Fitness on the Go: Core without the Crunch

Most people think that you will need to do hundreds of ab crunches in order to build a strong, healthy and flexible core. Well, that’s not quite true.

The Rectus Abdominus, which is the outer layer of the abdominal wall (and where people see the coveted ‘6-pack’) is mostly affected when performing crunches. However, there are many different layers to the abdominals that need to be exercised in order to give you a strong and sexy core.

The best part about abdominal work? You can do it anywhere!Here are a few quick ab exercises you can do in between meetings, before bed,or even while commercials are on tv.

1.) Table Top 3 Count: Lie on your back with your feet off the floor, and knees bent directly over the hips. Place your head in your hands and keep the elbows wide. Take 3 beats to slowly lift the upper body off the floor one inch at a time, pausing each time while keeping your back straight and your chine up. Try not to curl your upper body and keep the chest open. Exhale while you do this. Then inhale to lower your upper body. Repeat 10-20 times.

2.) Bird-Dog Curl: Come to all fours with your knees directly under your hips and shoulder right above wrists. Extend your left leg and right arm. Slowly pull in the left knee and right elbow simultaneously and curl through the spine. Repeat 15 times, switch sides.

Learn these exercises and more at

Bird-Dog Curl

3.) Forearm Plank-out: Come into a plank position on your forearms; Shoulders over elbows, hips in line with the shoulders, and toes on the floor, with feet together. Staying on forearms, try to keep the hips still as you walk the feet out, then walk the feet back together.

4.) Side knee up: Start with a side forearm plank, making sure elbow is over shoulder,and hips are in line and feet are on top of one another. Slowly bend your top knee in, engaging the obliques (side abdominals). Lower the leg back to start position. Repeat 10 times, switch sides.

Do these exercises 3-5 days a week and you will be well on your way to a stronger, sexier core. What are you waiting for? Read these instructions one more time and hop to it!.

by: Smart Workout Team

Fitness on the Go – Fit Fitness into daily activities

Although many peoples’ daily lives are incredibly busy, making time to exercise and squeeze physical activity into your life, is essential to a healthy lifestyle.  It’s easier than you think!

Fit in FitnessHere are some easy tips to incorporate fitness into your busy lifestyle:

  • Take the stairs
    • When entering or leaving somewhere and your choice is the elevator or the stairs; Chose stairs!
    • If you have stairs at home, go to the first stair and use it similar to a step
    • It is a great way to squeeze in some cardio
  • Hygiene Heel Raises
    • While you’re brushing your teeth in the morning, do some heel raises.
      • Top Teeth Brushing: Lift your heels up and down in parallel
      • Bottom Teeth Brushing: Lift your heels up and down in a small “V”
    • While riding the subway, hold onto a pole and life your heels up and down in parallel
    • Great for the calves!
  • Thigh Toning Telephone Call
    • While you’re on an important phone call, work off those love handles, by lifting 1 leg up to a 45 degree angle.  Then while standing on the other leg, slowly pulse the other leg higher
  • Abs Squeeze
    • You can work your core abdominal muscles anywhere, simply by engaging them!
      • Standing tall, with both feet firmly on the ground, scoop your navel in toward your spine and squeeze/engage your abdominal muscles.
    • This will improve posture and abdominal strength

-By Gillian Rinaldo, Senior Fitness Assistant, Certified Group Fitness and Pilates Instructor

Suspension Training with TRX

By Ariel Iasevoli CPT, GF, TRX

Suspension Training and TRX may sound extreme and science-fiction-y to the novice exerciser, but to those immersed in the fitness industry, these training modalities are treasured for their versatility, ease and results.

TRX stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise, it is a piece of equipment that consists of 2 nylon straps, handles and foot cradles.  It can be suspended from any sturdy beam, can support up to 350lbs and can weighs less than 2lbs.  A plethora of functional, full body movements can be exicuted on the TRX, providing a workout that is challenging, safe and functional for all fitness levels.

The theory of functional training is quite simple: The body understands movements, not muscles.  Meaning that everyday and sport activities involve the integration of many joints and muscles to provide movements.  Never in our everyday lives do we isolate individual muscles or joint actions, so why would we train muscles and joints individually?

Suspension training with TRX is designed to engage the body as a single coordinated system.  The TRX allows one to train in the 3 planes of movement and recruit the maximum amount of muscle and joint actions to complete an exercise.

Here are some key benefits of functional and TRX training:

Multiplanar movements build strong motor patterns which corollate to increased coordination and decreased injury potential.

Most exercises are performed standing which automatically engages the core, improves posture and corrects the muscle imbalances that occur from sitting for long periods of time (i.e. at your desk, on the couch, in your car).

The intensity of a TRX workout can be tailored to all fitness levels simply by altering the distance between the exerciser and the anchor point of the TRX.  For example, those who cannot perform a push-up on the ground will be able to perform one on the TRX, and those who are push-up-pros can make the exercise more challenging on the TRX.

Multi-muscle/joint movements require more energy to produce and this means more calories are expended.

Come take a TRX class or personal training at Smart Workout today!