FC: Making it happen for 2 0 1 4 | Tightening the tummy area
1: Sheri Lynn Essian NETA certified personal trainer | Here's a few ground rules... If your goal is to lose weight, you must use up more calories than you take in. You will have to eat less, and change the kinds of foods you eat in order to accomplish this. The best way to slim down is by sheer self-will, and personal inner strength rather than using a weight loss diet, program, pill, shake or gimmick. I say this because you have to ask yourself, "How will you conduct life once you are done with the weight loss gimmick?" The one exercise that will catapult your weight loss program is cardio -type exercises. I know it seems like you should be working your abs like crazy in order to slim down the core area, but think a marathoner's body and you'll put it into perspective. Work hard at cardio, then supplement with the following exercises. In other words, there is no truth to spot reduction. You can firm up muscles in the area where you wish to lose weight, but you cannot tell your body where you want it to take the fat from as you shed pounds. Be patient with the many changes...gradual is good! Gradual is likely to be permanent. (Please note: safe weight loss rate is 1/2 to 2 pounds a week.) Consistency is important, too, because you are attempting to establish a lifestyle...not just go through a dieting stage, or a fling. As you perform these core exercises, breathe normally and try to exhale on the part most difficult for you. This ensures efficient exchange of oxygenated air. So, no holding your breath as you work. Go slow and in control; try to go the same speed through out the motion. So, no jerking your legs upright, for example, on the leg lifts. Work towards doing 10 of each exercise for three sets, taking a minute in between. Once you can perform the exercise correctly and efficiently, vary it a bit, or move on to another exercise. Water should be your first choice of beverage consuming 8 8-ounce glasses daily. Rest and sleep are vital parts of a good health regimen; sleep no less than 7 hours a night. Nourish your soul; pray and read God's Word regularly.
2: Gradual is good! Start off with simpler, easier exercises that you can perform and master, working up to the more demanding exercises. | Let's make sure you know what abdominal muscles we'll be working on. Let me show you the difference between three abdominal muscles. 1) Taking a deep breath and exhaling works the diaphragm. 2)Holding your midsection like someone is going to punch you works the rectus abdominis. 3)Stretched across your hip bone is the deep layer muscle, transverse abdominis. To activate it, sit on a chair, put your hands a hand breadth below your belly button, now lift your legs. Feel that tightened muscle? That's your transverse abdominis. | Once you have mastered an exercise and it is no longer challenging, change something about it, or change the exercise altogether. For example, on the plank, lift a leg, then a leg and an arm, or hold it longer, or shorter but for more intense spurts. | Posture check... It's good to do once in a while so you can adjust should slouching begin to show up or curvature in the spine. Sitting on a ball is one way to check your posture. | Another way to add variety is to add weights. Use ankle weights, for example, for the leg lifts.
3: ..another way to activate that deep layer muscle, transverse abdominis is to lay down and lift your legs. | This exercise can be hard on your lower back, so make sure that you follow the two basic rules of good techniques. First, ensure that your tummy is tucked, and I'm referring to the transverse abdominis. Pulling your belly button toward your spine describes the action properly. Also make sure that your shoulder blades are slightly (less than an inch) retracted. Keeping your hands behind your head will help you allow the tummy muscles to do the work.
4: Leg Lift Progression Start with a less taxing version. Hold one leg at a greater than 90' angle, and lift one leg only straight up. Then switch. | You can point or flex toes. Lift legs straight up and return. Going slow and in full control. | Once you can do three sets of 10 holding your leg, then perform the same exercise without holding your leg. Put arms behind head, so you will not use them for help in lifting your leg.
5: Now move legs in a bicycle motion as you lift legs about 6" off the ground for a count of 10. Once you can do that, move your legs up and down while doing the bicycle kick. | N Next in the progression would be adding a twisting motion, bring elbow to opposite knee. You may keep your upper body up and perform ten in a row before a rest.
