Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

healthy living ~ week two, "the belly challenge"

Okay, here we are again with our newest healthy living challenge- Flatten that Tummy. Along with Diet you must exercise; everyone thinks that lying on the floor doing hours upon hours of sit-ups or crunches is the only way. NOT. I will use every muscle from my boobs up... to lift my head and shoulders off that floor...even my eyebrows put in their two cents worth....just as long as my stomach muscles can play dead to the world. Crunches do not work for me...and I bet they don’t for you either.

I have a much better solution, I have been doing Standing Crunches for the past week and OMG I feel my poor tummy muscles actually beginning to tighten and feel worked. So, put your mat away and give your neck a rest.

Standing abs exercises work more muscles than crunches—and the more muscles we use, the more calories we burn. While sit-ups and crunches only work superficial surface muscles, standing moves strengthen deep core muscles that lead to a great six-pack.

So, here are my favorite four standing tummy exercises that I am doing each day in the morning. I takes me 10 minutes and I actually feel the workout for hours afterwards. My mind remembers the tightness and with a little reminder occasionally, to pull that stomach in, it stays tight all day.

Knee Cross Crunch
The knee cross crunch hits your entire core — the upper, lower, and oblique muscles. The move also requires balance and coordination, effectively working your entire body.

Stand with your shoulders in line with your hips, and extend your left arm up and your right leg to the side, toes pointed.

Lower your left elbow and raise your right knee, crunching them together on a diagonal line. Return to the starting position. That's one rep. Do 8 to 12 on each side.

Also: I have been doing a couple sets NOT crossing my knee and elbows. From an overhead reach, I pull both elbows down lifting one knee, reach up then elbows down, the other knee comes up.

Trick>> you really feel the workout if you exhale strongly pulling your tummy muscles as tight as you can while the knee is moving up to meet the elbows. My stomach feels these crunches! 

Side Imprint

Say goodbye to the dreaded muffin top by targeting oblique muscles.

Stand with your shoulders in line with your hips and raise your right arm. Shift onto your left leg and rotate your right leg at the hip, turning your toes out. Crunch your right elbow and right knee together, pinching your waist. Return to start. Ten per side, do not alternate.

Make sure you squeeze your abs and pull your navel closer to your spine -- don’t simply move your arms and legs.

  Kettlebell/Dumbell Windmill- remember doing the “Windmill” in high school gym class; was an excellent exercise then and still is.

You can use a dumbbell for this exercise if you don’t have a kettleball, which I don’t.  Grab a kettlebell with your left hand and stand with your feet more than hip-width apart. Bring the weight next to your left shoulder, then press it overhead (a). Rotate your chest to the left and look up at the kettlebell as you try to touch your right foot with your right hand (b). Pause, then return to start, keeping your left arm extended. Do eight reps before lowering the weight, then repeat on the other side. Also, try a few crossed over to the opposite side bending forward-tuck that tummy tight, and reach to ankle or knee.

Overhead Dumbbell Side Bend

The overhead dumbbell side bend is a great exercise because in addition to targeting the oblique’s, you also elevate your heart rate. This move does not hit all abdominal muscles, but it fires up the exterior abs muscles and gives arms a light workout.

Hold a pair of dumbbells over your head, in line with your shoulders, with your arms straight.
Without twisting your upper body, slowly bend directly to your left side as far as you can. Pause, return to an upright position, and then bend to your right side; alternate back and forth with each repetition.

Here is a great little video I found that may help you with this new “standing” concept.  Remember, Email Fans, you will need to go to my blog page to view the video.
here is the link:  While Strolling Through Reality

The Standing Crunch-less Ab Workout

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