The Coolest Abs Exercise on the Planet

Posted by Angie Quehl on Aug 15, 2013 2:44:00 PM

Up Against the Wall!

If you're looking for ways to keep your ab workout challenging and interesting, then you must try this

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 month's essential exercise for women, the wall mountain climber. Much as the name would suggest, this move is like your traditional “mountain climber" only done  with your feet against a wall. It is without a doubt the coolest abs exercise we've seen in a while and it can be done anywhere! While it is challenging, the mountain climber on the wall will not only fry your abs and core, but it also works your shoulders and glutes. Oh and bonus...it’ll help improve your performance at all the other exercises in your workout!

 

WALL MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

  1. Assume a pushup position with feet firmly planted on a stable wall.
  2. Place hands directly under shoulders. (You may place your hands slightly in front of your forehead for maximum leverage.)
  3. Drive heels into the wall. Bring shoulders down and back, brace through the core and squeeze the glutes.
  4. In a slow and controlled movement, bring one knee forward. (Make sure to push firmly through the foot that is against the wall, to maintain proper form. Do not allow your lower back to move up or down.) 
  5. Repeat on opposite leg. 

Repeat this move for 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions

Here's How It's Done

 

**The mountain climber with feet on the wall is an advanced exercise! If you cannot do mountain climbers on the floor, you should not attempt this exercise.**

 

Wanna Try It?

If you would like to modify the wall mountain climber and work up to it, consult a personal trainer . If you are living in the Northern Virginia (Chantilly, Centreville, Fairfax, Herndon) and want to find out how one of our trainers can help you learn to do this and many more moves just like it, schedule your free consultation today!

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Topics: abs exercises, exercise programs for women, personal training for women

Who Else Wants a Flat Belly?

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jun 6, 2013 1:48:00 PM

Get More Bang for Your Buck (and a flat belly) with the Ball!

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If you are looking to maximize your time when doing your ab/core work look no further than this month's Essential Exercise for Women. With bathing suits and clingy, unforgiving summer fashions on the menu for the next few months, who doesn't want a flat belly to show off? Answer: NO ONE! So grab a ball, even a beach ball will work if you happen to be laying around poolside with a few extra minutes, and try the ball exchange core exercise. Your abs and core will thank you!

 

Ball Exchange Exercise

  1. Lying on back, place your workout ball above your head on the floor. Lay flat on the floor with your legs extended.
  2. Now, bring your arms over your head and grab the workout ball. 
  3. Contract your abdominal muscles and hip flexors and bring the ball upwards towards the middle of your body, meeting your feet at the mid-line.
  4. Transfer the ball from your hands to your feet by gripping the ball between your ankles.
  5. Keeping your arms and legs straight, return to your starting position. 
  6. With the ball between your feet, repeat the same movement, except exchange the ball to your hands from your feet at the midline. 
  7. Slowly return to the starting position.


**You can vary the size of the ball to make this ball exchange exercise more challenging!

 


Ball Exchange Exercise for Core Muscle Toning—powered by eHow.com

 

Safety Note: Leg elevation while laying on your back can put a strain on the lumbar spine. Thus, the ball exchange is not recommended for those with lower back issues.

HEY YOU GUUUUUUYS!!!!

We've have heard from a few of our loyal readers but we want to hear from even more! So you there...yeah you in front of that computer or phone screen, if you love the ball exchange exercise, why not drop us a note in the comment section below or click to button to submit other body part(s) you wanna work on. In turn, we will share our sage advice so that you can begin to tackle those trouble spots and get results! So what are ya waitin' for? Click. Type. Send!

 

Ask Fitness Questions Here
 

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Topics: exercises for women, abs exercises, exercise programs for women, exercise at home

The "Two-fer" Essential Exercise for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Mar 22, 2013 12:40:00 PM

Let's Twist Again!

In the past we have brought you several exercises incorporating rotations of the torso and upper body. There is nothing that can help you sculpt that terrific bod better than doing these "two-for-one" moves and who doesn't want to get more bang their buck when it come to working out?! We all know the leg-toning, butt-firming lunge is a lower body exercise that is hard to beat in terms of getting rid of the dreaded jiggly bits.  Add a torso twist and you have turned this classic move into a core-targeting, side-firming power couple which is why its our pick for month's edition of Essential Exercises for Women. 

Twisting Lunges

• Stand with feet about shoulder width apart.


• Hold a medicine ball (optional) in front of you with elbows bent about 90 degrees. You may want to begin this exercise with no weight and build up your strength over time.

Twisting Lunges

• Step forward with your left foot into a lunge position. 

• Be sure to keep your knee over your left foot; don't twist at the knee.


• From your torso, twist your upper body to the left. Then, reach across your left side with your arms out-stretched.Think of pointing to the left from your belly button. 


