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5 Minute Plank Exercises

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5 Minute Plank Exercises

The Plank Exercise is known to be one of the most effective exercises for getting rock hard abs and staying ripped. Not only does this exercise strengthen your abdominal muscles, but it also works your hips and back. It requires no exercise machines or special equipment. The only thing you need is your body and the floor.

What is the proper way to do Plank exercise?

  • Lie with your face downwards on the floor or an exercise mat.
  • Place your elbows and forearms under your chest while placing your palms on the flat surface of the floor.
  • Push up off the floor onto your toes and rest on your forearms
  • Focus on tightening your abdominal while you maintain this position
  • Keep your back in a straight line from head to heels and ensure that your hips do not sag down towards the floor.
  • Hold this position for as long as possible until you can no longer keep your body in a straight line.
  • Bring your body back to the starting point
  • Start again and try to aim for 30 secs and do 3 sets.
  • Continue with the exercise while increasing the time.

Remember not to let your back and hips sag. The effectiveness of this exercise lies in you being able to keep your body in a straight line from your head to heels. Once you start becoming advanced, you can start trying to lift your leg, side arm lift or even do the exercise on your hands rather elbows.

Why Plank Exercises are awesome

Plank exercise is one of the exercises that falls into the least complicated category. Plank exercise is great for core conditioning. It is amazing how it helps you get your stomach ripped. Another benefit is the impact to your glutes, shoulders, and hamstring. What a great workout!  Bonus… planks also helps improve your balance.

There are some common mistakes most people make when it comes to doing plank exercises. Not doing it properly might eventually lead to injury, so it’s best to follow the proper guidelines to get better results.  The plank exercise will task your upper and lower spine regions; if these areas are weak, it may cause the spine to sway normally which can put compression in the vertebral column causing injuries. It is important to know your limits when starting out, so you don’t exceed them. This is the more reason why the 30-day, 5-minute plank exercise is excellent. It helps you to test your limits and help you improve daily. Apart from trying to hold a position for too long, another common mistake people make is placing your hands too close, making your head and hips drop and holding your breath. Work your time up slowly, if you can hold the abdominal plank position for at least more than 2 minutes and make sure you don’t push it.

Here are reasons you should make the plank exercise your main fitness program.

  1. Balance and Posture improvement

Simply staying in the plank position for some time requires you to work on your balance, which can further be enhanced by doing planks using the BOSU ball, or doing side planks. If you lose posture and position balance as you age, it is normal, and this is caused by the weakening in the core area. Planks are great at fixing this.

  1. Tones the abs region

The plank exercise is the foundation of the six-packs abs or the outer abdominals. These exercises will be in the core muscle of the stomach area. This will further contract the deep inner transverse abdominal muscles which also help in pulling in the belly button area.

  1. Builds flexibility

Your body gets stretched the first time you get into plank position; you will almost certainly feel somehow. Not only in the shoulder area but also the posterior muscle region. Also, the arches and the hamstrings of the feet down to the toes. Plank exercises offer the body a natural stretching.

  1. Reduces back pain

Any activity you engage in to strengthen the core muscles of the stomach area is certain to make your lower back stronger. This is because plank exercises require little movement while constricting all abdominal layers.

  1. Mood enhancement

The following plank exercises will help to improve your mood. Releasing the tension and stretching your muscles are invigorating to anyone who does this routine exercises. Hence, knowing that these things mentioned above will happen to you when you do plank exercises is something you will never trade for anything.

The plank exercise is of different variations, and these variations will help improve your abs workout and help you develop a more powerful belly.

Side Planks

If you like to focus more on your oblique’s, side planks need to be included in your workout routine. Be sure to include both sides for a shaped workout.  Let me show you how it is done. Rest on your single forearm and use your side such that your body is in a 900 position to the ground. One side of your body should face the floor, and the other should face up. Your thighs should be extended together with your feet crossed and staying in contact with the ground. Only the sides of your forearm and feet should touch the ground and not your body.

Stability ball

Ball balance boosts the intensity of physical routines when it is used during plank exercises. This is because you must task your inner core stabilizing muscles to keep your body stationary. The balance ball is not an object capable of maintaining balance which is why it is very effective.

Standard planks

In this variation, you assume a position which looks like a push-up. The difference is that instead of placing your hands on the ground, you rest on your forearms, such that you keep your back straight and your eye on the ground. Hold this position for as long as you can and keep breathing… very very important. Your abs muscle will be subjected to a significant amount of stress because the stomach plank works your primary and abs muscle tissues.

30 Day Plank Challenges is what will give you the abs that you have always wanted and this challenge is just enough to give you the super strong core in 30 days. Remember don’t push too hard as it only takes 5 minutes per day. This challenge is for only 30 days and it will give you the desired result for a healthy you!

