Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Core Focus

The first stage to a strong "core (central section of the body; abs and lower back)" is a new mental focus on this area, all day long. Once the muscle memory is learned, it will be a subconscious focus, but at first, the mind must interract with the abdominals with everything that the body does.
Start with a focus on breathing. A good, strong breath is deep into the lower abdominals, and then is pushed out by engaging the abdominals. Pilates and yoga are based on this philosophy, though they perform deep breathing in slightly different ways. In order to learn the basics of yoga or Pilates, the breathing comes first.
Then, any time you have a moment and can focus on the abdominal section, focus on pulling it in. Think of it like zipping up a tight pair of high waisted jeans, but make sure the lower back does not collapse and fall backward. In order to make the waist smaller, it must pull in from all angles.
Finally, in every motion, breathe out and pull the abdominals in. This is especially true in exercise and in lifting anything. The rectus abdominus is an unusual body part that can push out or pull in, depending on how the person allows this body part to be used. If the person pushes the abdominal wall out while lifting, then the muscles will grow outward and create bulk in the middle of the body. If the person pulls in on every movement, the muscles will grow inward and create the sleek and toned midsection that looks great and works well with the rest of the body.
Even with pretty, strong abs, they can hide under a layer of fat. Burn visceral fat with cardio exercise. Fight bloat with a low sodium diet and LOTS of water.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Work. Hard. Rest.

So there is a lot of information coming down the pike that has to do with Rest Based Exercise. It makes sense. See, we were designed to work for our livelihood. We were building houses, hunting food, and using elbow grease to clean up only a hundred years ago. Our bodies are still created this way and are designed to work hard and then rest up. It would make sense in the day to hammer until your arm gets tired, take a breather, and then start up again.
In rest based exercise, you perform hard, real-body exercises. Tough intervals of jumping, lifting, sprinting, etc. Things that would push you over the anaerobic (breathless state). You work until you can't, and then take a break until you can again. Think of how kids play. They run fast and then stop when they are tired. Your body was designed this way, and was designed to do amazing things this way.
Here is how it works in the exercise world. Use 20-40 minutes ONLY with a set of very difficult exercises. Perform each one to the best of your ability, going hard. Take a break when you need to for as long as you need to, and jump in there again. At the end of the allotted time, cool down and stretch. The time limit is because of the body's response to an overload of stress over a long period of time. If you try to do this kind of workout for longer than 40 minutes, the body will not respond as well and will begin release cortisol unopposed, which causes stress and inflammation.
Would you like to try this kind of workout? Curious if it will work for you? Want to be part of a loose study? Contact me if you are interested.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring Time is NEAR!

Spring time is calling! If you live in the southern states today, the breeze is blowing and the sun is out. It is calling you to get out there and appreciate Mother Nature. Is your body ready? Tank tops? Shorts? Swimsuits? Get active and get in there to make a big change for your body TODAY. Want killer arms? Time to take up boxing. Nothing will tone your arms faster and make them prettier. No bag? That's ok; just jab the air with a quick retreat and you'll be burning soon! Want killer legs? Time to start running! And what perfect timing it is to run the neighborhood! Check out some apps that make learning to run easier, and get that playlist ready. Now, RUN! What about a flat middle? Well, besides the cardio, it's time to take up Pilates! For best results, see a professional in this matter. If you already know about your Pilates form and you have been trained in feeling the posture and position that make Pilates what it is, then go ahead and explore all the DVD and Netflix options for Pilates. Are you going to do it? OK! TODAY!
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