Why You Need to Train Your Core & 5 of My Favorite Ab Exercises for a Flat, Toned Tummy

Hello long lost followers! Another week has gone by and I have yet to post! I’ve enjoyed good hair days (bad hair days) hikes, healthy meals (and a decadent dinner), friends, and family times! Here’s a couple of pics to make a long story much shorter 🙂 Enjoy my picture book recap!

Don’t forget – You can check out all of my daily photo posts on Instagram!

Green Smoothie Recipes

Green smoothies all day every day thanks to my new BlendTec! This one had 1/2 cup kale, 1/2 cup spinach, 1 1/2 cups unsweetend almond milk, 1 scoopcinnamon roll protein powder, 3 ice cubes, and 1/2 frozen banana. Topped with some homemade granola!

Ready for a Hike!

Ready for a lovely hike!

 

 

 

Gluten Free, Low Carb Lunch Ideas

My weekday lunches tend to look like this! Lots of veggies, some chicken breasts, and hummus as dressing! Yum!

Good Hair Day, Brunette, Waves

Can’t help taking a selfie on a good hair day! haha :p Don’t worry, I was stopped!

Gluten Free, Low Carb Dinner Ideas

Loved this dinner! I got a Cuisinart Griller for Christmas and I’m #obsessed ! Grilled chicken marinated with Dijon mustard, garlic, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, grilled zucchini with pepper (topped later with Nutritional Yeast), and quinoa with kale and sweet potatoes a la Trader Joe’s 🙂 (shhh)

I wanted to talk about a major topic I’ve been covering with my client’s this week – core work! You either love them or hate them – ab exercises that is! When it comes to strengthening your core, a happy medium tends to lack. Either you’re the type of person who dedicates over half their workout to ab exercises, crunching for hours on end, or you’re the type of person who says you’ll do abs for the last 10 minutes of your workout but always find yourself saying, “tomorrow.” If you’re the one of the latter, today’s the day! Core work not only defines and sculpts your mid-section, it is vital for stability, mobility, and lower back health. If you lack any of these, you could be putting yourself at risk for poor exercise form, back posture, and ultimately low back pain. Talk about major road bumps hindering your fitness progress!

With that being said, I am sharing my top 5 core exercises that can make anyone become a core junkie! And guess what, there will be no crunches in sight!

1. Mountain Climbers 

This total body workout not only targets your major muscles including your core, glutes, arms, shoulders, and back, it also increases your heart rate and burns major calories! Keep your abs engaged by pulling your belly button into your spin and keep your back flat (not arched or swayed) but squeezing your seat and pushing up through your shoulder blades. Keep your hips and back in line so you are in one, straight line (like a plank).

Mountain Climbers video tutorial

2. Leg Lifts on Bench

This ab killer targets your lower abs. Make sure to only lower your legs as far as you can WITHOUT letting your back arch! Beginners Modification: bend your knees.

Leg Lifts video tutorial

3. Pilates’ One-Hundred’s

This traditional favorite will sculpt flat abs. Make sure you keep your belly pulled in towards your spine. Do not let your back arch off the mat! Beginners Modification: hold your legs up straight to the ceiling or in a table top (instead of holding them straight at a diagonal). You can also start by keeping your head, neck, and shoulders on the mat.

Pilates’ One-Hundred’s video tutorial

4. V-Ups

Beginners Modification: Keep your hands on the mat behind your back. Taking your hands off the mat and holding them out on either side of your legs will make this core sizzler more challenging.

V-Ups video tutorial

5. Pikes on the Swiss Ball

Pull your abs in to protect your spine. This is a very advanced move! Beginners Modification: Practice holding a plank on the Swiss Ball until you can start moving into the exercise. You can also bend your knees in towards your core rather than straightening your legs up into a pike. Just keep pushing!

Pikes on the Swiss Ball video tutorial

 

Health and happiness,

Emily

 

 

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