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Get Moving! 5 Ways to Work Your Core

Here are fives ways to help you develop the waist that you've been working towards. Once you've already begun to clean up your diet, your next step is to start an exercise routine that combines both cardio and muscle training. You can do this! Just stay consistent with your regular workouts and add these 5 into the rotation.

Before you begin, set some goals for yourself and write them down. Try these:

  1. I will workout 5 days a week for at least 30-45 minutes.
  2. I will clean up my diet by cutting back on sugars, salts, and fats.
  3. I will invest in myself.
By spring time, you will be ready to show off your abs in your favorite workout gear, swimsuits, or shorts!

ACE (American Council on Exercise) has studied the exercises that will give you the maximum results, without you wasting any time. Are you ready? Here we go (print and post in your fav. workout area):

1. Bicycle Maneuver

Lay down on your back, and place your hands gently behind your head. Slowly bend your knees until your right elbow meets your left knee. Then slowly release. Repeat the process by moving your left elbow to your right knee, and then release. For starters, try this exercise 12 times for one set. Work up to 3 sets.

bicycle_maneuver.jpg2. Crunches on Exercise Ball

This particular exercise helps you stabilize your entire muscle groups, and the core is engaged to do the work. Lay down with your mid-back on the ball. Place your hands behind your head, elbows out. Your legs should be out (like a sitting position with legs bent) to help you stabilize the ball. Slowly crunch yourself up, and hold for 3 seconds at the top. Then slowly release back to your starting position. Repeat 12 times and work up to 3 sets of 12.

ball_crunches.jpg3. Vertical Leg Crunch

Lay down with your legs extended up to the ceiling. Place your hands behind your head, and lift up your upper body off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds, and then slowly release back to the starting position. Once again, start out doing 12 reps. Do 1-3 sets, and increase to 15 reps as you get stronger.

vertical_leg_crunch.jpg4. Torso Track

To execute this exercise, purchase an ab wheel from any fitness store. The wheel is a very small investment, but you'll be happy with it's return. Grasp the wheel by the handles, and place your knees down on the floor. Slowly extend your body out by rolling the wheel. Once extended, slowly bring yourself to the starting position. This exercise hits all your core muscles. Start out with 8-12 times, and work your way up when you achieve strength and endurance.

ab-wheel2.jpg5. Long Arm Crunch

Lay down as if you are going to perform a regular sit-up (crunch), but extend your arms above your head. Use your ab muscles to lift your yourself up, leading with your hands and arms. This position may seem awkward at first, but with time and practice, you will accept the challenge. Start with 12, then slowly work up to 3 sets of 12.

long_arm_crunch.jpg

Michele Batz is a 30-year veteran in the physical education field, with a master's and PhD in holistic nutrition and a master's in Administration. She's been a Fitness writer for the past 7 years to help motivate not just in the physical sense but also the creative. The arts with movement is an element she is working on in her classes and with the help of CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Children's Health) to combine all elements of leading a healthy, active life. CATCH involves the whole school community, physical education teachers, classroom teachers, cafeteria, parents and the community. This is a wonderful way to educate our youth to fight children's obesity. Michele enjoys her life with her husband and son, living in Illinois. Visit her blog at mbatz.blogspot.com.



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