• Maintain a slow and controlled movement throughout the exercise.


• Slowly move your arms to center and step forward with the opposite foot and twist to the other side.


• Continue the movement for about ten steps.


Complete 2 sets.

 

More Twisting Two-fers

 

 

What Can We Show You?

We love, love, love showing you moves you can use each month but we want to know what you want to see! Drop us a note in the comment section below or click to button to submit the body part(s) you need the most help with and we will share with you some ways you can target those trouble spots and get results! So what are ya waitin' for? Click. Type. Send!

 

Ask Fitness Questions Here

 

 

Main article body submitted by: Pennie Waston, Director of Personal Training at The Women's Club

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Topics: exercises for women, abs exercises, butt toning, thigh toning, Strength training for women

The Ultimate Abs Exercise

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 15, 2013 10:57:00 AM

Did you know that done correctly, Pilates exercises can activate abs more than crunches do?! It's SO true according to exercise physiologist Michele Olson, Ph.D., of Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama. In fact some are "over 200 percent more effective!" A Pilates abs workout can tighten and streamline your abs quickly and effectively, because it emphasizes your breathing along with maintaining proper form and we have chosen the cadillac (no pun intended) of Pilates moves for this edition of Essential Exercises for Women. The Roll Up is a great challenge for the abdominal muscles, and a wonderful articulation for the spine. One well is equal to six regular sit ups, and is better than crunches for strengthening your abdominal muscles!

How It's Done


1. Begin by lying on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Press your upper thighs and knees together. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and let your belly drop toward the floor.


2. Reach your arms all the way overhead and rest them on the mat. Your fingertips will point toward the wall behind you and your palms will be facing up. Keep your ribs down.


3. Inhaling, press down through your shoulder blades and reach your arms up over your head. Let your biceps pass by your ears, and then drop your chin and curl your torso up.


4. Exhale as you stretch all the way forward toward your toes. Pull in your abs and curve your spine as you raise your torso. With your head tucked, reach your fingertips toward your toes.


5. Squeeze your glutes and tuck your tailbone. Pull your navel deeply in toward your spine, and then begin to unroll, one vertebra at a time. Inhale as you continue this motion halfway down.


6. About halfway down, exhale as you lower your shoulders to the mat, reaching your arms overhead again. Then lower your head and arms to the floor.


7. Repeat up to six times.


TIP: Don't try to pull yourself up by sheer force or momentum! Doing so can overwork yoexercise tipur hip flexors, neck, and back muscles. Instead, keep your spine rounded as you pull your abdominals in deeply to lift your torso up.

 

For more tips on toning that tummy, check out our article: 3 P's for a Tighter Tummy

 

 

 

 

Main article body submitted by: Pennie Waston, Director of Personal Training at The Women's Club

 

 

 

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Topics: exercises for women, abs exercises, Pilates

Sculpt Your Lower Body -- Stability Ball Wall Squat

Posted by Angie Quehl on Dec 18, 2012 4:05:00 PM

Up Against the Wall!

When you use a stability ball between you and a wall to perform squats, it is called a wall squat. The ball helps you maintain proper form and can be used to challenge more advanced users. Wall squats may be done with or without hand weights for added resistance. Choose a ball that is the proper diameter for your height.

What's it Workin'?

The quads (aka the front of your thighs) are the targeted muscles during this exercise but many other muscles get a workout also. The butt, hip, calf, back of thigh, low back, abs, and side abs are all used during this move. Done with or without dumbbells, you can  also throw in some bicep curls with light hand weights and now you have a full-body movement! 

How's it Done?

Step 1

Starting Position: Place a stability ball against a wall and gently lean against it, positioning the top of the ball into the small of your back, but making contact with your tailbone, low- and mid-back. Your feet should be positioned 6 - 12" out in front of your body, feet hip-width apart with toes facing forward or turned out slightly.

Step 2

Pull your shoulders blades down and back. Do not allow your low back to pull away from the ball. Gently lean into the ball, as you shift your weight into your heels. Place your hands on the front of your thighs.

Stability-ball-squat-300x213

 

Step 3

Downward Phase: Inhale. Keep the tailbone, low and mid-back against the ball as you bend your knees, and begin to lower the body. Push back with your hips, allowing them to drop under the ball. The ball will glide down the wall with you as you lower your body toward the floor. Do not move the feet. Keep your knees lined up with your 2nd toe. Continue to lower yourself until challenged or until your thighs align parallel to the floor. Hold this position briefly.

Step 4

Upward Phase: Exhale and slowly push your body up away from the floor. Extend your hips to bring them back underneath your body. Continue pushing upward, returning to your starting position.
To help develop the foundations of good squatting form, emphasize dropping your hips down and slightly under the ball, and avoiding driving your knees down and forward.

