Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Dear Fun and Fit: Okay- I have given up not working out. I realize now that I don’t feel good (my back hurts) and I know that it’s because my core is weak and I have to do something. I have an ab wheel that I’ve been using and it is really kicking my behind errr… stomach. I hate crunches, sit-ups, etc. Tell me how to feel better and not actually have to feel like I’m working out. It doesn’t help that I sit on my duff at work a lot (and in the truck).
Also, I’m going to spring break with a bunch of kids and I know that I’m going to feel fat and gross…. at least I can have something to look forward to if I can get a program together for myself and stick with it. I don’t want to join a gym or anything. I just want you to work some miracle via your website. If you send me a bill for this I will pay you in ice cream recipes. Ha!
Nick, Auburn, AL
Kymberly: Aha! So you admit that your “not working out” plan was not working out? Our “work a miracle plan” is practically guaranteed to be more challenging successful. So far your request is pretty much in line with most people’s secret exercise hopes, wishes, and fantasies: no gym, minimal effort, maximum transformation, and in lickety split time. We have the perfect solution to meet your parameters. Alexandra, why don’t you tell Nick what lies behind the magic door? (Foist!)
Alexandra: Hey, Nick, answer this: Do you care more about the spring break deadline or the “not actually feel like I’m working out” criteria? The answers are different depending on your priority. We’ll answer for both, okay? I’ll pretend I’m you….(said in deep Alabama accented-voice) Way-ull, ah care moah about spring break because ah don’t prefer to feel fay-utt and gross around those young persons (okay, how do you spell an Alabamahooian accent?).
This choice means you have a short time to do a lot. Meaning you might actually feel and be working out! Two words – Interval Training. This article says it all, and has a bonus – the word “Fartlek,” which should give you a quick laugh. Since spring break is especially soon, you might even consider HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) since you’re going to suffer anyway in this scenario. While we’re here (and not in Alabama), don’t forget your weight training.
K: Let’s look at the other scenario, where you want to coast to buffdom and ease your back pain. First, let’s graduate you out of the ab wheel and get you handling core work that is lower risk and less focused on abdominus rectus and more on transversus. Our friend and two-time trainer of the year Jonathan Ross, has a book called Abs Revealed, which has the foundational four. If you can do these, your back will show its love by letting the abs take over. Notice – no crunches or sit-ups. Do these:
Supine draw-in (seems simple, yet very effective)
Supine brace (even though he doesn’t know “lie” from “lay”)
Side plank (we showed this one in a previous post, “Fabulosity Comes to Those Who Weight”)
K: Next, pick a card(io), any card(io) and tell everyone what it is. Commit! Then go make it happen at a pace and schedule that work for you. Keep in mind that anything is more than you are doing now since “wishful thinking” does not count. Walk around your truck a few times; swim in the alligator infested rivers of Alabama (keep up a good pace), bike ride, jog. Walk in place or do knee lifts, squats, lunges when you are on the phone.
Also, get going on a resistance training program. Yes, resist ice cream, sitting too long, hunching, feeling bad about yourself. Trucks and push-ups are manly so combine them by whipping out a few push-ups whenever the back end is down — of your truck, of course. Hands go wide on the lowered lift gate. The home workout I recommend here is also manly…and safe for your back. Think of how impressed your young ‘uns will be to see you working out.
A: And you don’t mention your diet, but if it consists mainly of ice cream, your duff won’t be buff! End of story.
Dear Readers: Did you know that sore backs are usually due to weak abs? And do you also wish there was an easy way to get fit quickly?
Photo Credits: Creative Commons