12-15-2015

How To Get a Six-Pack

If only it were easy right? :)

This is a common question, and something I’m still working to achieve…and a loooong ways away from. So many people have asked me how they can “get flat abs” or “lose fat around their belly” and my answer is always the same.

It’s all about nutrition.

And that’s why I have a hard time with it!

how-to-get-a-six-pack

You can’t spot-reduce any area of your body, and if your stomach is the area that holds onto fat, then it will be the last area to lean out. Others might hold fat in their thighs or arms…wherever it is that you find it “impossible” to reduce, most likely that will be the last area to lose the fat. Bummer, I know.

While you can do all the crunches in the world, you still won’t be able to see that six-pack if you have fat over it. If you’re serious about losing the fat, then start getting serious about your nutrition. So much easier said than done, I know.

In order to lean out, you’ll probably have to eat at a 80/20 or 90/10 ratio. 80% “clean,” 20% other stuff. I put clean in parenthesis because it can mean different things to different people. To me it means getting your nutrition from whole food sources and cutting out any processed stuff.

It sounds strict but nutrition really is the key to weight loss. I am struggling with that now as I try to lose weight myself. It’s easy to indulge or make an excuse for why you can eat that cookie (“I just worked out for an hour.”).

I would be wary of diets you find online that claim you will lose 10 pounds in a week or things like that. The best plans are gradual and sustainable. You don’t want to be starving yourself.

Once you get your nutrition in check, make sure you’re working on daily (5-6 times a week)…side note: I read somewhere a few weeks ago that if you want to lose fat, you need to be working at 6 days a week. I gotta step it up!

If you’re looking for a workout routine, you can still sign up for my 4-week holiday fit blitz! It’s a 4-week workout plan…each workout is full-body and only takes 30 minutes. All you need are dumbbells.

Click Here To Get The Workout!

Anyway, make sure you’re working out regularly and of course doing those core exercises! Once you lose the fat, you’ll be able to see those taught abs ;)

I’m going to leave you with 3 ab workout videos that you can do anywhere. If you only have time for a core workout, then just do the core workout! Anything is always better than nothing. Okay here you go:

Do you have trouble losing belly fat like I do? 

Do you love or hate core exercises? 

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06-18-2014

HIIT + Abs Workout

Here’s a Wednesday workout challenge for ya…a full body workout that’s a little bit of HIIT, a little bit of strength, a little bit of abs…

I’m all about workouts that are also great to do after runs, since I’m a runner and have to work on strength training. Does anyone else have a tough time balancing both when you’re training for a race?

I was inspired to do a 30-20-10 type workout after seeing a personal trainer and her client working out at the gym yesterday. The trainer had her client do 50-40-30-20-10 burpees, then back up 10-20-30-40-50 burpees. Dayyummmmm!

Here’s the workout:

Full Body Workout

 

DB means dumbbell…figured I’d clarify just in case ;) This whole workout should take about 20 minutes, so it’s great on it’s own, or after/before a cardio workout. 

As always, let me know if you try it out, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What is your favorite core exercise? I need more to add to my repertoire :)

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04-11-2014

3 Minute Ab Workout!

With abs, we tend to focus on reps. We do several reps of an exercise, then move onto another. But when was the last time you did some isometric holds? Trust me, these holds will get your abs burning as well!

Here’s the workout:

Ab WorkoutPhoto Credit: Arya Ziai via Compfight cc

1 set of this is only 3 minutes, but your abs will be shaking. Do it either once, or add on 2-3 extra sets depending on how you feel. For me, reverse planks are the toughest! I need to work more on my core.

What is your most challenging core exercise?

Are you able to do a handstand? I wish!

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03-06-2014

Abs & Arms Workout

Ready to torch those abs and arms? Here’s today’s workout for ya:

abs workout

So for the abs portion, I want you to do 100 reps of those exercises. You can choose where you do 20 of each, or you can do 10 of one exercise, 5 of another, 15 of another, etc.

Here are examples of some of the exercises:

Reverse Crunch

Side Plank W/ A Twist

Opposite Arm/Opposite Leg Crunch

After you’re done with abs, move straight into arms. Do those exercises 2-3 times through depending on how you feel. Let me know if you try it out & what you think of the workout!

Do you like working out arms? I’m not a huge fan because I like working out bigger muscle groups, but do it because I know it will help on the bigger lifts.

What arm exercises do you like?

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03-03-2014

Best Abs Exercises + A Workout

I’m not a huge fan of abs/core work, but I incorporate it into my workouts 2-3 times a week, because it is so important.

As a runner, having core strength helps me to run stronger and maintain good running form. Having a weak core could also lead to injuries, due to muscle imbalances (other muscles working twice as hard to compensate for a weak muscle).

Even if you’re not a runner, having a strong core gives you more power, and helps you have proper form in lifts such as squats, deadlifts, pull-ups etc. If you’re core is weak, you will definitely feel that when you are trying to do pull-ups!

