Awwww yes. Are your abs already starting to hurt a little reading that title? 😉 We’ll get there in a second. First, I’m super excited to share a project I’ve been working on with Expedia.
As I know is true for many of you, fitness is a big priority for me. Many of the places in the world that I want to travel to are known for their epic trails, beaches, hikes, races and other opportunities to be active, and that was a huge draw for me when I decided to move to Vancouver. About a month ago, Expedia tasked me with:
- Planning the perfect fitness itinerary for a day spent in Vancouver, and…
- Rounding up a list of my favourite healthy restaurants in the city.
Myself and a bunch of other bloggers created travel guides to help wellness-minded travellers learn about fitness breaks around the world. If Vancouver happens to be on your list of must-travel destinations, take a peek at my recommended fitness itinerary. It covers activities that allow you to see some of the most picturesque scenery and best sweaty opportunities the city has to offer, and when you’re all done, you can re-fuel at one of favourite healthy places to eat, listed here.
Moving right along…
Work It Out
Ok, so about this little ab session. Extending from that travel chat, this is one you can do anywhere because you need zero equipment. It’s a super simple one but never fails to light my core on fire.
Here’s the deal: For ages I was trying to do core work including things like V-sits and straight-leg lifts, only to find that my hip flexors were failing well before my abs even began to feel tired. I chalk this up to my tight runner’s hips and hamstrings, as well as poor core activation. I’ve been working on remedying a lot over the past 3 months, and in the process, also learned that I could get a totally killer ab workout by bending my knees, rather than fighting to try and keep them straight all the time. Earth-shattering discovery, right? 😉 I joke, I joke.
Today’s workout is a combo of 2 moves: low planks and what I like to call ‘half bicycles‘. If you think about the typical bicycle crunch, you’ll probably picture yourself moving your legs in and out while twisting your torso so that your elbows reach across to meet opposite knees, right? Well in this one, I’ve taken out the upper body bit which would have triggered more activation of the obliques. I’ve found keeps the intensity very much focused on the lower abdominal area, and WOW does it ever hit it hard! For the visual learners amongst us, here’s a little gif of me demonstrating for you:
While doing these half bicycles, the focus is not on moving your legs as fast as possible. Rather, it’s on keeping a laser focus on core engagement. In the past, hip flexors fatigue was always the reason for me needing to stop. Instead, the key to this (if you too, feel like your hips are on fire), is to think about pressing the lower back into the mat/floor as firmly as you can. By doing so, you’ll be engaging your core – specifically the lower part. In turn, this helps take the emphasis off the hips so that the workout actually happens where you want it to! As you get tired and feel the muscles fatiguing (and you will, I promise), slow down your legs and focus on pointing the extended toe, trying to elongate as much as you possibly can to just a couple of inches above the ground.
The Ab Ripper Workout
This quick, do-anywhere core combo consists of 10 simple rounds that sound straightforward but pack a deadly punch. Each round has 30 seconds of half bicycles, 5s rest, 30s of low planks, and another 5s rest. If you’re new to this type of core work, even just doing 5 rounds of this should be enough to make you feel it. If you want the full challenge, go for 10 and follow it up with some deep stretches afterwards that elongate the entire torso.
Turn It Up
This week’s tune is Visions by Cheat Codes, and I love it because these days it’s been giving me an energy lift and a mood boost. There are a few remixes out there, but the original is still the one I like most. Enjoy!
Can’t see the video? Click here.
Have A Read
- The mental habits of successful athletes and fitness pros – via Mind Body Green
- This is how one of the fittest women on earth really works out – via Women’s Health. Daniela Ryf was one of my biggest inspirations for getting into triathlon and she’s dominating the sport like nobody’s business. If you need a little motivation, she’s one to follow!
- 10 home workouts that prove you don’t need a gym to get fit – via Greatist
Now over to you! I’d love to hear…. what fit cities are on your list of places to visit?