Sun. Sep 15th, 2019

Your fitness bucket list: From pull-ups to completing a sprint triathlon

What are your fitness goals? Is a goal that you have wanted to accomplish? A push up? Five kilometer run? Here are some ideas for you to tick off.

your fitness bucket list from pull ups to completing a sprint triathlon 1024x682 - Your fitness bucket list: From pull-ups to completing a sprint triathlon

A fitness bucket list, besides being fun to put together, can act as a tool to keep you motivated as well as inspire you to try out new training and exercise routines. We know that the same routine weekly can get boring!

We have put together ten challenges for you to add to your fitness to do list. These will cover the areas of strength, endurance as well as flexibility.

Master a pull-up

Nothing can make you feel quite as badass as being able to lift your body weight from a dead-hang position.

The pull-up is a great test of upper body strength and we believe that everyone should be able to perform one.

The pull-up utilises a range of muscles, all of them almost unpronounceable and long: pectoralis major and minor, deltoids, infraspinatus, latissimus dorsi and so on.

As much as it is a strength test, it also requires you to be able to execute the correct technique.

Can’t do a pull-up? Stronglifts suggests starting with chin-ups.

If you cannot do a chin-up we suggest starting with negatives. Stand on a bench with your chin over the bar then lower yourself down slowly until your arms are straight.

Jump up for your next rep and repeat for about 3 sets of as many reps as you can do with good form.

Alternatively, build your pull up strength by utilising resistance bands. The bands offer some help to help pull yourself out of the bottom of the pull-up but doesn’t help you at the top.

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Photo: Pixabay

Enter an obstacle course race

Obstacle course races offer something for everyone. Rope climbs, up and overs, burpees and even swimming are sprinkled along the course.

It challenges its participants aerobic capacity via the running portions of the course and the obstacles put their strength, agility, balance and coordination to the test as well.

There are many OCR in South Africa and all of them usually have an option of team or solo entry. They also have various entry levels from beginner to elite.

Crank out push-ups

Like the pull-up this bodyweight strength test is a definitive goal to tick off your fitness bucket list.

But unlike the pull-up, which requires some equipment, the push up requires nothing besides your own body.

A push-up requires that you start in a plank position with your elbows locked out. The lower your body under control until your chest touches the ground. Finally, press up without letting your hips sag and maintaining your straight plank position.

If you are just starting to limit your range of motion and use an elevated surface like a coffee table. Then slowly work your way down until you’re doing them from the ground.

Whether you are proficient in the movement and can crank out many, or barely squeak one out there are many variations can make it either harder or easier.

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Photo: Pixabay

Run your first five, ten kilometer or half marathon 

The atmosphere at the start of a race is something most fitness enthusiasts should experience.

Not to mention the dedication and commitment that is built when training for a race.

Depending on your current running abilities we suggest attempting at least a five or ten-kilometre. If you need a harder task and have enough time to prepare for it, a half marathon or 21km might be the challenge you need to add to your bucket list.

Beginners check out our article here for more tips.

Hold a plank for two minutes

Now that we have talked endurance, let’s talk strength again. Specifically core strength.

Like the 100 day squat challenge, plank challenges have been making their way around Pinterest boards with fury.

No wonder considering washboard abs are the pot of gold at the end of every workout session.

Find your “baseline” by getting into your plank position and seeing how long you can hold this with good form.

Place your hands under your shoulders, straighten out your body and rest on your toes. Squeeze your butt, thighs and midline. Pick a spot in front of you to concentration on, your neck should be in line with your back.

Once you can log about two to three minutes of the simple plank, work on adding other variations to your repertoire.

Learn to swim

Take yourself out of your element and into another by immersing yourself in swimming. Swimming is a disclipine to add to your fitness bucket list.

Swimming is a great way to build cardiovascular health, lose fat and improve general physical health. It is also a low impact training method which means you could add it to your current routine and not feel too beat up.

Many adult swimming classes will help you gain confidence in the water. And you may even find a water aerobic exercise class you enjoy!

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Photo: Pixabay

Lift your body weight

Bragging rights to this goal are coveted and more obtainable than you imagine.

Find a good coach and training programme and you will be well on your way to claiming a bodyweight deadlift or squat.

We suggesting that you pick one of these 3 major compound lifts: deadlift, squat or bench press.

Training cycles and programs vary but there are classic beginner programmes to get you started.

Go on a full day hike

Get outdoors and go on an adventure.

Often we forget why we spend those hours in the gym. Usually, we all began focusing on our health as we wanted to get healthier and live fulfilling lives.

We suggest taking your hard-earned fitness and putting it to the test in nature.

Find a challenging hike, pack a backpack and wander off into the woods, mountain or along our coastlines.

If you need some inspiration check out these trail hikes over here.

Master a yoga pose

This goal will test your flexibility, balance and strength.

Plus you have the added benefit of the mental stress release that yoga is capable of providing.

There are three poses that we suggest starting with: warrior III, crow and handstand. These are balance poses that are fairly accessible once you decide to put in the work.

They can be practiced anywhere and not just in your yoga practice.

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Photo: Pixabay

Complete a sprint triathlon 

Once you have learnt how to swim, conquered your half marathon and relearnt how to ride a bike you can combine these disciplines really put your endurance to the test. Add a sprint triathlon to your bucket list.

A sprint triathlon consists of a 400m swim, 21km cycle and five-kilometre run. The perfect distance to get your feet wet before possibly embarking on the full thing…

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