Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ab Roller

The holidays are in full swing and our schedules are getting filled to the brim.  However, this is all the more reason to take some time out for yourself to relieve stress and do something for you (and your body).  Besides, don’t we all want to look fabulous in our holiday and New Year photos?  Keep up your exercise program and you will not only look toned but you will be radiant as well.

This week we are focusing on our core.  In my cardio kickboxing classes this exercise typically comes at the end of the workout and it is a bit infamous.  My students hate it because it’s so surprising hard and yet they love the strengthening and toning they get from it.  Read on, so that you too can conquer the ‘Ab Roller’!

Ab Roller
Note: You will need a weighted ball for this exercise.
Begin with your hands on the ball and your knees spread slightly apart.  This next step is key to get the most out of this exercise: bring your booty down to make one line between your shoulders and your knee; this will make sure that you use your core muscles throughout the exercise rather than just using your booty weight.  Keep your belly pulled in toward your spine, chest open, shoulders relaxed, and head up.
From this position, slowly roll the ball out in front of you (keeping your booty down).  Reach the ball out in front of you as far as you can while still staying off the ground.  Hold for 2 seconds.  Now, inhale, reach, then exhale, flexing your legs and core to inch the ball back in toward you.  If you are doing this correctly, it should take at least 5-10 “reps” of the flexing/inching the ball in to get the ball back to the starting point.  Remember, try to keep your booty down as much as possible!  It will be hard, but well worth it.  Try to do at least 10 repetitions, 2 -3 times.
Note: For the full benefits of exercise you need both cardiovascular and strength training; this exercise qualifies as strength training so make sure to add in some cardio to get your heart rate up.

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