Tag Archives: Plank

Quick an effective core workout.

Quick an effective core workout.

Exercising doesn’t have to be extensive. It doesn’t mean that you need to do hours of exercise in order to see results or feel good.

I believe that doing the right exercise for your needs or wants, in proper form will have you seeing good results in no time.

I literally train for 2.5hrs per week. (If I’m lucky, I don’t always get to all 3 classes but I try to do at least 1). I do a body balance class on a Monday. This class is only an hour, it consists of a mixture of Pilates, yoga and Thai Chi moves. I find it helps me to stretch, relax and ease my mind for the week ahead. It’s low impact but I see results. Wednesday and Saturday to do a 30 minute CXWorx class which is a core training class. This again is low impact using balance and minimal weight and a resistance band / tube doing movement’s that tighten and tone your core muscles and improves your functional strength.

So below I’ve put together a short workout that I believe will get you results. It’s not a long workout, but if you try and do it at least 3 times per week, you will get some sort of results. Not over night, but if your following a healthy eating plan and keeping hydrated and active, along with doing these exercises correctly. You will get results. Remember a healthy mind helps a healthy body.

These exercises do not require any equipment other than your own body weight. You can do them in the comfort and privacy of your home or outside in the garden. I personally love training out doors. I love the fresh air and serenity that being in a garden can provide. Calming and relaxing yet still a workout.

Try doing these exercises for 30 seconds each. Once you have completed a whole round, start again.

Try completing these exercise 3 times each. If you can only do a single round, that’s ok. You can build up to doing the 3 rounds. Start slow if your a beginner or have not exercised in a while, and whilst I’m no doctor, if you have any injury or health issues, please speak to your doctor prior to any exercise.

