#FatblasterFriday | ABSolutely Amazing All Abs Workout

Everybody wants amazing abs. The trick? Eat clean and work them consistently; 2-3 times each week and to fatigue each and every time.

Last spring, I had abs that I was proud of. I had all but eliminated added sugar from my diet and was training hard and consistently. Lots of all abs workouts.

all abs workout

Sadly, those abs are currently in hiding. Thanks to an injury that side-lined my training for much of the summer and a few too many trips to the ice cream shop ;)

In fact, in response to a recent photo I posted on Instagram, somebody actually asked if I was pregnant! (Note, doesn’t everyone know that you NEVER ask a woman if she’s pregnant, not unless she’s on the way to the hospital to deliver???)

all abs workout

But I’m determined. Those abs will reappear by Christmas time, come hell or Halloween treats (of which I’m having NONE!).

Today’s #FatblasterFriday is an all abs workout, baby.

ABSolutely amazing abs will be yours (and mine!) if you just commit to doing this workout 3 times per week. And don’t forget to progress the exercises (make them harder, that is), to keep on stimulating muscle growth and abdominal definition!

#FatblasterFriday Amazing All Abs Workout

1a. Plank + leg abduction (15 reps)

1b. Side plank + core rotation (15 reps)

Repeat 1a and 1b on opposite side

2a. V-sit push-aways (15 reps)

2b. V-sit + core rotation (15 reps each side)

Repeat 2a and 2b

3a. Diagonal crunch with foot on knee (15 reps)

3b. Reverse bridge glute squeeze with leg press (15 reps)

Repeat 3a and 3b on opposite side 

 

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Disclaimer: Although I am a registered Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

Bosu balance trainer workout and a new Tuesday Trainer video

One of my favourite fitness tools is the Bosu balance trainer.

Essentially, it’s a stability ball, cut in half and mounted on a hard, flat piece of rubber. It can be used dome side up (for beginners) and platform side up (for more advanced and stable exercisers). I like to use it both ways (BOth Sides Up)!

 Bosu group fitness class

Great for challenging your balance and adding a bit of instability to your workouts, I often use it with my clients to improve

  1. knee and ankle strength; just standing on the dome side forces all the little stabilizer muscles surrounding the knee and ankle joints to wake up and turn on (you’ll also feel it in your inner thighs). Try closing your eyes!
  2. balance and kinesthetic sense; knowing where your body is in space (“proprioception”) is helpful for avoiding slips and slides and falls
  3. knee tracking; often knees ‘drop’ inwards or ‘splay’ outwards during lunges due to weak quadriceps. Stationary lunges or squats on the Bosu can help strengthen the vastus medialis and reduce or eliminate the knee tracking problem. Just make sure that knees are staying above the ankles during movement

Balance training is an important part of a well-rounded fitness program. It improves your posture, functionally strengthens your core and adds an interesting challenge to exercises you may already have mastered on a stable surface.

Here’s a sample workout that I’ve done with my weekly Bosu Blast class.

Bosu balance trainer

You’ll need a Bosu balance trainer, some light to moderately heavy dumbbells and a mat. Make sure your running shoes are tightly laced; after a few minutes of marching on the dome, your feet may feel like they’re sliding around in your shoes. And avoid wearing short shorts; during seated Bosu work, they tend to ‘migrate’ upwards (think ‘wedgie’). Enough said.

The workout has 6 parts; I’ll describe the first five (with examples of increasing difficulty) and leave you to stretch on your own!

  1. Balance and proprioception
  2. Dynamic warmup
  3. Speed and agility (cardio)
  4. Strength and conditioning
  5. Core specific exercises
  6. Stretch

Balance and Proprioception

  • standing on dome side; arms at sides or extended out from body or overhead, eyes open or closed
  • 1/4 squat and hold; arms extended at sides, eyes open or closed
  • single leg balance; non-supporting foot touching side of dome, pressed against calf of supporting leg, extended straight out to the side (‘tree pose’)
Dynamic Warmup
  • marching on and off the dome; increasing speed
  • marching or jogging on top of the dome; high knees
  • mini-squat jumps
  • lateral squat (one foot on top, one on the floor beside); up to balance knee
Speed and Agility (perform 30 s of each at high intensity with 15 s rest between)
  • fast feet; marching on an off as quickly as you can with pumping arms; switch lead leg 2nd time through
  • squat or tuck jumps; arms out front or hands behind head
  • tire runs; one foot on dome, one on floor; switch sides 2nd time through
  • Bosu burpees
  • Bosu straddle jacks or straddle squat jacks
Strength and Conditioning (perform 10-12 repetitions of each movement, no breaks between; rest and repeat)
  • dome (or platform) squat with bicep curl to shoulder press
  • platform power pushups (from knees or toes); drop, hold at bottom, slowly push up
  • split lunge with lateral raise (back toe on dome or platform); lift arms as you push up out of the lunge
  • bent over reverse flys (on dome or platform); both arms together or alternate arms with torso rotation
Core (hold static positions for 30 s, perform 10-12 repetitions of movements; rest and repeat)
  • V sit on dome (hands behind for support/knees bent/legs extended/arms across chest/arms extended)
  • Bosu sit to stand crunches; sit low on dome, weight in hands, lean back, curl up and push through feet to stand
  • platform plank tilts; holding handles, plank from knees/toes; alternately press hands down towards floor, pausing to regain balance in the centre before pressing to other side
  • belly on Bosu back extension; hands on floor/feet on floor/hands behind head/feet lifting

Whew! That’s a lot of words to describe a workout. Maybe I should have shot a video? (Do you want me to???)

