I’m officially done with my sugar and junk-food binge! I’m so desperate to get out of my maternity clothes and back into “regular” clothes that I’m willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that. So, since last week I’ve taken up walking like I said I was going to do. But instead of going to the gym to do my workout, I bought an at-home walking DVD called Leslie Sansone Walk at Home, Walk Slim. I figured since there was no way I was going to make it to the gym with the current circumstances I would bring the gym home to me. Good idea, don’t you think?
The DVD is really cool because you can start at whatever fitness level you find yourself. And as you do the video it tells you how many miles you have walked, so you can stop at any time. Plus, it guarantees that once you are able to do the four-mile walk, if you do it ten days in a row you are promised to see results. Also, the four-mile walk is promised to burn the calories of one meal. So, I’m going to give this a try, and I will keep you updated on my progress. Oh, and one more cool thing is that it’s not just standing there walking the whole time. The host mixes it up and you do leg kicks, side steps, and leg lifts, so you really are engaging your lower half of your body. I think it’s a really great workout so far.
However, I have to be honest with myself. The walking is great for burning the calories needed to lose weight, but to get back into my jeans I have to do some major abdominal work. I really have to tone up.
Unfortunately, my abs need improvement. In fact, I would say my abs are like a Jell-O mold––lots of wiggle and jiggle (ha, ha)! So, this week I’m focusing on finding some good abdominal workouts. Because lets face it; having strong abs also means having a strong back. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “strengthen your core.” About.com posted an article called The Best and the Worst Ab Exercises that states, “The best ab exercises are surprisingly easy to do. This is the finding of a study done at the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University that looked at a variety of common abdominal exercises in order to determine the best ab exercises and what really works to strengthen abs. The study compared 13 abdominal exercises, ranging from the traditional ab crunch to more complicated activities, using at-home and gym equipment.
The study found the three best abdominal exercises are:
- Bicycle maneuver See a Picture
Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Put your hands beside your head. Bring your knees up to about a 45-degree angle and slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion. Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee. Breathe evenly throughout the exercise.
- Captain’s chair See a Picture
This was one of the few on the "most effective" list that involves gym equipment. Start with legs dangling and slowly lift your knees in toward your chest. The motion should be controlled and deliberate as you bring your knees up and return them back to the starting position.
- Crunch on an exercise ball See a Picture
Sit on the exercise ball with your feet flat on the floor. Let the ball roll back slowly and lie back until your thighs and torso are parallel with the floor. Contract your abdominals raising your torso to no more than 45 degrees. To work the oblique muscles, make the exercise less stable by moving your feet closer together.”
It also stated “The best piece of equipment was a large exercise ball.” The exercise ball happens to be my favorite too. I personally think you get the best ab results from crunches on the ball.
O.K., so now it’s time to get our flabby abs back into shape. Using the three exercises above we can tone and trim down our waistlines with success. I hope you feel the burn this week; I know I will!