Winter is in the rear-view mirror with summer right around the corner.
But before you trade in that ski pass and parka for a surfboard and swim trunks some of us may need help returning to that beach body we all loved last year. While Affinity Whole Health is proud to champion leading bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, we know the beginning of any great change starts with you.
Here are some great belly-busting exercises anyone can do to get their stomachs beach-ready.
KETTLE BELL SUITCASE DEADLIFT
A kettle bell can be your best friend, especially if you’re trying to tighten that midsection. For a suitcase deadlift, stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Place the kettle bell, or dumbbell, on the outside of either foot and then perform a standard squat. While you are in the squat position reach for the kettle bell as one would a suitcase and stand slowly. The exercise is most effective when you remain balanced through your midsection, make sure you avoid leaning toward your weighted side. With another squat, return the kettle bell to its position. Repeat this for one to two minutes before switching to the other side of your body.
Begin lying down, flat on your back with your arms extended straight out from the shoulders. Your palms and shoulder blades should remain flat on the ground at all times. Bend at the knees and raise your legs so that your knees point to the ceiling while your feet point ahead in the table-top position. With your knees raised, keep them together as you slowly lower your legs to one side without touching the ground before bringing them back into their original raised position. You will know you are doing this exercise correctly because you will feel tension in your abdomen. Repeat this exercise, lowering your legs to the opposite side, creating a full range of motion without raising your shoulder blades. Your pacing as well as your actual form should resemble a metronome.
For an added challenge try placing a small weight between your knees for extra abdominal tension.
OBLIQUE DRIVING-KNEE CRUNCH
While it sounds like a professional wrestler’s finishing maneuver, this is a low-impact exercise that everyone can do from the comfort of their living room. The only equipment you need is a large stability ball. Lie with your back on the ball keeping your feet on the ground, shoulder width apart, and your knees bent at ninety degrees.
Place your right hand on the back of your head with your left hand balancing on the floor for support. Brace your core and lift your left leg to ninety degrees. In a twisting crunch motion, your right elbow should touch your left knee. Your core should remain tight and your right leg should remain stable on the ground for balance. Return to your starting position and repeat 12-15 times and then switch sides.
STANDING SIDE CRUNCH
Take a page out of the Titan’s playbook and incorporate your stability ball in the same manner. Hold the ball above your head keeping your elbows bent at ninety degrees. Making sure your feet are shoulder width apart, bring your left knee and your left elbow down until the two meet. This will provide a sculpting crunch for those pesky love handles. Repeat this motion, alternating sides until you have done 12-15 reps on each side of your body.
THE BOAT POSE
Some of the most effective exercises don’t require any action at all. In fact, the trick is keeping your muscles contracted.
While lying flat on the ground, keep your back straight as you begin to sit up forty-five degrees. Raise your legs to a similar forty-five degrees while keeping them as straight as your back. You body should resemble the letter “V” when seen from the side. Now extend your arms straight ahead. This will act to steady you as your tighten your core. Hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds, or until you can’t hold it any longer.
The exercises above are only a small sample of the various exercises you can do to get your body ready for the summer. It’s important to mix and match exercises in your routine to make sure you are hitting all your major muscle groups.
If you’re interested in learning more effective ways in getting into shape and staying healthy be sure to book a FREE consultation with Affinity Whole Health today.
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