February 17, 2019

Can you touch your toes?

Fit Body:

Toe Touches for Core

Toe touches work your entire core, hips, legs and arms all in one challenging move. Begin by lying on your back on the floor. Raise both legs up off the floor, with your knees slightly bent. Next, exhale and reach both arms up to touch your shoes. Inhale and lower your upper body only half way down to the floor to complete one rep. Do ten times. For more of a challenge, lift and lower your legs and upper body simultaneously.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.


Core Strengthener

Fit Body:

Floor Core Hold

Strengthen your core with this one move. Here’s how: Lie on your back. Place both arms on the floor along side your body. Tuck your chin toward your chest. Lift both feet up off the floor, and then lift your upper body up off the floor. Support your torso by leaving your forearms on the floor. Find your balance point and hold for 3 deep breaths, and then release. Do 5 reps.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Crunch-less Abs

Fit Body:

V Sit Abdominal Exercise

Strengthen your abs and core with this crunch-less ab exercise. Begin sitting on the floor, with both legs out straight in front of you. Bend both knees, lean back slightly and place both hands on the floor for support. Pull your belly button in and keep your torso in proper alignment. In one motion, lift both feet up off the floor. Hold for a count of 20 seconds, and then release. Begin with 5 reps.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.



Are You Up For a Double Ab Challenge?

Fit Body:

Double Ab Challenge!

Double up on your ab challenge with this crunch-plus exercise. Begin lying on your back on the floor. Hold a stability ball between your ankles and knees. Next using both legs lift the ball up off the floor and stabilize your hips and legs. Then  perform a traditional abdominal crunch. Holding your legs still while performing a crunch adds an extra ab challenge.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Isometric Abs!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Ab-Hold Exercise!

Isometric exercise means your muscles are holding a position tight, without movement. Try an Isometric Ab-Hold exercise to strengthen your core. Begin seated. Place both arms along the side of your body for support. Next slowly lean back until you feel your abs engage. Next, lift both legs up off the floor. Breathe normally. Hold for a count of 10 seconds, then release.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Power Up your Pushups

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Power Up your Pushups!

Think of pushups as a moving Plank exercise. This exercise is as much about your core, as it is your upper body muscles. Keep your abs tight and body straight. Pull your shoulders down into your body and tuck your chin in. If you’re up for a challenge: Only push up half-way. Pause for one or two seconds, then immediately lower your body down into the next rep. For even more muscle work, do one set to fatigue (in good form) at the end of your workout.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Strengthen your Abs: Crunch…Plus!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Crunch-hold with both legs up!


To target your core try this crunch exercise:

Lie on your back on the floor. Lift both legs up, with your knees over your hips and your lower legs parallel to the floor. Next, lift your shoulder blades up off the floor to establish your starting position. For more of a challenge, extend both arms straight off the floor along the side of your body. Hold this position for 2 deep breaths or 10 seconds, then release. Do 3-5 reps.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise. This exercise is not for those with back injury concerns.


Quality-Control your Crunches

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Quality Crunches!

Do a quality-control check of your form while doing crunches.

Begin on the floor on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head, with your elbows wide. Lift your chin off your chest. Slowly lift your shoulders up off the floor sliding your ribs toward your hips. You should feel the ab muscles engage. Exhale, and lift up 1-2 inches higher, that’s it. Pause at the top of your range of motion.  Inhale, and slowly lower your shoulders to your starting point, not all the way to the floor. Pause at your starting point. Start with 10 reps.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.


Core Moves: Easy as 1-2-3 by Chanda Fetter

We’re all busy, busy, busy, so here are three great go-to exercises to strengthen your core. 

No more excuses, strengthening your core is a necessity!  It allows us to stand taller, have a stronger spine with less low back and neck discomfort.

Plank  – This is one of the all time best core exercises.  The idea is to contract your core muscles while holding a prone neutral position.  Planks can be done on your elbows, hands.  A general modification to keep your knees on the floor, just make sure your weight shifts into the abdominals as opposed to hips or shoulders.  You will want to tighten your abdominals and make sure to keep your legs sipped together as one.  Other variations include side planks, dynamic rotation or even adding a pike.

Sitting V with Trunk Rotation – Grab yourself a 5-10 pound medicine ball, bag of potatoes or even fruit.  Sit up tall with your feet on the floor, knees bent and hinge back from the hips to engage your abdominals.  If possible wedge your feet under something for added stability.  Be sure you don’t hinge back too far as you don’t want to over recruit your hip flexor muscles, nor do you want to load your lower back.  Stay at a safe angle that allows maximum recruitment of your abdominal wall.  Take your weight and rotate side to side making sure to stay evenly planted on your tail.  While you are performing this exercise be sure to tighten your abs and breathe deep.  Know that this exercise can be performed with just your body weight as well for less intensity by simply crossing your arms on your chest.   Perform until you find fatigue in your abdominals then rest for a few breathes and repeat 3x.

Superman/woman – Lie on your stomach with your arms extended overhead and legs reaching long out of your waist.  Lift opposite arm and leg while lifting chest slightly off the ground.  As your limbs lift, your chest lifts, and they go down, your chest lowers back down.  Once you get the hang of that try lifting all four limbs off the floor and hold for 15-30 seconds.  General reminders are to lengthen out of your spine and inhale, then exhale and lift your chest off the ground to find a position just beyond neutral.  You’ll want to be sure you pull the shoulder blades down your back so you’re not taking weight into your neck and shoulders.  Keep your gluts relaxed and feel the muscles along the sides of your spine tighten and you extend your back.

Chanda Fetter
IMX Pilates Studio & Fitness Center, Owner
IMX Pilates Master Trainer