There’s a lot of controversy around the term “bikini body” these days, especially on social media. But, bodies, just like bikinis, come in all different shapes and sizes.
So how do you get a perfect bikini body? Well, a perfect bikini body isn’t defined by having Britney Spears’ abs, Carrie Underwood’s legs and Kim Kardashian’s rear end.
A perfect bikini body should be about being healthy, comfortable and confident. Don’t strive for perfection. Strive to be happy and healthy. Strive to be the best version of yourself.
That’s my goal at Ralph Roberts Personal Training — to make you feel good about yourself in a swimsuit this summer.
My FREE Summer Slim-down Package includes a variety of low-impact and high-impact exercises that will work every part of your body. What’s so great about these exercises is that you can pick and choose which ones you want to do. Many of them you can even do at home.
Do these exercises at your own pace, but challenge yourself! Grab your significant other, a group of friends or even your coworkers and work out together. After all, the buddy system is one of the most successful workout methods.
Pair this Summer Slim-down plan with a nutritious diet of lean protein, vegetables and good fats to see the best results. Whether your goal is to lose weight, tone up or just feel good about yourself this summer, this workout package will make sure you blow everyone out of the water.
Download my FREE Summer Slim-down package today!
Who isn’t busy these days? It seems like trying to fit even just a 30-minute workout into your schedule is impossible. However, I don’t have to tell you how important it is for you to squeeze some form of movement into your day, every day.
With this Ralph Roberts Personal Training workout, you can get a total-body workout in just 15 minutes! And all you need is a single piece of equipment: a BOSU ball.
What’s a BOSU ball? It’s literally a half ball. One side of the ball is dome-shaped and the other side is flat. It offers a simple, yet versatile platform for a variety of exercises, such as push-ups, planks, mountain climbers, and everyone’s favorite exercise — burpees.
You can even do this workout in the comforts of your own home, but many gyms and health clubs, including the Downtown Athletic Club have plenty of BOSU balls and other workout gear for you to use.
Download my FREE BOSU Ball Guide: 7 Full-Body Moves and challenge your body for just 15 minutes a day. For the best results, pair this workout with a healthy diet plan.
Core muscles are part of almost every move you make. Whether you’re doing everyday activities or playing your favorite sport, the muscles in your midsection work together to provide balance and stability to your movement. Strong core muscles not only help your body move easily and efficiently, but they can help prevent injury and other common causes of pain such as poor posture. And of course a strong core can help you get that oh-so-sexy midsection you’ve been wanting, too.
With all those benefits, it’s easy to see why core exercises are such an important part of a well-rounded fitness routine. The plank is one of the most popular core exercises for a reason. It’s extremely effective. When done correctly, it requires you to work to stabilize those core muscles for the entire exercise, beginning to end. Variations on the plank add other movements such as rotation that challenge your muscles to work in different ways, further increasing the effectiveness of this exercise. Planks can be easily modified to accommodate all fitness levels from beginner to expert, which means you can keep some version of it in your routine even as your fitness level improves.
If you want to add some planks to your routine or just add some variety and difficulty to the ones you already do, these variations can help take your workout to the next level.
Walking plank - Start in a push up position with your arms extended. Keeping your feet in place, walk your hands to the right 1-3 feet. Walk your hands back to center then 1-3 feet over to the left side.
Spiderman plank - If you’re a comic book or movie fan, you probably already have an idea how this exercise will go. Start in plank position. Bring your right knee toward your right elbow. Return to starting position. Bring your left knee toward your left elbow. Return to start. Repeat alternating legs.
Alternating hand plank - This move goes from a plank to a push up one arm at a time. Start in plank position with weight on your forearms. Push up with your right arm, extending it until it is straight. Then do the same with the left arm. Lower yourself back down to starting position (forearms on the floor) with your right arm then your left.
Proper form is important for exercising effectively and preventing injury. If you are having trouble doing exercises correctly or you need a more effective workout, consulting a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts in Amarillo can be a big help. A personal trainer can provide exercise instruction, support and a customized fitness routine to help make your fitness goals a reality.
Ab exercises are great for strengthening your core, which will benefit you in both sports performances and everyday life. When performed on the floor, however, these exercises can sometimes be strenuous on your neck and back.
Get off the floor, and give your spine a rest, by trying out a few standing ab exercises. By upgrading to standing exercises, you will also work more muscles and burn more calories than floor crunches. You can also add varying resistance, such as dumbbells, cables, body weight and more for maximum results.
