This Saturday is the Chinese New Year. 2020 is the year of the Rat, a creature thought in Chinese culture to be quick thinkers, successful in their endeavors, and to be content with living a quiet life. They also symbolize wealth.
To honor a year of wealth and success, let’s celebrate the year of the rat with a Chinese zodiac workout.
This workout is influenced from a popular Christmas themed workout called the 12 Days of (CrossFit or Fitness). Since there are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, this works well for the workout.
You can time yourself, or just go at your own pace, resting however you need. Be sure to modify for exercises as needed, as well.
Start with 1 Rat Wall Crawl– Wall crawls can sometimes be super hard on your shoulder, so 1) make sure you warm up your arms and shoulder REALLY well, and 2) modify if you are remotely uncomfortable with the movement. Lay on the ground, stomach down, with feet against a wall or thick tree trunk. Push up into a plank, and slowly step feet off the ground, up the wall. Keep walking your feet up until you cannot go any further. Your aim is to get your body into a straight line against the tree or wall, in a handstand. When you can go no further, carefully step back into plank and lower yourself all the way back to the ground.
Modification: Pike Push-up-Start in a standing position, feet together. Hinge at your hips to touch your toes. You may bend your knees if you can’t touch your toes otherwise. Without moving your feet, walk your hands out 5 hand lengths total and bring the back hand to meet the front. Here is your pike position. Keeping legs as straight as possible, bend elbows to bring forehead to the ground. Straighten arms to return to pike position.
Next, you’ll do 2 Oxen Deadlifts-(Stand over a heavy object. Bend over and grab your weight with a shoulder-width grip, bending your knees. Lift your chest up and straighten your lower back. Take a big breath, hold it, and stand up with the weight), then do 1 Rat Wall Crawl.
On your third round, do 3 Tiger Push-ups (Starting in a kneeling plank position. Perform a kneeling push-up, then sit back (onto heels) with arms extended forward (child’s pose). Hold a few seconds. Bring body forward, back into kneeling plank position. Then continue flowing with the same sequence; Push-up + child’s pose), 2 Oxen Deadlifts, and 1 Rat Wall Crawl.
4th Round: 4 Rabbit Shuttle Sprints (20-25 feet apart), 3 Tiger Push-ups, 2 Oxen Deadlifts, and 1 Rat Wall Crawl.
5th Round: 5 Dragonflies– Holding onto a heavy weight on the ground over your head while laying on the ground, raise your legs to touch the weight (or as far as you can, bending your knees if necessary. Slowly return your legs back to straight position-, 4 Rabbit Shuttle Sprints, 3 Tiger Push-ups…..1 Rat Wall Crawl
6th Round: 6 Snake Sidewinders– in a plank position, jump just your feet to the right side, then the left side-, 5 Dragonflies,…1 Rat Wall Crawl
7th Round: 7 Horse Kicks (each side)- Position yourself on all fours. Brace your core and keep your balance while lifting your right leg out behind you and up toward the sky. Bring knee toward chest and repeat the cycle with your right leg the number of repetitions. Once finished, then repeat the process with your left leg. For advanced modification, place a weight on the inside of your knee and hold it with your leg muscles while kicking leg up-, 6 Snake Sidewinders,…1 Rat Wall Crawl
8th Round: 8 Goat Mountain Climbers – Start in a push-up/plank position. Keeping your core tight and not letting your back arch up or your butt pike up, bring your right leg to your chest. As you return to your starting position’ bring your left leg to your chest. Count one full cycle as one repetition-, 7 Horse Kicks,…1 Rat Wall Crawl
9th Round: 9 Monkey Around Jumps– Start in a deep squat with your legs a bit wider than your hips and your toes pointed outward. Jump up, spinning to the left 180 degrees (halfway around). Land softly in a deep squat. Repeat, but reverse directions so you jump spinning to the right and go back the way you came-, 8 Goat Mountain Climbers,…1 Rat Wall Crawl
10th Round: 10 Rooster Reachdowns– Stand with your legs wide apart. Place arms straight out from your side. Twist your hips to face your right leg. Bend at your hips and reach your right foot with your left hand. Your right hand should reach overhead to the sky. Unhinge to return to standing, and repeat the other side. Maintain a slow, controlled pace throughout movement-, 9 Monkey Around Jumps,…1 Rat Wall Crawl
11th Round: 11 Alpha Dogs (each side)-Position yourself on all fours. Keeping your core tight and knee bent, lift your right leg laterally (to the side). Repeat with same leg for the number of reps, then repeat the cycle with your left leg-, 10 Rooster Reachdowns,…1 Rat Wall Crawl
12th Round: 12 Pig Twists (each side)- Sit on the floor and bring your legs out straight. Lean back slightly so your torso and legs form a V-like shape, bracing your abdominal wall to engage your core. Balancing here, twist your torso from side to side without moving your legs-, 11 Alpha Dogs, 10 Rooster Reachdowns, 9 Monkey Around Jumps, 8 Goat Mountain Climbers, 7 Horse Kicks, 6 Snake Sidewinders, 5 Dragonflies, 4 Rabbit Shuttle Sprints, 3 Tiger Push-ups, 2 Oxen Deadlifts, 1 Rat Wall Crawl
May this year bring you a wealth of fitness and health, and success in all your fitness goals.