November 16, 2018

Core Strengthener

Fit Body:

Floor Core Hold

Strengthen your core with this one move. Here’s how: Lie on your back. Place both arms on the floor along side your body. Tuck your chin toward your chest. Lift both feet up off the floor, and then lift your upper body up off the floor. Support your torso by leaving your forearms on the floor. Find your balance point and hold for 3 deep breaths, and then release. Do 5 reps.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Take Your Planks Up a Level

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Planks… Plus!

Take your planks up a level by adding in 2 additional moves:

Begin in a plank, on your toes and hands. Keep your body straight. Next, lift up your right leg, bend your knee and pull your knee up toward your chest. Straighten your knee to complete 1 rep. Do 10 reps, then release. Repeat with your left knee. Do 10 reps.

Begin in a plank, on your toes and hands. Lift your right leg up off the floor about 6 inches. Keeping your knee straight, slide your leg out to the side about 10-12 inches, then return to the center to complete 1 rep. Do 10 times, then release. Repeat with your left leg. Do 10 reps.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

 

Ab Tuck and Crunch

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Ab Tuck and Crunch

If you’re looking to challenge your abs, try this move. Begin lying flat on the floor, next lift up your upper body with your arms in front of you for balance. Then, lift both legs up off the floor to your starting pike position. Next, exhale and pull both knees into your chest while stabilizing your torso in the incline position. Inhale and return to your staring pike position. Repeat 10 times.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise. This exercise is for those without injury concerns.

Quality-Control your Crunches

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Quality Crunches!

Do a quality-control check of your form while doing crunches.

Begin on the floor on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head, with your elbows wide. Lift your chin off your chest. Slowly lift your shoulders up off the floor sliding your ribs toward your hips. You should feel the ab muscles engage. Exhale, and lift up 1-2 inches higher, that’s it. Pause at the top of your range of motion.  Inhale, and slowly lower your shoulders to your starting point, not all the way to the floor. Pause at your starting point. Start with 10 reps.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

 

Strong with Step Ups

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Get Strong with Step Ups!

Build strong legs with this challenging exercise. Hold a weight in each hand. Stand facing a stable bench or secure chair. Step up on the bench with your right leg only. Transfer your body up onto the bench. Slowly lower your body back to the floor leading with your left leg.  Return to your starting position with both feet flat on the floor to complete one rep. Next, step up with your left leg, then slowly lower leading with your right leg. Begin with ten reps total.

A few form pointers:

Maintain proper spinal alignment with your shoulders down and back.

Maintain core stability holding your belly button in.

Control is key. Slowly lift your body, pause, slowly lower your body, pause. No bounce. No swing.

Exhale when you lift. Inhale when you lower.

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

 

Bored with your Ab Exercises? Try this!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Flutter Kicks for Abs!

Bored with your Ab Exercise? Try this!

Lie on your back on the floor. Stabilize your midsection by pulling your belly button in toward your spine and maintaining neutral lumbar position. Lift both legs up off the floor, alternating. Match each lift and lower with an inhale or exhale. Start with 10 reps.

To progress: Lift both legs up off the floor and cross your ankles in a scissor kick.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Progress your Ab Plank

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Side Plank

Lie on your right side on the floor. Place your right hand on the floor directly below your shoulder. Place the outside of your right foot on the floor, with both legs straight. Lift your body up off the floor and hold your body straight in a side plank position. Release by dropping your hips to the floor. Repeat with your left hand and left foot on the floor. Lift your body up and hold the side plank position. Begin with a ten second hold on each side. Breathe through each plank, hold your belly button in tight and maintain proper spinal alignment.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Isometric Ab Challenge

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Isometric Abs!

Isometrics hold muscles under tension for a set period of time. Try this V-Sit for an isometric abdominal challenge. Here’s how:

Sit on the floor in proper spinal alignment. Pull your belly button in and keep your shoulders back and down. Extend both legs straight out on the floor in front of you. With a straight back, lean back slightly and lift both legs up off the floor about 6 inches to start. Extend both arms straight out in front of you. Hold this position for 10 seconds, breathing in your natural rhythm. Lower your legs and rest. Repeat 2-5 times.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise. This exercise is for intermediate/advanced exercises, and is not for those with injury concerns.

Ask A Pro by Mollie Millington

Question: I’ve been steadily gaining weight in my midsection for the past 6 months. My doctor says I’m in the midst of menopause. What exercises can I do to tone up?  -Angela in Madison, WI.

Answer: Since you’ve been cleared from your doctor in regards to hormone concerns, toning up and losing inches off your abdomen requires three different actions.

To tone up, do resistance training (lifting weights). Your local gym will provide professional services to teach you how to use the weight lifting machines. Be sure to take advantage of this offering, so you know how to safely set-up the machines and operate them correctly and effectively. Resistance training increases metabolism, and also helps increase bone density. Perform resistance training 2-3 times each week.

To lose inches, add in cardio (at least 30 min of walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, aerobics, dancing, etc) 2-3 times a week. Cardiovascular exercise helps control weight gain, as well as strengthening your heart and lungs. Cardiovascular exercise also helps maintains mobility.

Nutrition plays a critical role in reducing weight gain and improving overall health. Be mindful of appropriate portion sizes, empty calories (for example, drinks with no nutritional value and sugary foods) and try to maintain a set meal schedule. Your body begins to expect fuel when you eat regularly. Skipping meals forces the body into starvation or panic mode and slows down your metabolism. A good start is to adopt the 80-20% rule. If you’re eating healthily 80% of the time, you can reward yourself the other 20%.

By London-based personal trainer Mollie Millington. Mollie may be contacted via www.ptmollie.com or @PTMollie on Twitter.