Saturday, December 25, 2010

On the Twelve day of Christmas....

On the Twelve day of Christmas my true love gave to me ....Sprinting!

Why it rocks: Sprinting will help gain lean muscle mass and also help to lose fat.
Sprinting is superior for fat loss, because it causes your body to burn more calories for several hours after each workout. 

 How to do it:

1. Get into starting position. Position your feet hip-width apart. For an upright starting position, place your dominant foot forward and place your other foot about three foot-lengths behind you.

2. Bend your knees and push your rear end back so your torso is leaning forward at an angle and your lower body muscles are tensed and poised.

3. Bend your elbows and point the hand opposite your dominant hand forward and the other hand backward. (Alternately, for a lowered and more poised starting position, you can extend your non-dominant foot even farther back, lower yourself more, and place your hands on the ground with your arms straight.)

4. Push off with your dominant foot and enter a sprint

5. Cup your hands slightly but keep them relaxed. Do not make fists. When raised, your arms should be pumped high, but your hands should never go higher than your cheeks. When lowered, your hands should never go farther back than your hips.

6. Run by continually propelling yourself forward with your toes. Do not run flat-footed or on your heels. At the point of a fully extended stride position, the leg in back should be straight while the leg in front is bent with the knee raised. When raised, your foot should point upward slightly. Your foot should land flat and, as the other foot comes around, the heel should lift up for pushing off with the toe.    

7. Let your body naturally and gradually slow down after you pass the finish line.

Three tips:

1.  Breathe deeply and rhythmically as you run. Exhale at every other arm-pump.
2. Run so that your arms are pumping opposite to your legs.
3. Keep your head at the same angle as your torso, and look downward, just in front of you.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Cameron Ashleigh

Friday, December 24, 2010

On the eleventh day of Christmas....

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me....Balance Push-Up!

Why It rocks:
Your whole body is working to keep you balanced especially your core.(The lower abdominals are a major part of your core and strengthening them will improve your entire physical well-being.)

 How to do it:
Lie face down on an inflated exercise ball with both hands on the floor. Walk your hands out, allowing the ball to roll beneath your body until it is under your shins. (Beginners can keep ball under thighs.) Your hands should be directly below your shoulders.

1. Engage your core muscles, make them do the work.

Cameron Ashleigh

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On the tenth day of Christmas....

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me....Mason twist!

Why is rocks:
The Mason Twist is great for opening up your oblique muscles (the muscles on the side of your stomach) and stretching your waistline. It's a really intense exercise for conditioning your abs, but it definitely builds muscle and pays off in the end.

How to do it:
To begin the Mason Twist, get a mat and sit on it with your knees bent straight out in front of you. While you are seated on your mat or floor, interlock your hands so that your hands are holding each other. With your hands clasped together, you rotate your body from one side to the other, and make sure that your legs that are straight out in front of you are slightly raised off the floor. Remember to keep your hips as stable as possible as you move from side to side and digging your hands into the ground as you rotate.

1. Make sure your knuckles touch the floor each time.
2.Breathe: Exhale when you twist toward the outside of your body, and inhale when you get to the center

Cameron Ashleigh

 Be sure to check out my parent's blog!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On the ninth day of Christmas.....

 On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me....Helicopters!

 Why it rocks:
Trunk rotation exercises work the abdominal,back,and,oblique muscles,and improve torso flexibility.

How to do it:

1.Stand in a straddle, feet outside shoulder width, knees bent, chest out, shoulders back, abs engaged.
2.Place the bar on your upper shoulders, or at the very base of your neck. Keep neck aligned; in other words, do not stick your chin forward. Instead focus on retracting your chin a bit. (It’s good for your neck to do this!) 3.Flex arms while extending them left and right, palms down, resting lightly on bar or wooden rod.
using the stance above, exhale as you rotate left, keeping your eyes forward, hips still. Do your best to not move anything below your navel. Inhale as you come out the rotation left, and in one smooth movement exhale as you then rotate right. Again, moving from the navel up. Rotate 8 to 10 times per side

Two tips that might help:
2. Make sure you are engaging your abs

Merry Christmas!

Cameron Ahleigh

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On the eight day of Christmas...

On the eight day of Christmas my true love gave to me....Long Arm Crunch!

 Why it rocks: Its better then your traditional crunch because it increases difficulty and also reduces the strain in your neck. This move also emphasizes the upper part of the abs.