A big thank you to Lindsay for giving me the idea for today’s post. This week, Tuesday Trainer is all about balance training. Here’s my video contribution:

For more great balance exercise videos head on over to Lindsay’s List!

Do you incorporate balance training in your fitness routine?

Have you ever tried an extreme balance board? Makes the Bosu balance trainer look like a piece of cake!

 

 

Foodie pen pals package and my favourite (after-chocolate) core move

Today’s the ‘big reveal’ day for those of us participating in April’s ‘Foodie Pen Pals’ program. Don’t know about Foodie Pen Pals? Here’s the deal.

Once a month, blogger extraordinaire, Lindsay (The Lean Green Bean), collects the names and email addresses of foodie bloggers and blog readers who want to participate in a culinary exchange. Participants are matched up according to country of residence and asked to contact their pen pal to get information about dietary preferences, food allergies and lifestyle. Then, the shopping begins!

Packages are to be mailed by the 15th of the month and contain no more than $15 worth of treats. On the last day of the month, participants ‘reveal’ the contents of their Foodie Pen Pal package to the world! (No worries if you’re not a blogger, you just get to enjoy your treats!).

This is my second month participating and I have yet to be disappointed with the contents of my care package.

Clearly, Sarah (of The Laughing Medusa) did her research. (If you’ve spent any time on my blog, you’ll certainly know what my favourite treats are!).

She included a (large!) bar of organic dark chocolate flavoured with Earl Grey tea. The tastes and texture complemented each other perfectly! I had a hard time stopping at one square…so I didn’t. (You can blame Sarah for the exercise video below; after finishing the chocolate I felt compelled to do some core work as an antidote!).

Although I absolute adore nut butters, I’ve never come across either of the two flavours Sarah included; pecan and coconut. I love that they’re packaged as individual servings and can be thrown into my purse to use as apple toppers (or just squeezed out of the plastic tube, straight into my mouth). I need to find a place to buy these locally! Very yummy!

 The quinoa was served as an accompaniment to salmon and roast veggies. While I normally don’t buy pre-packaged food, I could easily make an exception for this brand! Sun-dried tomato and basil are two of my favourite flavours to add to rice and grains and this brand does it without being too salty for my tastes.

Thanks Sarah, for introducing me to some wonderful foodie finds! And after you’ve opened and eaten YOUR Foodie Pen Pal package, join me in a few sets of the waistline-whittling Russian Twist! (This was the video I had planned to make for last week’s Tuesday Trainer, before I got side-lined with the flu).

Interested in joining May’s Foodie Pen Pals? Instructions can be found here, in addition to links to the rest of this month’s ‘Reveal’ posts!

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to explore the rest of my site. And don’t forget to subscribe; you’ll automatically be notified each time I publish a new post!

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Is your fitness program balanced?

Source: gymnasticscoaching.com

A balanced exercise program typically includes four types of training; (1) cardiovascular, (2) strength, (3) core and (4) flexibility. Cardio for heart health, strength for muscle size and bone density, core for functionality, and flexibility for injury prevention and ease of movement.

Most people however, spend upwards of 75% of their exercise time on a single, preferred component!

Body builders lift weights almost exclusively. Yoga enthusiasts focus primarily on flexibility. Runners are the kings and queens of cardio. Those seeking a six-pack do endless crunches. I do it too; despite knowing how important stretching is, I usually rush it at the end of my strength workouts.

While there’s nothing wrong with favoring one type of training over another, athletes (meaning anyone who moves their body regularly, including you and I!) whose programs are balanced tend to perform better, for longer and with fewer side-lining injuries than those who stick to training only a single fitness component.

By all means, continue with your preferred type of training (studies show you’re much more likely to do it if you enjoy it!), but be honest with yourself and think about the training components that you’re neglecting. Aim for a more even balance of the four, perhaps reducing the frequency of your staple workout to just 60% of your training time and filling in the remainder with a combination of the other three.

My fitness goals for the fall include improving my flexibility and increasing my core strength. I’ll be adding a weekly yoga class to my schedule and committing one of my weight room sessions to functional core training.

Look for a longer, leaner, ‘bendier’ me by Christmas!

It’s Fitness Friday Blog Hop day again. Click on the image below and check out some really cool fitness blogs!

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

What’s your favorite type of training? Are you a die-hard runner or a gym rat?

What can you do to balance out your fitness routine?