This exercise will target your obliques and define your waistline. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms over your head. You will then shift your weight to your left foot and lift your right knee out to the side. During this movement, you will also bend your right arm and pull the elbow down to your thigh. You then need to extend your leg and arm back to the starting position, tapping your toe on the ground. Do three steps of ten on each side.
Firm your lower belly and target the transverse abdominal muscles while letting off some steam with this cross punch routine. Start with your knees slightly bent, feet shoulder-width apart and abs flexed. Bend your arms so that your fists are chin-level. Keeping your feet planted, twist to the left and punch with your right arm, contracting your lower abs with each punch, and then return to starting position. Repeat until you have done 20 reps on each arm.
Double Arm Reach
Not only will this movement strengthen your abs, but it will also strengthen your glutes, quads and hamstrings. Start in a squatting position with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, and your clasped hands pushed to the floor. (You can also use a dumbbell if you prefer more weight.) You will then straighten your legs and raise your arms to the right. Do this 20 times on each side.
The knee twist is another simple method for whittling your waist down and packing on muscles. Starting in a squat position, bending your hips and knees, bringing your hands behind your head. Stand up and twist to your left while raising your left knee, pulling in your right elbow. Lower and repeat.
If you would like more help reaching your fitness goals, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a personal trainer to coach you through and work alongside you on your routines. A custom exercise plan created just for you can be provided by Ralph Roberts. He will also hold you accountable and encourage you through each step.
Getting in shape can be a confusing endeavor no matter what your fitness level. It seems like there is an exercise machine for each body part. But you don’t need all of those machines to get in shape. By adding a few simple exercises to your routine, you can see positive results quickly.
The pushup is an effective way to get in shape and are great for building upper body strength and developing your core.
Start out face down on the floor with your palms slightly wider than shoulder length apart. Keep your feet close together and back straight. Push your body off the floor until just before your elbows lock. Keep your back from bending or bowing during the movement.
Pushup To Plank
This is an excellent exercise to develop your core and can be done anywhere there is a flat surface.
Start off in the extended pushup position with your body off the floor. Keep your body straight and do not roll your hips during the exercise.
Next lower your right elbow to the floor followed by your left until you are in the plank position. Keep your body stiff and straight. Next push up with your right hand followed by your left and you are done.
Lunges are one of the most effective ways to develop your lower body. They help build your glutes and quads as well as strengthening your hamstrings.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your side. Step out with your right foot, bending at the knee until it is just over your foot. Your left knee should sink down to the floor until it almost touches. Keep your back straight and arms by your sides during the entire movement.
This exercise will engage your whole body. It works the glutes, quads, back, shoulders and your core.
Stand with your feet hip length apart, toes pointing slightly outwards. Bend at the knees and push your hips back. Continue down until your thighs are slightly below parallel with the ground. As you come down push your arm straight out in front of you, keeping them parallel with the floor. Straighten your legs and come back to starting position.
Lateral slides are effective for working your lower body. Stand in a semi-squat position to start. Shuffle laterally two steps to your right followed quickly by two shuffles back to the starting position.
All these exercises can be done anywhere on your own and without the need for equipment. Personal trainer Ralph Roberts uses these exercise with all his clients, and he can design a workout plan just for you.
The plank is a very simple but effective exercise that targets your body’s core and can help sculpt your waistline. It can even help improve your posture. Because it is a static exercise and uses your own body weight, the plank can be performed almost anywhere. If you have a few minutes at work or school, you can get a quick session done. It is also perfect for all levels of fitness. Whether you can hold the position for 20 seconds or 5 minutes, you will benefit from this exercise.
Straight Arm Perfect Plank
The most effective version of the plank is sometimes called the Straight Arm Plank. This is performed be lying facedown on the ground with your hands shoulder length apart. Push your body upwards as if you are doing a pushup.
Once your arms are fully extended, hold the position. Make sure to keep your toes grounded and your back straight. This is the most important element of the plank. There should be a straight line from your head to your toes, with no bend or arch in your back. This version offers less stability and, therefore, provides more of a challenge to your core muscles, chest and arms.
Hold this position for at least 20 seconds. As you continue, you can hold the position for longer, just make sure to keep your body in a straight line.
You may be more familiar with this version as it offers more stability. It is performed in exactly the same way as the Straight Arm Plank, with the exception that you weight is supported by your forearms instead of your hands. Try to keep your hands flat on the floor; if that bothers your wrists, you can clasp your hands.