1st exercise
Plank.
Lay on your stomach face down.
Start by ensuring that your elbows are directly under your shoulders.
Your feet a little wider than hip width and if you can, raise up onto your toes keeping your stomach tightened. If you find yourself wobbling or dipping in the lower back, go down to your knees with toes resting on the floor.
It is important that you keep your back straight and level, don’t raise your hips and look directly ahead. If you look down at your feet you will cause strain in your neck.
If your feeling shakey or any pain in your lower back, it is best to perform this exercise on your knees. Remember though, you must keep your back level and core activated for this exercise to be effective. (An activated core us basically tightening your stomach muscles, holding them in).
2nd exercise
Leg Raises.
Laying on your back, bring your knees up to create a 90 degree angle between your legs and the floor.
Activate your core (brace / tighten your stomach muscles) imagine that there is a box pushed up against your hamstring’s (back of legs) and bottom and your calf muscles are resting on the top of it.
Keeping your toes pointed, slowly lower them down to tap the floor then slowly raise them back up keeping the knees at 90 degrees at all times.
This movement comes from the hips only and should take you 2 seconds to get your toes to touch the floor then, 2 seconds to raise them again.
Keeping your tummy braced will help support your lower back, you can tuck your fingers under the small of your lower back (think kidney region) but don’t allow it to arch or lift your back off the ground. By tightening the stomach muscles you will have more control with this movement.
3rd exercise
Squats.
Standing with your feet a little wider than hip width, keep your toes facing forward brace your tummy and keeping your back straight, imagine there is a chair behind you and your going to sit on it.
Lower your bottom as if your tail bone is going to touch the chair, but instead of sitting using your leg and bottom muscles to stand back up.
If your loosing your balance you can keep your hands and arms out straight in front of you, or rest them on your hips.
This is more effective if your driving your strength from your heels (in your feet).
4th exercise
Single leg squat right side.
Standing with your feet again hip width apart, leaning slightly over from the hips so that your nose is over your toes. Back straight. Looking forward.
Take your left leg back and straighten it, point your toe. Keep your right knee slightly bent and using your right leg to squat down and up. Taking 2 seconds to go down and 2 seconds to raise up.
Try to keep the left leg slightly off the floor and remember, this is not a deep lunge or swat, you only need to bend to lower approx 30cms.
As with the above exercise keep your stomach tightened to activate your core.
If your loosing balance put your hands either on your hips or reach them out in front.
Try to ensure that your stable leg is not ‘wobbling’ if your knee is moving sideways, you can injure yourself, so please try to keep as stable as possible.
5th exercise
Single leg squat left side.
(as above but opposite side)
Standing with your feet hip width apart, leaning slightly over from the hips so that your nose is over your toes. Back straight. Again looking forward.
Take your right leg back and straighten it, point your toe, keep your left knee slightly bent for balance and using your left leg to squat down and up. Again only a slight movement of approx 40cm and again try to keep the straight leg off the floor.
Taking 2 seconds to go down and 2 seconds to raise up.
As with the above exercise keep your stomach tightened to activate your core.
If your loosing balance put your hands either on your hips or reach them out in front.
6th exercise
Star Jump Burpee.
This exercise will certainly get your heart rate up which is good for ‘cardio’.
Start by laying face down on the floor.
Then ‘jump’ up and into a star jump.
(Arms and legs wide). Keep a slight bend in your knees to avoid ‘jarring’ of the joints.
Remember to keep your tummy in, back straight and use your leg’s and bottom muscles to stabilise your movement.
7th exercise
Oblique Crunch – left side.
Start by laying on your back, then roll onto your left side. Have your left arm out at shoulder height but flat on the floor. This will help stabilise your body from rolling forward. Legs straight. Toes pointed.
Then using your oblique (side of tummy muscles) squeeze up to the roof by raising your top (right) knee and right elbow. Try to get the knee and elbow to touch. Imagine your creating a C shape with your spine with your knee and head the top and bottom of the C. You will feel a slight ‘pinch’ between your ribs and hips if this exercise is done correctly.
8th exercise
Oblique Crunch – right side.
(as above but opposite side)
Start by laying on your back, then roll onto your right side. Have your right arm out at shoulder height but flat on the floor. This will help stabilise your body from rolling forward. Legs straight. Toes pointed.
Then using your oblique (side of tummy muscles) squeeze up to the roof by raising your top (now left) knee and left elbow. Try to get the knee and elbow to touch.
You will feel a slight ‘pinch’ between your ribs and hips if this exercise is done correctly.
9th exercise
Lifting Plank – right side
Starting in your plank position as you do in exercise 1. Keeping your elbows under your shoulders and hands together.
Make sure your stomach is activated to support your lower back and your body still.
Slowly and gently, push your body up with your right hand keeping the hand under the shoulder and arm straight, them raise with the left hand. You are now in a push up position.
Hold for 2 seconds, then lower the body again by going back down onto your elbows, right side down first.
You can do this exercise either on your toes or your knees. If you find that your body seems to be rolling, adjust and lower to your knees. You will still get results, you just need to strengthen your core to hold your body and form correctly. You can build up to being on your toes.
10th exercise
Lifting Plank – left side
(as above but opposite side)
Starting in your plank position as you do in exercise 1. Keeping your elbows under your shoulders and hands together.
Make sure your stomach is activated to support your lower back and your body still.
Slowly and gently, push your body up with your left hand, keeping the hand under the shoulder and arm straight, them raise with the right hand.
You are now in a push up position.
Hold for 2 seconds, then lower the body again by going back down onto your elbows left side down first.
11th exercise
Oblique side taps.
Laying on your back with knees bent and toes tucked up towards your bottom.
Keep your hands along aside your body.
Slightly raise the top of your body, basically from your chest to the top of your head. Approx 15cm off the floor.
Then with your fingers, move sideways towards your toes gently taping your ankle. Creating a slight C shape in your spine.
Alternate from left to right with your stomach muscles tightened to help support your lower back.

Whilst performing any of the above exercises, remember to breathe. By breathing your oxygenating your blood, which keeps it pumping throughout your body. Oxygen energises!

Enjoy! Remember exercise should be fun.

I’d love to hear or see your results.

Mix up your workout!

Mix up your workout –

If your like me and have become complacent in your workouts, below are a few tips on how to get back into the ‘groove’ and become excited to workout again!

Cut your workout time down!

