Happy Monday y’all. I don’t know about you but man my weekend just flew by. I spent a ton of time in the kitchen. I wish I had successful stories to tell of wonderful creations, but sadly I was left with way too many things going in the trash 🙁 But like all things, I learned a few lessons and will continue to work towards perfecting these recipes.
I can say that roasting grapes in the oven is pretty much the best idea in the world. Go on, try it. I’m officially addicted!
Holy cow the weather here is amazing right now. Dave and I took the dogs for a walk last night and it was fantastic- cool , crisp air, no humidity. Oh this is why people love the fall!
Beginners series this week will focus on the proper way to perform some of my favorite ab moves as well as how to hit weak points or areas that are often overlooked when strength training (especially at home).
Sit-ups – to properly perform sit-ups, it’s important to engage the abs. You dont want to use momentum or neck or shoulders to raise off the ground. Keep feet on the floor, hands behind head, abs engaged and the back straight, slowly lift off the mat. Once reaching the top of the movement, slowly lower back to the starting position.
Side Crunches – lying on one side, legs bent and top hand behind the head, slowly lift into until the bottom shoulder is off the ground. Hold for one count and slowly lower back to the ground.
Bicycle Crunch – lie on back, with legs raised and both knees at 90 degrees. Hold hands behind head, slowly lower one leg to hover above the ground keeping the other leg at 90 degrees. Raise opposite elbow to bent knee (not bringing the knee to the elbow). Keeping the knees at 90 degrees and reaching the elbows to the knee is the best way to engage the obliques in this movement.
Superman (back strengthening move) – lie on stomach with hands and legs extended fully. Lift hands and legs off ground 1-6 inches. Hold for 1 count and slowly lower back to starting point.
Opposite arm and leg reach with optional crunch – Start on all fours, back straight, hands below shoulders and knees below hips. Engage your core and extend one arm out straight in front of you and the opposite leg straight out behind you, keeping the back as flat as possible and abs engaged. Hold for one count. To engage the core, bring the extended arm’s elbow and leg together to crunch. Return to extended arm and leg for 1 count.
Lying Leg Lifts – to help strengthen the outer thighs (think saddlebag area), lie on one side with legs fully extended and bottom arm holding the head (either in hand or head lying on arm extended). Legs should be slightly forward from body. Keeping feet flexed, lift top leg up for 2 counts and then slowly lower back down, but don’t rest leg, instead hover at bottom then lift again. You should lift for 1 minute each leg.
After performing lying leg lifts, I like to do bent leg kickbacks of the top leg for 30 seconds before switching to the opposite leg. To perform this move, start with top leg at hovering right above bottom leg, kick leg back till top leg is at 90 degrees, then return to starting position. Once finished switch legs and do leg lifts again.
For more leg and booty exercises, check out the booty burner workout!
Calf Raises – the last area that is often overlooked is the calves. To perform this move, all you need is a step. Keep the balls of the feet on the edge of the step and lower heels down 6 inches. Slowly lift up until on tip-toes and hold for one count. This move can be performed with the toes together and heels out or the heels together and toes in to hit different parts of the calf muscle.
Perform these moves for 3 sets of 15 counts followed by 10 minutes of cardio. I recommend doing the booty burner as well to get the maximum benefit out of this workout.
What About You?
- Are there body parts that you often overlook when you train.