Workout Wednesdays: So Fab Abs



Happy Workout Wednesday! This is the second edition and I wanted to mention that you can use these mini workouts to create one total body workout. So keep following along to add variety to your routine.


I also wanted to mention that in the “Lateral Hops” segment of the video, I’m not jumping very far. That’s because I was trying to stay in the frame :) When you do the workout, jump at least 3 to 4 feet apart. Place masking tape on the floor to be your guides.

Reps

Lateral Hops — 12 (Beginners, when you land, balance on one foot for 2-3 seconds.  Intermediate/advanced — make the jumps fast and explosive.)

London Bridge — 12 (This one will give you a sexy “v” on your torso like the boys have.)

Charlie’s Angel — 12 (Hits your obliques. Use a 5 lb. dumbbell or medicine ball. Be sure to bend you knee on your pivoting foot.)

Sets

Three of each

If you want a flat, shapely stomach, don’t forget to add cardio several times a week to your routine.





Bye Bye Belly



Find out one of the main reasons you are gaining weight. There is a super simple fix for this!



Bloated Belly: Nine Tips for a Flat Tummy



Feeling bloated and moody? (Photo by Pathlost @ Flickr.)


Having a bloated belly is a frustrating problem for us gals. There are few things more disheartening than putting in tough workouts day after day in an effort to be slim only to be too puffy to wear your cute clothes. I know some of us experience bloating more often and/or more severely than others. I’m one of those who can go from having a flat belly in the morning to marshmallow girl by noon. It’s terrible, but over the years I’ve read a lot and through trial and error learned how to keep it under control.

So here are a few ways you can beat a bloated belly:

  1. Don’t chew gum or drink sodas. They actually trap air in the stomach and creates gas. Not cute in social situations.

  2. Chew food slowly for the same reason as above.

  3. Drink 8-12 cups of water a day. Lack of adequate hydration leads to water retention. Hello bloated belly.

  4. Severely limit salt intake. To accomplish this, don’t eat out, and forgo eating processed foods. Fresh gnosh is where it’s at for a flat belly, babe. Parenting.com says to try to get less than 2,300 milligrams of salt a day. You have no idea how much salt is in restaurant and boxed and canned foods. It’s shocking. Really, just say no.

  5. Also say no to the dough – processed bread and grain foods. Not only do they contain lots of carbohydrates (ie: sugars) that lead to weight gain, but they also puff you up, adding water to the midsection. Refined sugars, whichcan be found in processed bread (even “healthy” whole wheat), cause rapid insulin release, which has pro-inflammatory effects.

  6. Eat foods w/ potassium after a salty snack binge. This is a new one on me that I’m absolutely going to try. Potassium-rich suggestions are bananas (these are high in sugar, so do your cardio!), avacados (a small wedge), spinach and orange juice (again, very high in sugar).

  7. Ween off the teat – milk – that is. You’re not a friggin’ cow, OK? Many people are lactose intolerant, and lactose intolerance causes bloating. We were never meant to drink another mammal’s milk. That’s what our moms were for when we were babies. Cows don’t need human milk to make them grow big and strong. So we don’t need cows. Get it? Plus, the sole purpose of milk is to bring babies to a healthy, heavy weight. Do you want to hold on to your baby fat? No? Then stop drinking milk. (I’m off my soap box now. Ahem. Adjusts collar and loosens tie.)

  8. Exercise. Ever since I began working out regularly (about six times a week) I’ve noticed that I’m bloated less. I found an explanation from this source. Dr. Michael D. Levitt, a gastroenterologist and associate chief of staff at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said exercising helps the body absorb gases in the colon. Plus, aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes moves the bowels, keeping constipation – another bloat factor – from becoming an issue.

  9. Stress less. Give me an ohm, breathe deep, now do downward facing dog. Practically any time I find myself under stress for several hours at a time (used to happen every day at work) I’d become very bloated. Again, I did some digging and found an answer for this from the same source as above. Patricia Raymond, M.D., a GI doctor at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va., said stress hormones cause the stomach and colon to spasm rather than contract normally, causing bloating. Plus, she said, when we’re stressed we tend to reach for junk food (processed and salt laden).

So those are my suggestions to avoid a bloated belly. I’ve used them all (save for No. 6.), and they’ve worked for me. What do you do to avoid bloating?



Why can’t I see my abs?


Side plank — feel the burn.


Most of us would like to have flat, shapely, sexy abs, but, unless you have awesome genetics and metabolism, getting and keeping them takes sweat and dedication.

Most people I know, and myself included (in the past), have missed the primary key to getting sexy abs. Diet. Obviously you have to workout, but you also have to lose the fat around your midsection. There is no such thing as spot reduction, which means you’ll have to lose fat from your entire body through hard work and eating the right foods.

And don’t even think that buying an ab roller or whatever infomercials sell these days will be your magic ticket to sexy abs.

Body Fat


In order for ab muscles to show, you’ll need to get your weight down to at least 14 % body fat or less, depending on your goals. Of course, you can have a mostly flat tummy at 20 % body fat, but definition won’t show.

To easily measure your body fat percentage at home, find a tape measure and visit this site. It won’t be completely accurate, but you’ll have a close estimate as to where you stand. Then, check back here to see how your body fat percentage stacks up health wise.


What to eat


Lean meats (chicken, fish, turkey, wild game) and copious servings of veggies should be the staples of your diet. That’s because the body uses carbohydrates as its primary source of fuel, followed by fats and then muscle. So if you cut refined and natural-high starch carbs from your diet, the body will immediately begin to burn through fat, which is just what we’re after. Once you reach your goal weight, enjoy those foods sparingly (100-150 grams per day) while also maintaining a fitness plan.

What not to eat: Bread, pasta, rice, corn, white potatoes, cereals, and obviously don’t eat desserts or foods with added sugar.

Eat sparingly: Beans, sweet potatoes, corn and citrus fruits

Drinks: Only drink water, coffee and tea without added sugar (including honey and agave, etc.) Fruit juices are totally off the menu due to their extremely high sugar content.

When doing the plank, face forward (unlike me cheesing it for the camera). You should be in alignment from head to toe. Don’t let your back dip. Keep the abs in tight, and … smile through the pain!


Exercises (Not suitable for everyone. Check w/ yer doc.)
Side plank (pictured)
Plank (pictured)
Lunge with trunk rotation — Typical lunge w/ weights in ea. hand & at shoulders. Once in lunge form, slowly twist at waist both sides. Switch legs. Repeat
Reverse crunch — Lie on back, arms out to sides, palms down. Legs straight in the air. Slowly lift hips and tush off the ground.
Cardio — To lose weight, do 45 min. to an hour of moderate intensity work like walking or cycling, or do 20 min. of high-intensity work like sprinting or jumping.

Reps: 8-12 (Beginners start w/ lower reps)

Sets: 1-3 (Absolute beginners start w/ one)

Cardio frequency: 3-6 days a week

Beginners can start with two to three of these exercises and work their way up. If you only do two, do plank and side plank.

To learn more about how to lose weight and get those sexy abs, see Ways to Lose Weight.


Kisses! XOXO