Fitolution – Exercise #8 and Habit #8

Welcome to Exercise #8 of the Ab Challenge and to Habit #8.

Did you know your back is part of your core?

No worries . . . today’s exercise throws your “back” into the mix. This exercise works the back when you stabilize yourself on the stability ball.  Your torso is challenged by having to work against gravity.  This in turn activates the back.

Exercise: Stability Ball Prone Walkout
Step 1

Starting Position: Lie on your stomach over the top of the stability ball. Begin in an all-fours position with your torso on the ball and hands and feet on the floor. Lengthen your legs and stretch your heels to the back of the room. Your hands should be under your shoulders.

Take a few deep breaths. Notice how your abdominals want 
to rest on the ball when you inhale.

Exhale and pull your abdominals away from the ball. Try to keep them pulled away even when you inhale. This is your abdominal engagement.

Step 2

Outward Phase: Gently exhale. With your abdominals engaged and your torso rigid, slowly walk your hands forward, lifting your legs off the floor. Your legs should be actively reaching toward the back of the room. Avoid allowing your legs to droop. It is important to keep your ribcage knitted together and the abdominals strong in order to maintain a rigid torso. Continue walking out until the fronts of your thighs or knees are resting on the top of the ball. The further you walk away from the ball, the greater the stability challenge. Go slowly and find the challenge that is just right for you. Keep your body rigid so that your legs and trunk form one continuous line. Your legs should be very active so that your entire body is straight as a board and aligned parallel to the floor.
Keep your shoulder blades pulling away from your shoulders and toward your hips. Your end position is where you can maintain stability with your hands directly under your shoulders, and elbows, torso and legs straight and strong. Hold this position briefly.


Step 3

Return Phase: Inhale and slowly walk yourself backwards to your starting position, trying to maintain your stability and balance, moving backward smoothly.

Exercise Variation (1): To increase the balance challenge, walk yourself further out until the tops of your feet or toes rest on the top of the ball.

Exercise Variation (2): To further increase the balance challenge, raise one leg off the ball when you reach the end of the walkout phase.

Habit:

Keep doing your first–seventh habitS.  Why?  Habits are cumulative — they build on each other, one by one.  So a new habit doesn’t mean ditch the old ones.  A new habit means you simply add one more tool to your tool belt.  
In other words, keep doing the older habits – 

  • Habit #1 – Taking a 5-Minute Action 
  • Habit #2 – Eat Slowly
  • Habit #3 – Stop When 80% Full
  • Habit #4 – Eat Lean Protein at Every Meal
  • Habit #5 – Eat at Least 5 Servings of Colorful Fruit/Vegetables
  • Habit #6 – Make Smart Carb Choices
  • Habit #7 – Eat Healthy Fats

Habit #8: Plan Friendly Meals
Key points –

  • Healthy, performance-boosting meals don’t happen by accident. To get things done consistently and well, we need to learn and practice planning and preparation.
  • This habit continues to build the skills of taking action, time management, planning, preparation, and developing trusted systems.
  • This habit doesn’t ask you to follow a specific meal template but rather asks you to consider what a “Meal of Awesome” would be for you, given your current goals and abilities, and how you’d like to feel after eating that meal.
  • Definition of “Meal of Awesome”:
    • lowers your resistance;
    • asks you to define your own standards;
    • keeps you accountable to those standards; and
    • helps you feel in charge of your own process.

This is an “easy” habit that helps you practice previous habits and improve how often and well you can do those habits.

How to –

  • Instead, think about principles that might help you develop your own guidelines for “Meals of Awesome”, such as:
    • This meal improves my performance.
    • This meal makes me healthier.
    • This meal helps me eat slowly and feel full longer.
    • This meal helps nourish me but avoids foods that don’t feel good to me.
    • This meal is enough to fuel me but not so much that it slows me down.
    • etc.
  • New ideas, such as:
    • how to get the portion sizing correct;
    • how to shop and prepare foods;
    • building a roster of the types of foods you like and can easily make; and
    • how to work through where you typically get stuck in the planning and prep process.

Strength or Cardio:

Is it a strength or cardio day? If you don’t have a solid strength exercise plan, refer to the plan given on Day #1.  Cardio day?  Ex: walk, run, jog, dance, elliptical, Arc, row, bike, whatever you prefer.

Nutrition:

Want to cut back on some extra calories easily?

  • Cut out sugary drinks.  
  • Substitute at least one glass of water today instead of that sugary, empty calorie, filled drink.

 Have questions?  Need some guidance?  As always, I’m only one click away.