This is great for beginners because it is easier to balance your body. Instead of keeping your legs straight, bend at the knees so both your toes and knees are touching the floor. This puts less stress on your lower back and will help prevent injuries if you are just starting out.
Single Leg Plank
This is a more advanced version of the exercise and requires excellent balance. Perform the plank as usual but once you are in position lift one leg towards the ceiling as far as you can and hold the position. Repeat with the other leg to complete the set.
If you attempt any new exercise, you should consult a professional trainer to ensure you're performing it correctly to reduce the risk of injury. Amarillo area residents can contact personal trainer Ralph Roberts for a consultation. He can assist you in reaching all your fitness goals.
If you want to get your core in shape, but dread those evil crunches, don't worry. You can still tighten and tone your stomach without doing sit-ups or crunches. Below, we take a look at a few non-crunch exercises that will help flatten your tummy.
New Age Non-Crunch
Begin this exercise by sitting on the ground so that your upper torso and thighs create a V shape. Cross and lift the lower part of your legs. Hold a 5 pound dumbbell or medicine ball. Then swivel to each side and back while pulling the ball across your body. Take care to maintain the V shape during the entirety of the exercise. Perform this three times a week in sets of three. About 10-15 reps constitutes a single set.
Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Lift your feet off of the ground. Tighten your abs, inhale and lift your arms back and over your head. Exhale before swinging your arms out in front of you. Now straighten your legs so you create a V shape. You can put your hands on the floor if necessary. Perform 15 reps of the knee arm lift.
Six Pack Stretch
You can perform this exercise just about anywhere. Start out lying on the ground, face up. Bend your left knee while keeping your left foot pressed against the ground. Extend your right leg as high as you can. Then reach up with your left arm while keeping your right arm by your side. Keep your shoulders and hips still while opening your raised leg and raised the arm in opposite directions. Keep your abs tight and flexed and bring the raised limbs back to the center position. Perform this exercise 10 times before switching sides.
Kneel down on all fours and tuck your toes under. Keep your back straight as you pull your stomach in toward your spine. Now tightly contract your abs and lift your knees off the floor. Keep your abs tight and pull your right knee to your nose. Kick your right leg backward and clench your gluteus maximus along with your abs as tightly as you can.
Each of these exercises will trim fat from your core and strengthen your ab muscles. However, sometimes you can't do it all alone. Lean on the fitness advice of a professional trainer and you won't have to struggle through it by yourself. Consider training with fitness pro Ralph Roberts. Ralph Roberts has worked at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo for years. You won't find anyone better to help you build a rock solid core.
If you are looking for a simple exercise that helps strengthen your core, tone your midsection and improve balance, posture and endurance, the humble plank should be your next move.
The plank looks deceptively easy. You basically get into the pushup position, either with arms straight or resting on your forearms. Keep your back straight, your pelvis tucked and your toes on the ground. Now, hold the position. Proper form is important, so it is a good idea to get the help of a coach to be sure you have it right.
Why Should I Do Planks?
Unlike sit ups and crunches, which can be stressful on the spine, planks engage a fuller range of muscles, helping to strengthen not only abdominal muscles, but also shoulders, neck, back and legs. It is simply a superior exercise that can increase your core strength, which will only benefit your overall workout.
What Kinds Of Plank Exercises Can I Try?
There are numerous variations on the plank, with varying levels of difficulty. The basic is arms and legs straight, knees off the ground. Here are five others to get you started. Aim to hold for thirty seconds at first and work up to one minute.
1. Modified Plank
If the standard plank is too difficult, you may want to start with a modified plank. Instead of keeping your legs straight, you may lower your knees to the ground. Hold this position for thirty seconds, rest and repeat. When you can hold the position for one minute, then start trying it with your knees off the ground.
2. Rocking Plank
Start with your basic plank, then slowly push yourself forward, so that your shoulders are past your hands. Then, move backwards, until your heels are past your toes. Be sure to maintain proper form and to go slowly. This will increase strength and balance.
3. Shoulder Touches
Again, start with the basic plank, then lift your left arm up and touch your right shoulder with your hand. Put your arm back down and repeat with the right arm. Be sure to keep your hips still!
4. Side Plank
Start in basic position, move feet together, lift one arm up to the ceiling. Hold and then switch sides.
5. Single Arm Plank
Start in forearm plank position, then lift your left arm, balancing now on one arm. Return to position and switch.
