Thursday, 24 May 2018

A Trainer Says to Ditch Crunches For These Ab Moves Instead

Of all the core exercise variations out there, crunches definitely dominate in terms of popularity. But are they actually effective for achieving abs, or have we all been wasting our time? Personal trainer Ridge Davis helped us settle the debate once and for all. Spoiler: there are better moves to help you achieve that six-pack.

Do crunches offer any benefit at all?

"Crunches are one of many exercises for abdominal development but shouldn't necessarily be your go-to move for creating a beautiful midsection," Ridge told POPSUGAR. "My philosophy is that there is not a bad exercise but a poorly executed one."

To get the most out of your crunches, Ridge says it's important to focus on your breath and on controlled movement/contraction of your ab muscles. Oftentimes when crunches are done absentmindedly, your hip flexors take over and pull on the lower back muscles, which may cause spinal issues down the road. Additionally, they disengage your abs, making the exercise far less effective.

"It's all about awareness when performing crunches - or any exercise for that matter," Ridge said.

Instead of crunches, Ridge prefers rotational movements for both abdominal function and aesthetics (aka a chiseled midsection). Some of his favorite moves for his clients include:

Ridge also offered advice on how to better maximize your crunches: "To make the traditional crunch more effective, play with the range of motion and angles of the movement," he said. He added that decline and reverse crunches or lying on a BOSU are particularly great ways to change the angle of the crunch and strengthen your midsection. Once you master those, you can add weights to really challenge your core.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

6 Exercises That'll Give You Sexy, Toned Legs You'll Want to Flaunt All Summer

Who wears short shorts? You should! We get it, many women fear that weights will make their legs bigger or bulky, leaving them looking more like Drax from Avengers: Infinity War than Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow. This is simply not true. Using weights will shape your muscles, giving them the toned, sexy look you want when it's time to rock tiny Summer shorts. Bottom line: if you want shapely legs in Summer's hottest, shortest shorts, you must focus on the iron stacks. Diet and cardio burn fat and make you lean, but the weights are what shape your muscles and have everyone giving you the full top-to-bottom once-over stares.

To help you get the fastest results, we talked to Sarah Chadwell, NASM CPT, to gain insight on how to show some love to your lower body in the gym. She told POPSUGAR, "Strong, shapely legs take work from front to back. Many women focus on exercises that work their quads, but they neglect their hamstrings and calves. Make sure you use a wide variety of exercises that work every part of your legs for a great look from every angle!"

Here are six moves that Chadwell uses to train her legs on legs day.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

So You Want to Shed That Belly Fat Faster? Here's What You Need to Do

18 Images That Anyone Who Deals With Anxiety Will Relate To

It's a comforting feeling to know that there are people out there who just get you. When I stumbled upon Janie Stapleton's artwork about anxiety, it was like she was reading my mind (which, to be honest, is a pretty hectic place). She shared her comics on Bored Panda, and included a note about her inspiration for them, saying that the art is "a way to cope with anxiety and process the world around me."

I went down a rabbit hole on her Instagram page where she displays more of her comics, and the witty and well-worded work struck a chord with me, since I too deal with extreme anxiety on a daily basis. She uses adorable animals to express anxious thoughts and feelings, and the heartfelt and oftentimes hilarious comics are ones that anyone who struggles with anxiety can definitely relate to.

From existential ideas about life and death to introversion, self-doubt, and more, here are some top picks from Stapleton's portfolio that show the real things that go through an anxious person's head.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Why You're Losing Weight but Not Belly Fat - and What to Do About It