ABC Ab Exercise

Want a fun way to eliminate a stubborn lower-belly pooch?  ABC abs will do the trick but be prepared, this might sound like child’s play but it will challenge you!  What makes this exercise fun is to go through the alphabet with a group of friends and think of a healthy food for each letter:-) It serves as a positive distraction from the fire in the abs.

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I’m always on the look out for creative ways to challenge my fitness class and they had a blast with it!  Class ended with lots of chatter and laughs which is music to a coach’s ears.

Here’s how you do ABC Abs:

  1. Lie on your back, extend your legs and pretend that your toes are like pencils and write the A, B, Cs with your feet.  You could even do it old school style and write in cursive;)  The bigger you make your letters the harder you will work.
  2. Place your hands under your lower back to provide support.  If you feel too much tension in your back, or if your hamstrings are tight, go ahead and bend your knees a little bit.
  3. Imagine you have a belt strapped to your waist that anchors you to the floor.  You don’t want your lower back to come off the floor unless you are doing a hip lift to dot the letter ‘I.”
  4. As you write out your letters name a healthy food, for example, ‘A’ avocado.  If you are doing it with a group, take turns.  The longer it takes the person to think of a food, the more time spent holding a contraction!  Yowza!

ABC abs with the kiddos!

I’m thinking I could have a blast doing this with these lil’ angels!  LOL!  This would be a fun way to share fitness and teach them about healthy foods.

img_1824You could have them make letters standing up with their arms in a ‘Charlie’s Angels’ pose;)  Let me know how you share the fun with your little ones!

 

The Technique To Burn Fat and Build Muscle Fast!

If you’ve hit a plateau with weight loss or are just bored as heck with your workouts and need something to light things up, you should give cardio accelerations a try!

What is cardio acceleration?

Cardio acceleration is when you combine high-intensity cardio with strength training.  Instead of taking a typical rest break between your lifts, you do some type of cardio, all out, for one minute.   I prefer to jump rope, however, you could do any type exercise for your cardio acceleration.  Here are some examples: running in place next to the bench, jumping jacks, squat thrusts, skaters, dumbbell cleans, step-ups, etc.

fullsizerender-1Jumping rope is hands down my favorite tool for keeping my body conditioned and agile.  Read more about the benefits for jumping rope along with training tips here: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/jump-in-lean-out-with-jump-rope-training/

What is the benefit?

I got turned on to this training technique when I did Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut To Shred program.  His program did get me shredded.  Another benefit is that there is no hem hawing around waiting for the next set, which is perfect for my adult ADD;) LOL.

My hubby always teases me because if I’m not doing cardio intervals between sets, I’m stretching;)  This was him poking fun of me yesterday when I was stretching between my bench presses.  LOL

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One thing I REALLY love about this technique is that it fills in for my 20-30 minutes of cardio on the step mill or treadmill!

  • Check this out, 20-30 minutes of these high-intensity intervals burns more fat than spending that amount of time on a treadmill. Trust me, your metabolic rate will be up the entire workout and that means you are burning a lot of calories during and after your workout!

I now cycle through this program twice a year, and lately, I’ve been throwing in cardio accelerations with my leg day once a week.

After doing a set of squats, I do 100-200 revolutions jumping rope.  (BTW, I’ve been performing squats recently with a box to make sure I’m nailing my form and getting good and low).

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If you’re worried that the cardio could take away from the strength of your lifts, here is research that Stoppani shares from his Shortcut To Shred Training Overview:

A University of California, Santa Cruz, study found that when subjects did cardio between weightlifting sets, they were able to recover better because of increased blood flow. Cardio acceleration elevates your heart rate, which means more blood pumps to your working muscles throughout your workout.

Ready to HIIT it now?  Let’s go!!

Jump In! Lean Out With Jump Rope Training

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Get lean in 2017 with jump rope training!  Jumping rope is hands down one of the best tools to help you torch fat and lean out faster than ever.  It is estimated that jumping rope for 10 minutes (at 120 turns per minute) is equivalent to jogging for 30 minutes.

If you are someone that dreads cardio then this option is one to jump at!  Block out any concerns about looking silly or what people will think.  Attempting this activity, even if you stumble and trip trying, is worth it.  I’m sure people in the gym might think I’m a maniac when I break out my jump rope in between sets, but I’m there to get my best workout.  What people think of me is none of my business.

Ease yourself into it by practicing jumping with an invisible jump rope.  It might seem ridiculous but this will help you get the rhythm.

sad-elephant-jumping-ropeJumping rope is not only a calorie-burner but it’s also incredibly efficient, convenient and a great workout.

  • You can effectively burn calories and work your entire body in half the time by jumping rope.  I love how it works, not only my legs but my core, arms and shoulders!
  • It’s also a great workout tool for when you are traveling.  I always have my jump rope packed for any type of trip.  All you need is some space to get to whipping.
  • If done properly it’s a lower-impact activity than jogging.  Rope jumping strengthens muscles that support the tendons and ligaments of the knees, feet, and ankles.

Jump Rope Checklist For Correct Form:

  1. Keep torso relaxed, head lifted, and gaze ahead for balance.
  2. Maintain your weight on the balls of your feet.
  3. Jump only high enough to clear the rope.
  4. Land lightly on the balls of your feet.
  5. Keep your elbows near your sides.
  6. Make small circles with wrists while turning the rope.
  7. Do not sacrifice good form for speed.

Jump Rope Checklist For Getting Started:

  1. Wear cross trainers.
  2. Jump on a wood floor, rubber surface or a mat made for exercise.
  3. Adjust the height of your jump rope by placing one foot on the center of the rope and pull the handles up the sides of your body.  It should be at armpit level.

Beginner plan:

-Set a number goal.  For example, 20 total jumps.  When you reach your goal rest and repeat for 5-10 minutes.

Intermediate plan:

-Set a time goal.  For example, jump for 30 seconds and rest for 1 minute.  Repeat this for 10-15 minutes.

Advanced plan:

-Set a goal to jump 3-5 minutes without stopping.  Take a short break and repeat these endurance blocks 4-5 times.

For more training ideas be sure to check back for my next blog where I will be sharing my jump rope circuit training routine.  This is my personal preferred way of jump roping that will get you shredded.