June Flexibility Challenge – Week 4: Chest, Back, + Core

12 Minute Athlete Flexibility Challenge Week 1: Chest, back + core

It’s the last week of the 12 Minute Athlete June Flexibility Challenge!

For our final week, we’re focusing on some often-forgotten areas to stretch: the chest, back, and core.

You’ve probably heard of these muscle groups being paired up in strengthening workouts…

…but stretching?

Most of us don’t dedicate these kinds of  stretches into our regular fitness routine.

But we should! Because the chest, back, and core are all MUSCLES.

That means that when we strengthen them, we shorten them. And it’s important to lengthen them back out if we want to keep using them to their full capacity.

So let’s give these muscle groups some TLC with the following exercises; do this routine at least three times per week in addition to your regular workouts to build a more flexible chest, back, and core.

It’s the last week – let’s see those progress posts! Use the tags @12minuteathlete and #12MAflexibility on our Facebook Group and Instagram for a chance to win my favorite foam roller and a signed copy of the 12 Minute Athlete book!

Looking for the full Flexibility Challenge calendar? Go here.

Read moreJune Flexibility Challenge – Week 4: Chest, Back, + Core

June Flexibility Challenge – Week 3: Flexible Hips + Glutes

12 Minute Athlete Flexibility Challenge Week 1: Flexible Hips + Glutes

We know you’re going to love Week 3 of the June Flexibility Challenge, because this week we’re focusing on a spot that’s tight for many of us…the hips and glutes!

Because 12 Minute Athlete workouts are HIIT and circuit-based and mainly focus on total-body strength, you’re using your hips and glutes in just about every exercise. Add that to walking around on your legs every day, and it’s no wonder that so many athletes have constant tightness in these areas.

Flexibility in the hips and glutes can benefit athletes in tons of exercises such as squats, side lunges, and step ups.

Plus, staying flexible in those areas will help you with mobility in non-athletic movements like picking up something off the floor, sitting comfortably in a chair, walking up the stairs, going for a stroll…

…you get the idea. These areas are involved in so many movements, so working on getting more flexible hips and glutes is a great goal for any athlete.

Aim to do this exercise routine at least three times per week in addition to your regular workouts.

Have you been posting pictures of your progress to the 12 Minute Athlete Facebook Group and on Instagram

Use the tags @12minuteathlete and #12MAflexibility, and you might be selected as the  winner of my favorite foam roller and a signed copy of the 12 Minute Athlete book!

If you’re just starting the challenge, click here to get the full challenge calendar!

Looking for the weekly exercise posts? Find them here:

Read moreJune Flexibility Challenge – Week 3: Flexible Hips + Glutes

June Flexibility Challenge – Week 2: Flexible Shoulders

It’s Week 2 of the June Flexibility Challenge! Are you feeling more flexible yet?

This week we’re focusing on overhead and shoulder mobility. Flexible shoulders can help you in SO many exercises, like handstands, pull ups, burpees, and more!

Building up your shoulder flexibility is also a great way to counteract the slouched position that so many of us spend time in these days.

If you spend a good portion of your day sitting at a desk working on a computer, these stretches will help you straighten out and make your shoulders feel AMAZING!

Keep sharing pictures of progress with the tags @12minuteathlete and #12MAflexibility for the chance to win my favorite foam roller and a signed copy of the 12 Minute Athlete book!

Check out my Instagram or Facebook page to find videos, and download the full workout calendar here.

Aim to do the exercises for Week 2 at least three times this week, in addition to your regular workouts.

You can also continue to do last week’s stretches to keep building up that hamstring and hip flexor flexibility.

Just joining us? Find the challenge info and workout calendar here, or click here to head over to the Week 1 exercises

Read moreJune Flexibility Challenge – Week 2: Flexible Shoulders

June Flexibility Challenge – Week 1: Flexible Hamstrings + Hip Flexors

It’s time to get bendy! To kick off Week 1 of the June Flexibility Challenge, we’re focusing on building more flexible hamstrings and hip flexors. 

Many athletes struggle with chronically tight hamstrings, and that can inhibit your workouts – not to mention making you really uncomfortable in any kind of straight-leg position.

Some of our favorite 12 Minute Athlete exercises like pistol squats, front splits, and mountain climbers rely on mobility in the hips and hamstrings to truly get the best out of the workout.

So we’re going to open them up to see what a difference more flexible hamstrings can make!

Getting more flexible hamstrings might seem like a long shot now, but do this exercise routine at least three times per week in addition to your regular workouts and see if you notice a change!

Follow along with the 12 Minute Athlete community by posting pictures of your progress on our Facebook group  with the tags @12minuteathlete and #12MAflexibility.

Remember, one lucky participant will win my favorite foam roller and a signed copy of the 12 Minute Athlete book.

Visit the main challenge page to download the workout calendar to help you stay on track with your exercises.

Oh, and don’t forget to warm up first! You can either do these stretches immediately after your workout or after a short dynamic warm up. You should never stretch completely cold.

