Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Our Next Big Adventure

Hi, guys! Happy Hump Day! 🙂

So, yesterday, when my alarm clock went off at 5:01 AM, I was not ready to start the day. Oh my gosh, it was the last thing I wanted to do. It was gray and rainy outside, and I was soooo comfy in my bed, but, of course, I had a full day planned. Up and at ’em!

The first stop of my day: Starbucks. I might have been their first customer of the day. Haha!

I ordered a decaf doppio over ice and added half & half to it. I also brought my breakfast from home – Seed-tastic Overnight Chia-Flax Pudding with a big ol’ scoop of peanut butter.

I checked my email while I ate my breakfast and then I ordered Qman a new Lollacup and some replacement pieces because suddenly we have, like, no sippy cups. Where do they go!?! I actually bought a couple of new ones from Target just a couple of weeks ago, but Qman is not a fan. He’s a die-hard Lollacup lover, so I figured I might as well order a new one and revive the ones with missing pieces.

After that I registered for an upcoming event with our business mentor, Dan Martell. Sales Pipeline Intensive? Oh, yes, Designed to Fit Nutrition is venturing into the world of software.

Introducing: Nutrition House Software Systems! In January 2018, we’ll offer our kick-ass, totally custom DTFN software to the masses.

If you’re currently coaching nutrition clients/making meal plans and you want to grow your business or simply save yourself some time, please drop me an email at tina@designedtofitnutrition.com. We’re looking for Early Adopters to try our software this fall before it launches in early 2018.

After spending a few hours at Starbucks work,work, working, it was time to break at sweat at CrossFit. The strength part of the workout was 1 Rep Max Cleans, and I hit my previous max (#145), no problem (I actually did it twice), but I could not get passed it. So many fails. Whomp whomp. It just wasn’t my day.

The WOD was a good one! Holy cow, I had Bambi legs by the end! (I subbed C2B Pull-Ups for the Muscle Ups.)

Back at home, I quickly showered and made a protein shake to go. In the mix: Frozen banana, strawberries, SFH vanilla protein powder, almond milk, and water.

After that, I packed up my lunch and hit the road for a dentist appointment. FYI: My sneakers are the new Revel running/lifestyle shoe from Brooks. They have a knit pattern on them (and I don’t want them to get dirty), so they’re more of a lifestyle shoe for me, but you can totally run in them. Long story short: They’re super cute and comfy!! 🙂

Post-dentist, I met Kerrie at the Captial One Cafe to do ALLTHETHINGS. While there, I broke into my lunch, which was ground chicken mixed with rice, spinach, and cowboy caviar from Trader Joe’s.

I also snacked on a mini Chocolate Cherry Health Warrior Bar and this delicious little pasty sample pictured below. Yum!

I finally packed up a little after 5:00 PM and drove home. Dinner was leftovers and meal prep randomness from the fridge. I’m glad we had food ready to go because I was hungry!

I totally flaked on taking a photo of my dinner, but I had leftover grilled chicken with sweet potato ribbons (from Trader Joe’s), feta, and broccoli. I did, however, snap this photo of Mal zapping Qman with a Proton Pack at the table. Ha!

Question of the Day

What awesome adventure have you been on this year? Or do you have a fun one planned for 2018? 

P.S. I’m competiting in Massage Envy’s  “Train Like a Pro Challenge,” so I’ll be using their all new Total Body Stretch to (hopefully) keep my muscle imbalances and related injuries in check. I want to train for a half marathon this fall, so my goal is to be able to run for 90 minutes without injury before I commit. Keep an eye out for more updates! In the meantime, please VOTE FOR ME over on the Train Like a Pro website. You can vote everyday and it only takes 2 seconds! TIA! 🙂

 

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12 Ab Exercises to Stabilize Your Core

Inline_100s-4-resize-e1501866506885Today’s awesome post is offered up by Jennifer Dene, of PaleoHacks.com. Enjoy, everyone!

The core muscles are responsible for supporting the spine, balancing the body (1), facilitating functional movement, and limiting low back pain (2). As they’re located at the center of your trunk, you can think of them as the mainframe that controls how you move. Try these 12 ab exercises to stabilize your core and turbocharge your body today.

Despite what the glossy fitness magazines are telling you, crunches are not the best way to strengthen your core. It’s important to understand that strengthening your core doesn’t mean doing isolated abdominal exercises. In fact, true core strength comes from toning all the muscles from your sternum to your pubic bone, which include those found in the stomach, back, butt, chest and upper thighs (3).

