After a whirlwind month, we’re back with Trainer Jani and a whole new Weekly Workout! It’s targeting an area pretty much all of us want to work on–strengthening our cores! Check out our other Weekly Workouts here, and if you haven’t picked up a copy of our new book that will help with a healthier lifestyle, you can snag one here!
One of the more common questions I have been asked over my years in the fitness industry is, “What exercise can I do to get rid of this?” as they are pinching a particular area of their body, i.e. back of arms, belly, or upper thighs. Spot reducing, a long-viewed myth, is the belief that training a specific muscle will result in fat loss in that area of the body. For instance, doing 100’s of crunches in hopes of losing fat around the belly. For years the word has been out that spot reduction doesn’t work, yet we constantly hear “Tone up those abs! Melt that fat! Feel the burn!” Or we see advertised in magazines on how to get rid of the “muffin top, granny arms, saddle bags,” or how to get those abs from “flab to fab!” Simply put, it is not possible to reduce fat in one area by exercising that body part alone. You can’t “tone” fat. Despite what many advertisers want you to believe, there are no pills, creams, or special equipment (remember the thigh master? Ha!) that will get rid of unwanted fat in specific areas. So what is the answer? Same thing it’s always been. Fat is lost from the entire body as a result of a clean diet and regular exercise. I know…nothing new or exciting right? But before you toss out all those ab blast videos, or decide those butt and gut workouts are a waste of time, consider this: you can and should strengthen specific muscle groups. As you clean up your diet, keep your portions in control, and include regular physical exercise and strength training, you will gradually lose inches from all over, revealing those nicely toned muscles in your arms, abs, glutes, and thighs.
Today I want to focus on the importance of strengthening the core. Your core muscles include all of the muscles of your mid-section including your abdominal muscles (front, side, and deep) low-mid back muscles and all of the hip muscles (glutes, hip flexors, pelvic floor muscles). Having good core strength is vital in all physical daily activities. It will improve your posture and balance, can eliminate lower back pain, prevent injuries, and is crucial for advancing your athletic performance. Your core is your body’s center and a strong center will make all other areas of your body stronger and more efficient as all multi-joint movements are initiated from your core. So whether you are hitting a golf ball, kicking a soccer ball, running hills, swinging a tennis racket, carrying kids or groceries, doing housework, yardwork, etc., a strong core means a stronger body.
So the workout this week is focused on strengthening your core. All you will need is an interval timer and a mat. You will set your timer for 24 rounds of 45 seconds work, and 15 seconds rest. If you don’t have an interval timer, you can download one on your smart phone (such as Seconds) or just use a regular timer and set it for 24 minutes and at every 45 seconds, take a 15 second break, and start again at the next minute. There are 6 different exercises. You will repeat each exercise 4 times before moving on to the next exercise, for a total of 24 rounds. Try doing this workout 3 to 4 times this week. You can do it alone, or in addition to your other scheduled workouts.
We have Jani demonstrating all of these moves, so if you’re wondering what to do, just check out the video at the end!
Core Challenge Workout
Set timer for 24 rounds of 45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest. Do each exercise 4 times before moving to the next exercise.
1. Hi/lo plank walk with 2 knees (right lead for 45 seconds, then left lead for 45 seconds, repeat)
2. Roll-up to opposite toe touch (alternate right and left.)
3. Plank pike/jack then rotate to side knee crunch. Alternate sides
4. Side to side knee crunches.
5. Low plank tap outs
6. Alternate 1 reverse curl, 1 roll-up. Note: Make sure to wait until the heels are on the ground before starting the roll-up.