Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Crunches and Planks

I stumbled across the link below last night and I was intrigued enough to try it out.  With the title proclaiming "Fast Track to a Flat Belly!" and going on to claim that you can lose 4 lbs and 3 inches in 7 days, I thought, why not?  I don't have anything to lose at this point.

The first thing that I noticed was that the 4 moves were similar, or the same, to moves I've done in Pilates.  This is one of the main reasons I tried it.  I am a huge fan of pilates, but because of my schedule I can't make it to any of the classes that my gym offers, so I'm constantly looking for exercises that are similar.  All of my best work outs have been pilates work outs.

The intro to this is great because, despite the title, it goes on to say that to be successful, you also have to do cardio and eat proper portions.  It also guides you on how many days a week to do what, how to do reps, and what to do to make the exercise harder or easier.

Now, you can go to the website (prevention.com) and read for yourself:
http://www.prevention.com/health/fitness/belly-abs/10-minute-ab-workout/article/84fb43baf79a9210VgnVCM10000030281eac____/3

But I'll also give you a couple of my impressions right here...
1. Hipless Crunch I definitely could feel my abs working throughout this one.  It's pretty straight forward, just remember not to let your legs sink.
I do happen to prefer sit ups to crunches however, because I feel like I'm working out more of my ab muscles, but I like this crunch variation, as well as the next one.
2. No-hands Reverse Crunch - The name is a mouthful, but it's effective.  Be careful to inhale and exhale while you do it, otherwise you're going to feel a bit of chest pain.  I could feel the pull right under my breastbone.  It might also be easier to do these exercises without sneakers on...I like point my toes for that extra bit of stretch and I find it's easier to do without my shoes.
3. V Crunch - LOVE this one.  Like I mentioned above, this is a pilates move that I've done before.  I feel that it's one of the most ab-engaging exercises that I've ever done.  Just remember, don't sink down all the way onto your back, even if you're tired, push through those reps!  It's worth it.
4. Side Plank - To be honest, I had a bit trouble with this one.  My balance is not the greatest, so I had to go with the 'make it easier' option (which is totally ok!!! You're still working out the muscles).  In general, I am very bad at planks, regular planks, side planks, ugh.  But they're a challenge that I'm facing head on and I plan to be able to do planks in my sleep one day lol.


Now for my photo inspiration:



Go try those crunches and planks!!

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