Friday, March 11, 2011

Fitness Friday #2- The Elusive Abs

Good morning, my gorgeous readers! I think one thing every girl wants is a flat stomach. When setting realistic goals, we may not even try to attain a 6-pack that is perfectly chiseled in every way, but I think it is one area that gets a lot of attention in the fitness world. There are so many gadgets, videos, and diets floating around out there, all claiming to trim your middle. I know it can get a little overwhelming if you're simply looking for a no-hassle way to target this area.

I've got quite a few tricks up my sleeve for this notorious section of a woman's body, and all of them are tried and true. Today I've got a Fitness Friday post that your abs will love. It's a set of two pilates moves that are simple to understand but will seriously work your stomach. And in case you're a visual learner like I am, I made videos! The reason I'm showing these to you today is that they don't require any equipment whatsoever, so if the whole fitness thing is new to you and you have yet to acquire any supplies, you won't be left out. You can do these moves on your living room floor! I would recommend using a yoga mat if you have one, or choosing a carpeted area of your home to cushion your back.

The first move is what I'll refer to as "The Scissors".



Start by laying flat on your back with your arms alongside you, palms down. Lift both your legs straight into the air so that your body makes an "L" shape. Move your feet so that one crosses over the other, then alternate. As you are taking these little scissor steps, you will lower your legs toward the ground. Count each time you move one foot in front of the other- it should take you about 8 steps to get to the bottom. At that time, you will take 8 more steps to get back to your starting position. Each time you scissor your way toward the ground and then back up again, that counts as 1 full move.

Dr. Holly* recommends: If you are new to working your abs, you should probably start with a set of 4. If your abs are accustomed to occasional exercise, do a set of 8. And if you are a seasoned pro whose abs are so trained that you find it difficult to make them sore anymore, do 2-3 sets of 8.



I call this next move "The Figure 8".



You will be starting in the same position as the last move. Keeping your feet together the whole time, trace a large figure 8 with your toes in a very controlled motion. Your feet should be close to the floor as you complete the lower part of the shape. Once you reach the top, back to your starting position, do another figure 8 in the opposite direction. Each time you complete a figure 8 in both directions, that counts as one full move.

Dr. Holly* recommends: The same as the last move- a set of 4 for beginners, 8 if you consider yourself intermediate, and 2-3 sets of 8 if your abs can handle advanced training. I would like to add that while you are doing either of these moves, DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH! They require a lot of concentration and control, but make an effort to take regular breaths. You will get fatigued much more quickly if you're depriving your body of oxygen. So breathe deeply and often if you want the stamina to really work those abs!

*Disclaimer- I am not a real doctor, just a know-it-all fitness enthusiast who wants to help others find the fun in living a healthy lifestyle. Please do not attempt any exercise moves unless you can do so without injuring yourself.

I'm hoping you will find these to be a worthy addition to your fitness routine. Don't overdo it, just give them a try and see how they work out. If your abs aren't even the slightest bit sore the next day, take it up a notch the next time. The important thing is to find a good balance for your body and go from there. Stay tuned for more Fitness Friday posts!

15 comments:

Renee said...

YES! I love this! You are going to have so many exercise tapes and videos and DVD sets! This is just the beginning of the sexy Holly workout collection! You did a great job! :-D

Wasted Wishes said...

How great that you have videos for these! I'll do these tonight, after my tae-bo. Thanks. :)

Heather said...

Girl, I am a Pilates lover too! Get that core in bikini shape :)

DancingMooney ♥ said...

Holly, somehow I missed the first fitness post, but you just are so amazing girl! I can't wait to see what else you do here, thank you so much for keeping us all motivated! ♥

Pili said...

Ooooh, I really NEED to start using this, my tummy will be happy! And I already have a yoga mat ready to start using it!

Raven said...

How did you know I just started working out?! Hee Hee. I've started going to the gym and taking some exercise classes. I've been surprised with how much more energy I've had! I must be like most women out there, 'cause I want a flatter tummy. :P Thanks for posting this workout!

a new mind said...

Miss you.

Ink Obsession Designs said...

This is awesome! Thank you! :)

Rose said...

Your too cute!
Have you heard of Pilates TV? I have a heap of their DVDs that I use to use.
I will have to try the first one, the second video didnt come up- dont know if its just my computer.

Rose

Cabootique said...

Love this! Definitely going to add these to my workout.

OliveStreetStudio said...

This is great!! I bet the scissors will also help my butt / thighs? My age and metabolism seem to have caught me this year. :-0

JUST ME said...

You should teach an abs class. You would be the most adorable teacher ever.

(I think I have to call you adorable in every comment. It's just how it is)

But seriously, thanks for those moves. My abs are the last part of the bod that needs a'tonin'

alexkeller said...

Yay for pilates! I'm taking a class every Friday - wish they offered it more often. So I'll be practicing some on my own - thx for your videos :)

ich liebe berlin said...

i would have to try doing some exercise.. hehe.

Kristin said...

Whew! That second move looks tough...which means it must be good!