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We dare you! 7 workout challenges to tackle this year

Losing weight and snagging six-pack abs are two huuuge workout goals. Yeah, we’d love for them to happen, but let’s face it: We don’t really know how we’re gonna get there when we write out that big rezzie on Jan. 1. Instead of thinking big, let’s make some resolutions on a smaller, more achievable scale. Here are seven that will score ya a major sense of accomplishment—and leave you with some neat fitness tricks (and a healthier bod to boot).


Make it to a mile

So you’re not a runner? Join the club. But just ‘cause you won’t beat the track star in your gym class doesn’t mean you can’t bust out a decent mile. The dare: Run a mile without stopping. You don’t have to go full-out, you don’t have to beat a certain time, but work your way up to a jog or a run for all 5,280 feet.


Master the pull-up bar

We’re so tired of getting blasted for our poor upper body strength, so this year, we’re doing something about it—and you can, too! Work some upper body strength exercises into every single sweat sesh. Try doing vertical push-ups against a wall, take to the climbing wall or life some weights (or groceries). Once you can bust out one pull-up, go for two, then three, then…well, sky’s the limit, sweetie.


Reach past your feet

So you’re just about as flexible as a tree branch—and we mean an oak tree, not a weeping willow. You can’t fix that one overnight, but you can improve it over time. Park it on the ground and slowly stretch out your muscles every morning and night. Do an L-seat and a V-seat stretch, then put your feet together and see how far you can reach. Keep track of your progress.


Flip-turn like a competitive swimmer

Yeah, it’s wicked disorienting at first, but putting this trick in your toolbox of can-dos will come in handy come pool time this summer. It’ll make swimming laps easier (and will help you feel a bit more professional as you slog along). Who knows? The swim team just might be in your future.


Throw a punch like a pro

No, not in your frenemy’s face! Hit up a local boxing gym or take a kickboxing class at your favorite gym and learn how to work a punch from head to toe. Getting the ol’ one-two down will make you feel powerful. And while you’re at it, taking a self-defense class certainly won’t hurt.


Stick out the plank

With no prep and, uh, flabby abs, we can hang out in plank position for about 15 seconds before we get the shakes. With some practice under our belts, though, we’re betting we could hold it for a good minute or two—putting our past plank-ing abilities to shame. And if we can, well, you can, too! Bonus: It’s so easy! Park it on the carpet while you’re watching TV to get some practice in.


Sink a few free-throws

Basketball is one of the most affordable sports out there. All you need is a ball and some court time. If you have a hoop on your driveway, measure out a free-throw line and start shooting hoops. Have an eye for distance? Try some lay-ups and dunks while you’re out there!


What’s your fitness resolution this year, sweeties? Share ‘em in the comments!




BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 1/2/2014 12:00:00 AM

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