Saturday, 11 January 2014

Your tummy---Your ABS

Can we all agree that our resolutions are to try to WORKOUT more and eat lots of nutritious meals? Agreed? OK, good. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, on to ways to have fun doing this stuff. We're breaking down attainable-but-totally-cool health and fitness goals you can set this year. So wave goodbye to snooze-worthy resolutions of years past and start 2014 off with...a headstand.

 Challenge yourself with planks.
Putting yourself into the plank position is a great way to strengthen your core, but holding it without losing your form is tricky. Start by seeing if you can hold one for a minute. If you can, make your initial goal two minutes. If you can't, work up to that first. Once you master each minute, add one more until you reach your ultimate resolution, whether it be three minutes, five minutes, or more! The plank is one of the best exercises for a flat, toned stomach because it works all the muscles in your core, including the rectus abdominus (the "six-pack muscles" you can see), transverse abdominus, internal and external obliques, hips, and back.
Why not just focus on the six-pack muscles? Strengthening your entire core is not only crucial for sculpting a flat stomach, but these muscles also provide support for the entire body in everyday movements, reduce back pain, and improve posture. Plus, planks burn more calories than sit-ups or crunches because they recruit muscles in the legs, arms, and rear too. It's truly the ultimate total-body toner!
Here are some of my favorite plank variations. Start with the first four, holding each exercise for 30 seconds (work up to 1-minute holds). Do each plank variation once and then repeat the entire series 2 more times (3 times total). When you feel comfortable with the first four planks, advance to incorporate the next three (No. 5-7), holding each one for 30-60 seconds. For a killer core workout, combine all seven into one routin

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