Learning to “hug” your abdominal and back muscles towards your spine, engage the pelvic floor, and using controlled breathing is the key to core stabilization. The 12 ab exercises that you’ll learn today will teach you how to do this in four key positions: lying on your back (supine), stomach (prone), side, and from all-fours. The less contact you have between your body and the ground, the more challenging it will be for your core muscles to support you—this is why a full plank is a much harder exercise than supine marching.

Once you’ve developed core strength in a relatively static position, as you’ll learn below, you can then safely increase the challenge and intensity of your movements while maintaining that stability.

But before we dive into the routine, here is a brief summary of the four primary core muscles. A healthy core relies on the ability of these muscles (transversus abdominis, multifidi, pelvic floor, and internal/external obliques) to co-ordinate and co-activate as needed.

Core Muscle #1: Transversus Abdominis (TA):

Found in your deep low belly, these muscles are the most important abdominal muscles for supporting the spine and improving posture.

Core Muscle #2: Multifidi (MF):

This is a deep muscle that runs along the back of the spine and, together with the other core muscles, acts to stabilize the low back and pelvis before performing movement of the arms or legs.

Core Muscle #3: Pelvic Floor (PF):

The pelvic floor is a hammock of muscles that support the internal organs, stabilize the pelvic girdle, and assist in strengthening the abdominals (4). (They’re also a crucial muscle to know when you need to go to the bathroom but are stuck in traffic!)

Core Muscle #4: Internal Oblique (IO):

The oblique abdominals are made up of two different muscles: the internal and external obliques. They function to support the abdominal wall, compress the abdominal cavity, rotate the trunk and flex the spine from side-to-side. The internal oblique is positioned above TA and below the external oblique.

Now that you can visualize the muscles you’ll be working, let’s move on to performing 12 of the best ab exercises for core stabilization (5). This routine progresses from beginner to advanced; start at the beginning and move on as you feel ready.

12 Ab Exercises to Stabilize Your Core

The letters below represent which of the four core muscles previously discussed will primarily activate during each exercise.

Marching (TA, PF)

Lie on your back, spine in neutral (a gentle curve in the low back and a flat pelvis), and feet flat on the floor. Inhale to prepare the body. Exhale, engage TA by gently drawing the belly button towards your low back, and then lift the right knee to 90º above the hip bone. Inhale, gently place the foot back down. Exhale, lift the left knee up. Inhale, place it back down. Continue to alternate for 10 repetitions on each leg. DO NOT MOVE your spine or pelvis throughout this exercise, and keep your abdominal wall flat.

Bridge Marching 1 (resize)

Bridge Marching 2 (resize)

Bridge Marching 3 (resize)

Dead Bug (TA, IO, MF)

Lie on your back with your spine in neutral and both knees lifted to 90º directly over the hips. Reach your arms straight up to the ceiling, wrists above your shoulders. Inhale to prepare. Exhale, extend the right leg forward and reach the left arm back, without moving anything else in the body. Inhale, return to the starting position. Exhale, extend the left leg forward and reach the right arm back. Inhale, return to the starting position. Continue to alternate for 10 repetitions on each side. DO NOT MOVE your spine or pelvis throughout this exercise, and keep your abdominal wall flat. To modify: eliminate moving the arms.

Dead Bug 1 (resize)

Deadbug 2 (resize)

Deadbug 3 (resize)

The Hundred (TA, MF, PF, IO)

Lie on your back with your spine in neutral, both knees lifted to 90º directly over the hips and arms down by your side. Inhale to prepare the body. Exhale, lift the head and chest into an upper abdominal curl, and hover the hands a few inches from the floor. Inhale for 5 counts as you pump the arms up and down, then exhale for 5 counts as you continue to pump. Repeat 5-10 total rounds before resting. DO NOT MOVE anything except the arms once the exercise has started. To modify: lower the head.

 

100s 1 (resize)

100s 2 (resize)

100s 3 (resize)

100s 4 (resize)

Bridge Marching (MF, IO)

Lie on your back with your hips pressed up to the ceiling, spine flat, feet in parallel position, and arms down by the side. Inhale to prepare the body. Exhale, engage TA by gently drawing the belly button towards your low back, and gently squeeze your bottom and narrow your ribcage before lifting the right knee to 90º. Inhale, place the right foot back down. Exhale, re-engage the core before lifting the left knee to 90º. Exhale, place the left foot back down. Repeat 10 total repetitions, 5 on each leg. Keep the abdominal wall flat, the spine long, and the pelvis stable as you move the legs.