Working harder for a shorter amount of time is so much better for fat loss results. High Intensity Interval Training is probably the fastest ways to melt fat from your body and also accelerate your fitness levels. Rather than your traditional 30 or 45 mins of cardio on the treadmill at the same intensity/speed, try this:

60 secs sprints (as hard as you can) with 90 secs recovery time (this can be at a walk pace or even a slow jog). Try this for a total of 20-22 minutes. Notice the calorie burn and how you feel afterwards – similar energy burn for much less time.

Swap up your barbell with a medicine ball.

Lots of us use dumbbell training in our workouts but why not mix it up? Try using a medicine ball or barbell for your entire workout. It’s amazing how heavy a 5kg medicine ball can feel as a posed to a barbell, this also helps to engage other muscle groups therefore harder workout – better results!

Get out

If you are a regular indoor gym participant have a week outdoors and expand your exercise mindset. Go for a run or try running up and down stairs, climb walls – indoor abseiling is allowed, step up to benches/tables/chairs. You’ll be amazed how quickly your workout goes when your outdoors and absorbing your surroundings also.

Add unstable training to your workout

Have you tried squats on a Fit Ball? What about a single leg squat? I was working out at a gym on the northern beaches many years ago and one of the personal trainers there suggested I try these. Killer! By adding balance training to your routine will force your muscles especially your core muscles to work harder and it also helps your reflexes to become faster. You don’t need fancy equipment, simply using your arm weights whilst standing on one leg completely changes your focus.

Try a non-electronic workout

Block all cardio equipment that uses power. No treadmill, stepper, cross trainer, bike. Great creative – try high knees, ice skaters, skipping, plyometrics, mountain climbers, running especially outdoors and swimming. You are guaranteed to see better results and will feel the difference in your hear rate.

Use time under tension (TUT)

I’ve previously been guilty of performing the same speed in a lot of my workouts or actually just sticking to the same workout routine. The average time it takes to perform 10 reps is usually about 15-20 seconds, what you want to try is draw this out to 30-40 sec. Where each rep would usually take you 1-2 sec to perform, aim for it to take up 3-4 secs per rep. The more time under tension, the harder the workout and therefore greater results. Expect TUT to help increase muscle growth and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Add agility training to your workouts

Rarely do people try agility training (ladder runs, jumping). Yes, it’s quite sports specific but it’s great to shake things up in current workout and everyone can benefit from agility work. Something really simple is an shuttle run, working on accelerating, decelerating and directional change.

Ban all floor-based ab workouts

There’s no need to freak out, here are some suggestions: Knee to elbow hangs, wood chops or even the plank – especially on an angle – put your feet on the lounge, elbows on the ground allowing your weight to be angled (feet higher than shoulders) have feet shoulder width apart, keep your tummy tight and control your breathing. Hold for 10 seconds then release – rest for 10 seconds then repeat. As you get a stronger core try to lengthen the time to 15 seconds then 20 seconds. Do this for 8-10 reps.

Become competitive with a friend.

Go running! Pick someone who is a better runner than you so that you challenge yourself, push yourself harder and feel that burn. So many of us get caught out running the same track, same pace and for the same distance and time. Running with a better or faster runner than you will force you out of that comfort zone and make you push yourself harder.

Try using your own body weight

No machines allowed. Be creative with your workouts – easily done at home. Try – step ups, lunges, side lunges, burpees, push-ups and planks etc. Use the TUT method with this body weight only method to challenge yourself and better results.

Quick workout?

Quick workout

Weather your time poor or just cant be bothered, it’s still important to be active.

If your not one to hit the gym or go for a walk / run, try exercising at home using your own body weight as resistance and be comfortable in your lounge room, no I don’t mean laying on your lounge, I mean utilise the space.

You don’t need a lot of space approx 2 square meters. You don’t even have to do this daily, however I recommend 3 times per week at a minimum and you will def feel better! Hey you may even find that you have fun!

– Run on the spot for the count of 30
– Drop down and do 20 burpees
– Finish off with planning for the count of 30

Repeat these 3 exercises 5 times each!

When running remember to keep your tummy in and shoulders back with your head up.

When doing a Burpee remember to keep your hands shoulder width apart and never drop your tummy to the ground. Again keep your head up and tummy in with feet also shoulder width apart.

When planning, keep on your toes with feet together and elbows directly below your shoulders, head straight looking at the ground and tummy in tight. Don’t forget to breath in your nose and exhale out your mouth.

