It's About Time

If you have ever spent more that 5 minutes with me, it is fairly obvious that I love fitness. I have learned so much (sometimes the hard way) in the 30 years that I have been teaching. What better way to share my passion than to start a blog and pass on the information that I share with clients on a day-to-day basis.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Amazing Abs in April 2013

This is going to be such a fun challenge.  Whether you are a daily exerciser or someone just getting their exercise program started, it doesn't matter.  It is time for all of us to focus on our core.  I have put together a calendar of exercises that you can do every day for the month of April.  You can progress with the calendar or you can just repeat week one until you are ready to move on.  Our abdominal muscles run in several different directions, and have several different functions so we must train them that way. Check out my earlier post about abdominals to get more information on your core.( http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=5567953846114547275#editor/target=post;postID=2839172510571183109)  If you use my calendar you will be performing flexion, rotation, lateral flexion, compression, and stabilization and by doing all of those movements you will develop a wickedly strong core.  Below you will see the calendar for April.  I am also posting the first series of exercises to be started on Monday.  I will be post pictures and instructions for each day.  Share with everyone.  Core strength is more than just looking good, it is feeling good from the inside out.
Click on the calender for a closer look.
Here is the first series of exercises.  Each day uses a different piece of equipment.  Enjoy!!!!!!

Monday is designed to be used with a BOSU but can also be done on the ground or on any other balance tool.  Don't let the lack of equipment stop you from joining in.  Repeat these three exercises 3 times.  I use my Tabata timer on my phone to time me 30 seconds with 5 second breaks in between my work loads.  That way I can focus on my form and my work and not at looking at the clock.
BOSU Crunches
Starting Position:
         1.  Feet in neutral, hip distance apart with knees bent
         2.  Hands behind head, elbows slightly in
         3.  Pelvis in neutral
         INHALE 
         EXHALE-Curl up upper body by sliding ribs down to hips with a slow and controlled motion
         INHALE-Return back to neutral position
Repeat for 30 seconds
       
Focus of the exercise:  To strengthen and flatten abs from a neutral position to a flexed position
Tips:  
         1.  Keep upper body relaxed, shoulders wide, neck long
         2.  Maintain pelvic placement in neutral.  Don't tuck your pelvis under
         3.  Create movement from abdominals.  Slide ribs down to hip bones
         4.  Maintain flat abdominals through inhale and exhale
         5.  Pull belly button to spine
         6.  Keep hips at same height to avoid teeter-totter effect
Stop:
         1.  Avoid arching your back to take the same shape as the BOSU
         2.  Avoid using leg and glute strength to curl up
         3.  Keep shoulders from rounding forward
         4.  Keep from pushing abdominals out when performing exercise
         5.  Avoid rocking body forward and backwards
         6.  Avoid ribs popping up to the ceiling and arching your back.
         7.  Avoid throwing your self up for curl.  Use slow and controlled movements
                                    
Hop Hold-Left Knee Up

Starting Position:
         1.  Feet in neutral, hip distance apart with knees bent
         2.  Hands behind head, elbows slightly in
         3.  Pelvis in neutral
         INHALE 
         EXHALE-Lift left knee up at a right angle (table top), pause
         INHALE-Switch and lift other leg into table top position with feet exchanging in the air
Repeat for 30 seconds

Focus of exercise:  Stabilize and strengthen abdominals while adding proximal movement
Tips:
         1.  Hold core neutral and as still as possible by using abdominals to stabilize movement
         2.  Nod chin and relax neck
         3.  Keep elbows open and wide
         4.  Start with feet together on the floor
         5.  Keep shoulders from rounding forward
         6.  Keep from pushing abdominals out when performing exercise
         7.  Land softly with your feet
Stop:
         1.  Avoid rapid transfer of feet.  Make your abs hold position
         2.  Avoid flattening out body.  Puts a lot of tension on the neck
         3.  Avoid rocking body side to side or jumping around (good luck)

Hop Hold-Right Knee Up
                                       
Oblique-Alternating knee lift-front view
Starting Position:
         1.  Feet in neutral, hip distance apart with knees bent
         2.  Hands behind head, elbows slightly in
         3.  Pelvis in neutral
         INHALE 
         EXHALE-Lift one leg into table top, simultaneously rotate in the direction of the knee
         INHALE-Rotate back to neutral
         EXHALE-Rotate to other side with opposite knee
Repeat exercise 30 seconds

Focus of exercise:  Strengthen abdominals and increase pelvic stability
Tips:  
         1.  Keep elbows open and wide
         2.  Goal of exercise is to be performed in neutral if you feel stress in back, use imprint position (press                            back into BOSU)
         3.  Use abs to rotate body not shoulders or arms
         4.  Imagine lifting rib cage up and over to opposite hip
         5.  As you rotate to left, anchor right hip to mat and repeat on opposite side
         6.  Stay curled up in between rotations.  Flattening the back tends to kick in your back extensors
         7.  Keep your feet close together in between lifts
Stop:
         1.  Don't pull on your head and neck
         2.  Keep from shifting hips
         3.  Keep legs from moving from side to side
         4.  Don't lead rotation from yours arms.  Do it from your obliques
         5.  Avoid rapid fire and focus on depth of contraction on rotation


Oblique-Alternating knee lift-back view

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