 How to do it:

1. Lie on a mat and extend the arms straight out behind the head with hands clasped, keeping the arms next to the ears.
2. Contract the abs and lift the shoulder blades off the floor.
3. Keep the arms straight and avoid straining the neck. If you feel neck pain, take one hand behind the head while keeping the other arm extended.
4. Lower and repeat for 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.

No tips today!

Cameron Ashleigh

Monday, December 20, 2010

On the seventh day of Christmas...

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me....Push ups!

Why they rock: Because they work your whole upper body. Your core, legs and arms have to work to keep your body in a straight line.

How to do it:
 Chest-down with your hands at shoulder level, palms flat on the floor and slightly more than shoulder-width apart, your feet together and parallel to each other. Look forward rather than down at the floor. The first contact you make with the floor with any part of the face should be your chin, not your nose.Keep your legs straight and your toes tucked under your feet. Straighten your arms as you push your body up off the floor. Keep your palms fixed at the same position and keep your body straight. Try not to bend or arch your upper or lower back as you push up. Exhale as your arms straighten out. Pause for a moment. Lower body until chest touches the floor. Try not to bend your back. Keep your knees off the floor, and inhale as you bend your arms. Pause for a moment. Begin straightening your arms for a second push-up. Exhale as you raise your body.

Three tips that might help:

1. If you want it to help your abs you need to make sure your engaging your core not letting your stomach hang there
2. Breath!
3.For an easier exercise, (which I call a girl push up) lower your knees so that they rest on the floor. Keeping your back straight and your toes tucked under your feet, proceed with the exercise normally. This decreases the amount of pressure placed on your arms.

 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Cameron Ashleigh

Sunday, December 19, 2010

On the sixth day of Christmas....

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Side Plank with a Twist!

Why it rocks:
 Well I love any exercises that has a twist added to them, anytime you twist the torso you will be working your obliques and toning the sides of your torso. These help to burn fat from your midsection and strengthen your core muscles,it also opens up chest muscles.

How to do it:

Lie on right side with elbow on floor under shoulder, hips stacked.
Push hips up, forming straight line from head to heels; extend left  arm above shoulder.
Bring left arm under body, rotating upper body to the right.

Hold for 1 count; return to start.
Do 6 to 10 reps; switch sides and repeat.

Three tips that might help:
1. Keep your body weight balanced and focus on working your core muscles (abs, back and hips), rather than your legs and arms.
2. Keep breathing throughout. Take steady breaths, never hold your breath. 
3. The secret to getting the most out of this exercise is pulling your belly button towards your spine.

Cameron Ashleigh

Saturday, December 18, 2010

On the Fifth day of Christmas...

On the Fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me....Reverse Crunch!

 Why it rocks:
   The reverse crunch is just about the best basic abs exercise there is for developing your lower abs,
It is not only extremely good at targeting your abdominal muscles. The reverse crunch one of the best exercises to help tone your lower abs.

 How to do it...

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor
Place hands on the floor or behind the head.
Bring your knees up towards the chest so they bend about 90 degrees 
Contract your abs and lift your hips off the floor in a very small movement.
Lower and repeat.

 Three tips that might help...

1. Lay down with a solid object (like a couch or upright pillar) behind your head. and use this object to support you.
2. Always be BREATHING! whatever exercise you may be doing always remember to BREATH!

3. Make sure its your abs that are working, not your legs or hips.

 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
xoxo Cameron Ashleigh

Friday, December 17, 2010

On the fourth day of Christmas... .

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me....Fitness Ball Crunches!

 Why it Rocks: The exercise ball is an excellent tool to strengthen the abs and is the third most effective move for targeting the rectus abdominis(your upper and lower abs.) What makes this move a bit more effective than crunches on the floor is that the legs are often involved in floor crunches. On the ball, the abs do more work. The angle of the ball allows you to lean back quite far in order to give your abdominals a better stretch. The movement and bounce of the ball forces your abs to contract to stay balanced.

How to do it....

1.Lay on the ball and start with your feet flat on the ground a good distance away from the ball. If your feet are too close you will lose balance. Lean back and place the middle of your back squarely on the ball and your finger tips on your forehead. Do not put your hand behind your head as you may be tempted to tug on your neck. You should be able to feel a good stretch in your abs.

