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MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,423
2/20/14 10:30 P

Try incline pushups www.sparkpeople.com/resource/exercises.asp
?exercise=133
as an intermediate step between modified (on the knees) pushups and regular pushups.

M@L

PEANUT-M-MS Posts: 314
2/20/14 8:40 P

Thanks so much Coach Jen. You answered my question and now I can fill in the space in my Weight goal chart. I don't have any way to do the Step Ups tho'. I think you have to go to a gym to get that checked out.
I am grateful to Archimedes and my other first responder, ML, as well. I wasn't trying to just flatten my stomach, but to test myself in one area. I'm an old lady but I can hold a 3+ minute plank, but haven't tested myself in that area recently. I continue to do the videos that come with challenges such as 28 day Boot camp, or January Jumpstart, so they keep me pretty well balanced. I do a little work with dumbbells, but haven't gone beyond my 8 pounders since I've been south. And I try faithfully to follow any directions on how to protect my back during the exercises as I had to have back surgery for a herniated disk in 2008. I was told then I would probably need another operation once I'd survived five years but am going into 6 years as of this month. I give full credit for the strength developed in my back to the people and programs that have taught me how to exercise and lift without creating problems.
I don't do pilates, but have been attending a yoga group 1 to 3 times a week, and they occasionally do pilates-type exercises. Also Coach Nicole had a short pilates video that I did in the Jumpstart challenge. We do plank and side plank in yoga.
The pushups were the other goal that was in the Weight goal chart. I can do 10 to 15 sissy-style pushups with my knees on the floor, but I want to be able to do 5 REAL pushups with full plank, so I've been practicing that. I've finally been able to do 5 if I take myself down to about 12 to 15 inches from the floor, but will continue to practice this, hoping to bring my plank down to within a few inches of the floor.
MANY THANKS!!!!!
Judy
PS Did 30 of them (crunches) and stopped. Think I could have done more.

Edited by: PEANUT-M-MS at: 2/20/2014 (20:44)
ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (146,196)
Fitness Minutes: (218,565)
Posts: 21,350
2/19/14 12:21 P

PEANUT-M-MS,

I agree with ML. Crunches are okay, but you'll get more bang for your buck if you do more core-centric types of exercises like plank or side plank. Core exercises don't just work your ABs, they work your entire body if done correctly.

Because here's something you should know, don't just do AB exercises. If you're going to work your AB muscles, you need to work your back muscles too. I see this all the time. Many women in a quest to get a flat stomach do a million billion crunches. This is no good. This creates a muscular imbalance and creates stress on your lower back. So, if you want to work your stomach muscles, you should include exercises to strengthen your back too.

Your back muscles are the compliment of your stomach muscles. That's why we encourage people to do core exercises i.e. exercises that work multiple muscles at the same time. Some good back exercises include bent over rows, single arm rows, deadlifts, planl and push ups.

Have you ever done pilates ? Coach Nicole has some short 10-15 minute core workouts posted in the fitness section. You might try a couple of those to learn some basics.




Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 2/19/2014 (12:22)
MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,423
2/19/14 6:25 A

Coach Jen provided a great link to a demo for crunches.

But planks are actually a much better abdominal exercise than crunches, as they work a much broader range of core muscles.

M@L

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 57,484
2/18/14 7:59 P

Here's a demo of the crunch:

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/exercises.asp
?exercise=2


Coach Jen

PEANUT-M-MS Posts: 314
2/18/14 7:42 P

How is a basic crunch done? I've seen lots of modifications, but I want to know how to do it to count them on my Weight Goals page.

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