How to get your Beach Body Abs!

Summer’s back in town and everyone wants the same thing………….that flat toned stomach so we can wear our swimwear with pride. Keep reading and you find out how it all works, and what to do to get your own washboard stomach!

 The abs are broken up into 4 main groups. They all have slightly different functions, but making sure you train each one will give you much better looking results!

Rectus abdominus – These make up the “Six Pack” running down the middle.  Their job is to bring the ribs closer to the hips, so simple sit ups and crunches work this area best!

Transverse abdominus – This is the deepest ab muscle, its job is to suck in the belly button! The best way to work this is with “vacuum exercises”, simply pulling the belly button inwards! These can be be done on their own or during other ab exercises. Working the Transverse abdominus will help flatten the stomach and help your posture!

Internal & External obliques – These muscle are located diagonally around the sides of the abs, and work to twist and bend the body side to side. These can be worked with side bends and by adding a twist to your crunches

Quality, Not Quantity!

Many people seem to feel more is better when it comes to abs. “I did 200 situps this morning” is something we hear alot, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for you! When it comes to really working the stomach, slow your movements down and really think about “squeezing the abs”. This will stimulate more abdominal muscle and stop the larger hip flexors taking over! 3-5 sets of 20 reps when done properly will be more than enough to get your abs going!

The three S’s…..Suck, Squeeze and Stability!

Doing standard crunches is just going to work the rectus abdominus! Sucking in the belly button and squeezing the abs will stimulate the transverse abdominus. This will not just tone the stomach, but flatten the belly! Introducing a Bosu or a Swiss ball into your ab workouts will  help you build your core stability. This not only helps posture and your other exercises, but it also means you will hit more areas of the abdominal muscles! Exercise like the Plank are also brilliant to hit all the deep ab muscles, and a great way of improving posture that will help your beach body look!

Balance.

Posture is so important to a good physique! Working the lower back and hip muscles as well as the abs is vital. This will help maintain a healthy posture and emphasize your abs! Nobody’s belly looks good if they’re hunched over!

Showing off what you’ve got!

The best was to to emphasize your abdominal  muscles is by maintaining a low body fat. This is done with a healthy diet and regular exercise! Don’t just focus on your abs, make sure you’re getting all round, good quality exercise! Make sure you vary your abs exercises! Don’t keep doing the same old things. Change things up to make sure your hitting every part of the abs!

Try this on for size!

Here’s a basic circuit to give you an idea of how to train all the parts of your abs quickly and efficiently!

1) Bicycle crunches – 12 reps – These are like standard crunches with a twist! Perform a normal crunch, by bringing your left elbow to your right knee, then vice versa! Again really focus on squeezing the abs!

2) Side Plank – 20 seconds, both sides – This is performed by facing sideways and placing your elbow on the ground. Your feet are planted sideways on the floor, then raise your hips up. Try and make the body as much of a straight line as possible, then after 20 seconds repeat facing the other way.

3) Leg raises – 12 reps – These can be performed differently depending on your level. Leg raises involve bringing the legs and hips closer to the ribs. These are great at working the bottom on the abs! For beginners start by performing these on the floor. Lay flat on your back and raise the legs upward and towards the torso. For those feeling more advanced they can be performed hanging from a chin bar, leg raise station, or simply off the end of a bed.

4) Plank – 30 seconds – The exercise our clients hate the most, but we don’t know why, we love it!  Facing down, elbows on the floor, raise the hips off the ground and hold a nice flat body position. Its really important to relax the back and shoulders, and really suck the belly button in.

5) Swiss ball crunches – 12 reps – Sit on a swiss ball with your hands over your head. Slowly begin to lie back until your body is flat with your thighs. Then slowly begin to raise back up without hunching the back. Really focus on squeezing the abs and try to keep the ball as still as possible.

Repeat as many times as you needed.

For more advice book in for a free trail session at www.bourne-fit.co.uk

21st Century Living: Simple steps to stress relief

An undeniable part of modern life is some stress as a side effect.  We look at defining more what stress is and offer some simple ways to help alleviate it, a major way to improve happiness and health!

What is stress?

Stress is defined not simply as being in a rage, beetroot in the face wanting to rip someone’s head off.  It tends to be more subtle than that.  And it is not necessarily a bad thing,  without it we would be bored and lethargic, not even able to get out of bed in the morning.

