Wednesday, October 10, 2012

weightloss wednesday: crutches, crunches & crunch bars

so last night before mutual i went for a run by myself while justin pushed landon around in his wagon. this marks the first time i've run solo...for a while. i got maybe a quarter of a mile before i started regretting it. somehow the run seemed so. much. harder. granted, it was my 2nd mile of the day [i've started to go running in the mornings, trying to squeeze in any exercise time and i haven't been feeling up to videos] but that wasn't the reason why i was struggling. i felt like i was slower, that i needed the stroller to get to my mile. i pushed, i kept going and hit my mile mark- in my fastest time yet.

go me!

but still, physically i was lighter and could go farther since i didn't have my tubby boy and his wheels but it felt harder. how did a stroller that slows me down be a crutch in my training? it made me realize people have all sorts of different crutches that hinder their progress. for some, they can't go without a certain piece of clothing or they need to go a certain route. i've experienced that- it's easier to go one day, every time then it feels easier. the second you go a different path it feels like the definition of a mile has expanded ten-fold. i know i've got this crutch going. but i'm more of a take life as it gets thrown at you so i'm okay with that. for most people, a huge crutch is their ipod, which is 100% okay with me! honestly, i have got ready, travelled to the gym in snow and the second my ipod fails as i reach 1 minutes on the treadmill, i lead back home. there is no way i could run without music. no way jose. i'd rather die.

but that's because i have zero willpower. what about you guys? what's your crutch? they're not necessarily always bad. if it takes fergies mad beats and an awesome hook to get you to finish your mile, whose to say that's bad? what you want to beware of is ruts. crutches could lead to ruts, like when i always take the same route. if that route only has one slight hill then when i go to another location, i won't be able to handle it physically.

which leads me to crunches, which has no relation to crutches other the fact they start with a 'cr'. now, you think i hate static stretching, i hate me some crunches. not that i don't do, but i shouldn't. 1) they do almost no good- there are way more effective abdominal exercises and 2) they are soo terrible for your back and neck. if you want a nice stomach, you want to do movements that work all the muscle and don't isolate any like crunches do. this being said, a rock hard floor doesn't count for much if layers of bubble wrap are on top of it. hence the reason why cardio is so important to get rid of that blubber. that doesn't mean you ignore your stomach- not only will it lead you to have a nice 6 pack when the blubber sheds but improving your core strength allows you to preform better everywhere else plus having more muscle mass will allow you to burn more calories while doing everyday activities.

here are some of my favorite core/abdominal exercises

- the plank: sure it's easy but try holding it longer. go for a minute at a time. then another minutes. then try it on your elbows. then try it on one foot or one hand. then try it on your side. variations are endless. the important thing about these is make sure your back is straight and you're not straining your neck. too often i see butts in the air- that is not right. if it's easy after 30 seconds you're not doing it right.

- the bicycle: lying on your back, raise your head up with hands behind your head and kick your legs out like you're riding a bicycle [one leg in, one out]. the. worst. again, don't strain your neck. if you need to take a neck break, do it.

-vertical leg crunch: while lying down, raise your legs straight up in the air and cross them. put your hands behind your head and raise up. killer. you can also do this with your head on the floor, legs uncrossed and then lift up from your butt while bringing your legs up in the air higher.

- sit ups: with your legs bent [or straight for more of a workout], go from lying down to all the way up with your arms outstretched. again, don't do this one too much because it's an isolation exercise but it's more effective then a crunch.

- push ups: there's a reason why the military has their folks do these. they are super effective for your whole body and the variations are endless [just make sure your back in straight, whether you do girl or regular ones]: wide arms, diamond fingers, holding for a few seconds, clapping, etc. just watch your tushy!

- superman/bananas: one of the easiest in my opinion but so great. tummy on the ground, raise your arms and legs up as high as you can without straining your neck. then move to your side without using your hands and raise your arms and legs up, then roll to your back doing the same motion then back again. a p90x favorite.

- oblique twists: using a medical ball or your child like i do, get in the sit up position, go down halfway then twist from left to right. you can also just hit the ground on each side if you don't want to use a weight.

one you do all those, enjoy yourself a crunch bar. because nothing says lose weight like rewarding yourself with food.
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1 comment:

Kari said...

I just did supermans for the first time last week. I'm glad you think they are easy because for me they SUCK. My two babies absorbed my abs, or ate them, or I don't know, just they are gone and now I have to try and grow new ones. Growing hurts :)

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