Get the most out of your ab workouts

Most people I’ve met want fabulous abs.  Others are looking for ways to strengthen and support their back knowing that abs play a roll.  Whichever desire motivates us (and sometimes it’s both), we often make time for ab exercises.  That’s great, but if you’re going spend time doing ab workouts, let’s make sure you are working them the best you can without hurting other parts of your body.  Here are some ways to get the most out of your ab workouts.

 

  • Knees over Hips

It’s really easy for the knees to creep in, but keeping them over your hips will create a lot more ab work.

There are lots of exercises for the abs where the legs are in the bent in the air.  Often on these exercises the knees start to creep in over the stomach instead of staying over the hips.  If that happens because you are taking pressure off the back, that’s a form of modifying, but know that you want to build up to being able to support your legs in tabletop position (with the knees and hips at 90-degrees).  It’s not worth straining […]

Get the most out of your ab workouts 2018-02-14T16:33:04+00:00

Exercise of Life

We can exercise, which I highly recommend, but it’s hard for one hour a day of exercise to unravel eight hours in a chair.  Even if your day isn’t spent in a chair, however you spend most of your time will start to be reflected in your body.  In addition to making specific time to move every day, considering your body in space throughout the day can help you feel better in your own skin.  Check in at different moments.  If your back hurts when you are doing something is there a simple change you can make to relieve the pain?  If you neck hurts can you make a subtle adjustment?  Exercise yes.  But make movement and noticing your body during simple movement the exercise of life.

Try to notice your body in the following scenarios:

When you brush your teeth, do your shoulders crunch up to your ears?

Brush Teeth

While washing dishes does your pelvis bump up against the sink?

Pelvis Sink

When you bend over to scrunch your hair, do you tuck your tailbone?

Getting Ready Hair

When […]

Exercise of Life 2018-02-14T16:49:03+00:00

Prevent Dowager’s Hump

No one wants a dowager’s hump—that lump at the base of your neck that makes you look a little like Quasimodo.  Honestly, most people won’t notice it as much as you notice.  It isn’t always that obvious, but it is a sign of an unhealthy spine.  Joe Pilates wrote, “If your spine is inflexibly stiff and 30, you are old.  If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.”  We should all strive to prevent a dowager’s hump before we see on there.  Prevention is always easier than resolution.

A dowager’s hump is often associated with osteopenia and osteoporosis with the front of the vertebra fracturing and causing a kyphosis (rounding forward of the spine).  While osteopenia and osteoporosis are likely culprits, our general posture tends to weaken and over time exacerbate the degeneration in the area.  Having slightly kyphotic spine for most of our lives probably increases the problem.

We are a society of slouchers.  Our upper backs are rounded and our heads jut forward.  Be mindful and try to be taller.

Here are some tips to ward off a dowager’s hump:

Throughout the day, but especially when sitting, think long and tall out the crown of your head.  Try to create […]

Prevent Dowager’s Hump 2018-01-13T16:15:30+00:00

Neck Hurts When I Do Ab Exercises

Where does the neck look the happiest to you? Where does the neck look the happiest to you?

Have you ever felt neck pain when you lift your head off the ground to do an abdominal exercise?

If yes, you’ve come to the right place.

If no, you may be the luckiest person on the planet.

If you have a neck injury (have had whip lash, have a disc-related issue, or slept on it funny, etc.) than you need to relax.  That is not pain you want to work through.  You may need to reign in the exercises you are doing and only do ab-work with the head down for the time being.  You can get a really good abdominal challenge with your head on the floor.

If you don’t have any neck issues, but your neck often or always hurts when you do ab work, there is also no reason you should work through bad pain. But it is worth experimenting to find a place you don’t feel pain.  What I’ll call bad pain puts your neck at risk and is a sign that you’re abs aren’t really doing the work.  So, why work through […]

Neck Hurts When I Do Ab Exercises 2017-09-12T19:31:13+00:00

Turkey Trot: A Great Exercise to Reduce Neck Pain

One of my favorite exercises (because I think it feels great) is the Turkey Trot.  This is a perfect time of year to do it.  To top it off, everyone looks super cool when doing it.  Well, maybe not, but it’s good for you.

In our world of TV’s, PC’s books, and cooking at a counter where you have to look down so you don’t chop your fingers off, our heads tend to be forward and down.  This exercise is really helpful with giving the back of the neck muscles a little relief while helping to strengthen them and ultimately reduce neck pain. If you are prone to neck pain, try it.  It’s simple and it just might provide a little relief.  And, it’s one you can do anywhere (your car, the gas pump, the office, while watching TV—the possibilities are endless).

Check out this video to learn more, but here are some tips to remember:

 

  1. Try not to tuck your chin
  2. Think of moving from your ears
  3. Be gentle. You don’t have to force the motion firmly
Turkey Trot: A Great Exercise to Reduce Neck Pain 2017-09-12T19:31:14+00:00