It’s important to keep good posture and do these exercises properly to ensure minimal risk of injury.

Have you got a quick work out that you enjoy?

Email me – noordinarymummy@gmail.com

15 minute work out!

10 Moves to Do Before Breakfast

Mornings are crazy busy!

Between late night deadlines busily working in the office, drinks with friends after work, dinner catch ups, waking children, snoring partners and early morning starts, it can sometimes be hard to prioritise your workout.

Here is a quick 15-minute workout that will energise you for the rest of your day!

Who says workouts need to be hourly??

1 – Drop and Pop
Step your right foot back into a reverse lunge and bend both knees to 90 degrees. Engage core muscles and push off your back foot, bringing your right knee up towards your chest as you straighten up. Step straight back into reverse lunge. Do 30 seconds on each side for a duration of 1 minute and 30 seconds. (Works: glutes, thighs, hip flexors, and core.)

2 – Plank Jacks
Start in an elevated plank position with your feet together. Keeping your hips low and abs in tight, open feet out and in like a jumping jack. Almost like a star jump but horizontal. If you need a break, hold your plank or try some pushups. Repeat for 1 minute and 30 seconds. (Works: chest, shoulders, core, and abductors.)

3 – Cycle Punch
Sitting on the floor, lean slightly back as if your doing a sit up, lift your legs up to 90 degree position, find your balance keeping your tummy in and tightened with your hands behind your head. Pull your right knee up and extend the left leg out whilst rotating your torso bringing your left shoulder toward the right knee then punch with the extended arm – ie left hand. Like riding a bike but sitting. Repeat for 1 minute and 30 seconds. (Works: obliques, deltoids, quads, and lower back.)

4 – Sumo Star Power
Start in a squat position, making sure your feet are facing forward and approx shoulder width apart. Press off both feet and jump, sending arms out into a high V and extending the legs out wide, creating a star shape with your body. (Basically a star jump but from a squat position) Do as many as you can; if you start to get fatigued move to traditional squats. Don’t quit! Repeat for 1 minute and 30 seconds. (Works: glutes, quads, hamstrings, inner thighs, and calves.)

5 – Killer Curtsey
Start with right foot crossed behind left, so inner thighs touch. Bend knees to a curtsy position, keeping upper body upright, tummy in, back straight and shoulders back. Then step out to the right into a side lunge, send hips back but keep chest lifted. Do 30 seconds on each side for duration of 1 minute and 30 seconds. (Work: glutes, abductors, inner thighs, and hamstrings.)

6 – Rear Ender
Start in a lunge position with right foot back and elevated on small box or step. Bend knees down to a 90/90 position. Take 2 counts up and 2 counts down, make sure torso stays upright with core tightened. Breath in on your way down then out on your way up. Do 30 seconds on one side then switch. Repeat for duration of 1 minute and 30 seconds. (Works: glutes, quads, hip flexors, and core.)

7 – Extender Bender
Start in plank position and pull right knee up toward right elbow. Almost like running on the spot horizontally or climbing along the ground. Then extend right leg back and raise it keeping both your back and legs straight then squeeze your gluts. Do 30 seconds on each side. Repeat for duration of 1 minute and 30 seconds. (Works: glutes, quads, hip flexors, and core.)

8 – V-up Body Shaper
Lying on your back with left knee bent and right leg straight. Extend both arms up over head, keeping lower back pressed down to the floor and tummy in. Raise your right leg up 45 degree off the ground keeping your leg straight, whilst slowly raising your upper body again approx 45 degrees off the ground. Keeping your head and neck straight then slowly lower. Do 15 reps. Switch and repeat for duration of 1 minute and 30 seconds. (Works: glutes, quads, hip flexors, and core.)

9 – High Knee Hike
Standing on your left leg, place right foot up on small box or step. Step up onto the box and drive left knee up toward chest, keeping your tummy in, shoulders back and upper body straight. Do 30 seconds on each side. Repeat for duration of 1 minute and 30 seconds. (Works: glutes, quads, hip flexors, and core.)

