How to perform the non-crunch exercises

The following details how to perform the other five exercises that will be used during the six-week challenge.

Chair squat (20 reps): Whereas crunches work your abs, squats work your gluteus (also known as glutes). To perform this exercise:

    – Place a chair or some other seat behind you
    – Spread your feet 12 inches (approximately the width of your hips) apart
    – Contract your abs and bend at your knees, keeping your back straight
    – Lightly touch your backside to the chair and stand back up.

Remember to keep your knees behind your toes. This focuses the energy of the exercise on your glutes. Also, pull your knees inward during the squat for proper form.

Forward Lunge (20 reps): The forward lunge, or the drop-knee lunge as it is sometimes called, is the easiest form and most commonly known.

    – Start off with your right foot approximately 3 feet in front of your left foot
    – Tighten your abs and start to bend your knees
    – Keep your right heel flat on the floor, with your knee centered above your foot
    – Lower your left knee to the floor, while keeping your back up straight and your chin up

As with all exercises, do not rush the movements and don’t “bounce” on your recovery motions. When you lower your knee, “touch” it against the floor without resting on it. Resting on your knee will take the focus off of your glutes.

Pile squat (20 reps): A harder form of the chair squat is the pile squat and works the most muscles in your backside and thighs.

    – Position a chair behind you
    – Stand with your feet approximately 3 feet apart and your feet pointed slightly outward
    – Lower your backside till it touches the chair, keeping your feet flat on the floor
    – Maintain a straight back with your chin up, while centering your knee over your feet

This exercise can also be performed on your toes, if you choose to work on your calves as well. It is tempting to place your hands on your thighs to stable your motion. If you do this, do not push off with your hands as you recover back to an upright position.

Seated oblique twist (20 reps): Also known as the Russian Twist, the seated oblique twist works the inner and outer obliques in many ways as the bicycle crunch.

    – Sit on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet flat on the floor
    – Lean back to a 45 degree angle and contract your abs
    – Using a medicine ball or other object, rotate from side to side while touching the object to the floor

The twisting motion can be performed quickly, but make sure you are not bouncing and using the momentum from the bounce to perform the twist. The twisting action should come from the contracting of your oblique muscles.

Standing side bends (10 reps): This exercise is more for warming up and cooling off than for fat burning. It will be interjected periodically during the exercise rotation before moving on to different exercises.

    – Stand upright with your feet placed at shoulder width apart
    – With your arms down along your side, bend to your right-hand side until you cannot bend any more
    – At your furthest deflection, inhale and then rise back to an upright position, then exhale
    – Repeat reps to one side before switching to the other

Do not force your body too far over to the point where you hurt your back. As with the other nine exercises already listed, jarring motions do not add anything to the workout.

Other than the seated oblique twist, perform all motions in a slow, controlled manner while tightening the muscle groups that you are working on at the time. As you build muscle, your body will burn the fat in the focused area. This muscle growth comes from repetition and not forceful actions.

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