Archives For June 2011

Inner thighs are one of those tricky areas that are hard to really isolate. We do work our inner thighs during exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, etc. but to really isolate that area you have to be creative. Strong and toned inner thighs are just for women…you guys can also reap the benefits! Our inner thighs help us stabilize our legs and help our hips and quads work together when we walk/run, twist or play sports. Below are the 3 main ways to target this area, along with some sample exercises. I would mix in a few of these moves 2-3 times a week and do 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.

 

1. Use Isometrics

Wall sit with ball squeeze: Stand up against a wall, slide down and bend your knees to a 90 degree angle, keeping your knees over your ankles (pictured). Then, to work inner thighs – place a towel, medicine ball or even water bottle between your knees. Squeeze and hold for 10 seconds then repeat as long as you can hold it.

Stability ball squeeze on mat: Lie down on your back with your legs in the air and place a large stability ball between your ankles (pictured). Squeeze and hold for 10 seconds and repeat. To also work your abs, you can place your hands behind your head and add do crunches while you squeeze your inner thighs (also pictured).


 

2. Do Crossovers

Cable crossovers: Find a cable machine (or you can use resistance bands tied to a stable object) and attach the cable around one ankle. Then, while standing upright (keep abs tight) take the foot with cable attachment across the mid-line of your body with your foot flexed (pictured). Keep inner thighs nice and tight and then with control, slowly move the foot back to the starting position. Repeat 12-15 times.

 

Lying leg lift with crossover: Lie down on your side with your hip and shoulder lined up. Then take your top leg and cross it over the bottom (or place behind as pictured). Flex your bottom foot and lift the leg up towards the ceiling. You can do single lifts with high reps or you can use an ankle weight or weighted bar (pictured) rested on your leg to make it harder and do less reps.


 

3. Get Sliding

Siding side lunges: Grab a paper plate (if you are on carpet) or a towel (for wood floor) and place it under your left foot. Slowly bend your right leg (keeping your knee over your ankle) and slide the right foot out to the side until the leg is almost straight (pictured). Then, using the towel or plate under your foot, slide your left leg back in towards the right until the feet are almost together. Repeat for 12-15 reps and then switch sides. To make it harder, hold 5-15lb dumbbells.

Try sports: Many sports such as rollerblading, ice skating, ice hockey, and skiing work your inner thighs a lot because you are constantly sliding your legs in and out. Biking and also horseback riding work the inner thighs because you are having to squeeze your thighs to hold on. Get creative and try something new and odds are…you’ll be working more than just your inner thighs!

 


I’m a huge fan of Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution” and agree that conquering obesity in America starts with the younger generation. But, how will kids learn to eat healthy if they are fed a bunch of junk every day at school? This graphic was created by Good Magazine and compares the average prison meal with the average elementary school lunch and it’s pretty obvious which one looks better.  Right off the bat, you can tell the prison meal has more color in the forms of fruits and veggies, which is always a good thing. The school lunch looks mostly white and beige colored and is higher in simple carbs. Both cost about the same and have 1,400 calories (which is also VERY high!) but, the prison meal is offering much more vitamins and nutrients. They both consist of one bread item, one starch item and one beverage. But, kids get an ounce less meat and they’re usually skimped on either veggies or fruits. To find out more about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, visit his site or catch the show on ABC.

 

I’m still helping ExerciseTV with their “Breakfast Club” each week by giving members a new challenge to do in addition to their regular challenge of eating a healthy breakfast. The program is free and all you do is go to the Facebook page and chat (if you want) about what you had for breakfast and get ideas from others. Then, you can tell me and the others if you also did my workout challenge!


ExerciseTV has also partnered with Social Workout, a great social networking site that is all about health and fitness! You can officially join the challenges there each week so that you can really be held accountable! They have this great system where you log in a once a day, once a week or how often as you like, to track your progress and enter in things such as # of workouts, # veggies you ate, # minutes you spent outside or any other challenge that you decide to join. You can also challenge your friends and invite others so you can all see how you stack up!


So, your challenge this week is to workout with a friend/buddy at least 3 times this week! You can grab your dog, a friend, family member, coworker or anyone else that would be a fun workout buddy, or r, maybe you know someone who could use a little extra help or motivation. My workout buddy this week is SMUDGE! He’s my 1.5 year old basset hound! Don’t laugh…he has some pretty fast little legs. Although the drool and big ears tend to slow him down. I hope you all join the challenge and let me know how you like it!

 

Last week I got to meet President Obama’s long time trainer, Cornell McClellan in NYC when I was there for NBC Universal’s “Healthy Week”. He is a member of the President’s Council Fitness Sports and Nutrition and he told me about how he is helping the First Lady with her “Let’s Move” campaign and the “President’s Challenge”. The “Let’s Move” program was setup to help kids and parents stay healthy and the Let’s Move website has a ton of great resources and tips for healthy eating, working out and how kids can stay active.


The “President’s Challenge”


The “President’s Challenge” is a 6-week program where President Obama wants you to challenge yourself and set active lifestyle goals. Along the way, you can log your progress and earn cool awards! The program is not just for kids…they have a program for adults too! All you have to do is log 30 minutes of activity at least 5 days a week for 6 of the 8 weeks you are on the program. I encourage all of you to join this challenge and if you are a teacher or community leader, get your peers and students involved and join as a GROUP! Make it fun!

Join me and Signup Today!! Even the First Lady is doing it…
“To show everyone just how much fun it can be, I will be working to earn my Active Lifestyle Award.  I’m going to do it. And I want kids across the country to join me.” – First Lady Michelle Obama


How to Sign Up:

Physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Adding more activity to your daily life can be easy and fun – and now you can earn an award for being active. To earn your Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA), all you need to do is document your active exercise each day (60 minutes/day for children and 30 minutes/day for adults), 5 days a week, for six weeks. Let's Move
Join the President’s Active Lifestyle Program, here’s how:

1. Make the commitment  (this can be a family or team effort)
2. Sign up online, print the activity log PDF or start a group
3. Log your activity
4. Earn your award

With over 100 activities to choose from, there’s something for everyone! Record your activities and track your progress for 60 minutes a day/ 5 days a week for youths under the age of 18 or 60 minutes a day for adults. You can even compare your progress with others who are taking the President’s Challenge.

The President’s Challenge not only helps you stay active – it also gives you a little extra motivation while you’re at it. That’s because you can earn special Presidential awards recognizing your accomplishments.