Let’s be honest: Everyone wants flat, sexy abs, but it’s easier said than done, right? While roughly 90 percent of sculpting flat abs has to do with your diet – eating the proper foods to slim your middle – the other 10 percent has to do with fitness. So once you have your diet on track you can shift you focus to manipulating your abs with exercise, which is way more fun in our opinion.
In this week’s Saturday Morning Drill we’re focusing on just that: Amazing abs. The workout is comprised of seven simple moves that will not only get your heart rate up but sculpt every ab muscle you have (even the ones you didn’t realize you had). All you need is a yoga mat or a soft floor surface – you don’t even need shoes or equipment! Going through the workout once will serve you well, but try completing it several times for even more of a challenge.
Laney is a healthcare public relations professional in New York City. In her spare time (term used loosely), she translates her passion for health to participating in anything having to do with healthy eating and fitness including writing for her blog www.runningonveggies.com. You can also follow Laney on Twitter @lanes0220.
Between sitting at your desk, tinkering on social media networks and watching TV, we are spending on average 9.3 hours a day sitting. We’ve become so sedentary that 30 minutes a day at the gym may not do enough to counteract the effects. That’s one big reason so many women still struggle with weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol woes despite keeping consistent workout routines.
Unfortunately, studies show that only reducing sitting time helps and I certainly can’t suggest quitting your job so you can do less sitting. So what can we do?
First, interrupt sitting as much as possible. Sitting starts to break down your body almost immediately, so get up almost every 30 minutes to stretch, get a glass of water or walk over to your boss to get feedback rather than sending an email. And when you are watching your favorite show, do some sit ups and pushups during the commercials.
The following 600 second body blast workout was designed to target the entire body while increasing the heart rate at a rapid pace. This is a short, but perfect little workout for the holidays due to the lack of time, unpredictable weather, and the versatility to be performed at home- and to get a jump start on that New Years resolution!
600 Second Body Blast Workout (each exercise appears below for easy instruction)
Jumping squat thrusts (90 seconds): This exercise increases your heart rate while challenging your upper and lower body. Try to perform this movement for 90 seconds straight.
Bicycle crunches (90 seconds): This exercise targets your entire core region while helping improve your stamina and endurance. The hip flexors are also isolated. Try to perform this movement for 90 seconds without stopping.
Are crunches and sit-ups destroying your back? According to Dr. Richard Guyer, president of the Texas Back Institute, crunches and sit-ups put an unhealthy strain on your back due to the flex movement of the crunch or sit-up. The spine has the most nerves of any area of the body, and the bends and strains of crunches and sit-ups can lead to extensive nerve damage.
I totally agree with Dr. Richard Guyer on this subject. Crunches and sit-ups do actually put an unhealthy strain on the spine. On the other hand, how many of you play or have played sports, or eat fast food? Almost everyone, right? Playing sports and eating out is also extremely hard on the body, but we still do it! Everything we do on a daily basis is pretty much unhealthy for the body. That’s just life. Sitting in the car for too long, sitting at the office all day, playing golf, or running… all of these activities take a toll on the body over time and can lead to injury at some point in our lives.
Sometimes, you make plans to work out. You might do all of the prep work: you pack your gym clothes the night before, make sure you have your water bottle and a healthy snack, you clear your schedule, and then, boom! Something happens and your carefully constructed plans vanish in smoke. What’s an intrepid gym rat to do? Don’t worry, there are many things you can do at home that will give you a great workout, even if you don’t have access to free weights or a treadmill! Here are some great options: