Are you still doing dozens of crunches in the hopes of getting flat, "washboard abs"?
Traditional crunches are old news, so let’s take your ab routine to the next level with the following 5 Best Core Exercises.
The most effective exercises strengthen your core as a whole –which helps prevent dreaded back pain, increases your agility and, of course, makes you look good.
In your new core routine the focus is on quality over quantity. A few concentrated movements are always more effective than dozen and dozens of old fashion crunches.
1) Plank: When performed correctly, a simple plank is one of the most effective ways to tighten your entire core. Proper form is key. Keep your back flat and your belly button pulled in toward your spine.
Lie face down on mat resting on your forearms, palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto your toes and resting on your elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle.
2) Mountain Climbers: This vigorous variation of a standard plank kicks the core tightening up a notch. Angling your knees toward the opposite shoulder is a wonderful way to increase the intensity even more.
Place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground in a push-up position. Bring one knee to your chest and then back to the starting position, alternate each leg quickly.
3) Russian Twist: Nothing quite brings the burn like a properly done set of Russian Twists. By holding a medicine ball or dumbbell in your hands, the exercise becomes even more effective.
Sit on the floor with knees bent like in a "sit-up" position. The feet should be kept together and slightly off the floor. Keep your torso straight and your back off the ground at a 45 degree angle. Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell with both hands. Next, the arms should be swung from one side to another in a twisting motion, with each swing to a side counting as one repetition. Move slowly for a more challenging workout.
4) Knee Tucks: All too often I see people neglect their lower abs in favor of quicker, easier exercises. The fact is that our lower abs typically need the most work, so give them the attention that they need with these Knee Tucks.
Start on your back, bend your knees with your feet on the floor and knees touching. Extend both arms overhead on either side of your ears, palms facing up. Exhale and bring your knees up towards your chest. Slowly lower your hips back down to start position.
5) Lateral Plank: In yet another variation of the fantastic plank, Lateral Planks are much more challenging than they appear at first glance. While the focus is mainly on your waist, due to the stabilizing nature of this exercise, you’re also working your entire core as a whole.
Put your feet and legs together as you lie on your right side. Place your right arm under your body and lift your upper body so that your right elbow is directly under your shoulder. Your left hand should be resting on your left hip. From this position, slowly raise your hips from the ground until a straight line is formed from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold the position for a moment, slowly return to the starting position, and repeat.
Even the best exercise routine in the world is fruitless if you throw away your results with sloppy eating. Remember to keep your meals lean by avoiding processed carbs, packaged foods or fried items. Fill up on lean proteins and fresh vegetables and reward yourself with organic, seasonal fruit.
That, my friend, is lean living!
Ready to take your fitness results to the next level?
Call or email me today and we will get you started on an exercise program that’s designed to deliver massive results.
Come on, you deserve it!
Motivation: Your Reason Why
Motivation comes from having a goal. What is your goal? Why do you want to get into great shape?
Take a minute to really uncover the reason that you want to lose weight. Don’t say something vague like you want to ‘Be thinner’ or ‘Look more attractive.’ Dig deeper – there is a very specific motivator in your life, you simply need to uncover it. Here are some possible motivators…
I want to have more energy to keep up with the kids.
I want to improve my health through weight loss to extend and improve my life.
I want to lose 15 pounds before my vacation.
I want to restore my confidence to wear sleeveless shirts.
I want to regain my figure to impress and attract my significant other.
Honey Grilled Chicken
Desirable abs are made in the kitchen, just as much as in the gym. In order to flatten your stomach, enjoy lean meals like this Honey Grilled Chicken. Lean, high protein chicken breast is best paired with veggie sides for phenomenal results.
Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com
4 Tablespoons honey 4 Tablespoons spicy mustard 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce ½ teaspoon minced garlic 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1. Pre-heat your grill. If using coals, heat until the coals turn gray and there are no longer strong flames, 35-45 minutes.
2. Combine honey, mustard, lemon peel, soy sauce and garlic. Mix well. Reserve a few tablespoons of the sauce. Add chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for 40 minutes.
3. Cook the chicken 5 to 6 minutes per side. Brush with the reserved sauce, and continue cooking for an additional 3 to 4 minutes per side, until chicken registers 170 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
Nutrition One serving equals: