Move of the Week: Stability Ball Pass

Hi guys, here with only an evening post for you today.  I am confident that you will understand going out for margaritas last night was way more important than writing and scheduling my 7am blog post ahead of time.

My friend Erin and I went out for Mexican food at a new(ish) restaurant on Moody Street in Waltham, called Habaneros Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar.

It was super cute inside!

I ordered the shrimp fajitas.  And two mango margaritas.  Why two?

That’s why.

Food was great, drinks were great, and I loved the atmosphere.  Cons — it was freezing, and the service was a bit slow, although I’ll take slow any day over rude like we experienced at The Sweet Peach.  And as always, it was great to catch up with Erin.

In case you also went out for margaritas last night, here’s this week’s move of the week.

Move of the Week:  Stability Ball Pass

Step 1

Lie on your back holding an exercise ball in your hands.

Step 2

Extend your legs up straight toward the ceiling so that the ball is between your feet, with feet over hips.

Step 3

Keeping the ball between your feet, lower your legs.  You should only lower as far down as your body will allow before your back starts to arch.  It is important to keep your lower back flat on the floor to protect the spine.  The arms should also lower overhead here while you lower your feet, squeezing the ball.

Note:  Awk hand!

Step 4

Raise your legs back up over your hips and crunch to retrieve the ball with your hands.  Make sure you really lift that upper back off the ground here.

Step 5

Lower both arms and legs again, this time holding the ball in your hands instead of your feet.  Keep repeating as you pass the ball from hands to feet, feet to hands, etc.

Do 3248327 reps to burn off that tequila.

Just kidding.  Start with ten reps and try to work your way up!  Core burner for sure!

What’s your favorite Mexican food or drink or restaurant? 

Have a great rest of your night!  It’s almost the weekend, which should automatically make it great.  🙂

Move of the Week: Double Crunches

I know, I know.

I’m not the biggest fan of crunches.  They aren’t the most effective form of abdominal work.  Bring on the planks, V-Ups, Russian Twists, and so on… but crunches?  Eh, I have to be in the right mood.

Phase II of Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp Program incorporated a version of the basic crunch into the Core circuit work.  I’m not going to lie, when I first saw the word “crunches” there it didn’t really get me going, but… then I did them.  And it burned.  And now I likey.

Move of the Week:  Double Crunches

Step 1

Lay on your back with your knees bent as if doing the classic crunch.  Cross your feet at the ankles or keep them shoulder width apart, whichever way is more comfortable for you.  Also make sure to support your neck by placing your fingers behind your head with your elbows open to the sides.

Doesn’t it look like I’m more ready for sleep here than a core workout?  Eyes closed after teaching Spin class!

Step 2

Exhale as you simultaneously curl your legs toward your chest and lift your shoulders slightly off the floor.  Again, just like a regular crunch but you are bringing your knees in at the same time.  Keep your abdominal muscles engaged, and make sure you don’t hold your breath here!  Keep the crunch movement slow and controlled.

Step 3
 Bring your legs and shoulders back down.  Do at least 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps, and try to incorporate among other challenging ab exercises.
To make these harder, incorporate among other challenging ab exercises and try to complete a little circuit of 2-3 straight sets of 15-25 reps each.  You’ll feel it, I promise!
Crunches — love em or hate em?  What’s your favorite twist on the classic crunch?

Move of the Week: Reverse Plank with Leg Lifts

New exercise time!

This is one of my favorites I’ve picked up from Best Body Bootcamp so far.

Move of the Week:  Reverse Plank

Step 1
Sit with legs positioned so that they are directly out in front of you.  Place your arms behind you, with hands palm down on the floor.  Straighten your arms and turn your hands in so that your fingertips point towards your back.

Step 2
Inhale and press up using your arms.  Lift your hips up towards the ceiling but do not allow your body to sag down.  You should try to maintain a straight line with your body from your shoulders to the heels of your feet.  Once you have hit this position, exhale and hold for the prescribed amount of time.  Start out by trying to hold for 30 seconds.

Step 3
If you are looking for a way to add an increased challenge for this move, add leg lifts while you are holding the reverse plank.  You should again start by sitting with legs outstretched, hands behind your butt, fingers forward.  This time as you press onto your hands, left your right leg and keep your hips raised.  That’s the tough part!  Hold for 3 seconds, then switch legs, alternating for a prescribed amount of reps.  Try 10 on each side, and don’t forget to breathe!

This move burns for sure!  But is a great way to change things up from my regular planks.  The reverse planks still work your core but also target your hamstrings, glutes, and triceps.  If you try this out, let me know!

You can also check out these past Move of the Week posts if you are looking for more “how to” exercise moves:

What’s your favorite way to vary an exercise you already do all the time?