2. Take a breath in and tense your abdominal muscles. You must learn to use this tension to crunch yourself up as opposed to any momentum you are able to generate. Breathe out and curl yourself up by contracting your abs. You should start with your head, shoulders and then middle torso. You are not trying to lift yourself up like a see-saw.

3. Curl your torso up one slight bit more and perform a final “crunch” of the abs. This is where the fitness ball works its magic as your upper body is now on a slightly higher angle than your lower body which allows you to crunch harder. Hold this for a count of one and then slowly lower yourself back down for the next repetition.

Tips that might help

1. Keep breathing!

2. Don't pull on your neck, you could injure your body instead of helping it..

3. Its very important to make sure your form is correct, it would be better to only do a few with good form then more with bad form and end up hurting yourself         
4. You should always perform each repetition as slow as possible.Your abs get a much bigger challenge when you move slow and really force them to support you and keep you balanced.  
5. Twist on the final one if you want to make it harder.

Have a Very, Merry Christmas! 

Cameron Ashleigh

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On the Third day of Christmas...

On the Third day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Abdominal Leg Lifts!

 Why it rocks:
This exercise targets the lower abs, which is very important because it help us to stand up straight, have good posture, and also help with just being able to do everyday chores.

How to do it...


1. Lay on the floor facing the ceiling. Begin with your legs straight, resting on the floor. Slowly lift both legs off the ground about 6 inches. Hold for a count of three to begin with and then lower the legs back to the floor. To really crank up the movement, make the three count a five count


2. Remain on the floor in the same position as in step 1. Lift the legs up about 1 foot off the ground. Bend them at the knees and draw them into the stomach area without lowering the legs. Straigthen out the legs and repeat the move. Do eight repetitions for three sets.


3. Sit up on the floor. Place your hands on the floor beside the hips about 6 inches away. Lift the leg with the knees slightly bent. Lean back about 1 foot using the hands as a brace and support. At the same time, kick the legs straight out, making a rocking motion with the legs and upper body both moving away from the core in one movement.

Seven tips that might help....

1. Exhale as you lift, inhale as you lower.

2.  Keep your lower back touching the floor and your neck neutral (don't let your chin move up or down)

3. Focus on bracing your core and keeping your body balanced with a neutral back.

4.Don't cheat by letting gravity pull your legs back down. Lift slowly and come back down slow and controlled.

5. Keep your shoulders and neck relaxed

6. You can make this exercise easier by only lifting one leg at a time, or by bending your knees, or doing both.

7. If you feel any sharp pain then stop immediately.

Merry Christmas!
 xoxo Cameron Ashleigh

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On the second day of Christmas....

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me.... The Bicycle Maneuver!

Why It Rocks:  The Bicycle Maneuver is rated as the best abdominal exercise.The Bicycle Maneuver  is a great abdominal exercise to work on obliques (side of your abs) and rectus abs (the the long flat muscles along the front sides of the abdomen.)

 How to do it...
  1. Lie on your back on an exercise mat or carpeted surface. Make sure your lower back is pressed against the floor. Put your hands close to your head and fingers touch lightly on the side of our head.
  2. Raise your legs and bend your knees so that your thigh are about 90 degree angle to the floor. Your lower legs are just above parallel to the floor.
  3. Curl up and bring your left elbow toward your right knee. Extend the other leg out as far as is comfortably for you without arching your back. It is like you are riding a bike.
  4. Alternate sides, continuing the motion back and forth.
  5. For beginner, do 2 sets of 10 reps.

   Six tips that might help.

  1. Keep breathing
  2. Keep the small of your back on the floor
  3. Keep the motion slow.
  4. Engage your ab muscles
  5. Do not pull on the head or shoulder with your hand. Instead, focus in feeling the abdominal contraction.
  6. Remember, do not just flap your elbow across your body, actually rotate your shoulder across and squeeze your abs.

  Happy AB-ing!
 ♥ Cameron Ashleigh

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On the first day of Christmas....

 On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...plank! Yes thats the exercise of the day!
Why It Rocks: The plank (or hover) is an isolation move used in Pilates and Yoga and works the abs, back, arms and legs. The plank also targets your internal abdominal muscles.

