Your basic ab crunch isn’t the most effective way to get toned abs. It simply doesn’t activate your core muscles to the extent that other exercises do, it can hurt your back, and the small motion doesn’t do much by way of calorie burning.
So why are you still doing crunches?
What the basic ab crunch does have going for it is its no-equipment, on-the-go nature. You could plop down onto the ground in a park, a hotel room, at the beach or at the gym to crank out a round of crunches wherever you happen to be.
Not the most effective, but, until now, the most convenient.
It’s time to upgrade your default, basic crunch to a more modern, results-driven exercise. Below I have the most cutting edge no equipment ab exercise to get you one step closer to those washboard abs that you’ve been dreaming about.
Better Than Crunches #1: The Plank
To perform a plank, place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned below your shoulders, and your arms parallel to your body shoulder-width apart. Squeeze your core and pay attention to keeping your back flat. Focus on pulling your belly button in as you hold the position for 2 minutes.
Better Than Crunches #2: Scissor Kick
To perform a scissor kick, lie with your back into the floor and your arms extended to the sides with your palms facing down. With a slight bend in your knees, lift your legs so that your heels are 6 inches off the ground. Lift your left leg up to about a 45-degree angle while your right leg is still lowered until your heel is about 2-3 inches from the ground. Switch movements by raising your right leg while lowering your left leg. Squeeze your midsection and focus on your breathing as you perform 60-90 seconds of the exercise.
Better Than Crunches #3: V-Ups
To perform a v-up, lie down on your back on the floor and extend your arms behind your head. The back of your hands should lightly touch the floor while your palms face the ceiling. Keep your feet close together and point your toes toward the ceiling. Lift your legs up, keeping them straight at the same time that you raise your upper body off the floor and reach for your toes. Exhale and squeeze your abdominal muscles as you reach for your toes before slowly lowering yourself back down to the starting position. Repeat a series of 12-20 repetitions.
Better Than Crunches #4: Reverse Crunch
To perform a reverse crunch, lie on the floor with your feet flat on the floor and hands behind your head. Press your lower back into the floor and pull in your belly button as you lift your feet off of the floor. Keep your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and pull into your chest so that your tailbone raises off of the ground, and at the same time lift your shoulder blades off of the floor. Focus on squeezing your abs to perform the movement. Slowly lower your shoulders, hips and legs to the starting position, keeping your feet just above the floor. Repeat the movement for 12-20 repetitions while squeezing your abs and focusing on your breathing.
Better Than Crunches #5: Russian Twist
To perform a Russian twist, lie on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle while raising your upper body off of the ground. Exhale while you twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor. Pull your belly button in and squeeze, then slowly move back to the starting position. Repeat on the left side and continue to repeat both sides for 60-90 seconds.
There you have it, 5 modern, results-driven abdominal exercises that you can perform anywhere! Aim to work your abs at least twice a week for the best results.
It’s worth noting that while strengthening your abdominal muscles is a great way to tighten your waist, none of the amazing muscle tone will show if your body fat is above 20 percent. In order to shed the fat and get that amazing six-pack, join my fat burning fitness program designed to get you into the best shape of your life.
Call or email me now to get started on burning that fat and uncovering your most amazing abs ever!
Oh My Goodness! These dark chocolate coconut cups are the perfect recipe for your new sweet tooth obsession! It’s super easy to make and tastes like candy without the guilt. Keep you freezer loaded with these tasty treats! Enjoy!
What you need
For the Dark Chocolate:
1 bag lily’s chocolate chips (stevia sweetened)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
For the Coconut Filling:
½ cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
¼ cup coconut oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
Liquid Stevia to taste
1. On a rimmed baking sheet that will fit in your freezer, arrange 15 mini cupcake liners.
2. Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat. Melt, stirring often, until smooth. Remove from heat.
3. Carefully spoon a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden.
4. Combine the filling ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until creamy and fully combined. Remove the pan from the freezer and place a heaping teaspoon of filling in each liner. Press down to level off the tops.
5. Drizzle the remaining chocolate over the filling, covering all of the white with chocolate. Place the pan back into the freezer for 10 minutes to harden. Serve and enjoy! Keep leftovers stored in the freezer.
One serving equals 102 calories, 8g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 0g sugar, 16mg sodium, 3g fiber, and 2g protein.
I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!
You’re stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic with Netflix and comfort foods causing you a huge amount of temptation. Not to mention the stress of this uncertain time making it easy to resort to stress eating…
The fact is that after this quarantine you’re either going to be in worse shape – having gained many at-home pounds, OR you could use this extra time off to make visible progress towards your best body ever.
