Archive

Monthly Archives: February 2012
30

Kneeling Core Move: Ab-Fab-ulous!

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Are you ready for another core move that will strengthen your abs and is a bit of a challenge?

Kneeling Core Move – Lean Waaaaay Back

The kneeling core move has you on your knees, but not begging for forgiveness! Everywhere a belt would touch is where you’ll have to contract. When you do this move correctly, you will feel your abs engaging and working for sure. Done right, your glutes stay pushed forward and contracted throughout.

 

Our short video shows both the right and wrong way to get the most from the Kneeling Core Move.

 

 

The tricky thing about this core exercise is that it’s easy to do wrong. So we recommend using a mirror the first few times you try it. You will think you are hinging at the floor, yet may be be actually hinging along the spine (bending at waist or hips, tipping at shoulders).

If you feel off-balance, you’re probably doing it right. If your behind sticks out, you are doing it wrong and will get zero abs benefit. You will improve your hula hooping though! If the Kneeling Core Move seems easy,  check your form or have someone check it for you. (After you both watch the video of course).

Want more ab and core moves?  Try our Rotating Abs Exercise then check whether you have True Core Strength.

Then you’ll have More More More, How Do You Like It? More more more CORE core core! Sing along with us now.

Try this exercise both clockwise and counterclockwise and let us know what you think in the comments below! We also hope you subscribe to our YouTube channel.

 

 

22

Dizzy from Breath-Holding During Workouts?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: Wassup frequin* twinsies!!  I have a question that I think you may have answered before but I can’t remember.  Sometimes when I’m working out doing weights or Pilates or any manner of things that require concentration on form and posture, rather than breathe regularly I hold my breath.  Because of the intense concentration and all. Sometimes I think I push too hard and then feel dizzy (probably because of the lack of oxygen to my brain or possibly I caught a glimpse of my own awesomesauce in the mirror and swooned a bit). So my question is how do I make sure I’m breathing properly and CONTINUOUSLY when I’m making this saucy bod even more saucy?  Frequins* 4eva, Lacy, TN

Note from Fun and Fit: * Freqins are freaks who wear sequins. Or twins who frequently wear sequins. While freaking out.

I feel so faint and swoony. Throw some water on me.

Alexandra: We’ve never answered this specific question. Nope. One simple thing you can do with the weights is relax your grip on them. You probably have a death grip, which leads to breath-holding. Release at least one finger (I always tell my students that it can be the middle finger if that makes them remember), and you’ll find you won’t be so tense or tight.
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Pilates is specific about exhaling and inhaling, so your teacher should come over and talk you through it. But…..that’s not what you want to hear right now. You happen to have a bad habit, so you need to park yourself right in front of the mirror and watch yourself. Staring at your tense, tight face will remind you to exhale. If you just can’t remember, stick a lipstick or something like that between your teeth to force your mouth open. The little bits of dry heave drool will remind you to exhale.

Kymberly: Another trick is to talk to yourself throughout each repetition. Exhale with Exertion; Inhale with Release; Exhale with Exertion; Inhale with Release.

Breathe Through That Thing, I Tell You!

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Alexandra: It’s really hard to remember to breathe when you’re on your own; it takes reminders. So you have to somehow train yourself to be your own reminder OR ask the teacher to watch you very closely. When I’m teaching, I wander around class and ask students if they’re breathing when I see breath-holding. They have to exhale in order to answer me. Do you by any chance have a class buddy?

Kymberly: For what it’s worth, breath-holding is super common. Not that you aren’t special and all. But at any given moment when in a class or the gym, we see people forgetting to exhale. If you find it hard to get a teacher, trainer, or friend to remind you to “breeeeaaaaathe” then look around at others. If you see jaw tension, red faces, bulging eyes, raised, tight shoulders, or hear gasping sounds, use those external signs as your own reminder.

If all else fails, invest in a Tentacle Fainting Couch.

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Readers: What trick do you use to remind yourself to inhale and exhale with some semblance of normalcy?

