Fitolution Exercise #4 and Habit #4

Welcome to Exercise #4 of the Ab Challenge and to Habit #4.
 

Exercise: 

VERTICAL TOE TOUCHES

INSTRUCTIONS:  

Step 1

Starting Position: Lie flat on your back on the floor / mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Your arms are by your sides. Brace your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Pull your shoulder blades down your back. Try to keep these engagements throughout the exercise. Slowly lift both feet off the floor. Straighten your knees until your thighs are vertical to the floor. Your toes can point away from your body. (DO NOT move your thighs beyond this point as that shifts your body weight from your butt into your low back, causing increased stress to the low back). Put your hands on your thighs. Shoulder blades are flat on the floor.

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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.

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Fitolution – Exercise #7 and Habit #7

Welcome to Exercise #7 of the Ab Challenge and to Habit #7.

Exercise: Supine Spinal Twist with Rib Grab and Progressions

·     Step 1

Starting Position: Lie on your side on a mat with your legs and feet stacked. Both knees are bent to about 90 degrees and the knees are tucked up toward the hips. Your hips and shoulders are stacked and vertical to the floor. The spine and head are in a straight line. Reach your lower arm out along the mat at chest level. Wrap your upper arm around your trunk holding your ribcage. Engage your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Pull the shoulder blades down toward your hips without moving your trunk. Try to hold these engagements throughout the exercise.

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Fitolution – Exercise #6 and Habit #6

Welcome to Exercise #6 of the Ab Challenge and to Habit #6. 

Exercise: 
Kneeling Hay Baler a/k/a Woodchopper

  • One leg up on the foot and the other back on the knee. 
  • Hold a medicine ball in both hands near the hip of the rear leg. 
  • Twist through the trunk and shoulders to bring the ball across the body and over the opposite shoulder. 
  • Keep both arms straight during the whole movement. 
  • When finished with one side, switch to the other side.

Challenge – Did you know the human body is designed to be most efficient when standing?  So for a challenge, try the Standing Hay Baler. 

  • Standing with legs about hip-width apart.
  • Step one foot forward flat on the ground and the other leg back behind the body on the ball of the foot. 
  • Hold the medicine ball in both hands near the hip of the leg that is behind. 
  • Twist through the chest and shoulders to bring the ball across the body and over the opposite shoulder.  
  • Keep both arms straight for the whole movement. 
  • When finished with one side, switch to the other side.

Tips – 

  • To add more resistance, use a heavier medicine ball or dumbbell.
  • Keep your abs tense at all times for a good mind-muscle connection.
  • Begin with rotation initiating in your torso.
  • Do not round your back at any point of the exercise.

The Day #6 core exercise mimics your body’s natural function, andtargets the abdominal muscles: 

  1. Oblique.
  2. Transverse Abdominals, which is the deepest layer of muscle tissue.
    To get the total benefit, flatten stomach at the beginning of the exercise 
    to make the TA contract. 
  3. Rectus Abdominals, which is located between your ribs and your pelvic 
    bone.  RA contracts when distance between ribs and hips is shortened 
    i.e. lowering the ball toward your hip.

Habit:

Keep doing your first–fifth habit.  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 – 

  1. Taking a 5-Minute Action 
  2. Eat Slowly
  3. Habit #3 – Stop When 80% Full
  4. Habit #4 – Eat Lean Protein at Every Meal
  5. Habit #5 – Eat at least 5 servings of colorful fruit/vegetables

Habit 6: Make Smart Carb Choices

  1. Most people benefit from having some carbohydrates in their diet.  “Smart carbs” are slower-digesting, higher-fiber, and nutrient-rich. These include such foods as:
    • whole grains (e.g. brown or wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, etc.)
    • beans and legumes
    • fruits and starchy vegetables (e.g. potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas and plantains, etc.)
    • This is a “difficult” habit for some.  That’s why it comes purposely after two “easier” habits.
  2. Understand that:
    • Low-carb” is not ideal; most people look, feel, and perform better with some carbs in their diet, even if they’re trying to lose weight / fat.
    • Not all carbs are created equal: slow-digesting, high-fiber, nutrient-rich “smart carbs” are a great nutritional choice and not the same thing as processed sugars.
  3. Make a shopping list of the “smart carbs” you have discovered and like and will eat.
  4. Do you avoid wheat and/or other grains (e.g. sweet potatoes)?  Need suggestions to replace those?
  5. For now, it doesn’t really matter what specific foods you choose as long as you get into the habit of choosing smart carbs.
  6. Ensure that you are able to buy, prepare, and have smart carbs on hand, easily available.
  7. Discuss how to add smart carbs to your regular menu. 
  8. You have already learned what an approximate serving size is.
    1. 1 cupped handful per meal.
    2. Adjust portion sizing to your needs and activity levels.

