Eve's Health & Fitness

DOB: October 27 CURRENT RESIDENCE: North Eastern Oklahoma OCCUPATION: Certified Group Fitness Instructor HEIGHT:5'1"; WEIGHT:105 lbs.; BF%:14.3% bodyfat FAVORITE BODY PARTS TO TRAIN: Back, abs FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL: Mexican and any dark chocolate CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Featured as a fitness role model in Chad Tackett's Global-Health & Fitness website: http://www.global-fitness.com/ DESCRIBE MYSELF: Competitive, energetic, persistent, focused, consistent, and driven.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Lower Belly Exercises

Sculpt Your Core Muscles
Your Upper and Lower Rectus Abdominis
Your Transverse Abdominis
Your Obliques
Your Lower Back

The following exercises zero in on these core muscles. When doing each exercise, pay careful attention to your body alignment. A few repetitions of an exercise done correctly--to completely work your abdomen--are better than 20 sloppy ones. Remember: quality over quantity.

For most exercises, perform up to 12 repetitions. In a few of the movements, you'll simply hold the posture up to 1 minute.
Pelvic Tilt
Benefits: Firms your lower belly; stretches your lower back

This is a great warm-up exercise. I like to do it at the beginning of an abdominal routine to ready my abs for harder movements.

A. Sit on the ball with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Extend your arms in front of you at shoulder height.

B. Exhale as you tuck your tailbone in, activate your abs, and bring your navel in toward your spine. Inhale as you release the tilt in your pelvis. Repeat tucking and releasing 12 times.

Traditional Crunch
Benefits: Firms your upper- and lower-tummy areas

If you've done any exercises on the ball before, this is probably one of the first movements you learned. The ball allows you to crunch against more resistance and through a greater range of motion than you would on the floor--but only if you do it correctly. It pays to zero in closely on your posture. A few small tweaks allow you to completely fatigue your abdomen in just a few repetitions, saving you lots of time!

A. Sit on the ball with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Walk your feet forward as you slide your torso down the ball only until your hips start to clear the ball and the very bottom of your lower back presses into the ball. Cross your arms over your chest.

Now here's where you really need to focus on your posture. Lie back on the ball so that your upper back also rests against the ball, as shown. Then tuck your tailbone in and lift your hips toward the ceiling. You should already feel your lower tummy and buttocks firm in this position--and you haven't performed a single crunch!

B. Exhale as you lift your torso, pull your navel in, and contract your abdomen. Imagine you are curling the bottom of your rib cage and your pelvic bone toward each other, creating a firm arc with your lower body. Keep your chin up, as if you were holding an orange between your chin and neck. Inhale as you return to the starting position, lying all the way back on the ball. Do as many repetitions as you can, up to a total of 12.

Tummy Flattener
Benefit: Firms your entire tummy

This is a great crunch position for beginners who lack the abdominal strength for the traditional crunch on top of the ball.

A. Lie on your back with your knees bent and heels on the ball. Extend your arms toward your knees.

B. Exhale as you lift your shoulders up toward the ball. The ball will shift and move slightly, forcing you to use your leg muscles to keep it from rolling away. Inhale as you lower. Repeat up to 12 times.

Waistline Trimmer
Benefits: Firms the sides of your tummy; shrinks your waistline

As with the tummy flattener, this is a great option for beginners who lack the abdominal strength for the oblique twist.

A. Lie on your back with your knees bent and heels on the ball. Interlace your fingers behind your head with your elbows out to the sides.

B. Exhale as you lift your left shoulder toward your right hip. The ball will shift and move slightly, forcing you to use your leg muscles to keep it from rolling away. Inhale as you lower. Then lift your right shoulder toward your left hip. Repeat up to 12 times.

Thigh & Belly Toner
Benefits: Firms and flattens your lower belly; tones your inner thighs

I love this exercise because it is so effective for both the lower tummy and the inner thighs, working below the belly button.

A. Lie on your back with your arms down near your sides, palms facing down. Grasp the ball between your feet with your legs extended at a 90-degree angle to your torso. You'll really feel it in your inner thighs.

B. Exhale as you curl your lower belly toward your upper belly, lifting the ball up and in. Inhale as you lower. Continue to lift and lower the ball up to 12 times.

To turn things around, you only need to spend about 12 minutes, 2 or 3 days a week, to whip your abdomen into shape.

Cheers,

Eve :-)

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