A tone tummy for ski (or hot tub) season
Pot belly, beer gut, spare tire, love handles. With so many derogatory terms for tummy flab in the American vernacular, its no surprise were obsessed with getting rid of it. We strap on those vibrating belts from the informercials. We pop weight loss pills. And we assume the downward-facing dog pose in public.Just what is so alluring about scoring the six pack? For starters, we take comfort knowing we could don a midriff in an emergency, ladies, or go shirtless without setting off a flabalanche, guys. On a less superficial note, a strong core is part of overall wellness. Experts say tight abdominals can improve posture and bolster athletic performance.Few locals are more familiar with the benefits of washboard abs than our area personal trainers. They have spent years concocting their own fool-proof formulas for toned mid-sections, and theyre willing to share their secrets. Heres the skinny on how personal trainers firm their tummies.
Town: West Vail. Age: 24. Occupation: Personal trainer and fitness manager at the Vail Athletic Club in Vail.Playing baseball at Penn State University in Pennsylvania sparked Chasseys interest in fitness. He works his abs once each morning and once before bed. This double-pronged routine has become a habit.I enjoy it, Chassey said. Its not something I have to force myself to do.Chassey does this workout in the morning and repeats it at night. He rotates between three exercises. He usually completes three or four cycles per workout. Bicycle crunch: He lies on his back with his knees in the air and hands behind his head. He brings his right elbow across his body to his left knee and straightens out his right leg. Then he does the same thing on the other side. He repeats 20 times. Full-body sit-ups: He lies on his back with his knees bent, feet on the floor and hands behind his head. He does a slow motion sit-up, keeping tension on the abs. He repeats 10 times. The plank: He lies flat on his stomach. He pushes his body up six inches off the floor, raising up on his toes and resting on his elbows. His body remains in a straight line. He holds this position for one minute.
Town: West Vail Age: 29 Occupation: Personal trainer at Aria Spa and Club in Vail.From snowboarding to running half marathons to kicking around a soccer ball, Peterson embraces a high-octane lifestyle. That includes working her abs three to four times per week at the gym. I feel more strength and stability when I have a strong core, she said.Peterson alternates between three gut-busting moves. She does three sets of 20 for each exercise. Trunk twists: Holding a 10-pound medicine ball, Peterson sits on the floor in a standard sit-up position. She twists her upper body from side to side. Full sit-ups: Peterson moves on to classic situps holding a 10-pound medicine ball above her head. Core ball exercise: She lays on her back with a beach-ball-sized core ball between her legs. She lifts her legs up and down or moves them side to side.
Town: West Vail. Age: 28 Occupation: Head trainer at Aria Spa & Club in Vail.VanHeulen supplements his workouts with hiking, biking, jogging and skiing. Some people are gym rats. Im more into the healthier lifestyle, he said. He works his abs three times per week in the afternoons before launching into his full routine at the gym. His motivation? VanHeulen wants to toughen up his stomach for the upcoming ski season.Lifting weights tones the arms, but it also beefs up the stomach muscles, VanHeulen says. He combines lifting with floor exercises to coax out his abs. Push press: Standing in a squat, he takes a barbell with up to 200 pounds and explodes the weight from chest height to above his head. He squats while lowering the weight to chest height, then stands up, keeping the weight at his chest. He does three sets of five or six. Hang cleans: Holding a 185-pound barbell at waist level, VanHeulen jumps up, does a shrugging motion with weight and lands in a squat with the barbell at shoulder height. He then stands up, keeping the bar at shoulder height. He returns the bar to waist level. He does three sets of five to six. Iron Eagle: He lies on his back with his hands behind his head. He lifts his left leg up six or seven inches above the floor. He bends his right knee up until the right foot touches the left knee. Then he repeats on the other side. He does two sets of 30. Gecko: He starts in the plank position (see above). He continues into a push-up then returns to the plank. He repeats 15 to 20 times. Weighted cable crunches: He sets a cable machine to 140 pounds. He sits on his knees, resting on his heels. Holding the rope, he leans backward and forward in a series of sitting-up crunches. He repeats 10 to 15 times.