Here are even more Booty Blasting Exercises... 

 

 

 

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Topics: exercises for women, abs exercises, toning, butt toning, Strength training for women

The 3 P's for a Tighter Tummy

Posted by Angie Quehl on Dec 14, 2012 12:07:00 PM

Tummy Toning is as Easy as 1-2-3

 
I can't think of one person out there who doesn’t want a lean, flat midsection … can you?  You can have the flat abs you’ve always wanted if you make these exercise, nutrition and posture tips part of your daily regimen. You just might start to see that six pack you’ve always wanted!
 

Rule #1 – Proper Nutrition 

Lose the body fat.  Let’s face it, it’s great to tone your abs by doing crunches and core exercises regularly, but they’ll remain hidden until you shed the fat that covers them.  You’ll need to maintain a healthy body weight and to do so proper food choices are essential.
 
Increase the fiber:  A diet high in fiber will aid in weight loss as well as weight management. Beans, broccoli, avocado, artichoke and whole grains are just a few of the nutritious foods with a high fiber content which will help you feel fuller faster and longer.  

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Cut down on sodium. It’s very common to consume twice as much sodium as health experts recommend. Too much salt can lead to bloating as well as high blood pressure. Watch the processed foods, check labels, eat more whole foods and be sure to drink plenty of water.
 
Eat smaller meals more frequently. To avoid getting overly hungry and overindulging, it’s best to eat 4 - 5 smaller meals every 3 hours.
 

Rule # 2 –   Proper Exercise

Understand the fact that there is no such thing as spot reduction. This seems to be hard for people to grasp.  Forget about the miracle gadgets advertised on television that
promise a washboard stomach. Save your money and put your energy into more sensible
eating and regular exercise.
 
Strengthen your muscles. Several days per week you should be doing resistance exercises to build and maintain lean muscle.  This will result in speeding up your resting metabolism and burn the fat around the muscle tissue.  Hint, hint… around the abdominals!

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Do cardiovascular exercises daily. 
While it is not recommended to work your muscles every day due to the fact that they have to repair and regrow, it is recommended that you do at least 30 minutes of heart pumping activity at least 5 days per week.  Get off the couch, grab your neighbor and go for a brisk walk.
 

Rule # 3 – Proper Posture Alignment:

Believe it or not, poor posture is very common and can result in the appearance of a belly pooch.  

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When practicing proper posture techniques you can improve your energy level as well as lung capacity.  
 
Hold your abs in tight. Holding your abdominals in toward your spine as often as you can remember to do so may sound awkward and feel even more awkward but it will quickly become a habit with regular practice and the results are outstanding.  Not only will your abs look flatter, but you’ll breathe more deeply, feel more energetic and appear to be more confident.

 
Pull your shoulders back. Letting your shoulders drop back and relax helps to raise your chest up. This way, all of your core muscles support your weight instead of making just your abdomen carry the load.

Practice proper body alignment.  Whether you sit or stand be sure to hold your body in proper alignment throughout the day. Getting flat abs fast can be achievable and work wonders on your appearance and your health. Remember it takes eating right, exercising and standing up straight to gain your new look. 

 

Want even more ways you can get flat abs fast?

You can learn more in our Essential Exercises for Women Series dedicated to getting that tighter tummy we are all looking for! If you are in the local Chantilly, Herndon, Centerville Fairfax area you can schedule a free consultation to explore how we can help you reach your goal of flat abs as well as any other fitness goals you may be trying to reach.

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Topics: abs exercises, Women's Wellness, fitness tips, fitness for women

Essential Exercises for Women: Get Beach Ready Abs Fast!

Posted by Angie Quehl on May 22, 2012 11:00:00 AM

 

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As we stare down the barrel of the "unofficial start of summer" this Memorial Day weekend, we may not be exactly where we would like in terms of how we will look poolside or at the beach. Fear not...it is never too late to start working those problem areas. In this month's edition of Essential Exercises for Women, we are focusing on the dreaded mid-section. So let's all get ready to draw our belly button to our spine and get crackin'! Combine this move with regular cardio, a clean (or cleaner) diet including foods that will blast belly fat, and you could have a much flatter tum by time the "official" start to summer rolls around in June!

 

Get on the Ball!

