Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Swiss Balls Make Exercise Fun

A Swiss Ball is a large ball between 45-65 cms. It’s the one you can sit on that comes in several bright colors. There are several things you can do to target every part of the body and I would like to give some basic information to help your fitness needs.

For your legs you can put the ball between your back and a wall and do squats. Start with the ball behind your lower back and walk out a step or two and go to a sitting position. Make sure your legs are at a right angle at the down position. If you can see your toes when you are sitting you know your form is right.

You can tone your stomach with crunches. Sit on the ball and lean back until you’re looking up at the ceiling. Your lower back will be right below the middle of the ball. Put your hand behind your head to support your neck and crunch up and down. You don’t need to come up very high, just about for to six inches.

Strengthen your lower back by lying on the ball. Start in the push up position with the ball under your stomach. Your hands and toes will be touching the floor. Raise your right leg and left arm and hold it for a second or two. Lower and then repeat the other side. Start with five reps per side.

A good move the for saddle bags (thighs) is side raise. The ball makes it more challenging than the mat. Lie on your side with the ball at your hip. Keep one foot on the ground and raise the upper leg. You can hold the ball with you hand to make it a bit easier. Try about ten reps each side.

You can also help your balance by sitting on the ball and then raising one leg out straight. Hold it for two 
seconds and then lower it. Try this ten times with one leg, then go to the other leg. If you want to work the 
shoulders you can raise your hands over your head while holding the leg up.

Swiss balls are not only fun but effective. To find the right size read the box. They usually tell you which one 
to buy according to your height. For more tip visit our website at

Monday, May 7, 2012

Turn That Keg Into a Six Pack

Most of my new personal training clients come to me this time of year looking for that summer beach body. The girls as well as guys always want to target their abdominal s. The good news is you CAN target the abs. The bad news is the key to showing that six pack is more about low body fat than stomach exercises.

What works best is a combination of challenging stomach exercises, a good cardio program and a smart diet. There was a recent study that evaluated the 20 most popular stomach exercises. The winner was the much hated move called the bicycle.

To perform the bicycle lie flat on your back. Put your hands behind your head. Bend the right leg towards your stomach and try to touch your left elbow. Repeat the other arm and leg. To make sure your back won’t hurt start with your legs higher so they are at about a 45 degree angle. As you get more comfortable you can begin to lower your legs closer to the floor. Keep the arms and legs moving and don’t let your heels touch the floor.

Another good core exercise is the knees to the chest. Lie flat, put your hands under your butt and bend your knees to your chest. To protect your back start with your legs at a 45 degree angle and then bend them towards your chest. Try to keep the heels off the floor. Start with five to ten repetitions.

The last move I suggest is the standard crunch. Lie flat, bend your legs and reach over the knees. The biggest mistake people make with crunches is they go too fast and don’t pause and concentrate when they come up. Lee Haney won more bodybuilding contest than Arnold. He once said if you can do 21 crunches you did the first 20 wrong. Don’t waist your time and effort. Go slow do them right and you’ll see the difference.

All this work is fine but without getting your body fat down you won’t see the hard muscles you’ve built. It all comes down to math when it comes to weight loss or low body fat. Burn more than you consume and you’ll get where you want to go. If you don’t walk, start. If you already walk, walk more (add a day) or walk faster. Sometimes by just adding one more session a week you’ll begin to see progress.

The most crucial element as you may already know is a smart diet. The best thing you can do here is to keep a food diary. Most people know what they should do and writing things down is a great way to become more accountable and proactive. Stay away from  sweets, starch based carbs. and high calorie drinks (energy drinks included ). The few seconds you take at the end of the day to start your food diary may be the one element you need to strengthen your resolve.