The core is everything

Being strong is one of the most wonderful feeling that I know and even if the journey can be painful there is few things that beats the feeling when you realize you can push your body to new limits. And as a house needs a strong foundation so does your body and therefore is he core one of the most important areas to strengthen (not only because you will look good in a bikini).

This is a few moves I did yesterday to strengthen my abs so I can do even more fun things at my yoga practice 😉

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I started out doing a slow pull in followed by as equal slow hip adductor and then finish off with a pushup. I did not have to do a crazy amount before I started feeling the nice familiar burn 😉

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I kept on working my abs but did a different variation to get deeper into my shoulders and upper back. This was a pike from a shoulder stand…

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From there I popped up to my hands and did another 10 pikes from the hands

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To finish the series off I oblique crunches…from a push up position you swing your knees to the outside of your triceps alternating the sides.

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I can be your fairy godmother!

The person who knows your body the best will always be yourself and therefore I think it is important to communicate with my clients to meet their requests. So this sunny Wednesday morning with me as their fairy godmother their wish was about to come true…

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…but not until I had tried the intensity of the workout myself 😉

The first circuit was just for warming up and making the heart pound a few extra beats before getting into the fun part. We did it twice through with 30 sec plank to push up and 30 sec plank followed by 10 push ups.

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With that done we did a variation between a wood chop and russian twist apparently called “crazy Ivan”. Sitting down with the feet either on the floor or off the floor depending on the desired intensity lifting a medicine ball from one hip up through to the opposite side. This should be a challenging move and it may not be the core that gives in first as the shoulder has to do a fair bit of work as well.

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To finish this series off we did another variation of burpees but instead of a push up we twisted both knee to the opposite elbow before we jumped back up into a squat jump. And I can promise after two sets the warm up was completed.

icon Giving the abs a small rest we got into the lats. I have a few goals of my own in mind this spring and being able to do pull ups is one of them. For some reason I am really weak or my body is to heavy for my arms, you choose which one you think it is…haha

So first out was cable pulldown, this is not a favorite move of mind but like I always say you will seldom like anything you’re not good at so you just hang in there and keep pushing.

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Next up was TRX “lateral trunk twist”, this move will not only work the lats but also the shoulders and biceps. Hold on to one strap, reach for the floor behind you and pull yourself up and reach along the strap.

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At this point I had a nice burn going and with one more exercise before the grand finale it had to be single arm rows.

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And here they were, the pull ups! I am not ready to do it without assistance and the first couple of reps felt so easy but coming into the last few I had the shiver!

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I did said I was the fairy godmother today and I didn’t want to disappoint nobody so we went back to the old TRX to hit the core. The first exercise was really two in one, almost like a bargain, right! Put the feet through the straps in a push up position, pull your knees in to your chest and out again. From there you will pike your hips up into the air as high as your can using your abs…that is one rep. Normally your abs should be burning by 10 but if not by all means keep on going to 15 or 20, it’s your choice and it’s your workout 😉

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With the rectus abdominis out of the way next up was to hit the obliques. This move can be done from the floor as a regular “spiderman” or with one foot through the strap and the other one reaching for the shoulder and back into a plank position without the foot touching the floor. Again it is not only the core that is working, it is a lot of tension on the shoulders as well.

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Someone recently told me the summer is around the corner although I have a hard time believing them but one thing I know is that few of us likes that “muffin top” sticking out. This is a great move to work on the love handles. Again, you can make it easier by keeping your feet on the floor but using the TRX, creating an unstable environment will make you recruit more muscles to stabilize the entire exercise. You can stay here or you can shoot the hip up in the air pretending you are rolling a ball underneath you to take it to the next level…

icon…and that is how you make dreams come true for some 😉

What are you bringing to the beach this summer?

Sometimes I ask my clients if they have any request before the workout and lately I’ve been asked to focus on the core. I am a strong believer that you can never have to much of it and I always incorporate some into every workout. So as a good listener I did what I was told and started the day with some vicious work to the abs, focusing on the strength instead of endurance.

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So the ladies started with 10×3 crunches (front and oblique both sides 10 each) followed by 15 back extensions with a 10 lb. weight. As most of us we all have our weakness and strengths so the weight added was ranging from 10-45 lb and with no rest we moved on to 15 cable crunches. Sometimes it can be tricky to engage the abs and you end up hinging from the hip instead of drawing the navel in. This was followed by the Romanian chair with 15 high knees with added weight to the wrists and by now I think most of them stated to have a nice burn going for them.

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But we didn’t stop because we all have a decision to make on what kind of six-pack you’ll bringing to the beach this summer…

is it this…

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…or this??

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So we kept going doing situps with 15 Russian twists on an incline bench and just for fun we finished it off with 30 sliding mountain climbers.

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I don’t think any of the ladies thought it was a breeze but weight training is not supposed to be comfortable because if it is, you should work harder! The girls kept on kicking ass and finished the day off with some heavy lifting to the legs.