Bridge Marching 1 (resize)

Bridge Marching 2 (resize)

Bridge Marching 3 (resize)

Single Leg Stretch (IO, MF)

Lie on your back with your spine in neutral and both knees lifted to 90º directly over the hips. Inhale to prepare the body. Exhale, lift the head and chest into an upper abdominal curl, and reach the hands to the right knee as you extend the left leg away. Inhale, hold. Exhale, switch legs, holding the left knee and extending the right leg. Inhale, hold. Alternate for 10 total repetitions, 5 on each leg. Keep the head, chest, spine and pelvis completely still as you move the legs only.

Single Leg Stretch 1 (resize)

Single Leg Stretch 2 (resize)

Prone Leg Lifts (MF)

Lie on your stomach, head rested on your hands and legs reaching back against the floor. Inhale, prepare. Exhale, lift the right leg to hover, just one or two inches from the floor. Inhale, lower. Exhale, lift the left leg to hover. Inhale, lower. Alternate for 20 total repetitions, 10 on each leg. DO NOT ROCK your body weight side-to-side as you move the legs.

Prone Leg Lifts (1) (resize)

Prone Leg Lifts 2 (resize)

Prone Leg Lifts 3 (resize)

Clam (MF, IO)

Lie on your side, resting your head along your bottom arm. Both knees are bent and stacked, with the heels in line with the sit bones. Keeping the pelvis completely still, exhale to rotate the top knee towards the ceiling, turning the top inner thigh forward. Inhale, lower the knee back down. Repeat 10-15 repetitions on this leg before changing to the other side. DO NOT MOVE anything except the top knee and thigh; you should feel a gentle activation in the low back, underside waist and outer hip.

Clam 1 (resize)

Clam 2 (resize)

Spinal Balance (TA, MF, IO)

Start on all-fours with the wrists under shoulders and knees under hips. Engage TA by gently drawing the belly button towards your low back, keeping your spine long and neutral; keep the abdominals like this for the rest of the exercise. Exhale, extend your right leg back and reach your left arm forward. Inhale, lower the limbs. Exhale, extend your left leg back and reach your right arm forward. Inhale, lower the limbs. Continue to alternate for 10 total repetitions, 5 on each side. DO NOT MOVE the hips, shoulders or waist as you perform this exercise.

Spinal Balance (1) (resize)

Spinal Balance 2 (resize)

Spinal Balance 3 (resize)

Knee Hovers (TA, MF, PF, IO)

Start on all-fours with the wrists under shoulders and knees under hips. Tuck the toes. Inhale, prepare. Exhale, engage TA by gently drawing the belly button towards your low back, keeping your spine long and neutral, and then float the knees one inch from the floor, without changing the shape of the spine. Inhale, hold. Exhale, lower the knees down. Continue for 5-10 repetitions.

Knee Hovers (1) (resize)

Knee Hovers 2 (resize)

Plank Step Backs (TA, MF)

Start on all-fours, with the wrists under shoulders and knees under hips. Engage TA by gently drawing the belly button towards your low back, keeping your spine long and neutral; keep the abdominals like this for the rest of the exercise. Inhale, step the right leg back and tuck the toes under; exhale, step the left leg back and tuck the toes under (you’re now in full plank position). Inhale, lower the right knee back down; exhale, lower the left knee back down. Do 5 repetitions starting with the right leg, and 5 repetitions starting with the left leg. DO NOT MOVE the hips, shoulders or waist as you perform this exercise.

Plank 1 (step backs + leg lifts) (resize)

Plank Step Backs 2 (resize)

Plank Step Backs 3 (resize)

Plank Leg Lifts (MF, TA)

Start in plank position, with the wrists under the shoulders and feet hip-width distance apart. Inhale, prepare. Exhale, float the right foot up and away from the floor without moving the pelvis. Inhale, place it back down. Exhale, float the left foot up. Inhale, place it back down. Continue to alternate for a total of 10-20 repetitions. Note: the core remains engaged throughout this entire exercise!

Plank 1 (step backs + leg lifts) (resize)

Plank Leg Lifts 2 (resize)

Plank Leg Lifts 3 (resize)

Side Plank Hip Lifts (modified and full) (IO, MF)

Start on your right side, with the right forearm and hip on the floor, legs straight (advanced) or bent (modified). Exhale, engage your obliques by narrowing your waist before lifting the hip up and away from the floor. Inhale, tap the hips down. Exhale, lift the hips up. Continue for 6-12 repetitions before switching sides.

Side Plank 1 (resize)

Side Plank 2 (resize)

Side Plank 3 (resize)

Side Plank 4 (resize)

Thanks again to Jennifer Dene from Paleohacks for today’s post. Comments, questions about ab workouts or any other facet of Primal fitness? Share your thoughts below, and have a great week, everyone.

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