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Tackle it with a Gluten Free Fitness perspective

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One day is not going to make you fat. Not Christmas, not Thanksgiving, New Year, not even Superbowl.

What matters is the other 359 days a year that aren’t holidays, however, these days can be a bit of a calorie bomb. If you are eating well 80-90% of the time, these days are simply a blip on the radar screen of wellness. But-maybe you’re trying to get in the swing of eating more healthfully, or simply want to be aware of what your options can be.

We generally have people over for a get-together fairly regularly. Our house has an open floor plan, and is set up wonderfully for parties. This time, the “let’s have a few people over for the Superbowl” had turned into a 30 person party.

And so it goes.

I enjoy cooking, and I especially like being in control of the food so I know exactly what is in everything. From a gluten standpoint of course, but also so that I can make choices that reflect quality and health of ingredients whenever possible.

Here’s a sampling of our Superbowl menu:

Cheese and crackers

I have chosen Mary’s Gone Crackers, and Nut Thins. These will be on a separate table from the regular Wheat Thins. For my cheese, I have chosen Cabot’s 50% reduced fat cheddar (the only reduced fat cheese that I have found that tastes good and has a good texture,) regular fat extra sharp cheddar, and goat cheese. Goat cheese will be 1 log of regular, and the 2nd I will make a “spread” by adding fresh snipped herbs. Goat and feta cheeses are naturally a bit lower in fat than cheddar, and have strong flavors so you can use less. I will also have sliced cucumbers a’plenty. This is so after I have a couple crackers, I can use the sliced cucumbers instead of crackers to save some calories if I wish. (I also use the cucumber trick for salsa instead of tortilla chips.)

Salsa and chips

I make my own salsa, for which I’ll provide as close as I can get to a recipe below. (I don’t actually measure, so it’s all ballpark.) For chips I use Baked Scoops! and baked blue corn tortilla chips. I love, love, salsa-so after a few chips I’ll switch to cucumber slices.

Shrimp cocktail

Shrimp is a naturally lean protein, and quite yummy. Instead of commercially prepared cocktail sauce, I use Heinz Reduced Sugar Ketchup and horseradish to make my own cocktail sauce. I have no recipe-just combine the two, and a bit of lemon juice until you find a flavor and consistency you like. This will save some of the sugar that is common in cocktail sauce.

Fruit plate

This will be near the cheese. Grapes, apple slices, and strawberries. YUM! Florida strawberries are just coming into season…

Tuna Dip

This is for my fiance. There is absolutely not much that is redeeming about this dip, and I just don’t eat it. I would if I used low fat mayo-but to stay true to the original recipe from a local restaurant it’s full fat mayo all the way. A lot of full fat mayo. There are so many other great choices, I won’t even miss not eating this stuff.

Veggie crudite and dip

Love me my veggies, and it gives something very healthful to munch on. This will be red bell pepper, grape tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, and baby carrots. I will make a quick and easy dip with nonfat Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, and some fresh herbs. You can also add a gluten free powdered Italian or ranch salad dressing packet to the Greek yogurt to be even faster.

For the “real food” we are grilling chicken breast and burgers, for which we’ll use 93% lean ground beef. Nothing wrong with that. The gluten-eaters can have their buns, which I will be keeping an eye on to make sure they don’t contaminate anything, and they never go on the grill. Friends are bringing some sides.

For dessert I will be making Shirley’s Flourless Oatmeal Cookies from Gluten Free Easily. I had considered using peanut butter chips, but will use mini chocolate chips. I will also be making the stealth “black bean brownies” which deserve their own post next week. Maybe some chocolate fondue if there are any strawberries left at this point.

Salsa Fresca
– Whole bunch of Roma tomatoes, or whatever tomato looks good. You’ll cut these in 1/4’s, and seed them. (Squeeze them over the garbage so the seeds come out-keeps your salsa from getting too watery.)
– Bunch of fresh cilantro, stems removed
– 3-4 fresh garlic cloves
– 1/2 onion
– 6 limes
– sea salt
– 1 small jalapeno pepper (optional)

  • Tomatoes, onion, garlic, and pepper all go into the food processor. I remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno. You choose how spicy you want to go. Pulse until combined. Add cilantro, and fresh squeeze the lime juice into the processor. Pulse. Add a few shakes of sea salt, taste, and pulse. Repeat until desired consistency! Enjoy!

Make smart choices, and truly enjoy your food. Eat what you want to eat-don’t just eat something because it’s there. What sometimes gets lost is the idea that get together and gatherings are about the company we keep, and being present with your friends and family. Oh-and yeah-there’s a game on, right?

Click here for the additional Defense against your gluten free diet.

What are you going to have/did you have for Superbowl? Come back after the game and give your favorite commercials!