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:

Red Potato is a Smart Carb andis particularly healthy. The skin is loaded with fiber, B vitamins, iron and potassium.  Getting more potassium in your diet reduces the effects of sodium and may help lower blood pressure, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. 

Quick & Easy Recipe – 

  • Boil in salted water until very tender.  
  • Drain.  
  • Toss with herbs, salt, cracked pepper, and lemon juice or vinegar.

Fitolution – Exercise #5 and Habit #5

Welcome to Exercise #5 of the Ab Challenge and to Habit #5. 

Exercise: 
“Stir the Pot” on a Stability Ball
Kneeling behind a stability ball, lean body forward at a 45-degree angle and rest elbows on the top of the ball. Keep stomach muscles tight and elbows pushing up from the ball directly under the shoulders.  It’s important to maintain a straight line from head to knees.  Move the ball around clockwise 10 times and then counter-clockwise 10 times.   Repeat 4 more times.

Want a CHALLENGE?

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Fitolution – Exercise #2 and Habit #2

Hello friend, Welcome to Exercise & Habit #2 of the Fitolution Ab Challenge. 


Exercise: 

Reverse Crunch 

  • Step 1 –  Starting Position: Lie on your back on a mat with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms spread out to your sides with your palms facing down. Gently exhale. Engage your abdominal/core muscles to support the spine. Slowly lift your feet off the floor, raising your knees directly above your hips. Bend the knees to 90 degrees. Hold this position and breathe normally. Use your arms as a base of support.
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Fitolution – Exercise #1 and Habit #1

Back by popular demand, Fitolution – Ab Challenge. Some exercises will be the same as before.  Some will be different.  We are starting with one of my personal favorites.  


Exercise #1:

The Bicycle Crunch 

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Fitolution – Day #3, Lunge & Laugh

Hello friend,

Yesterday was rest day.  Were you able to stick to it?

Here we go with the 3rd day of The Fitolution . . .
 

Dumbbell Lunge

Muscle Groups:  Quads, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings


EXERCISE:  

Instructions

  • Choose a pair of dumbbells and stand up straight with a slight bend in your knees.
  • Hold the dumbbells down at your sides. You are now in the starting position.
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Fitolution – Why you don’t need a coach . . . part #1 exercise

We are 10 days into the New Year, 2019 . . . what’s on everyone’s mind? 
 
Parties, drinking, eating, and staying up to all hours with family, friends and loved ones is over.  Or is it?
 
Yeah!  Get together those goals.  Get rid of all the bad food & drinks (by consumption of course).
 
 
Does this make sense?
 
Look at family, friends and/or acquaintances that have changed their lives.  Dramatic weight loss, muscle gain, or any other impressive transformation can seem like magic.
 
But there’s a science to it.
 
 
Today we’ll start with “Exercise”.
 
This was intended to be a serious piece with lots of references and stuff about accountability, the stages of change, and some home truths about why you need a swift kick in the butt. (That’s old school for emotional reinforcement).
 
But, then I thought that stuff has been written about before and the fact is that if you haven’t considered a coach at this point, then you probably won’t get one on the back of reading a bunch of technical jargon. So, here are 3 reasons that you don’t need a coach.
 
 
1. YOU ALREADY KNOW IT ALL.

What’s the point in getting a coach, they’ll only tell you what you already know, right? You have seen all those documentaries on Netflix and you’ve read a bunch of books and some really sciencey sounding stuff by Layne Norton.
 
Or perhaps you follow Alan Aragon, Eric Cressey or that other guy, I think his first name is Ben? That’s great because it’s not like they have utterly conflicting views on everything and there’s zero chance of you getting confused.
 


Ben Coomber (idol, mentor, teacher, trainer, 
Instructor. #1 health & fitness podcast in U.K., 
top 10 in the world) and me at UPW Florida

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Amp Up Your Quality H2O!

Moms & Dads of young athletes, 👦🏻👧🏻

How many of you stock up on cases of sports drinks or buy them from the snack bar at games? Do you realize how much sugar and artificial ingredients are in those drinks? Anywhere from 14-56 grams of sugar! 😧

Not to mention other artificial colorings, flavorings etc. That’s CRAZY! 😲
It winds them up only to crash later!