Here are 12 Steps to Getting Lean while in Quarantine:
Step One: Do Some Burpees. Can burpees safely be performed at home? You bet. Incorporate a few minutes of burpees into your morning and evening routines to burn extra calories and tighten your core.
Here’s how to do a burpee: 1) Stand with feet shoulder width apart. 2) Drop to a squat with your hands on the ground. 3) Kick feet back while lowering into a push-up. 4) Return to squat position. 5) Jump up with arms overhead.
Step Two: Reduce Sodium. Did you know that salt causes water retention? You have time now to pay attention to the sodium content of your food, while you’re stuck at home. Limit salt intake by not eating packaged foods and by putting down the salt shaker.
Step Three: Pick Up A Book. Challenging the muscles of your core with resistance is a proven way to create a tighter midsection. Since you’re stuck at home without exercise equipment, a large book is a wonderful tool to provide such resistance.
Hold the book with arms straight up in the air as you do crunches.
Step Four: Load Up On Fiber. Wonder how fiber could help you shed pounds and look great while in quarantine? It’s actually quite simple.
High fiber foods are nutrient dense and low in calories. This means that you’ll feel full from fewer calories, encouraging weight loss. Try these high fiber favorites: spinach, raspberries, pear (with skin), artichoke, peas, apples (with skin), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and carrots.
Step Five: Crank Out Some V-Sits. You can still enjoy some Netflix while doing this effective move. 1) Lie on your side with legs straight and hands behind your head. 2) Raise your arms and legs simultaneously, while exhaling and squeezing your obliques. 3) Repeat on the other side.
Step Six: Eat Lots Of Lean Protein. Don’t be afraid to eat when you are on the get-lean-in-quarantine plan. It is really important that you are nourishing your body with quality, lean protein in order to shed fat.
Lean protein helps support muscle growth while controlling blood sugar – all important factors when it come to washboard abs. Good sources of protein include: chicken breast, ground turkey, egg whites, and grilled fish.
Step Seven: Do Some Hanging Leg Raises. Now it’s time to target your lower abs, which are also a problem area for most. Traditional crunches and sit-ups neglect to strengthen and tighten the lower part of your abs, so a focused effort is required.
Hanging Leg Raises are one of the most effective ways to strengthen your abdominals. 1) Hang from pull-up bar with legs fully extended. 2) Exhale and drive your knees up toward your chest. 3) Inhale as you slowly lower your legs back down. If you don’t have a pull up bar at home then do flutter kicks to activate your lower abs.
Step Eight: Stop Eating Sugar. If you only did this step, and skipped all the rest, you would lose weight and look better by the time quarantine is over. I can’t emphasize enough how quickly sugar converts into a soft layer of fat.
Yes, sugar tastes good, but indulging in it causes your body to store layers of fat. Enjoy fresh fruit, rather than refined sugar. Once you stop eating sugar your body will no longer crave it, so don’t give in to the initial cravings.
Step Nine: Do Some Mountain Climbers. Here’s an exercise that is intensely cardiovascular while also working your core, and is easily performed at home. Add these to your routine to really whittle down your waistline while practicing social distancing.
Here’s how to do a Mountain Climber: 1) Get into push-up position. 2) Exhale as you alternately drive your knees in toward your chest, keeping your back flat.
Step Ten: Pass On The Grains. Sure, whole grains are being touted as essential to a healthy diet, but the truth is that you’ll do just fine without them for a while. Even the heartiest wholegrain bread will encourage fat storage, so put down the breadbasket as you prepare for beach season.
Grains are full of insulin-spiking carbohydrates—the perfect combination for fattening you up. Learn to love grain-free meals that center around lean meats and vegetables.
Step Eleven: Do Some Sprints. High intensity bursts of cardio are a proven way to burn away layers of fat, so incorporate sprints into your exercise routine. If you haven’t run for a while, take it easy as you start, and gradually increase the intensity of your sprints.
Run 60-90 second sprints in between resistance training sets to really kick your fat burning mechanism into high gear. This is also a great opportunity to get some fresh air and to get out of the house.
Step Twelve: Start A Professional Fitness Program. You wouldn’t try to file corporate tax returns without the assistance of your CPA, so why would you attempt to transform your body without the help of a professional? I’m here to get you into your ideal, fit body in the shortest amount of time possible. It’s what I do, and I’m good at it. EVEN while you are stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Owner and Lead Personal Trainer at Perfect Fit Wellness Center.