The exercise ball is an excellent tool to strengthen the abs and is quite effective for targeting the rectus abdominsi (that is the fancy term for six pack!). What makes this move a bit more effective than crunches on the floor is that the legs are often involved in floor crunches. On the ball, the abs do more work, but you still involve the entire body to help stabilize you throughout the movement, a nice bonus that floor crunches don't always offer. There is also the ability to bring the head and shoulders further back, increasing your range of motion as well as intensity.

best abs exercises for women

Here is the "How to":

  1. Lie on the ball, positioning it under the lower back.
  2. Cross your arms over the chest or place them behind your head.
  3. Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball towards the ceiling, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward your hips.
  4. As you curl up, keep the ball stable (i.e., the ball shouldn't roll).
  5. Lower back down, getting a stretch in the abs, and repeat for 1-3 sets of 12-15 reps.

VERY IMPORTANT TIP……

SLOOOOOOOOW DOWN!
You'll get the body you want faster by doing 10 slow repetitions instead of 20 fast ones. Moving slowly--two counts up and two counts down--allows you to use more precise form, which can stimulate your muscles better and make them stronger, says Rodney Corn of the National Academy of Sports Medicine. (The faster you go, the more likely you are to use momentum instead of your abs.) Your muscles should feel tired in 15 reps.

 

Beach Body 911? We can help!

If the thought of putting on a bathing suit makes you cringe, we can help. We have a full staff of personal trainers and exercise experts who are willing to answer any question you throw at us. Remember it is never too late to get started! Drop us your question in the comments section below or if you are in the Chantilly, Centreville, Herndon, Fairfax area, schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with one of our fitness professionals who can help you map out a plan for success that extends way beyond the beach.

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Topics: exercises for women, abs exercises, fitness tips, personal training for women

Essential Exercises for Women: Abs with a 'Twist'

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 29, 2012 11:10:00 AM

 

It's on the cover of every fitness magazine these days...

Ab exercises are a dime a dozen with everyone trying to find the exact formula to trim down their mid-section and get that flat sexy stomach. Many people find that no matter how many regular crunches and sit-ups they do, they are just not seeing the results that they desire. To get the best results from you ab workout it helps to add a little "twist" to your routine! That's why we have selected Twisting Jack-Knife for our March edition of Essential Exercises for Women. This is a great multi-joint movement that is more beneficial and intense than standard single joint movements. This added intensity is due to the increased number of muscles that are engaged while performing the exercise.

So get to twisting, your upper, lower and side abdominals will thank you!


Twisting Jack Knifetwisting jackknife ab exercise for women


1. Lie on floor with your arms and a medicine ball overhead and your feet elevated off

 the floor at maybe 6 inches off the floor.


2. Crunch your abs to lift your shoulder blades off the floor while at the same time bring your knees closer towards your chest by scooping your lower back into the floor. 

 

3. At the top of the contraction, twist your torso to the right side pushing the medicine ball beyond your knees, return to start position and repeat to the left side.

 

More on the benefits of Multi-joint Exercise...

 

Need Help?

Have other body parts you would like to see us tackle? Drop us a comment or click the button below and let one our fitness pros help you address your trouble spots!

Ask Fitness Questions Here

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Topics: exercises for women, abs exercises, exercise programs for women

Essential Exercises for Women: One of the Best Ab/Core Exercises Ever

Posted by Angie Quehl on May 12, 2011 12:24:00 PM

Rock that Core!

There is no magic to exercise: You get out of it what you put in. That doesn't mean you have to work out for hours each day. It just means you need to work smart and be consistent.  Not every exercise needs fancy equipment, just the dedication of your time. The month's essential exercise requires no equipment at all but can deliver results you will love in your abs and core!

Side Plank

This exercise targets your core muscles (abs, hips and back) and can be started in a modified position and as you become stronger intensified with positioning and length of time held.

1. Begin on the floor, lying on your side, knees bent and elbow resting on the floor under your shoulder.side plank essential exercises for women chantilly

2.  Push your body weight and hips off the floor until you have created a straight line between shoulder and hip and you  only have contact with the floor on your elbow and knee. 

This is your modified position.

 

full side plank essential exercises for women chantilly3.  To intensify this position simple lift your knees off the floor, extend your legs to a straight line and let your body weight rest in the side of the foot.

 

 

The key to this exercise is creating and maintaining the straight line from shoulder – to knee- to foot.  Continue to breathe and work on holding the position for 30 seconds to begin with and increase to 60 seconds or more.  Remember to flip it over and do the other side!

Tips & Warnings:

  • Don't lean your shoulders forward or backwards, but instead let your balancing hand and forearm carry the brunt of your weight.

  • Don't allow your body to hang but instead keep it taut and straight from head to toe during the side plank.



  • Read more: How to Do Side Plank Exercises | eHow.com

    Check out some other belly blasting exercises for women!

    Article Submitted by:

    Meredith Chiapello Personal Trainers Northern Virginia resized 600Meredith Chiapello, Director of Personal Training and Group Exercise, The Women's Club 

     

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    Topics: exercises for women, abs exercises, Strength training for women, exercise at home

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