Photo credits: Creative Commons – Camera on autopilot, tigitogs, Smjor

18

3 Tips for Preventing Shin Splints [Video]

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

See how painful that looks? Only your heart should look this red and throbbing!

Do you want to prevent shin splints? Apparently many of you do as “shin splints” is our site’s most popular search term. (Yeah, we peeked). Our previous post about preventing shin splints is one of our “top sellers” (except it’s free to read).

 

 

 

The 3 tips in the video below will help you prevent shin splints. You’ll see more in future posts on what to do before and  after  shin pain. For now, take a look at this short video:

 

Key for you to know is that the shin (anterior tibialis) and calf (gastrocnemius, plus five other calf muscles  work as a team. Most people shower too much attention on the calf, and neglect the shin. The calf gets big and bossy and tries to exert constant force on the little tib. This makes the shin very envious and it shows its displeasure by becoming stressed and painful. If you give the shin a bit more love (that is secret code for “more training”) it will be happy and joyous and take you all kinds of places pain-free.

Have you ever had shin splints? What did you do to recover?

Photo Courtesy of Mayo Clinic

Voting for the Shorty Awards ends on 2/17. Please vote for Alexandra in the #SocialFitness category if you haven’t already. Thank you.

Nominate Alexandra Williams for a social media award in the Shorty Awards!

Nominate Alexandra Williams

for a social media award in the Shorty Awards

24

11 Random, Yet Enticing, Tidbits about Alexandra

By Alexandra Williams, MA

I was tagged by Tara Burner and a few other bloggers (sorry, but I got overtired and forgot exactly who the 3 others were) to do a post sharing 11 random things about myself. I normally don’t like to share…unless it involves raw mushrooms, in which case I will share ALL of them, but I can’t disappoint my friends, so this is my contribution. This chain mail blog post tag hootchiemagootchie is in 3 parts: 1. Share 11 things about myself. I get to choose. 2. Answer the questions given to me by Tara. 3. Write my own set of 11 questions then tag 11 of my suckers friends. They have to then write a post and answer MY questions.

My Random Life has been Fun so Far

And awaaaaay we go:
Eleven random things about myself:
1. I am the shortest of 5 children.
2. I get vertigo when too stressed.
3. My children are ethical and compassionate. This means I did a good job as a mom.
4. I used to be a DJ on a radio station in Santa Barbara County. Ralph Story complimented me. He’s dead now. It’s not because of me.
5. I love disco. Get over it.
6. I wish I’d known how adorable I was back when I was.
7. Some woman has been stalking me for years. She says she’s my twin.
8. I’m the same size I was in high school. I suspect sizing has changed.
9. I went water skiing when I was 16 and my bathing suit top fell off. Needless to say, I let go of the rope and stayed in the water until my 30s.
10. I feel sad when my younger son isn’t included in things.
11. Being up on a stage with a microphone is really fun for me.

These are the questions I was asked by Tara Burner
1. Juice? Coffee? or Tea?
Is this the part where I get to strut my stuff in the airplane and say, “Or me?” Giving me caffeine is about the same as giving me mint mojitos and Bailey’s – I just talk faster, tell bad jokes, and twitch wildly when handsome guys go by. So, um, that would be tea.

2. What’s your favorite food?
Well, the thing I chew on the most is my fingernails, so do they count as food? If not, maybe freshly baked bread. I like anything fresh (you hear that, Colin Firth?).

3. Do you have any hidden talents?
No, all my talents are well-publicized. Mostly by me. On bathroom walls. I suppose my master’s in counseling might be hidden. Or maybe suppressed. What does that say about my relationship with my train set? And I can speak parts of a number of languages.

4. Have you ever hitch-hiked?
Yes. It did not go well. It involved police and a pervert. They were not one and the same.

5. What’s your favorite workout program?
Any program where I outlast my 20-year-old students and they get that look of awe, respect, and fear in their eyes!

6. Do you experience road rage or just drive in peace?
I drive in peace, but those other drivers are idiots.

7. Favorite place to vacation?
In my head. Every day. Ohhhhhhmmmmmmm. Or the Netherlands. Or the nether regions of my brain. But it’s windy there.