10 – Mountain Climber
Start in plank position and alternate bringing right and left knees up towards chest, like you are running. Keep hips down and try not to bounce. Climb for 20 seconds, do 10 seconds of pushups and repeat to complete the minute and 30 second set. (Works: glutes, quads, hip flexors, and core.)

Incidental exercise

Incidental exercise

Sorry I have written about exercise or fitness for a little while. Feeling sluggish has made me lazy. No excuse though I know 🙂

I’ve been suffering sinus and also a slight head cold – double whammy unfortunately. Feeling a little better now though.

It’s been raining a lot so being stuck inside I’ve been cooking and keeping warm. Oh and eating!

I don’t often struggle to exercise or be active but when I feel under the weather I’m not always so motivated….

How do you keep active when your feeling unwell?

I try ‘incidental’ exercise. Keeping active when not feeling great often exerts you even more and naked you feel worse right?

Sometimes a good sweat can make you feel better though?

How do you know how far to push yourself when not feeling well?

Try core exercise.

1. Holding your tummy in whilst doing general home chores or even whilst walking to collect the mail. My driveway is 75m long so is a couple minutes walk.

2. Squeezing your bottom cheeks in and holding for 10 seconds then Releasing and repeating 10 times. You can do this whilst watching your favourite shows

3. Standing on your tippy toes raising your calves then going back down on your flat feet – again repeating 10 times after holding for a few seconds on each raise.

4. Whilst sitting on the lounge, keep your legs out straight, point and flex your toes and hold each movement for 5 seconds. Although this doesn’t seem to strenuous simply stretching your muscles gives you an incidental workout.

5. Planking – I know – how?
Lay on the floor on your tummy, arms beside you and legs straight. Slightly raise your legs and shoulders – without bending your knees or straining your neck. Create a slight banana in the curve of your back. Again holding each position for 10 seconds – repeat 10 times.

Flat tummy? Coming up!

Are you obsessed with having a flat tummy?

Here are a few quick exercises that will have your tummy flatter in no time! However remember exercise is only part of the equation, diet is a huge factor in keeping your tummy flat! Certain foods contain gasses that can keep you bloated and too many fatty foods simply ‘keep you fat’ ….!

Give these a go, hold each exercise for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times each exercise. Make it fun and do it circuit style, do the first exercise holding for 30 seconds, then the second exercise again holding for 30 seconds and continue on until all 5 exercises are completed. Repeat each exercise 5 times!

First exercise –

Get in a forearm plank with abs engaged and feet wider than hips on sliding discs. (Or put some socks on) Raise hips in the air as high as possible, sliding feet in together, and holding abs in sucking them towards your spine. Return to starting position.

Second exercise –

Lie face up with hands clasped behind head, legs extended about hip-width apart keep feet flexed. Engage abs and sit up, bending knees and sliding heels into body. Slowly lower back to starting position. If this hurts your bottom / tail bone, use a low pillow to cushion.

Third exercise –

Lie facedown with arms overhead, open your legs hip-width apart, toes pointed. Extend spine and lift chest off the floor, sliding arms downward towards your sides as your body lifts. Return to starting position.

Forth exercise –

Get on all fours with your toes tucked under again in socks. Tighten your abs and lift knees a few inches off the floor, keeping hips in line with shoulders. Swivel your knees slightly to the right, pivoting feet, keeping shoulders over hands then swivel knees to the left. Continue, alternating sides. Instead if holding this for 30 seconds each, try rotating to each side holding at each side for 10 seconds.

Fifth exercise –

Get in a side elbow plank position with right elbow bent under shoulder, left hand behind head, legs and hips straight keeping your feet flexed. Extend left leg in front of hip (keep knee as straight as possible, bending to modify if needed) and touch toes with left hand. Return to starting position. Switch sides to complete set.

Remember feeling toned and confident is also your mindset, thinking healthy, eating healthy and living healthy are the most important things you can do for yourself!

Also remember that being thin is not always healthy, a lot of people starve them self to be thin. This will have adverse affect long term as starving your body is mainly starving your organs and by starving them you cannot function properly. Eventually your organs will ‘give up’ or ‘shut down’ from lack of nutrients, which we all get from food, eating a well balanced diet is key!

Remember it’s only as hard as you want it to be!