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Train Like a World Cup Star at Home with This 5-Move Soccer Workout

kim chronister soccer

Who isn’t amped from the excitement of watching our favorite teams compete in the World Cup? We can gain a lot from the drills and workouts of the athletes that compete in these invigorating games. From toning to cardiovascular improvement and weight loss, soccer players know how to gain the most out of a workout.

I’ve outlined five soccer workouts you can do at home with you and your children to get you to your own peak performance. Yes, even the busiest moms can train at home like a World Cup star!

Try these moves to get to the top of your game:

soccer toe tap

The Toe Tap

The point of this workout is to gain a cardio workout in a small amount of time. Just alternate placing your left toes on top of the ball, dropping your foot to the ground, then repeating with your right. 60 seconds of a soccer toe tap is enough to get your heart pumping. Try it out!
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Research Proves that the Crunch is the Most Effective Ab Exercise

crunch

Achieving 6-pack abs is pretty much the holy grail of physical fitness and strength, even though much of your abdominal appearance is decided by genetics, not effort. But whether you have 7% body fat or a layer of “insulation” over your abdominal muscles it’s extremely important to keep those muscles strong. Working the muscles that make up your core strong (the abdominals, obliques, and mid- to lower-back) will make your entire body feel stronger, give you better posture, and improve your balance. However, the question remains—what’s the best technique to building and managing core strength?

We’ve been presented with so many different options for strengthening the abdominal muscles that it’s hard to know what works best. Should we be lying on our backs, balancing on our hands and toes, standing up, squatting, or using a contraption like the ab flyer or ab rocket?

Luckily, a group of fitness experts commissioned by the American Council on Exercise recently conducted the research to answer that very question. ACE reached out to experts at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse to conduct research determining the effectiveness of the most popular equipment and exercises compared to the traditional crunch. The team incorporated several different varieties of popular equipment including the Ab Circle Pro, Ab Roller, and others, as well as exercises including yoga’s boat pose, the stability ball crunch, decline bench curl-ups, the captain’s chair crunch, the bicycle crunch, the side plank, and a standard plank.
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No More Back Pain! 3 Core Moves that Help End Aches

What is all the fuss about having a strong core? Yes, of course we all want a smokin’ hot six pack, but is there a real benefit to tightening your tummy beyond the aesthetic? Short answer: Yes. And a lot of it has to do with having a healthier, stronger center and a less achey lower back.

back pain

Strong core muscles make it so much easier to do many of our daily physical activities—such as running errands, doing household chores, and moving every which way. When you use your core to bend, lift, twist, and reach you safeguard your lower back, shifting weight off of your spine and onto your abs and the muscles of your back.

Core exercises strengthen your abdominals, back muscles, obliques (sides), and muscles around the pelvis. But this doesn’t mean do a million crunches! That can only promise a sore back. What should you do instead?

Here are three exercises to do daily as you work toward a stronger core and a happier lower back:
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5 Yoga Poses Sure to Flatten Your Tummy

Yes, yoga brings about amazing mental and emotional benefits, but if we’re being honest, we all just want long, lean muscles and a super flat midsection. Ditch the crunches and let your yoga poses help you get there! Inspired by the recent Shape magazine video, these five moves target all the muscles in your abdomen and include a bit of cardio to burn fat and showcase your hard-earned, rock-solid core.

1. The Plank Slide

Screen shot 2014-03-27 at 7.25.45 AM

We all know a plank is the ultimate total body toner that blasts every muscle in your core, but have you tried the plank slide? Hold your plank like normal, except your hands are on your sticky mat and your feet rest on a blanket (*note: this must be done on a hardwood or slippery floor!). Then, use your core to keep your legs straight while sliding them up toward your hands like a forward fold. Slide your legs back to your starting plank position. It’s like cleaning your floor while working your core!

Bonus super challenge: try the plank slide with one leg up in the air at a time!
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Finish Summer Strong with a Beach Ball Workout by Patricia Friberg

Award winning fitness guru Patricia Friberg has shared a hot new beach workout for the home stretch of summer. The Beach Ball Workout strengthens the glutes, abs, thighs and arms, and all you need is a beach ball—a beach doesn’t hurt either.

You’ve gotta mix up your fitness regimen if you want to avoid the workout doldrums. So seek out a sunny spot and try this great new workout from Patricia.

Beach Ball Lateral Squat

Beach-Ball-Slide-1

Benefits: Tones the bottom, inner thigh, legs and waistline. This is a one stop shop for exercises.

Set up: Wide stance with legs, holding the ball in the hands. Draw the abdominals inward and upward.

Step 1: Hinge at the right hip and bend your right knee. Take the ball down to the ground by your right foot. Firm the right glute and keep your abdominals drawing in.

Step 2: With the strength of your right leg, push into the ground to straighten the leg and lift the ball up and side bend to the left. 12 reps each leg.
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