8. Are you spontaneous or like a schedule?
I’m answering this one out of order just to prove I’m spontaneous. Next I’ll mix coffee with a mint mojito, just to see what happens. Then I’ll spontaneously throw up most likely. And I’m not “like a schedule” although I do follow one.

9. Meat eater? vegetarian? vegan?
I eat vegans. Actually, I’m a vegetarian. If it has legs and a face, I don’t eat it.

10. Pets?
Yes, I like to be petted. A feel would be nice too. Just kidding. Don’t touch me, ya weirdo, or I’ll sic my dog and 3 cats on you. My cat Ella is spontaneous. She falls asleep in the sink. And leaves dead lizards and snakes where she knows I’ll step on them. Pets are mean that way.

11. Makeup? or natural?
I didn’t make up anything in this post. It all came to me naturally. While I was shaving my legs and buying Chanel lipstick. That’s my secret indulgence that I didn’t mention above. It was a secret until just now.

And, these are my questions for
Nora dePalma
Todd Vendituoli
Nick Lovelady
Bob Borson

Ginny Powell
Matthew Poster
Brian Kelley
Courtney Alev
Kris Beal
XLMIC
Alfonso Moretti

1. What was your favorite subject in high school?
2. What makes you laugh?
3. If you had to describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?
4. What is one thing you wish you had never done in your life?
5. What is one thing you’ve done that you’re 100% sure was the right choice?
6. What’s one place you’ve never been that you want to visit?
7. Steam or sauna?
8. Have you ever been on a blind date? If so, how did it go?
9. Push-ups or planks?
10. What is your worst cooking disaster?
11. If you had to give a one-sentence toast to your beloved, what would it be?

Tag Rules:
1. Post these rules in your post.
2. Post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the tagger’s post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag.
5. Go to the blogs of the people you’ve tagged to tell them they’ve been tagged.
6. You legitimately and actively have to tag 11 people. No saying “you are tagged if you are reading this.”

13

Chin Check: Get Better Posture-Part 7

If you are like most people, you want to get ahead in life. The metaphor exists for a good reason. Many people literally stick their head ahead as they advance in life.  Such “get-aheaders” are technically called “forward head thrusters.”  Guess what? Odds are good (or would that be “bad”?) that YOU are a forward head thruster. How can you know? And what does it matter?

To find out whether your spinal alignment has (mal)adapted to a desire to get ahead, take the quick chin check we show in our video.

Sure, you might not like the momentary double-chin look. Goodness knows I, Kymberly am not so keen on that video side view of my triple chin (what I will for you lovely readers!). But you will like the benefits of that bowling ball known as your head being balanced over its support system instead of awkwardly perched in front of it.

Centering your head over your spine will increase comfort, decrease neck tension, keep you nicely extended, and save the planet. Or at least your posture.

Readers and Viewers: How much space did you have between your finger and chin? “Fess up.

26

11 Random Fitnessy Things About Kymberly

Alexandra and I got “tagged” the other day by our friend and fellow fitness blogger, Tara Burner. Welcome to the online version of chain mail. No way do I want to be the one who triggers 7 years of weight gain.

Here’s the gig: the tagged person (Exhibit Myself)  is to write a post (Exhibit This One), list 11 random things about oneself, answer 11 questions posed by aforementioned Tara The Tagger; then ask our own 11 questions of 11 people we tag. Pass the chain mail love dish please! I got a workout just following all those instructions. So here goes: My TMI moment. Since (Exhibit A for) Alexandra is out of town, this is the perfect time to mess around. And fair warning given — she was tagged as well so y’all come back now, Ya hear?