6: Use bands in a variety of ways to add resistance and intensity. Be creative! | One of the all-around core exercises is the bicycle kick with the twisting curl up. | Here are a few exercises you can do sitting...like when you're driving, or watching a movie. | Simply lift your legs without using your hands for support, and hold that for 10 seconds or more. Rest and do it again. OR, while sitting or standing, tuck in that lower tummy area. Hold it for 10 - 30 seconds. Over time, the muscle will become taut and hold without effort.
7: Hip raises | With hands behind head, pull knees toward chin. This works the lower end of the rectus abdominis. The object is to pull the hip up and off the floor. It is a small movement. You may cross your ankles...switching crossover in between sets. Additionally, pull the knees up and to the side for a little more work.
8: Let's raise the hips using the bridge movement. Ensure that your body is straight from your neck to your hips. Don't dig your chin into your chest. | You can make the exercise more challenging by adding weight...maybe your fat cat! I used a weight from a barbell.
9: More Hip Raising Exercises | I found an example online of a reverse curl performed on a bench. | Graduate to pulling your knees up, lifting legs, and raising hips. This is called a reverse curl. You can combine this with leg lifts, so that the ultimate goal is starting with a leg lift, then pulling into a reverse curl (so that you legs are straight up and hips lifted, with your weight on your shoulders). Right is an example of a reverse curl on a bench.
10: PLANKING The plank is super versatile! Make sure your body is in a straight line; no butt in the air, or sagging. Perform the plank for short bursts up to 30 seconds while contracting muscles at 100% to create definition...and sweat! Do the plank for longer periods, a minute or more, just holding the form for endurance. Try any of these variations: -lift a leg or arm -shuffle while in plank -Put feet on sliding materials and ab/adduct legs while planking. | I'm using the sniper position for my arms and hands, but you can lay them flat in front, too.
11: Sideways plank while lifting legs is a creative variation. Also, lifting and lowering hips works great, too! | Planking sideways is great, too! Stack your feet, and just hold...you can go all out for a short burst, or maintain the form for longer periods.
12: On All Four Exercises | The Cat-Cow Exercise is fun and easy. Exaggerate your movements to work everything as fully as possible. Below is the Straight Arm/Leg lift, additionally works your balance.
13: Single Arm Swoop twists and works your balance, too. Start in a plank, raise one arm up and twist out, then pull same arm under body while twisting body in opposite direction. Attempt 10 in a row before going back to plank starting position.
14: Here are a few all-time favorites, except with a little upgrade. Below is the Roll-up Crunch. Start lying flat, then raise arms, and when arms are even with your ears, continue to roll up keeping chin tucked. Reach toes and roll back down slowly. This is kinder to your back than traditional crunches and activates more muscle fibers. If you still like to do crunches, try them on a ball. Much kinder to the back!
15: The Airplane using weights is a great old standby exercise. | The Hula Hoop, or Hip Circles without the hula hoop, is great for working the entire core area. You can do this while watching a movie!
16: Use the Superman exercise in a variety of ways to strengthen core. Above is full extension on Superman, but note the variations below.
17: The Woodchopper can be used with weights heavy enough that you can maintain correct form through the entire range of motion. To begin, you may keep feet stationary until the exercise becomes easy to do, then add a full twisting motion. | Superman Exercise is Versatile!
18: Air Punches | Air Punches can be performed with or without weights. If you use weights, ensure that you can maintain the correct form throughout the motion. You may keep your feet stationary, then graduate to rotation. You may punch the air in front, then graduate to twist and punch to the side. Pick a variation and do it 10 times, 3 sets with one minute rest.
19: Using the Ball | There are a ton of ways to use the ball to work your core, but here are two of my favorite. With hips on ball and balanced on all fours, raise opposite leg and arm over your shoulder slowly and lower in a controlled fashion. Lifting one leg/arm then the other is one rep.
20: The last of my favorites is a Ball Hip Raise. With back on floor and heels on top of ball, lift your hips so your body is straight. There are a wide varieties of ways you can work your hips using the ball...experiment and create your own favorite exercise! | I hope you find some of these exercises helpful in attaining your goals!