30 Day Shred: Don’t Cheat on Level 2

Hi Shredheads – hopefully you’re enjoying this holiday (if it’s a holiday where you are).  And hopefully you’re going to be doing some kind of exercise today!  :)

A comment in yesterday’s post made me want to write a little bit more about “cheating” in Level 2.  As I mentioned, the first time around (and many times around after the first) I felt like Level 2 was shorter than Level 1, and not quite as difficult.  But I’m realizing that it’s just as hard as Level 1, as long as you don’t cheat.  Unfortunately, I find that it’s a lot easier to accidentally cheat in Level 2 if you aren’t paying attention.

This morning I payed a bit more attention to the places where I cheat when I’m not paying attention:

Walkout pushups
The walkout part of the pushups means way fewer pushups than in Level 1, making it easier.  So I’m really making sure my hands are closer together, and that my hands are right under my shoulders, rather than further up.  This is a common one to watch throughout this level that I really never paid much attention to before.

Squat rows
This one seemed WAY to easy to me…until I tried keeping my elbows up as far as they should be.  Yikes.  Don’t let them drop down or you won’t be getting the full benefit.

Squat thrusts
Same thing with the pushups – watch where your hands are relative to your shoulders.  It makes a HUGE difference.  Under your shoulders, not under your ears or eyes.  The further back you keep your hands, the harder this will be.  Play around with it and see how far back you can get them.

Chest press with straight leg lifts (abs)
Actually, this isn’t one I cheat on, but I wanted to point out something I didn’t realize for probably 3 months when I first started.  You aren’t supposed to be lifting your legs straight up.  You’re supposed to be twisting around so your feet meet up with your hands out to the side, which works your obliques more.  For some reason this wasn’t obvious to me for a long time.

Plank jacks
See the bit about where your hands are.  ALSO, try getting your feet wider than you think you should.  And then get them a bit wider still.  I was blown away this morning by what a difference that made.

Plank twists
Blah blah blah watch your hands.  ;)

General
There’s some “dead space” in between moves where Jillian is setting the next thing up.  If you know what the next move is, move on to it without waiting for Jillian.  It may only be a few seconds difference, but I found it keeps my heart rate up a lot better.

So…that’s it.  Keep on doing it, and make sure you are using heavy enough weights too!

4 comments for “30 Day Shred: Don’t Cheat on Level 2

  1. jen b
    November 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    When I took my journey to plankville this morning, I did try to keep my arms directly under my shoulders…. I guess I’ll have to build up to doing it all the time!

  2. November 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Today is my last day of Level 1 and I will begin Level 2 tomorrow. Thank you so much for this post as it will help me keep in mind where I could go wrong!

  3. Natasha
    December 6, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Hey thanks for this review.
    I\’m starting level 2 tomorrow as well and I will now make sure I don\’t cheat.

    I do want the best results possible! :)

    Thanks again!

  4. Megan
    December 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I think Level 2 is horribly hard. I’ve been doing it for a week. I didn’t think I was cheating – much… but I know I was a little on the last strength move (those v-flies KILL ME). Thank you so much for your insight on the moves as I will definitely pay mind to the placement of my hands. I am not sure what you mean about the chest press/leg lifts so I will pay particular attention to that. :)

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