Thursday, February 16, 2017

Everyone Wants Abs

Written by  Joshua H. Buchbinder

Every weight-loss client I meet will almost inevitably grab the excess skin around their midsection and say, “I want to get rid of this and have abs.” Even men and women who are already in relatively good shape will bemoan the appearance of their stomach. And I’m no exception to this. We are bombarded by images of male fitness models with ripped washboard abs like stones bulging from their stomachs or by women will flat, fat-free cores or even separated abdominal muscles. All of this is well and good but it sends an unrealistic message – this is what you should look like and here’s a fast-track program to get there... Get real! Those people are fitness models and competitors – their whole life is spent around building and maintaining an appearance. It’s how they make a living.

For those of us who go to work every day, there are some easy steps and exercises we can take to get a flatter stomach and maybe even some abs, but it takes time, dedication, consistency, a quality exercise routine and (most importantly) a solid nutrition plan. The exercise part is easy, it’s all the other pieces that are tough!

Step 1 – You decided to start exercising – Go exercise! Here’s a simple beginner cardio, body weight, and core routine to get you moving. (If you have any injuries or limitations please consult a professional before engaging in this to make sure it is right for you):

1) Cardio – 15 to 20 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise three times a week. This could be walking, riding a bike, elliptical, whatever. Do something to mildly increase your heart rate. You don’t need to feel like you are dying. Fat loss occurs at lower heart rates, when you work too hard you only burn sugars!

2) Strength – Complete this strength routine two times a week. It can be on the cardio days or not, for now, it doesn’t really matter. Remember to drink water and break in between exercises for 30 to 60 seconds.

a) Single leg balance – three for 30 seconds per leg

b) Wall sits – three for 30 seconds

c) Toe touches – two for eight to 12 repetitions per leg

d) Floor bridges – two for eight to 12 repetitions

e) Incline push-ups – two for eight to 12 repetitions

f) Single side super mans – two for eight to 12 repetitions per side

g) Arch-ups – two for eight to 12 repetitions

3) Core work, which can be done in conjunction with either the strength or the cardio days. Note, any time you are moving you are engaging your core. This is supplemental work – It’s not enough on its own! However, it will ensure you get stronger and more efficient when paired with the other work and a clean diet.

a) Plank on knees – three for 30 seconds

b) Modified crunches – three for 20 repetitions

c) Bird dogs – two for 12 repetitions

d) Seated rotations – two for 20 repetitions

e) Seated knee tucks – two for 20 repetitions

As I mentioned earlier, exercise alone is not enough. Consistency is key! But I never ask my clients to bite off more than they can chew. We start with exercise – if you can get through this routine for one week, and then another and possibly through a whole month then it will be time to look at your eating habits and discover a healthier meal plan. And by then you’ll be ready to upgrade your workouts too.

For readers who are exercising regularly this program will seem pretty easy. Which is great. We’ve trained everyone from stroke survivors to weight loss to professional athletes when you’re ready give us a call and I guarantee we can put together a program to take you to the next level.

 Joshua H. Buchbinder

Joshua H. Buchbinder

Joshua Buchbinder, M.S. is co-owner of B-Strong Athletics located throughout the Baltimore, Howard County, and Northern Virginia. Their services include nutrition coaching, personal training, athletic conditioning, meal preparation, and corporate wellness. With over 30 years of combined experience BSA will help you achieve your goals.


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