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Sandwiched Between the Holidays

10 ways to trim the “muffin top”

Cassie C., Staff Reporter

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Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas! Tummies topping out on turkey dinners and sweet treats! Swollen in sweaters and sweating over summer, how will the summer body be ready by June?

 

  1. Planks: Planking is a popular anaerobic exercise that is easily performed and can be easily increased to a harder level by extending the time of the plank, or adding a weight to the back. Standard plank position is similar to the push up position, but instead of completing a push up, the elbows are to be extended strait for the duration of the plank. An alternative plank position is to get into push up position, bend the elbows and press bodyweight into the elbows and forearms. When planking be sure to keep the back and hips strait to keep from raising the bottom, or dipping the hips too low. A beginner’s plank usually can start around 10 seconds, while pro’s can spend whole minutes holding the pose.

 

  1. Spiderman planks: Spiderman planks are an advanced version of the classic plank. To complete a spiderman plank, follow the planking instructions above, then alternating sides, bring one knee up by the elbow then bring it back down to the toes. Be sure to alternate sides when doing this. (this is also called the hiker’s, or climbing plank) be sure to keep the supporting leg strait and the hips raised to prevent injury.

 

  1. Bicycle crunch: Crunches are fantastic, but bicycle crunches are even better.  To complete a bicycle crunch, start with the basic crunch position with both feet on the floor. Then, with hands supporting the head, crunch, touching an elbow to the alternate knee, then do so with the otherside, straightening the leg to resemble pedaling a bicycle.

 

  1. Heel touches: Heel touches are a simple exercise that can pay off a ton. Simply get into crunch/sit-up position with the feet flat on the floor. Then crunch and touch the fingertips to the heels one side at a time.

 

  1. Russian twists: Sound difficult, but are fairly simple, russian twists are great for building abdominal  strength. To complete a twist, get into sit-up position with the chest near the knees. Lean back a touch, and lift the feet off the floor.

 

  1. Flutter kicks: Yes we flutter! No, we don’t look like butterflies. Flutter kicks are very similar to the scissor kicks, only smaller. To perform the flutter kick, start in the corpse pose. Corpse pose is exactly what it sounds like, lie on the back, arms to the sides, with the legs and feet together. Crunching the abs, lift one leg about a foot off the ground, and let the other hover slightly. Lower the upper leg as the lower leg is raised, completing the flutter kick! Continue in 30 second intervals, completing as many as possible in 30 seconds.

 

  1. Abdominal Hold: Using a chair, place hands on either side of the seat and be sure to have a good grip. Crunching the abdominal muscles, lift the bottom off the chair and hold. Be sure to keep the knees bent, and to not overdue the exercize. To increase intensity, bend and straighten the legs while completing the hold. Slowly release and sit on the chair once the hold is complete. The Abdominal Hold can be held from seconds to minutes at a time. Be sure to keep the shoulders square to prevent harm to the spine.

 

  1. Leg raises: Begin in corpse pose, with the arms at the sides, and the legs and feet together. Crunching the abdominal muscles, lift the legs and feet together in the air, then bring them back down (together) towards the floor. Be sure to keep the legs strait and head on the floor.

 

  1. Sit ups: Simple as it sounds, but with a huge effect on the abs. Start on the floor, belly up, with the legs bent, and feet flat on the floor. (leave some space between the bottom and the feet.)  place hands behind the head, and, crunching the abs, pull the torso to the knees then lower back to the floor. Repeat for as many as desired, but be sure not to overdue it.

 

  1. Leg pull ins: Begin in a russian twist position. Lean slightly backwards, lifting the feet and legs off the floor. Cross the ankles or press the feet together. Lean backwards almost touching the shoulder blades to the floor, as the legs extend strait (not touching the floor). Then, crunch back into the first position. Extend and crunch in keeping the hips and back square to prevent injury.  To increase intensity, clutch a medicine ball, or small dumbbell above the abdomen while completing the pull in.

 

This completes the 10  Muffin Top Makeovers moves from the Falcon Flash! Be sure to comment which exercise is your favorite, or which you found most beneficial!

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