And I’m not talking about core as in just your abs – working your lower back is part of that equation too.

Here are some “real-world benefits of strengthening your core” according to Harvard Medical School:

  • Everyday acts. Bending to put on shoes or scoop up a package, turning to look behind you, sitting in a chair, or simply standing still — these are just a few of the many mundane actions that rely on your core and that you might not notice until they become difficult or painful. Even basic activities of daily living — bathing or dressing, for example — call on your core.
  • On-the-job tasks. Jobs that involve lifting, twisting, and standing all rely on core muscles. But less obvious tasks — like sitting at your desk for hours — engage your core as well. Phone calls, typing, computer use, and similar work can make back muscles surprisingly stiff and sore, particularly if you’re not strong enough to practice good posture and aren’t taking sufficient breaks.
  • A healthy back. Low back pain — a debilitating, sometimes excruciating problem affecting four out of five Americans at some point in their lives — may be prevented by exercises that promote well-balanced, resilient core muscles. When back pain strikes, a regimen of core exercises is often prescribed to relieve it, coupled with medications, physical therapy, or other treatments if necessary.
  • Balance and stability. Your core stabilizes your body, allowing you to move in any direction, even on the bumpiest terrain, or stand in one spot without losing your balance. Viewed this way, core exercises can lessen your risk of falling.
  • Good posture. Weak core muscles contribute to slouching. Good posture trims your silhouette and projects confidence. More importantly, it lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply. Good posture helps you gain full benefits from the effort you put into exercising, too.

Now we know core strength is important…

My Top Abs/Core Exercises

1. Bird-Dog

Okay first I want to say, I typed bird-dog into Google to get an image, and this came up…

Very interesting lol…

Okay here’s the actual bird-dog:

 

Start on all fours, then extend your opposite arm and opposite leg, but make sure to keep your back straight. Tighten your abs in order to do this. Don’t let your back sag in the middle!

2. Plank

You knew this would be included on the list. Plank is an awesome core exercises. Works your abs, as well as your hip flexors and lower back. Make sure you have a neutral spine and neck, and brace your abs. Don’t let your back sag! Start with holding it for 20-30 seconds, and work your way up to a  minute. Once you can do a minute, you can try different plank variations (I’ll write up ideas in another post), or you can have someone add a plate to your back for an added challenge.

3. Hip Raises

Here, I show you weight hip raises, but doing body weight hip raises uses the same premise. This move will be working more of your hips and glutes, which are still part of your core. You can add a weight, like I did in the video, in order to make it more challenging.

4. Reverse Crunch

This will work more of your lower abs. Grab a sturdy object, or use a heavy weight, and crunch up and in. Your goal should be to work up to not needed a heavy object behind your head.

5. Side Plank With a Twist

This is a bit more challenging than just holding a side plank, but you will really feel it in your obliques. If this is too hard, start with holding a side plank for 30 seconds on each side. Incorporate this once that gets easy. Or you can also use both in your abs rotation: do static side plank one day, and do this one on another day.

Put It All Together

Do this workout 2-3x a week and you will notice your core getting stronger.

best abs exercisesLet me know if you try it!

Which of these abs exercises do you already do?

Do you like doing abs/core workouts? What is your favorite exercises?

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10-15-2013

Quick Abs Workout

After a long run or workout, if you’re like me the last thing you want to do is a core workout. I just want to foam roll, stretch and shower. Which is why I made this quick and easy abs workout for you!

Instructions: Do 2-3 sets with 12-15 reps of each exercise. I usually do 2-3 sets depending on how I feel/how hungry I am ;)

abs

Here are some YouTube links for each exercise, in case you’re not familiar with some of these:

Reverse Crunch

Scissors

Bird-dogs

Bicycle Crunches

What are your go-to core exercises?

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04-25-2013

Quick Abs Workout

Have you been working your core lately? I have been trying to be better about working on my core since it’s really important for runners…but it’s really important for everyone! Your core is what supports your body, and a strong core means less problems, such as lower back issues.

Here’s a quick abs workout for you to do after your workout today…let me know what you think!

photo

Do you work out your core? How many times per week?

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01-02-2013

Ab Attack Workout!

Want to work on your core while incorporating a bit of cardio? Here’s my first video of 2013, specifically for targeting those abs!

It’s about 10 minutes long, with exercises done for 30 seconds each (2 rounds). I was out of breath by the end of it, so I’m sure you will be too! These exercises can be done alone, or after a workout. Let me know what you think! =)

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11-13-2012

How To: Reverse Crunch

The reverse crunch is my second favorite core exercise after plank. It works everything: upper and lower abs, core, lower back and some hip flexors if yours are on the weaker side.

Here’s a how to video I made for the reverse crunch. Try to keep your back pressed into the floor on the down part, and don’t use momentum to lift up! I apologize for the black borders, I filmed on my iPhone and forgot to tell my mom to switch to horizontal view.

For more how-to videos and workout videos, visit my YouTube channel!

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