May 28, 2013 // Category: Fitness Advisor
Most dream of having sculpted abs, but it’s not an easy goal to reach. The abdominals are used in virtually every movement from running and lifting to bending and jumping. While cardio exercises will whittle away your middle by torching calories and burning fat, you can achieve a flatter and tighter stomach with the right strength exercises. And crunches aren’t the only way. Try these non-crunching exercises to get results:
Plank: This traditional exercise starts in the standard push-up position: face down, hands shoulder-width apart and balancing on your toes with the abs contracted. (To modify, you can start on your forearms instead of your hands and/or drop your knees to the mat.) The most important thing is to keep your body straight from head to heels (or knees if modifying). Maintain the position for 15-30 seconds by engaging the abdominal muscles and holding the position, being mindful not to let you chest or lower back sag. Use a mirror to check your form. As your core muscles improve, you will be able to hold this position longer. Gradually increase your time up to a minute or more. To increase the difficulty, try lifting one leg to create a balance challenge.
May 21, 2013 // Category: Fitness Advisor
One of the easiest ways to tone your legs is to get up and use them more with consistent walking, jogging or biking routines. These cardio activities will also burn calories and help reduce overall body fat. But if you are looking for lean, strong legs, the prescription is strength training. Rely on variations of good old-fashioned squats, lunges and deadlifts to firm up the muscles in your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Try the following leg exercises to train your muscles and get your legs ready for summer:
Take the Stairs: Choosing the stairs over the elevator is one of the easiest ways to work your legs during the day and you don’t need any extra equipment, just your body weight. Make it even more effective by taking the stairs two at a time. Push yourself up with your glutes and hamstrings to work the back of your legs.
May 14, 2013 // Category: Fitness Advisor
Summer is just around the corner, which means sleeveless tops and days at the beach can’t be far away either. Get toned and strong arms with classic free weight and bodyweight exercises. Use these tips to work your triceps, biceps and shoulders to get the definition you desire.
Front Shoulder Raise: You might as well call this exercise the “tank top toner.” Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding weights down in front of your thighs with your palms facing you. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, raise your arms up in front of you until they are parallel to the floor. Don’t shrug. Keep your shoulders relaxed and don’t raise your arms above shoulder level. Lower back to starting position and repeat.