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Abs On The Road

Monday, April 27, 2015

One of my clients asked for an abdominal workout that she could do anywhere since she is traveling alot this month. This is a great focused workout that targets all of the major abdominal muscles and can be easily done in under 10 minutes. Hold the plank and the 6" hold exercises for 30 seconds each. Do 20 reps of the bike crunches and scissor kicks and repeat 3-4 times. You and your abs will thank me later!

 

Plank: Lay face down on the floor in a straight line. Push yourself off the floor and with your forearms flat on the floor forming the number ‘11’. Your shoulders should be right over your elbows. The rest of your body should be in a straight line. For better stability move your feet further apart. Beware not to raise your butt because then you lose the entire benefit of the exercise. You want to constrict the muscles in your abdominal section as well as your glutes (aka butt). This exercise works the entire abdominal section.



Bicycle Crunch: Lie back on the floor with your hands supporting the back of your head. Your legs should be bent in a 90-degree angle. Lift your head, neck and shoulders off the floor and rotate your abdominals to bring your right elbow to meet your left knee. As you rotate extend your right leg straight out. Then rotate your body (using your abs) to the other side so your left elbow meets your right knee. And your left leg extends straight out. Picture riding a bicycle while laying on your back. The twisting motion of your trunk should all be done using your abdominals.


 

Six Inch Hold: Lie flat on your back with your legs straight and hovering off the floor by six inches. Be sure to keep your back flat and contract your lower abs to keep your feet hovered in the air. Remember to breathe and focus on contracting your abs on every exhale. Hold for 30 seconds.



Scissor Kick: Lay down on your back with your arms by your side. Raise your legs 6-12 inches off the floor making sure that your lower back does not arch. If it does begin to arch lower your legs slightly. Slowly cross your legs to form an ‘X’ and then repeat on the other side. You can make this more challenging by lifting your head, neck and shoulders off the floor and raising your arms so they are parallel to the floor. This is great for working the lower abdominals.


Office-Approved Exercises

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Clients often ask about ways to exercise while at work since that’s where they spend at least a third of their day. In order to get the maximum physical benefits associated with exercise the Department of Health recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio exercise per week. This can include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or other high intensity interval workouts that include cardio and resistance training. If you’re not into exercise this can seem like an unrealistic goal but think about exercise in terms of movement and get into the mindset of keeping your body moving throughout the day.

 

Here I’ve illustrated an office-approved workout that provides some cardio as well as strengthening exercises for the entire body. You can do many of these from your chair so go ahead and place your conference call on speaker and get to moving!


Cardio Get Up/Get Downs

Sit straight up in your chair, move your bottom towards the edge of your seat and raise your arms so straight above you so that you can still see your arms. Simply stand up from your chair and lower your arms as you stand. Then using your thigh muscles (quads) lower back onto your chair and raise your arms as you lower. Make sure you keep your chair under you so that you do not sit down and end up on the floor. Practice a few of these and then do as many as you can for 30 seconds. The faster you go the more cardio work you can get out of it. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat this three times.



Genie Hover

As you are seated in your chair cross your legs like you are sitting cross-legged. Place your hands on the arms of your chair and using your arms and your core slowly raise your body off of your chair a few inches. Hold for3 seconds then lower yourself back into your chair. Repeat this movement five times.

Genie Chair Hover

 


Tricep Desk Dips

This is a great activity for strengthening your triceps and upper body and you can do it from anywhere. Stand with your back to your desk and place your palms directly behind you on the desk. Your fingers should be facing straight ahead. Slowly bend your elbows (keeping them by your sides and pulled in) until your arms are at a 90 degree angle. You can bend your knees to help with this movement or for more of a challenge keep your legs straight out in front of you with heels only touching the floor. Repeat this for 20 reps. Take a breather for 30 seconds and then repeat again two more times.

