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You might have done several crunches in your life but you need to ask yourself, “did I do them correctly”. The majority of us have done them incorrectly for years and many continue to do so. The most critical aspect of this is the form.
The starting position for the Side Bend starts with standing straight up. This exercise can be done with or without weights but is easier and more beneficial with weights. Perform this exercise slowly to prevent stress on the lower back, also be sure to stretch first. Dip your body to one side then back up straight like in the picture below. Be sure to pick weights that you can comfortably handle.
Make sure to use controlled movements and do not jerk your body, all the strength from the lift should come from the abs.
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There are several variations of this exercise which involve elevating the legs on a bench, balancing legs in the air, and adding weights for more resistance. But remember that smooth controlled movements is key especially if you are elevating the exercise to include weights.
Depending on your goal, 3 different techniques you could follow are listed below. Pick the one that will work the best for you and watch the results start to develop.
The Fitness Drive Fat Burn technique only takes 6 minutes to execute. It consists of fast motions with short rest periods to maintain a high caloric burn rate. This is a timed exercise and should be done using something that would help tell how much time has gone by (i.e. stopwatch, phone, clock…). This will force you to keep pushing yourself even when you are exhausted.
- Fat Burn: (Time = 6 minutes)
3-4 sets of as many as you can in 1 minute with only 30 second rest periods
(5 times per week)
The Fitness Drive Muscle Build technique only takes 8 minutes to execute. It consists of slow reps to stretch and define the muscles with a longer rest periods. This is a weight training technique that forces the muscles to lift your weight for a longer period of time.
- Muscle Build: (Time = 8 minutes)
3-4 sets of 10-12 reps slowly with 1 minute rest periods
(4 times per week which is every other day)
The Fitness Drive Extreme Build/Burn technique only takes 11 minutes to execute. It consists of fast and slow bursts with a mixture of short and long rest periods. It is a technique that incorporates muscle confusion to elevate the heart rate to bring the body into the fat burning zone while utilizing weight training techniques to push muscles to work even harder.
- **Extreme Build/Burn: (Time = 11 minutes)
Total 6 sets
-1 set of as many as you can do in 1 minute
-Rest period 30-60 seconds
-3 sets of 10-12 reps slowly with 1 minute rest periods
-1 set of as many as you can do in 1 minute with only a 30 second rest period
-1 set of as many as you can do until failure
(3-4 times per week)
Abs is your core and the fundamental center of your strength. Even if you can’t see your abs, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have strength there. An accumulation of fat hides the muscles we so desperately want to show off. Once the fat starts burning away, the Ab muscles starting becoming visible. But… it is not as simple as just doing thousands of sit-ups. *Make sure to follow a strict diet and exercise regiment to expedite the results and further propel your goals.
Regardless of how defined you want to be you need to make sure you set a goal, establish a routine and keep following it. Results do not happen overnight and it is hard to see what progress you are making if you are a mirror-junky (staring at yourself in the mirror every chance you get). Do yourself a favor and take a before picture of yourself, save it and do not look at it again until the time is right. Each week take another picture of yourself. The time to analyze is on a month-to-month basis. Compare your before picture against the 4th week then again on the 8th, 12th, 16th, and 24th week picture. This way you can see the transition your body made and determine each month if the routine you are following is making an impact. *Discipline is the key!
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