Ok so I was asked to do a guest post because I had commented I had been doing a sit up routine every day until my dancercise teacher went on holiday…. I know totally mixed up right – I should have been the one going on holiday!
By way of introduction then my name is Becca, I’m 25 and am studying for an MA and normally blog about films or books. I’ve known Gemma since I visited my friend at Cardiff Uni about seven years ago and we got horribly drunk and danced like loons. Ever since joining Twitter I have followed her weight-loss progress and been so inspired every time I see her. My own personal battle with weight is more about exercise than losing pounds, of course I am technically ‘overweight’ but meh, it is all on my waist and I’d rather tone what I have for now.
Hence the sit-ups challenge.
It has actually been a great motivator, we get to class on a Monday and Lana asks “whose been doing the challenge?” and, most Mondays, we do a guilty shuffle (Lana included) and make our excuses. However since deciding trying to lose weight during my dissertation (I am in the final stages of an MA to become a fully fledged librarian) was totally silly – who can write essays without biscuits? – I have decided to become dedicated to this sit-up routine.
What we do each week in dance class is a warm up (to Beyonce’s End of Time), Cardio (to whatever Zumba routine Lana has recently made up), and then sit-ups which are currently to the Snoop Dogg/David Guetta track ‘Sweat’.
I apologise now for not getting the right terminology for the moves in this routine. Obviously the music is optional but I have included it in the routine in case people prefer to work out to a rhythm.
So just in case anyone wants to try it, this is how it goes:
- (when the vocals kick in) do four, controlled crunches.
- Then do one sit-up (so move yourself right up off the floor and stretch your arms to the ceiling, don’t worry if you have to move your legs to do this)
- Once back down pull your legs and arms in together so elbows come close to knees then push out with your legs, keeping them as horizontal to the floor as possible (at first its easier to push out with your legs in a more vertical position but soon you’ll be able to get more parallel to the floor). Do this twice.
- Repeat the crunches, sit-up and leg squeeze.
- The chorus should kick in as you keep your head on the floor and raise your bum, Eric Prydz ‘call on me’ stylee (leotards optional), raise and lower for 8 counts in a controlled way then do 16 rapid (try not to touch the floor with your bum the whole time)
- In the break in the music before the vocals start again you have the option to do as many quick crunches as you wish, or have a rest!
- Then the cycle starts again! So: 4 crunches, 1 sit up, 2 leg squeeze, then repeat. Chorus kicks in for 8 slow bum lifts and 16 rapid.
- Then shift yourself up on to your hands, feet flat on the floor hip width apart in front of you, hands facing your bum, and do 16 triceps dips. Make sure your elbows are bending and you’re not just shifting your bum up and down – this is all in the arms and you’re gonna feel it but push through!
- Then, I’m sorry, shift yourself on your front to do 10 push ups. Doesn’t matter how difficult you make these but ladies shouldn’t do the full length up on the toes version as this isn’t great for your insides. So, for the girls, stay on your knees and either stretch out your back with hands facing forward underneath your shoulders raising and lowering above the knees, or stay in a steady box shape and just raise and lower your upper body.
- Finally as part of our routine we do the plank for 30 seconds. This is totally optional for beginners as it will last beyond the end of the song (so have another one lined up maybe to distract you) and is a pretty tough yoga move. Basically you want to prop yourself up on your arms, and push your toes into the floor keeping your back and legs in a straight line. Lana likes to say imagine you have a glass of really expensive wine balanced on your back.
And there you go! Honest it works, your shape improves so much, I found out I actually had a waist when I started doing these classes. This routine also helps you to be able to hold yourself in without even realising what you are doing, it becomes second nature to keep it all sucked in which is so lovely!
So, I hope that all made sense. Best advice I can give people who aren’t keen on exercise but do enjoy a night out clubbing is to get yourself to a dance class, whether it’s Zumba, dancercise, salsa, or line dancing it is actually my favourite form of exercise because more often than not you are having too much fun to care if you’re sweaty and red (I go purple).
If you’d like to read my ramblings about films go to friendlyfilmfan. Otherwise good luck with all your weight loss journeys! I’d best go do my sit-ups…