If you would like to increase strength, balance, endurance and lose weight, contact Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo. Ralph is a personal trainer who has helped hundreds of people reach their goals. He can create a custom workout for you based on your current level of fitness.
Problem areas can be frustrating and in some cases can derail your whole fitness program. You work out daily, you watch what you eat, but still it persists. One of the most common problem areas is the belly. If you find yourself dieting and doing tons of sit ups to no avail, you aren’t alone. This can be a notoriously stubborn area. The good news is that there are solutions.
Why Can't I Get Rid Of My Belly?
There are a number of reasons that belly pooch is so stubborn. There are a couple of things to consider before you plan your strategy. First off, are you dealing with belly bloat or belly fat? Second, are you being realistic about your results? It can be tempting to compare your belly with others, and to wonder why you don't have a six pack or a flat tummy. Genetics do play a role, and some body types may never have a completely flat stomach, no matter what they do. The key is to get in the best shape possible for you.
If you have issues with belly bloating, part of the problem may be your diet. Many foods, even healthy ones, can contribute to this problem. For example, veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, and beans – anything with a lot of fiber – can back up your system and cause bloating. Be sure that you aren't overdoing it on any one food, and stay hydrated to help speed digestion. Taking a probiotic supplement can help reduce bloating.
What Causes Belly Fat?
This is a tough one, but it can be combated. The first two things you should look at if your diet and exercise isn't cutting the fat is sleep and stress. If you are sleep-deprived and stressed out, your body will not only hold on to the the fat, it will encourage more.
Second is diet. Too many refined foods (processed flours and sugars) will work against you. Next, look at your workout. Are you doing exercise that builds muscle? Cardio alone may not cut it. Building muscle burns more fat. Increase the intensity of your overall workout and add strength training to your repertoire. Next, ditch the sit ups – they aren't that effective. Try planks or other core-strengthening exercises that really work.
How Can A Personal Trainer Help Me?
If you’re having trouble progressing with your fitness routine, a personal trainer can help. Every body is different, and a personal trainer can create a custom workout that is tailored to your body type, weight-loss goals and current level of fitness. Contact Ralph Roberts in Amarillo today to find out how he can help you achieve your goals.
Both men and women alike frequently complain about their rolls or excess fat around their belly. Perhaps you do a ton of sit ups everyday and still find you have a "pooch." Maybe you have dieted and found that it makes no difference when it comes to your belly.
The abdominal area is stubborn when it comes to getting firm and slimmed down. It’s important to keep in mind that body shape and genetics are a factor. You can be in really good shape and still have a bit of a gut. If you have been comparing yourself to the models on fitness magazines, you should stop. One of the advantages to having a personal trainer is that he or she can tailor a workout specifically to your body type and fitness goal.
With that said, there are ways to get your abs toned and your tummy looking its best. One mistake people make is thinking that crunches alone will tone their gut, but that exercise only works one part of your abs. Using an exercise or stability ball can give those muscles a more vigorous and targeted workout to give you better results. An Amarillo personal trainer can recommend a personalized workout that can target these problem areas.
Here are six moves you can try using an exercise ball:
1. Ball Crunch
This is similar to a regular crunch, but your lower back is positioned on the ball. Keep eyes on the ceiling to avoid straining your neck.
2. Ball Crunch Part Two
This move has you lying on the floor, with your calves raised and resting on the ball. Raise shoulders off the floor in a crunch movement.
3. Reverse Ball Crunch
One of the common errors that people make is neglecting the lower abdominal muscles. Toning these muscles can help minimize that annoyingly stubborn "pooch" that you may have.
For this move, lie flat on the floor. Bend knees and grasp the ball with your knees and hamstrings. Squeezing the ball, raise it toward your chest, keeping eyes toward the ceiling. Pause briefly, and lower the ball back to the floor.
4. Ball Side Crunch
Lay on the ball, on your side. Your feet should be on the floor, but apart to help you balance. Raise your upper body off of the ball, and then lower it back down. This works the oblique muscles, helping to tone up those love handles.
5. Ball Sit Up
Similar to the ball crunch, but a full sit up.
6. Ball Jacknife
This exercise has you on the floor in a pushup position with your feet resting on the ball. Keeping them on the ball, roll it forward, bringing your knees toward your chest.
If you want more information on fitness and learning what exercises can get you the body you want, contact Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club. Ralph Roberts is an Amarillo personal trainer with years of experience helping people reach their fitness goals.
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