WEEK 3

Monday, May 17: Oblique crunches. These can be performed in a standing position if you have problems getting to the floor, or simply don’t have the time! Do 2-3 sets of 10 on each side (you can alternate on the floor, just keep count).

Tuesday, May 18: Curtsy squat. A nice variation of a squat, focusing on glutes. Feel free to use a sturdy chair for balance. If this exercise doesn’t work for you, try the lateral hip raise (see Tuesday, May 25) or a clam shell exercise.

Wednesday, May 19: Mountain climbers are a higher intensity exercise often used by group exercise instructors to challenge participants. This exercise can be modified in a variety of ways so that beginners or people with physical limitations can also enjoy the challenge! Try 2-3 intervals of 30-60 seconds today. If you are a beginner, warm-up a bit with marching in place or walking for 2-3 minutes before trying a modified version. If you exercise regularly, incorporate a version of this exercise into your workout today!

Thursday, May 20: Bird Dog is a good exercise to stabilize your core and help relieve lower back pain! Make sure you have enough padding under your knees. Start by reaching your opposite arm and opposite leg out to extend the torso. Remember to avoid shifting your weight! If you feel like adding a challenge, pull your opposite arm and opposite leg into one another between bird dogs. Try 2 sets of 15 on each side.

Friday, May 21: It’s Fun Friday! Celebrate by choosing 3 of your favorite exercises so far and doing 3 sets of 5 – 10 each!

Saturday, May 22: Plank. The plank is a great exercise for building core strength. Check out this video for progressions on the floor and this link for even more modifications if getting to the floor is an issue. Do 3, 15 to 60 second planks, depending on fitness level. Rest 1 minute in between.

Sunday, May 23: Shoulder Shrugs. If you’re looking to strengthen your neck and upper back muscles, shoulder shrugs are a good exercise to add to your routine! Start with lower weights (common household items like soups cans or water bottles work well). Try 3 sets of 10 shoulder shrugs.

WEEK 4

Monday, May 24: Glute Bridge. The perfect beginner exercise to tighten your abdominals and glutes! Remember to exhale on the way up, and inhale on the way down. Try to accomplish 3 sets of 10 throughout the day!

Tuesday, May 25: Lateral hip raise (abduction). This standing exercise is great for all fitness levels for strengthening the glutes! Do 3 sets of 15-20 on each leg!

Wednesday, May 26: Russian twists.  This exercise is great for working your obliques and lengthening your spine.  Depending on your fitness level, try adding some weight to make it even more challenging. Do 2 sets of 20.

Thursday, May 27: Crunches. Bringing it back to the basics today! Remember, you don’t want to tug on your head during this exercise. Take your time and let your abs do the work. Try 2 sets of 10 – 15. Have problems getting to the floor? Use a chair!

Friday, May 28:  One Arm Row. Since this exercise engages your back muscles, feel free to go a little heavier with your household weight of choice! Try 2 sets of 10 – 15 on each side.

Saturday, May 29: Overhead Triceps Extension. This exercise should be a key player in every triceps workout and translates well into everyday activities. Grab a weight and your favorite household item.  Feel free to try this exercise while sitting or standing. Do 2 sets of 10 – 15.

Sunday, May 30: Congratulations! You’ve stayed motivated for the entire month of May! We commend your hard work and hope you enjoyed breaking up your day with these different movement variations! Let’s finish strong by performing 2 sets of 10 jumping jacks and 2 sets of 10 squats (use the modifications learned this month if necessary). Congrats again! 🙂