Don't Crunch! Twist Your Abs.
Swimsuit season is here and your abs are DYING to see the sun. But are you ready to show them off? Here's a great way to do that...
TWIST AND TURN YOUR ABS INTO FITNESS MODEL SHAPE!
Yes, it's totally possible AND you don't have to do hundreds upon hundreds of reps to get the kind of abs I'm talking about. Twisting is far from a new concept but rather an alternative to the abdominal crunching you're used to. Twisting and turning is how I work out my abs and I wouldn't be blogging about it if I wasn't seeing results.
Why should you TWIST?
- Crunches aren't always good for you. The repetitive up and down crunching of the abs can actually put a strain on your back and spinal discs, creating injury down the road. Think of your body like a credit card. The more you bend it back and forth over time...SNAP! Well...not literally, but you get the point.
- You want to give your back and neck a break. A lot of people pull on their necks during crunching which can cause a lot of pain and trips to a massage therapist. You can eliminate the pain by taking a vacation from crunches for twisting.
- Twisting movement is phenomenal for your abs as it doesn't just sculpt your midsection but also internally moves things around. This means increased circulation and digestion within your organs. Yay!
- You don't have to twist as much as you've been crunching!
I'm not saying you should never crunch again. Just think of twisting as something new you can throw into your workout routine.
Here's the SECRET to the most effective twisting:
- Challenge your core muscles from every angle by rotating around your rib cage.
- Take your time, focus and exhale on the rotation. Twisting exercises don't have to be fast and furious.
- To make twisting exercises HARDER, add some weight like an 8-pound medicine ball.
I recently went on Fox45's Good Day Baltimore show to share some twisting moves. The host was a little squeamish since she was wearing a skirt, but I think you'll find the workout easy to follow.
Here's a list of the moves I showcased in more detail:
- Windmill Toe Touches - these are a good way to start your twisting routine and warm up your core. Start in a tall windmill position with your hands out. Reach one arm to the opposite toe (or past it, if you can). Come back to your windmill position and repeat the motion with the opposite arm. // Do 8 on each side.
- Wood Choppers - they're called wood choppers for a reason! But instead of an axe you're going to use a med ball or dumbbell. Plant your feet firmly on the floor slightly more than hip's distance and swing the weight high up across one shoulder and then down past the opposite hip. Bend your knees to get deep into the rotation. Use the momentum of your arms with the weighted ball/dumbbell to increase your rotation. Repeat this move on the opposite side. // Do 12 on each side.
- Seated Rotations - take your booty to the floor and get into a C-curve position at your core with bent knees to immediately activate your abs. Rest your feet on the floor or elevate them for more of a challenge. Clasp outstretched hands into an arrow shape and begin twisting slowly to one side as far as you can, and then back to the middle. Repeat on the other side. // Do 12 on each side.
- Figure 8 Russsian Twists - stay in the seated rotation position (with feet either grounded or elevated). Grab your med ball or dumbbell and use it to draw horizontal figure 8's across your body. As you draw each loop, really rotate from side to side! // Do 16 of these.
I had a blast hanging out in downtown Baltimore, Maryland last weekend and spent most of my time reaping the amazing benefits of Global Wellness Day at The Four Seasons Hotel there. Not sure how many of you know about Global Wellness Day but it's an initiative celebrated every year in June as an international day dedicated to living well.
The Four Seasons had morning runs, poolside sunrise yoga, and juice tastings available to all their guests and Baltimore locals. I'll be blogging more about that next week but just wanted to plant the seed in your head so that you can take advantage of this healthy holiday next year! Make sure to check out my Mizzfit Instagram to see how I spent Global Wellness Day at the Four Seasons Baltimore.