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Fitness Friday: The core of the problem

By Rachel Swick Mavity | Aug 31, 2012
Source: Whole Living Continue down the path of core strengthening with these easy three exercises!

I don't know about you guys but my abs are still sore from last week! Now that I have located my abs again, let's continue with a quick core workout.

I learned this pose from Whole Living, but have not perfected it yet. Maybe this will be the week!

 

The revolving ab pose:

Lie on your back with your arms in the shape of a T and legs lifted so they're perpendicular to the floor. Shift hips a few inches to the left, then exhale and drop both legs slowly to the right, stopping before they touch the floor. Hold for a deep breath, exhale, and return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. Alternate for 20 reps, 10 on each side.

 

Return of the vacuum:

I know I have talked about the vacuum move before. But we often forget this oh-so-easy way to tighten core muscles, so let's revisit it.

Lie on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor. Inhale and raise arms overhead behind you. Lift your spine one vertebra at a time until your hips are high. Exhale as you relax your abs, lowering your spine down. A natural vacuum will draw your belly in. When your hips are on the floor, lower hands to start position. Repeat 7 to 10 times.

You can also perform the vacuum tummy tightener during your everyday activities. Remember in January when I talked about this trick?

Standing up, breathe out all the air from your lungs, then suck in your ab muscles, hold to a count of 10, then relax. You can do these all day long, it just takes some concentration to hold in those muscles and it will help your core become stronger. It won’t give you washboard abs because you still need to lose the flub surrounding said abs, but it is a step in the right direction.

 

Do the twist:

You likely find yourself sitting on the floor with baby all the time. Why not get in some core exercises while you are at it?

If you have an infant or are very strong, you could try lifting your child from side to side instead of an inanimate object. As my child is constantly moving, I think I will stick with a ball.

Sit on the floor and hold a weighted ball or any heavy object (even a basket of magazines); bend knees slightly. Lean torso back and draw navel in while keeping the spine straight. Contract your abs and move ball or weight from side to side, keeping abs tight. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 on each side.

 

And now for a delicious recipe to make all this working out worth it!

I found these yummy lemon blueberry scones via Pinterest (a guilty pleasure) and Little Miss Momma.

 

Lemon blueberry scones

What you need:

2 cups unbleached flour

2 tsps baking powder

3 tbs sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 cup {one stick} of cold butter

1 cup fresh blueberries or raspberries

zest of one lemon

1 cup heavy cream

dash of vanilla

Lemon Glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar

5-6 tbs lemon juice

Directions

Start by sifting all your dry ingredients together

Then by hand press in the cold butter. You should be working the cold butter into small pea sizes. In the end the texture should be crumby.

**Note; Use a food processor or pastry blender if you have one!

• Mix in the blueberries softly. Don’t squish them.

• Mix in the lemon zest.

• Create a hole in the center of the mixture. Pour in the cream and by hand work your dough until everything is incorporated. Be sure not to over mix, otherwise you’ll have hard scones. No one likes hard scones.

• On a floured surface, press out the dough {I wouldn’t use a rolling pin, to ensure the blueberries don’t get squished} Cut out the scones.

• On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, lay out the scones.

• Mix together a bit of heavy cream and a dash of vanilla. Brush this mixture on top of the scones. {This keeps the scones nice and moist}

• Sprinkle the scones with a little sugar.

• Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. They should be golden brown and the blueberries will be bursting.

Create the glaze with powdered sugar and lemon juice (my favorite dessert topping!) and drizzle it over the scones once they are cooled.

Enjoy! This recipe makes aprox. 10 scones. Keep in zip lock baggies for up to one week or eat them all in one sitting like we do at my house.

 

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