For many it tends to shift the other way.  Anything in abundance can be bad and stress can mount up reducing our quality of life or even causing a range of health issues further down the line.

Stress in different disguises

The classic story is someone burned out from work, taking a holiday to chill out.  There is excitement about the holiday (a form of stress) a rush to the airport. What’s the first thing they do?  Drink alcohol in the heat, lie on the lounger reading an exciting thriller or go and do some thrill seeking watersports.  Tricky..

The body knows no difference between different forms of stress, it essentially all comes out of the same account. Day to day family life, work, having no time, driving, multitasking and even exercise are a stress on the body. Even if you enjoy hustle and bustle, the body knows no different.  It’s time to make some deposits!..

Take a nap

Definitely a fan. Take a nap – 20-30 minutes ‘beepies’ will recharge your batteries and make you feel much better.  It’s like having two days in one!

Have a massage
Come and see us, or even get your partner to do it.  It’s like having a reset button.

You’re having a laugh
For all the scientific studies, laughing still seems to be the best medicine. Surround yourself with fun people, do stuff that makes you laugh.  It helps you live longer too.

‘Flow’
Finding your flow would be described as doing the things you are truly good at lose yourself in.  Time doesn’t matter when you in flow mode.  This may be playing  a musical instrument, painting, hiking or walking along the beach.  So this as often as possible.

Exercise
You know it works, you always feel better.  Nuff said!

Eat a good diet
A bad diet is a form of stress on the body as it scrambles to process and detoxify processed foods.  Eating well helps the body feel good, fighting stress and anything else that comes along.

Relaxation, meditation or yoga
Not necessarily in lotus position chanting but this may involve an everyday walk, just appreciating the feel of the wind, the season and your surroundings.  Just sitting quietly ‘observing your breath’ is a good place to start.

For more on improving your lifestyle, Personal Training, Massage or whacking a punchbag visit the website.  www.bourne-fit.co.uk or email us at   training@bourne-fit.co.uk

 

 

 

Burning Calories Away From the Gym!

The gym is a fantastic way to stay in shape and get fit, but there are loads of things you can do throughout the day to help increase your calorie consumption and speed up your weight loss!

Very few of your daily calories are burnt in the gym, most are used throughout the day, during normal activities. So a great way of burning calories is to increase your daily activities! Below is a list of 10 simple activities and the calories they burn. This won’t make them any more fun, but when you know how many calories you’ll be burning it might give you more of an incentive to do them!

  • Wax on Wax Off – 30 minutes of polishing your table tops and shelves can burn up to 80 calories, this will burn off the same as 2 and half chocolate fingers!
  • Changing rooms – Give your house and your body a revamp by painting a room. 3 hours of painting can use up to 1030 calories, this is the same as 2 sandwich packs from the supermarket!
  • Fold your clothes to lose your folds – 30 minutes of folding after your ironing can burn 70 calories, this will burn the equivalent of 2 hand a half digestive biscuits!
  • Supermarket Sweat! – 1 hour of pushing your trolley around the supermarket can burn 250 calories! This is the same amount of calories as  nearly 3 crumpets!
  • Longer waits equals less weight! – We all hate it, but standing in line at the bank or the post office can burn 100 calories and hour! This is the sames as a slice of white toast and jam!

 

  • Trim down your lawn to trim down your tummy! – Now summers on the way take the mower out of the garage. 30 minutes of lawn mowing can use a whopping  200 calories! This is the same amount as 2 chocolate mini rolls!
  • Take the Stairs! – We know the lift looks so appealing, but choosing to the stairs can burn 100 calories in 20 minutes. This would burn the same amount of calories as a fruit scone!
  • Skipping’s not just for kids – Relive your childhood and start skipping again. 30 minutes of skipping in the garden is fun and can burn a huge 350 calories, this is the same as 1 and a half jam donuts!
  • Suck up dust to suck in the stomach! – 30 minutes of vacuuming  does’t just give you a clean carpet it can also burn 100 calories! This is the equivalent of 1 large glass of red wine!
  • Healthy dog healthy you! – Taking the dog for a walk for and hour can burn 200 calories! This is the same amount of calories as in 2 bowls of corn flakes! If you haven’t got a dog, a walk on your own is just as good!

Combining a healthy diet, some good quality exercise a few times a week and keeping active throughout the day will speed up your weight loss goals! To kick start your weight loss and improve your fitness by booking in for a free taster personal training session at http://www.bourne-fit.co.uk/