11 Random Things About Me, Me, All Me (How are you enjoying the east coast, sissie?)

  1. Since this is a fitness blog, I arbitrarily make up my own rules. So all random items will be fitness oriented.
  2. In 30 years of teaching group exercise, I have fallen off the stage twice. One of those times I was 9 months pregnant.
  3. When shooting a live tv show about pool exercise I once twisted out of my cross-tied, one piece bathing suit when showing a move from the deck. Ratings did not go up. My bodacious ta-tas sure did though.
  4. I almost got a speeding ticket for choreographing a routine while driving. As the beats and moves got faster, so did my gas pedal foot. Confessing this to the cop made him laugh and put away his ticket book. Honesty pays!
  5. If I teach a class before 8:30 am I cannot sleep well the night prior as I worry about missing the wake-up time.
  6. I truly LOVE the people who come to my classes. Except that one lady.
  7. If I take a class and the teacher is off the 8 or 32 count, it drives me bonkers.
  8. When I taught fitness on a cruise ship that embarked from Hamburg, I made it but my luggage didn’t. My clothes, fitness gear, toiletries – everything! – joined me 3 days later on a special drop off near the Arctic Circle.
  9. The first time I ever heard of “aerobics” was in 1978, when a friend asked whether I’d like to join her in this “dance type class where you move the whole hour without stopping and get really breathless, but it helps you lose weight.” I looked at her like she was crazeee and asked “why the heck would I want to do that?”
  10.  One day I got two notes about me in the same comment box: 1) “Kymberly is the worst teacher on the entire schedule” and 2) “Kymberly is the best teacher on the staff.” Obviously Kymberly is the most schizophrenic teacher.
  11. I love disco music and disco moves. Yes, I could happily work out to disco tunes and Turn The Beat Around through the Last Dance cuz I’m Staying Alive.

My answers to the 11 questions posed by  Tara Burner who tagged me.

Warrior Pose by Kymberly

(Darn you Burner! I will find you and make you pay, you vixen!):

1. Juice? Coffee? or Tea?
Thai Iced Tea, 100% juice watered down  (no “juice beverage”). If I drank coffee with caffeine, it would be like giving oxygen to a FIYAH.
2. What’s your favorite food?
Whatever good chefs cook for me from healthy, fresh, nutrient-dense ingredients
3. Do you have any hidden talents?
If I told you they would not be hidden.  Ok, ok, sewing and restoring historic houses
4. Have you ever hitchhiked?
Once and it was once too often
5. What’s your favorite workout program?
A well-taught advanced step class with fun, challenging choreography. Or a dance-oriented cardio workout such as Qignition.
6. Do you experience road rage or just drive in peace?
“Get out of my way you slow poke dumba$$!”  I drive in peace. Take me to your leader.
7. Favorite place to vacation?
Depends. Who’s paying? I love discovering new places.
8. Are you spontaneous or do you like a schedule?
I prefer a schedule that allows for some spontaneity
9. Meat eater? vegetarian? vegan?
Meat eater seasoned with hints of verging vegetarian.
10. Pets?
Always! Pooosy cats Zorro and Bella; Black Lab puppy Kila (Hawaiian for “seal”)
11. Makeup? or natural?
Somewhere in between. Refer to Question #3.

Questions for those I tag. Passing that dish of love to background music Chains, Chains, Chains, Chains of Love

Kymberly at Rancho la Puerta

  1. Favorite blog post you have written? Title and link please.
  2. Why is it your fave?
  3. On a 1-10 scale, 1 = totally a couch potato who never moves; 10 = ready for the Olympics, where do you rate your current fitness level?
  4. What annoys you most: bad grammar, bad punctuation, bad photos/images?
  5. What is the wackiest or lamest excuse you have ever used to get out of a workout?
  6. What is the lamest or most outlandish excuse you have ever use to get out of a social event?
  7. What is your preferred workout place – home, club, outdoors, in your dreams? Other?
  8. Favorite book that was turned into a movie?
  9. Favorite (or handiest) motivational quote?
  10. What do you think “qi” means?
  11. What question do you wish I had asked?

Rules for Tagees:

  • Post these rules in your post.
  • Post 11 random things about yourself. (They do not have to relate to fitness at all)
  • Answer the questions set for you in the tagger’s post.
  • Create 11 new questions for the people you tag.
  • Go to the blogs of the people you’ve tagged to tell them they’ve been tagged.
  • You legitimately and actively have to tag 11 people. No saying “you are tagged if you are reading this.

