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5 Great Moves for Flexibility by Tara Stiles
Try this if you dare! I do it 3 times a week and my core has strengthened tremendously. It feels like a Ab and Cardio workout mash up.
Move #1: Cross Crunch
A cross crunch is just like a normal crunch. Start out on your back with your arms crisscrossed on your chest and your hands touching your shoulders. Place your feet together and your knees up so your legs are at 90 degrees. Now do a normal crunch where your shoulder blades come off the ground, then bring your knees (while still together) to your elbows. This is a compounded abdominal exercise that hits all your ab muscles from your sternum down to your pelvic bone.
Move #2: Bridge Crunch
Continue to lay on your back with your knees up at 90 degrees, but this time with your hands behind your head (DO NOT INTERTWINE YOUR FINGERS). A bridge crunch starts out like a normal crunch where again your shoulder blades come off the ground, and then you do that pelvic thrust you have been dying to do but never had the opportune moment to do so. When you raise your butt off the ground come up as far as you possibly can, preferably there should be a straight line from the bottom of your knee caps all the way to your shoulder blades.
Move #3: Iso Bike
Also known as Bicycle Kicks, to do the ISO bike exercise you are simply bicycle kicking your feet out and alternating elbows that touch your knees. During the length of thisexercise both feet should be about 6 inches off the ground AT ALL TIMES. However unlike regular bicycle kicks you are ISOLATING each oblique and holding your elbow to knee for 2 seconds before alternating sides. This is one exercise that is never going away; it’s a staple of pretty much any abdominal workout. Continue for the allotted time period.
Move #4: Speed Bike
This is the exact same exercise as the ISO Bike but you are not isolating you are going as fast as you can while maintaining your correct form. Again correct form is paramount; if you need a break take one, then get back in.
Move #5: Golden Gate
laying on your back with your fingers underneath your butt, lift your straight legs (together) so they are at a 45 degree angle off the floor (this is your starting position). Next spread your legs out as far as they can go, and then close them. Next tuck your knees to your chest and your calf muscles to your hamstrings, and then go back to your starting position. The lower you position your legs to the ground the harder the exercise. Continue for the allotted time period.
Move #6: Side Arm “O” Crunch
Get into a side plank. A side plank is where your body is propped up on one arm, your feet are together and your whole body is at a 45 degree angle. Next, with your free hand, lift it up and over your head. Now you are ready to begin. The only thing you are doing here is bringing your free arms’ elbow to your top legs’ knee. They should rendezvous at about hip level.
Move #7: Side Arm “O” Crunch, opposite side
Switch sides for your Side Arm “O” Crunch. ALWAYS Be mindful of your form. I don’t just say that to feel good about myself. I say that because if you hurt yourself you won’t be working out tomorrow, and that does you no good!
Move #8: Hip Lift Kick
This time you are going to start with a low side plank, which is just like a regular side plank but you are going to down on your elbow instead of propped up on your hand. With your free hand on your hip, bring your top knee up toward your chest at hip height, then kick your lower leg straight out. If you are doing this properly, you should be able to look down and see that your leg forms a perfect “L” shape. Then just reverse the sequence by pulling your lower leg in, never placing your leg back on top of your other leg. Rinse and Repeat. And remember FORM > Reps ALWAYS. Continue for the allotted time period.
Move #9: Hip Lift Kick, opposite side
Move #10: Plank “O” Crunch aka Spider-Man Crunches
Start out in a full plank position, a plank is just like you are going to start doing a push-up - hands underneath your shoulders and your back straight (No butt in the air or sagging hips). Next, alternate bringing your knee to your shoulder blade, meaning bring your left knee to your left shoulder blade (or as far as you can go), then alternate bringing your right knee to your right shoulder blade (or as far as you can go).
Move #11: 3 Point Plank Crunch
Again, start out in a plank position. Note: For this exercise one leg is going to be off the ground the whole duration of the exercise. Start with your right toe a few inches off the ground then bring your right knee straight in as far as it can go (this is point 1). Next, move your right knee as far to your left as it can possibly go (this is point 2). Lastly, return your leg to the starting position with your toe STILL off the ground.
Move #12: 3 Point Plank Crunch, opposite side
Move #13: Lolasana
This is a modification of the tried and true mountain climber. Again, start out in plank position. Next, just like you are an Olympic sprinter, take one small step in with your right leg (about half way from your foot and your hands, or about where your hips are, if you are that flexible) then with your left leg crunch it into your stomach. Return your left leg, then your right leg. Now switch legs meaning take a small step with your left leg and continue the sequence. Continue for the allotted time period.
Move #14: The Dawn
Lay on your stomach with your elbows underneath you. Next, raise up on your elbows and toes so that your whole body is off the ground, and your head is looking in front of you and not at the ground (This is position #1). Next lift your butt straight up in the air as high as you can go without moving your elbows, and move your head down as far as you can so you can get your butt up higher (This is position #2). Now return to position #1 and repeat for the allotted time period.
Move #15: Mountain Climber
Start out in a plank position and alternate climbing up the mountain in this position. The only thing to watch out for is to make sure your forward foot touches the ground each and every time. DO NOT LET THAT BUTT SAG, or throw it way up in the air; you are in a plank position the whole time, meaning that shoulders are ALWAYS over your wrist.
Move #16: Superman Crunch
Video can explain better then I can.
Move #17: Tick Tock Lift
Start out lying on your back again, feet together, lift your legs straight up in the air. Next, with your feet still together, move them to about where the 1:30 position on a clock is (the farther you go down the harder the exercise is), next move your legs to about where the 10:30 position on a clock is (if you can’t go that far, then just go as far as you can; if you can, go further). Next come back to the 12:00 position then lift your butt off the ground. Continue to do this for the allotted time period.
Move #18: Peek a Boo
These are just like the Golden Gates you did earlier, except you are only spreading your legs apart then back together for the allotted time period. BUT you are in an isometric crunch the whole time, meaning your shoulder blades should be off the ground for the entire duration of the exercise.
Move #19: Scissor Crunch
Start out lying on your back. Now scissor your legs, one straight up in the air, the other leg six inches off the ground. Now crunch your upper body and make sure you get those shoulder blades off the ground. Next scissor your legs so that the other leg is straight up in the air and the other leg is six inches off the ground then crunch again. Continue for the allotted time period.
Move #20: Scissor Lift
-This is probably the hardest exercise of the bunch because it is a plyometric (explosive) exercise. Again, start out lying on your back and raise both arms over your head. Now explode your body up and bring your right leg up at the same time like a V sit position. Use your arms as if you were going to hug your leg, then return to your starting position. Repeat with your left leg. Continue for the allotted time period.
This ab workout is crazy. If you want to work your abs fast and hard, this is the one for you. I didn’t think the 10 minutes would ever end. There are 20 moves in 10 minutes. Yes, I said 20 moves. They are 30 seconds each. And, I am convinced that every fiber of every muscle in my abdomen was worked over. Almost all of these moves have some sort of modification for those just starting out or nursing an injury. There is no warm up or cool down. All you need is a mat, and some serious will power. This 10 Minute Trainer ab workout is an awesome addition to your routine, 3 times a week. Above is our long and scary list of ab moves enjoy.
If you work out, and you don’t squat, then you don’t work out. They are the single most important exercise for almost every type of athlete out there. Master the squat, and you will improve every other lift that you do in the gym.