Exercise "Must Haves"

Happy New Year!! I don't know about you, but my holidays went by in a blur. As I get back to normal life and begin a new year, I think about new resolutions just like everyone else. I think the most common resolution people make is to get back into shape, stay in shape, and live a healthier life. I am a person who is intrinsically motivated to exercise...meaning, I love working out. I enjoy my muscles aching from a good run or strength training session. (My husband thinks I'm slightly insane, and I just may be) So, this kind of New Year's resolution comes more naturally to me than it might to other people.

What I've really been thinking about lately are my exercise "must haves". These are the moves I just have to do every day whether I have a workout planned or not. These moves are just as important to me as my coffee in the morning (coffee is part of the reason I get up in the morning). I thought I'd share them just to show that a healthy lifestyle can be started with just a few moves everyday. Try them and let me know what you think. If you have any exercise "must haves" of your own, I'd love to hear them!

Genie's Exercise "Must Haves"

I've said it before, but these are a staple!! I do close grip, wide grip, and regular. Do as many as you can until you can't perform another with good form. Each day, try and add one or two more. You'll be amazed at how your body adapts!

Leg Raises:
I swear by these for a strong lower abdomen and hip flexors. Lie face up on the floor with the legs straight and arms perpendicular to body on the ground. Keep the legs together and knees straight and use the lower abs to raise the legs straight into the air. Lower the legs back down until legs are about an inch off the floor, but don't touch the floor. Repeat. Try starting with 10 reps and increase a little everyday. When you've mastered these, try turning the legs so that both knees are facing the right or left. Then lift as you normally would for an awesome burn in the obliques.

Front Plank:
Get into plank position on forearms and feet. Hold the body in a straight line. Keep the head neutral. Concentrate on keeping the abs tight. Start by holding for as many seconds as you can while maintaining good form. Each day hold for a little longer until you can hold for at least 60 seconds. When you've mastered this, try adding in some leg lifts. While holding the plank, slowly lift one leg, lower and then lift the other. Focus on squeezing the glutes as you lift.

Written by Genie Bianchi, RRCA Coach

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