 



Leg Raises

Sitting in your chair, move your body towards the edge of your seat. Raise your right leg straight out in front of you with your foot flexed. Then raise it a few inches higher (bottom thigh should be lifted off of the chair) and hold for 3 seconds. Lower the leg back down again. Repeat on the right side 10 times and then perform the same exercise with the left leg. Rest and repeat again two more times.

chair leg raises

 


Core Pull-Ins

Sitting in your chair, move your body towards the edge of your seat. Make sure you are sitting up tall with your back straight. Engage those core stomach muscles. Place your hands on your desk with elbows bent towards the corner of the room. Slowly inhale (think count to 4) and then exhale. On the exhale contract your stomach muscles like someone is punching you in the gut. Remember to keep your back straight and pull your shoulders out of your ears. All of the movement should be coming from your core. Your hands are bracing your core while you exhale so you can really dig into your hands to pull those muscles in. Repeat this 20 times. Rest and then repeat again two more times.


 

 

You can do any combination of these exercises and feel the benefits of muscle strengthening and increasing your heart rate for better cardio health. Also think about incorporating walking meetings around the office and even walking around the room on your next conference call. Every little bit of movement helps!

Anywhere/Anytime Exercises

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Time is the number one reason many people do not commit to an exercise routine. Add travel into your schedule and it can be extremely difficult to start or even just maintain an exercise program. Now I’m going to tell you that there is no excuse for not being able to exercise (well unless your doctor tells you no!) Committing to an exercise program takes a certain mindset. You have to have that certain ‘stickativity’ that will get you out of bed even when your inner devil may be screaming NO. That’s when you need to remember how good you feel after you work out. I use vision boards and Pinterest a lot to help me stay motivated. And when I’m snuggled in my bed and my alarm goes off at 5am I roll over and think of how strong and sexy I feel after my workout. And nothing can replace that feeling so then I jump out of bed and start my day with a workout!

Now for those of you that aren’t quite as motivated (or crazy) as I am when it comes to working out, here are a few moves that will get your endorphins flowing and have you feeling good in just a few minutes. Plus these moves go with you anywhere and you can do them any time of day or night.

 

Warm Up

It’s always a good idea to warm up your muscles before you begin your workout. This will get oxygen flowing throughout your body and loosen up any tight muscles preventing injuries. The following warm up should be repeated 2-3 times.

Jumping Jacks: Stand up straight and simultaneously laterally raise your arms while jumping both feet out sideways. Think of doing a snow angel standing up. Repeat for 30 seconds.

High Knees: Stand up straight and extend your arms out straight in front of you. Bounce your right leg up so that your right thigh meets your right hand. Repeat this on the left side. Think of this move as a jumping march. You want to bring your knees up as much as possible while maintaining a straight back. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Mountain Climbers: Lower yourself to the floor in a push up position. Your arms should be extended straight out with palms under your shoulders. In this position, bring your right knee into your right elbow. As you straighten your right leg, bring your left knee in to meet your left elbow. Repeat for 30 seconds.

 

Now that you're warmed up here are 3 simple moves to give you a quick total-body workout.

 

Squats

Stand up straight with your feet hip width distance apart. Keeping your back straight bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then stand up straight again. Be careful not to bend at the waist because you could strain your back muscles. You should immediately ‘feel the burn’ on the tops of your thighs. Repeat this for 20 repetitions. 

 


Dips

Stand up with your back to a chair (or some other stable object). Place your hands on the chair and walk your feet out until you feel most of your weight in your arms. Feet should be about a 35 degree angle off the floor. Keeping your back and legs completely straight slowly bend your arms to a 90-degree angle. Then straight them again. You want to keep your elbows by your rib cage. You should feel the backs of your arms (triceps) start burning. Repeat this for 20 reps.


 

 

Bicycle Crunches

Lay flat on your back with your legs in the air and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows extended out to the side. Using your oblique abdominal muscles, twist your torso so that your right elbow meets your left knee. Then twist your torso so that your left elbow meets your right knee while simultaneously extending your left leg out. Think of your legs actually pedaling a bicycle while your torso is turning. Once you complete the right and left twists, that is 1 repetition. Repeat this for 20 reps.


 

If you repeat this simple circuit 3-5 times, you will see (and feel) the benefits. And if you want to add more of cardio into this workout you can repeat the warm up moves in between each circuit. No more excuses!!


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