Squats are pretty well-known, and easy to do. But varying your squats can help you target different muscles. Check out the video below for the form for wide squats with 10lb weights to work on that booty and those legs.
I think the question I get the most on social media is about how to get abs or how to flatten the tummy. It is a very complex question, and you can tell people usually don't get the answer they want. People generally want to do crunches and be over with it, but get very anxious when it is not working.
So here is what I tell people: Crunches alone will get you nowhere. It is a hard message to take because it has been somehow spread across different societies. To flatten your abdominal area, you need a combination of three things:
Good nutrition:You cannot eat everything, do crunches, and expect abs. Abs are difficult to get; otherwise, everyone would have them. You have to lose the fat on the abdominal area to see any progress, and to do this, you need to be burning more than you are eating. This means you probably should be eating better (fewer calories, more whole grains, less salty food).
Cardio, Cardio, Cardio:To me, cardio is more important than crunches. This is where a lot of the fat loss happens to burn off the excess. If you are not doing cardio, you should be starting.
Strength training:This is where crunches come in. But I actually prefer to do non-traditional crunches because they are very repetitive, and most people do not do them right. Focus on building core strength with planks, kick-outs, russian twists, etc.
But remember that it is a slow process usually. Weight did not happen overnight and so getting fit does not happen overnight as well. Take your time.
If you are following me on Instagram, you may have seen the plank challenge I put up a couple of days ago. I get asked about how to get abs and build a strong core all the time. So I figured I'd turn this into a challenge. Plank for 3 minutes every day for about 5 days. Your 3 minutes can be broken up across the day, but the longer you can hold it at once, the better.
Compound exercises that work a variety of muscles are great, especially for runners as we need a strong core and strong legs. The single leg deadlift works your core as it forces you to balance, but it also works your legs and your glutes with the weight that you are lifting. Check out the video below for how to do this exercise.
Try this with light weights first and progress. As you do this exercise, lift your leg slowly. A lot of people make the mistake of speeding through, which may not put as much emphasis on the muscle they want to attack. So go slow. It hurts a little more, but you can do it :)
So it's no secret that I have been training for the NYC marathon. I'm excited, scared, nervous, happy, all things at once. And I've hurt myself a couple of times. So when I do reach a big milestone, it is celebrated as a BIG milestone. This weekend, I ran my first 20 miler. I am so proud of myself and I wanted to share it, but the journey continues and I will be back at it next week.