How to Do It: Lie face down on mat with elbows resting on floor next to chest. Push your body off the floor in a pushup position with body resting on elbows or hands. Contract the abs and keep the body in a straight line from head to toes. Hold for 30-60 seconds and repeat as many times as you can( 3-5 times) For beginners, do this move on your knees and gradually work your way up to balancing on your toes

Five tips that might help
1.Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels 
2. Aim for a straight line between your neck and ankles.
3.Keep your body weight balanced and focus on working your core muscles (abs, back and hips), rather than your legs and arms. 
4.Keep breathing throughout. Take steady breaths, and never hold your breath. 
5.Remember to not let your hips and back sag.

♥ Cameron Ashleigh

                                                        Modified Plank

The 12 Days of Christmas (abs version)

Christmas is coming! Christmas is about how God sent his beloved son into the world to save us.You can feel December 25th getting closer with all the Christmas lights and decorations, hot chocolate with marshmallows, advent calenders, seeing friends and family, shopping for loved ones, the list goes on and on. We often get so caught up in the excitement and the preparation of Christmas that we forget to care for ourselves by exercising and watching what we eat ( I am guilty of this!) So as an encouragement  to continue to keep active during this busy season, I thought it'd be fun to post an "Ab of the day" for the next 12 days just  like the song " The 12 days of Christmas"

 Merry Christmas!

 ♥ Cameron Ashleigh 

 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New addition to the family!

Yes indeed! an adorable addition to the family! My mom has been looking for a black purse for a few months now, checking T.J.Maxx, Ross, Nordstroms, and  Nordstroms rack, and they've all either been too expensive or not what she wanted and my mom, (being rather fickle) doesn't want to pay a lot of money for a purse and then end up getting tired of it after a few months. One night my parents had to run some errands and they stopped at T.J.Maxx's and found a beautiful black Kathy Van Zeeland purse that had everything she was looking for, (all the charms that a purse needs, shiny black, with rhinestones and a charm hanging off of it) and it was under 50 bucks. She was afraid it looked a little to young for her but when they brought it home and showed it to me and my sisters, we instantly fell in love with it and went right to work convincing her it was gorgeous and looked perfect for her (and of course after she gets tired of it, we get to use it, so we had to make sure she kept it) It's black, it's big, its a decent brand name thats fairly inexpensive,has an adorable charm, some sparkles and rhinestones, perfect for a casual night out or just running errands, but either way it's cute. My mom has a couple of Kathy Van Zeeland purses and she likes them because they tend to be trendy but not that expensive. A saying that the girls in our house use is "A girl can never have to much sparkles" and I think it's true, I absolutely LOVE sparkles and rhinestones. I love this purse, but I'll love it even more when its mine.  :)

                                                         The charm is a chain of black hearts and
                                                         there are little rhinestones on the front of it.

                                                     $49.99 Kathy Van Zeeland T.J.Maxx 

                                                                        All photo credit goes to Lindsay Frost

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Whole wheat cottage cheese pasta

Hey Everyone!  How's getting back into your daily routines going? It's been a busy week for me, trying to get back in to school, music, and exercise routine.Today I want to look at whole wheat pasta, it was a tough switch (moving from regular pasta to whole wheat) in our family because my dad is half Italian, it's still not always our favorite pasta to eat, but we realize the health benefit from it and only use white pasta for birthday's. We made cottage cheese noodles for lunch today and it turned out really good, everyone in my family really enjoyed it.We used whole wheat Penne noodles.Whole-grain pasta, in general, is higher in protein and dietary fiber than refined pasta. Whole grain pasta is made from flour that contains the entire grain kernel -- the bran, the germ and the endosperm. Traditional white pasta is made from refined durum wheat, or semolina, where the bran and germ are removed during processing. The bran, or outer skin of a whole grain, and the germ, or embryo of the grain, are nutrient-dense and contain vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.  

Cottage cheese is healthy because of its high content of  protein while being relatively low in fat,and is low in Carbohydrates and has lots of calcium.which over all makes this a very healthy dish to eat especially right after a work out,you could add even more nutrition and flavor by adding some steamed broccoli and garlic
Here's what we did...

Fat free cottage cheese 8 oz
1/2 pound whole wheat pasta
salt and pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and then add pasta,boil for a few minutes until tender them drain.Add the pasta, cottage cheese,salt and pepper in a bowl  and mix together until well combined, serve warm.
P.S. if its to dry you can reserve some of the pasta water, a dash of  olive oil, or some red sauce.

♥ Cameron Ashleigh