Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Whole Body Workout - Cross Punches - High/Low

We have now started the second week of 2013 and hopefully you are all already on your paths to an excellent year.  I know that in our household, even though we have a game plan already set up, there seems to be a resounding feeling that it is still going to take this week to fully relax and get immersed in our new routine.  But in order to reach that point (and the rewards of sticking with the game plan), we all just have to keep taking one step after another to build up the momentum that will take us where we want to go. 

This week we are focusing on another whole body exercise; don’t worry, no jumping required.  In fact, this week’s exercise is quite easy to do and you can set the intensity level simply by adjusting the speed and height of the moves.  To get your heart rate up more, simply speed up the punches and make sure you are extending the moves fully.  To get your legs into the equation more, work the lower half of your squat.  Add this in to your cardio and strength building exercises and enjoy the full body toning this move will give you.
Cross Punches – High/Low
Start with your feet past shoulder width apart.  Pull your belly in toward your spine, open your chest, and relax your shoulders.  As always, maintain this upper-body position throughout the exercise.  Begin punching to the 45 degree angle across your body; start at head level.  Make sure you are twisting from your core, not your legs, so that you work your side oblique muscles.  Extend the arm until you are just shy of locking out the elbow, then pull your hand all the way back to touch your sides (in Kempo we call this “elbow position”).  Feel as though you are pushing your arm out, and then pulling it back in.  Punch with both the left and the right, then lower your stance and repeat at waist level. 
After you punch at waist level, you are going to lower down as low as you can go and repeat your punches one more time.  Remember to only go as low as you can go while keeping your chest up and your shoulders over your hips!  If you go low, but you do it by leaning your chest forward, you will be straining your lower back rather than working your core and legs.  In addition, be aware of your knee positioning: keep your knees over your feet (you should be able to see your toes) so that you are supporting your position with your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes (not your knee joints).

That’s it!  Continue working high-mid-low-mid-high…for 1-2 minutes.  Repeat 2-3 more times.

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