Tag, you’re it:

* Denise Wakeman   Slim People in Progress http://www.slim-people.com/ or http://denisewakeman.com/
* Life Lessons Halfway Through http://life-lessons-halfway-through.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html
* John Poole  http://birminghampoint.co/blog/
* Lacy, Modern Sauce  http://modernsauce.blogspot.com/
* Jody Goldenfield http://www.truth2beingfit.com/
* Megan Merchant http://meganmerchantsblog.blogspot.com/
* Ron Fritzke http://cycling-review.com/
* Toneka Pires http://embraceu.com/
* Margo Donahue, BrooklynFitChik  http://brooklynfitchick.typepad.com/brooklyn-fit-chick/
* Evelyn Parham, Become a Healthier You http://evelynparham.com/
* Rebekah Borucki, Bex Life   http://www.bexlife.com/

13

Easy Way to Find Your Abs

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Have you ever wondered if you’re doing your ab exercises wrong or right? Well, we have lots of posts that show the best way to do ab moves, but this one shows how to determine if you’re contracting your abs properly.

Is Your Ab Contraction Bouncy or Sexy?

Did you even know there’s a “proper” way to contract? Let’s put it this way – did you know that if you “push” on your contraction, you’ll have strong abs, but they’ll stick out? Strong, not cute. But if you follow the tips in the video, your abs will be strong and cute. Just like you!

Click To Tweet

Now that you know how to contract your abs properly, here is a core workout series, that will get you some fab abs. Yup. Fabulous Abs!

Readers: What abdominal/core move do you love that you suspect you could be doing wrong?

8

Patriot Push-Ups Challenge Round Up

by Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

January 2012 is now over, which means the Patriot Push-Ups Challenge is now over…sort of. Before we explain the “sort of,” let’s recap what the challenge is.

Come on, only 210 to go!

Joe Evans, Matthew Poster and Alexandra started talking on Twitter about honoring our U.S. servicemen and women who were killed in action in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. We decided to do a Patriot Push-Ups Challenge. That meant 6,347 push-ups in the 31 days of January. We’ll do the math for you – it’s essentially 212 per day.

Halfway through the Patriot Push-Ups, we highlighted some of the participants. Now we shall show you some video of a few of our very dedicated participants. You’ll want to read all the way through!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoWVuDpVkR4[/youtube]

This is Joe Evans. We think he did all of them on his toes. At something like 4 in the morning. He is a military man. He is very disciplined. Chat with him on Twitter.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c04nHXwXQJU&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

This is Matthew Poster. He has been encouraging families to get active for a long time. Chat with him on Twitter about his GetFitSu workout cards.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIjEeJcye0s[/youtube]

And this is Chuck Runyon. He owns Anytime Fitness. They donated a one-year membership to one of our challengers. When Chuck isn’t doing push-ups, he’s touring the country, talking about his book Working Out Sucks. But you know, it’s all relative. We think the 6,347 men and women who died on our behalf would much rather work out and be alive. They were killed in action. Honor them – don’t kill yourself from inaction!

Now we’ll explain what the “sort of ” alluded to at the start means: Although we’re done with the January push-ups, we are going to switch over to #PatriotAbs for February. Since it has only 29 days in the month, that means 219 per day. Please join us by commenting below. If you’re on Twitter, use the Patriot Abs hashtag listed here.

And finally…please help us congratulate Angela (@KidsHusbandandI). She is the winner of the one-year Anytime Fitness membership. She did her push-ups very diligently as she was quite motivated (even with a bad shoulder). As she said, “My motivation for doing the push-ups is to show my appreciation for the US Troops that gave the ultimate sacrifice.  My father is a Vietnam Veteran and I will always hold a special place in my heart for our soldiers.  As soon as I read the push-ups idea, I knew it was something I would do.”

 

Photo Credit: Robert Couse-Baker via Creative Commons