April 14, 2024

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.


Take your ab workout to the next level

Get Fit Quick Tip:


Crank your ab workout up a notch with this exercise:

Lie on your back on the floor with your hands behind your ears. Hold both feet up off of the floor with your knees over your hips. Begin by lifting both shoulders up off of the floor. Next lift your right shoulder up toward your belly button, at the same time bringing your left knee toward your belly button. Return to your starting position. Now lift your left shoulder up toward your belly button, at the same time bringing your right knee toward your belly button. Repeat 10 times.

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.


Burpees: Love to Hate Them?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Try Burpees for high-energy cardio fitness!

Consider adding burpee intervals into your fitness routine for a cardio-burst and total body challenge. Simply mention the word, burpee, and you’re sure to be greeted with a few moans and groans. However, here’s the bottom line: They work for cardio conditioning and strength building for just about every muscle. There are many variations and modifications. Here’s how to begin:

Begin standing. Squat down and place both hands flat on the floor in front of your body. Kick or step out both legs behind you into a pushup position. Perform one pushup. Hop or step both feet in to a squat position. Immediately jump straight up with both arms overhead, and with both feet up off the floor or stand up straight to complete one rep.


*Consult a physician before performing exercise.

Get Your Workout on the Ball

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Get on the Ball.

Revisit the stability ball in your workout! Sitting on an unstable surface such as the ball recruits your core muscles, adding a unique challenge to your workout routine. A few reminders:


Choose a stability ball that is the appropriate size for your height. When sitting on the ball, your hips should be slightly higher than your knees.

Stability is paramount. Before adding weights or a band to your exercise, make sure you’re able to sit or lean against the ball safety and securely.

Form is important. You should be able to maintain proper spinal alignment, without any rocking side to side of your torso or weight shifting.

Ask a Fitness Professional for proper instruction and exercises for your goals and ability.


*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Squats on the go!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Wall Squat!

Wall Squats or Wall Sits make a great go-to lower body exercise to be completed when traveling, at the office or at home. Simply find a space along the wall or door frame. Lean your body against the wall. Place your feet about 18 inches away from the wall. Keeping your torso straight, slide your body down the wall about 12 inches. Line your knees up over your ankles. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Slide up the wall and return to your starting position.


*Always consult your physician before performing exercise.

Home Gym Essentials by Brett Klika

Home gyms come in all shapes, sizes and most significantly, prices. It’s important to note however, the true worth of a home gym is not in how much it costs; it’s in how much it’s used.  Low cost, multi-functional, space saving equipment that is used regularly is a lot more effective than elaborate, expensive, space hogging machines that are used primarily as clothing hangers (can you even find that treadmill you bought under everything you have piled on top of it?) Odds are your exercise preference will change over the years. There is no one way you will want to exercise for your entire life. When you buy equipment that allows only a limited amount of exercise options, you’ll eventually get bored and quit. You will want to buy equipment that can adapt to new trends and keep you challenged no matter how you chose to get fit. Below are 4 must-haves for an effective, adaptable, and useable home gym that won’t break the bank. 

Selectorized dumbbells ($300-$500). Regardless of your goals or fitness level, dumbbells are hard to beat for adding resistance to your workouts. They can be used in any activity in a nearly un-ending variety of movement patterns to make an exercise more challenging. The only problem with dumbbells is that you often need to have quite a few of them because different activities require different resistances. This can get expensive as well as space-consuming.    

Selectorized dumbbells allow you to use one set of dumbbells and have the ability to change their weight, often from 5 up to over 100 pounds! Different brands use different mechanisms, but you chose the weight you wish to use and when you pick up the dumbbells, it only carries that amount of weight. This not only allows you to do literally thousands of different exercises, it allows you to progress over time.

TRX Suspension Trainer ($120-$150). The TRX is the most significant piece of fitness equipment to hit the market in many years. It’s an extremely simple design, but allows for thousands of exercise variations using your bodyweight as resistance. Developed by Navy Seals to stay strong while in the field, all you need is something sturdy to hang the adjustable nylon straps with handles and foot cradles from. There are an endless number of exercises for strength, power, core, endurance, cardiovascular, and even rehabilitation training. It can be stored in a small bag so you can take the TRX with you if you travel. Multiple videos are available that demonstrate different programs, and TRX constantly updates the information. You will never run out of ways to get fit with this piece of equipment.

Adjustable Weight Lifting Bench ($200-$500).  This is one of those no-frills pieces of equipment that has nearly endless uses.  A bench can be lied on, sat on, jumped on and stepped on. It can be used to modify exercises to make them harder or easier. It takes up little to no space and offers quite a few opportunities, from the creative to the traditional, to shape the body you want.

Resistance Bands with Handles ($15-$30 each, 3 different resistances are recommended).  Resistance bands allow for a unique method of training. Unlike what you can do with the other equipment, resistance bands allow you to work independent of gravity. This offers thousands of exercise options for beginners a well as advanced exercise enthusiasts. With bands you can rotate, push, pull, chop, and do a ton of varied movements, without having to lie on your back or position yourself against gravity. 

Seek professional advice to get started on the right foot. Enlisting guidance from a professional fitness trainer is a great way to learn proper techniques and new exercise methods. Additionally, they’ll keep you accountable in the years to come.

Brett Klika C.S.C.S., Director of Athletics at Fitness Quest 10, is a world renowned human performance specialist, motivational speaker, author, and educator. For a copy of his new e-book and exercise program “The Underground Workout Manual- Exercise and Fat Loss in the Real World” visit www.undergroundworkoutmanual.com.  To contact Brett, send correspondence to brett@fitnessquest10.com.