Friday, 7 January 2011

New Year, New Opportunities

First of all: Happy New Year everyone! Hope u all had a good Christmas and are ready to start the New Year. I managed to get home to my parents 10 days later than expected, but at least I got to spend a week at home which was lovely as usual. Christmas in the UK was pretty good after all and the turkey was excellent!

As usual a lot of people have loads of goals and courage to lose weight and get fitter as soon as January approaches. Nothing wrong with that, but a lot of people are unable to keep the enthusiasm up for too long, cause the changes people are wanting make are too extreme. Make sure you set yourself long term and short term goals, but be realistic. If you are planning to run a marathon and have not been running before, you may want to give yourself more than a month to prepare for it.

I wanted to give you a few progressions of some simple core exercises today, but if you haven’t read the previous blog post on basic core training you may want to start with them first. If you have never done a plank before you will probably find it quite hard the first few times, but you will progress sooner than you think (I had a coaching session in the living room with mum and dad when I was home over Christmas and the plank seemed to be a success. Keep up the good work as I will be checking your progress next time I am home:)

These exercises are similar to the exercises in the previous blog post, but with some progressions.

1. Plank with side steps

Starting position
• Start with your toes, elbows and forearms on the mat

• Your toes should be placed shoulder width apart and your elbows shoulder be placed under your shoulder

• Make sure your abdominals are pulled in and that your hips are parallel to the floor throughout the exercise

• When you are ready start taking a small step with your right toes towards the right side, step back into the middle and step out to the left side with your left toes (No picture of this)

• Make sure you keep your hips stable and don’t let them rock from side to side while moving your legs

• Keep moving from 30 – 45 seconds, then rest on the floor for 60 – 90 seconds between your sets, and repeat 3 sets

2. Side plank – lift the top leg

Starting position
• Start with your left forearm flat on the mat (in line with your shoulder)

• Stack your feet on top of each other

• Lift your body onto your forearm and the side of your left foot (only the leftfoot is in contact with the mat)

• Work to have a straight line between your head and feet

• When you are ready lift the top leg (right leg) straight up into the air (No picture of this)

• Rest your left arm by the side or lift it straight up towards the sky

• Hold this position without letting your hips drop down between 30 - 45 seconds

• Turn around and repeat on the left side

• Aim to do this 2-3 times on each side, progress the time you are holding to make it harder

3. 1-2-3-4 from a press up position

Starting position
•Start on the mat in a press up position
•Make sure your abdominals are pulled in prior to starting

• For example your left hand is 1, right hand 2, left leg 3 and right leg 4

•Let a partner shout out a number from 1-4 (or just choose a number yourself). If the number is 1 lift your left hand off the floor 1-2 cm off the floor. If the number is 2 lift right hand of the floor etc

• It is really important that you don’t lift the hand or leg far off the floor at all

•The aim is to keep the rest of your body still while lifting either your hand or leg off the floor

• Aim to hold the position for 30 – 60 seconds whilst moving hand and feet continuously. Repeat 2 – 3 times 
Left hand off the floor

Left foot of the floor

Remember the main reason why I think having a strong core is injury prevention and it supports your whole body, but of course it also helps you getting a stronger and firmer abdominal area which is always a bonus. Remember if you want to get a nice looking and faboulous abdominals (that people can see), you need to burn the fat as well...

Wise words of the day: Consistency is key! Never give up, just keep working hard!

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