Read moreJune Flexibility Challenge – Week 1: Flexible Hamstrings + Hip Flexors

The 12 Minute Athlete June Flexibility Challenge

12 Minute Athlete Flexibility Challenge

“Get more flexible” is a common goal in the 12 Minute Athlete community. So for our June community challenge, we’re focusing on building flexibility through targeted stretches and mobility work. 

Flexibility isn’t just helpful for stretching into cool-looking poses, although it’s an awesome perk! Improving your flexibility and mobility can help you maintain proper form in your workouts, help your muscles recover faster, and improve your overall posture in your daily life.

If you…

  • Want to feel less tight following a workout
  • Spend most of your workday sitting at a desk
  • Want less back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, etc.
  • Have trouble getting through a workout because of tight muscles
  • Want to improve your form during workouts
  • Feel muscle imbalances when you have extended exercise (like walking, running, and hiking)

…then this challenge is for you!

Read moreThe 12 Minute Athlete June Flexibility Challenge

Why Working Out Isn’t Just For Looks

Like so many people, when I first started my fitness journey, I worked out solely because I wanted to lose weight, get leaner, and feel better in my body.

And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to feel confident about how you look, in my experience working out for looks alone has several different issues with it:

  • Every time I would miss a workout, “cheat” on my diet, or eat dessert, I felt like a failure.
  • It wasn’t very easy to track my progress, since stepping on the scale alone isn’t a reliable measure of weight loss progress.
  • Working out to “look good” didn’t motivate me in the long-term, so I constantly struggled with consistency.

It wasn’t until I found other intrinsic reasons to work out that had nothing to do with my appearance that I was finally able to develop a lifelong fitness habit and become the become the athlete I had never before believed I could be.

Here are some really good reasons to work out (that have nothing to do with your appearance):

Read moreWhy Working Out Isn’t Just For Looks

How to Become a Workout Person for Life

You might not know this about me, but I wasn’t always a “workout person.”

Although I played soccer and basketball growing up, as soon as I left for college, I stopped doing any movement of pretty much any kind.

I didn’t go to the gym or work out. I didn’t have any fun active hobbies that I did regularly or play any sports. I barely even walked on a daily basis.

Not only did I gain the typical freshman fifteen (or twenty) as a result, I also had low energy, low self-esteem, and felt just super lost and unconfident about my life in general.

It really took finding fitness to get me out of that rut—but it didn’t happen overnight.

It took years of experimenting before I finally considered myself a “fitness person” and built a workout habit that finally stuck.

Here are my top tips to get there much quicker than I did:

Read moreHow to Become a Workout Person for Life

March Core Strength Challenge – Week 4

It’s the final week of the March Core Strength Challenge! You’re almost there, so don’t stop now! 

If you’re just joining us for our Core Strength Challenge this month, check out the challenge page for all the details.

Remember, you can do these core strengthening exercises whenever you’d like – core strength will still be important after the month ends. If you’d like to do all the workouts from this month, download the challenge calendar and track your progress on social media with one photo or video each week. Use the tags #12MAcore and @12minuteathlete to share what you did!

It’s the last week of the challenge, so we’re going all-out. You’ll need a medicine ball, single dumbbell, or a bag filled with some heavy stuff to finish these workouts. 

See if you can crush this workout routine three times this week in addition to your regular workouts. Finish strong, you got this!

Read moreMarch Core Strength Challenge – Week 4

Food is Fuel: Learning to Treat Your Body Right

12 Minute Athlete

There’s no question that what you eat has a huge impact on your day to day life, your energy levels, and how ready you feel to crush your workouts.

While diet and fitness magazines often portray food as the enemy—i.e. the less you eat, the leaner, sexier, smarter, etc. you will be—I 100% believe that this is the wrong way to think of food.

Instead, I want you to think of food in a different way: as fuel for your body.

If you eat high quality, nutrient-packed foods, you’re going to feel your best and be able to get through your day to day activities and workouts feeling like a rockstar.

If you eat highly processed foods loaded with sugar, unhealthy fats, and few nutrients, you’re most likely feel sluggish, unmotivated, fuzzy headed, and at some point during the day, just plain crash.

The more you learn to listen to your body and treat it right with healthy foods, the more you’ll actually crave eating healthy most of the time.

Read moreFood is Fuel: Learning to Treat Your Body Right

March Core Strength Challenge – Week 3

Hey team! It’s Week 3 of the Core Strength Challenge and we have a new workout routine lined up for this week. 

This week you’ll be moving in all directions, working the entire core to continue to build even more strength.

Just joining us? Welcome! Head over to the challenge page to get the details on our March Core Strength Challenge. If you’re looking for the exercises until now, here’s the routine for Week 1 and Week 2.

This week you’ll need a medicine ball, a single dumbbell, or a bag filled with some heavy stuff. 

Here’s the plan for Week 3. Try to get this workout in three times this week—you’ve got this!

And don’t forget to follow along on Instagram or on our Facebook Group for the videos each week, and keep tracking your progress on social media with a post or video each week!

Read moreMarch Core Strength Challenge – Week 3

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