(Long Island, N.Y.) The fall television season is loaded with lots of hot new shows to keep tabs on– and it’s really hard to keep up. If you’re a parent, it’s tricky to squeeze in any time for yourself-including TV and exercise time. If you want to slim down your belly before the holidays roll in, why not multitask? Yep, your time spent in front of the television can be prime tummy time.
“Good, strong, flat, shapely abdominal muscles don’t just happen by doing a few ‘crunches’ before you end your workout,” says Pamela Bruno, certified personal trainer and nutritional specialist at Evolusion Fitness in Miller Place. That’s right, you have to work for them. We have all seen the same commercials about a million times, so she suggests using that TV downtime to tone up.
Ready to get started? Bruno offers these tips:
Most TV shows have at least 2 commercial breaks. Each commercial break has at least 3 commercials. Every time a commercial break airs do a different exercise for each commercial. Only do 3. This way you will do 2 sets of abdominal exercise for each of the 3 areas of your abs to be worked.
UPPER AB MUSCLE: Feet Anchored Sit Ups: Anchor your feet under a couch or TV stand. Place your hands alongside your face, leading with your shoulders; touch your elbows to your knees. Repeat through commercial. (If this is too difficult: Extend arm out by legs, sit up and reach towards your feet as you sit up, or crunch up each time, by lifting shoulder blades as high off the floor as possible. NOTE: as you return back to the floor, round your back on the way down.
LOWER AB MUSCLE: Straight Leg Raises: Lying on back, place arms at your side, wrap your hands around and slightly under rear. (This will supply back support) With legs straight and together, raise toward the ceiling and lower slowly and controlled until you are 2 inches from the floor and repeat for entire commercial. Do not allow feet to touch the floor until the commercial is over. (Too much on lower back? Lower the legs to a more comfortable level or do entire exercise with knees bent in toward chest.
SIDE OBLIQUES: Side Lying Oblique crunches: Get on your side and sit up on forearm. Place other hand behind your head. With bottom leg anchored on the floor, lift top leg up to meet elbow. There should be a slight raising and lowering of upper body to meet your leg at center. Pause at top for a second and repeat throughout commercial. NOTE: This exercise will require 2 commercials to get both sides.
Consistency is the key. Make this into a 3-4 times a week routine, coupled with healthy food choices, and you can have strong, flat abs by holiday time.