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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03-26-2014

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Notice anything different? I re-designed my blog! With the help of Jana from Little Web Writing Hood, I was able to transfer to self-hosting on wordpress.org. I’m still working out some kinks so let me know if you find anything. And if you need blog help in terms of a re-design, transfer, logo design, etc. definitely contact Jana! She was great.

Here are your health links for today:

  • Snickerdoodle Hummus (Hummusapien) – Um yum? Never even thought to try a sweet type of hummus before.
  • 6 Yoga Poses For Crossfit Fans (Athleta) – Whether you do Crossfit or not, these are great stretches to incorporate into your daily routine. I love pigeon pose!
  • Grip And Angles: 2 Simple Ways To Progress Your Workouts (Fit Knit Chick) – If you want to keep challenging your body, always be changing the grip and angles. If you did flat bench press in your last phase, do incline press this time. If you did neutral grip shoulder press, change to pronated (palms face out). Great tips here.
  • 5 Best Muffintop Melting Moves (Blogilates) – I love Cassey’s videos. I tried one yesterday and thought “Only 10 min.? Please…” Yeah, I got through 4 minutes and my abs were screaming. These are some great moves she outlines in this video as well.
  • 5 Foam Rolling Mistakes To Avoid (The Daily Burn) – I thought I knew everything about foam rolling, but I’ve definitely done some of these!

Do you foam roll? What object do you prefer to roll out your knots? I like tennis balls or the Rumble Roller!

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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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10-30-2013

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

I have a lot of great stuff to share with you all today!

Check it out:

Are you Team Chipotle, Team Moe’s, or Team Qdoba? I’m Chipotle all the way!

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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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