Glam Slam: Get Great Abs For Summer

Bikini season is here… are you ready?

It’s not too late to show off some fab abs thanks to these tips from Certified Pilates Instructor Natalie Ridley of The Sports Club/LA.

1) State of mind: If you want any dramatic change to your body, you need to change your mind first. Previous negative thoughts are the first to go… not fat.

2) Educate: Use intuition as a guide and before starting any new program. It is best to check with a doctor, fitness expert and/or Eastern practitioner to cater to specific needs. This can also aid in creating realistic goals. Open the heart and mind and it will lead to exactly what it wants and even to the abs that are well deserved!

3) Water: It is so important to hydrate and flush away the toxins the body attains throughout a single day. The body finds it very hard to differentiate hunger from thirst. If you don’t drink enough water throughout the day, you may mistake thirst for hunger and eat more than you really need, which can also impair weight loss. Drinking water is a very important factor in attaining great abs.

4) Nutrition: You are what you eat. Broil or bake, replace mustard for mayo, eat plenty of veggies and complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber (they aid digestion and help you feel satisfied long after your meal). In contrast, sugar and other simple carbohydrates can alter your mood, lead to cravings and compulsive eating and cause wide swings in your blood-sugar levels and cause weight gain in most people. Food for thought: Basically, get creative, think of favorite foods and replace the not so healthy with the healthy. It will truly give you piece of mind.

5) Exercise: The objective is to find the right type of high intensity training for you. This will naturally raise your body’s metabolism so you begin burning fat. Check out “The Five Series”. It is 5 different exercises found in classical Pilates (the original method designed by Joseph Pilates himself). This full body method tones the entire body during each session, instead of specific spots; and with a focus on the core, the body looks tighter and inches are lost.

THE FIVE SERIES

SINGLE LEG STRETCH
This exercise is intended to increase the heart rate and build the transverse abdominal muscles. Right knee to the chest left leg stretched out in front of you. Alternating legs at a quick pace (keeping feet stretched and legs stay off the floor).

DOUBLE LEG STRETCH
This exercise is intended to build abdominals and neck muscles. Chin to the chest, shoulder blades off the mat, knees to the chest and arms wrapped around shins. Stretch arms to the ceiling and legs out in front of you, (legs stay sealed together and feet stretched) and then bring your knees to chest. Repeat.

SINGLE STRAIGHT LEG STRETCH
This exercise is intended to build inner thigh strength, transverse abs and obliques.

Chin to chest, shoulder blades off the mat and navel to spine. One leg is straight to the ceiling and one out in front of you and off the floor. Stretch arms toward the ankle and hold the ankle. Pulse leg twice toward the chest in a quick motion and switch legs. Alternate the legs ten times.

DOUBLE STRAIGHT LEG STRETCH
This exercise is intended to build the lower abdominal muscles and strengthen the legs.

Hands uncrossed behind your head. Chin to chest, shoulder blades off the mat, legs to the ceiling, turned out and feet stretched. Lower the legs as low to the ground as possible while keeping the back sealed to the mat. Repeat ten times.

CRISS CROSS
This exercise is intended to strengthen obliques and abdominal muscles. Hands behind the head uncrossed. Chin to chest, navel to spine, shoulder blades off the mat and armpits stay open. Starting with the knees to the chest, stretch out one leg at a time and trying to reach elbow to opposite knee. Keep armpits open and shoulder blades off the mat.

For more info, head to www.thesportsclubla.com.

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