Category Archives: Working Out in College

How Beginners and Advanced Exercisers Get Great Abs

Summer is here, which means long summer days at the beach and lazy afternoons by the pool (unless you are taking summer classes). But what does that really mean to most of us…? It’s time to work on our beach-body!

Thanks to an article in SHAPE Magazine, here are the best abs exercises for beginners and advanced exercisers.

Best Abs Exercises for Beginners 

1. Plank

Lie facedown on mat. Place forearms on mat, elbows under shoulders. Place legs together with forefeet on floor. Raise body upward by straightening body in straight line (don’t let your hips sag). Hold position.

2. Side Plank

Lie on your side on mat. Place your right forearm on mat under your shoulder, perpendicular to your body . Place your left leg directly on top of your right leg and straighten knees and hips. Raise your body upward by straightening through your waist so your body is ridged. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

3. Pallof (Cable or Band) Press and Hold

Adjust a cable machine so the pulley is at chest height. Grab the handle with both hands and walk out so there is tension on the cable. Now, turn 45 degrees so you face sideways in relation to the cable, and assume a hip-width stance with the handle at your chest. This is the starting position . Press the cable straight out in front of you and hold. Brace your midsection and do not let it pull your arms or trunk to the side; the object of the exercise is to resist rotation.

Best Abs Exercises for the Advanced 

1. Half-Kneeling Chop

Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable station. Kneel down so that your outside knee is on the floor but your inside knee is bent 90 degrees, with your inside foot flat on the floor. Your left side should face the weight stack. With both hands, grasp the rope with an over-hand grip at arm’s length, just in front of your left shoulder. Your hands should be about 18 inches apart. Your shoulders should be turned toward the rope, but your belly button should be pointing forward. Your torso should be upright. Allow your torso to rotate as you pull the rope past your outside hip. Don’t round your lower back. Keep your arms straight and core braced. Complete the prescribed number of repetitions to your right side, then do the same number with your right side facing the stack, pulling toward your left.

2. Half-Kneeling Lift (Reverse Chop)

Attach a rope handle to the low pulley of a cable station. This exercise starts in the same position as the half-kneeling chop (above), except you pull the rope up past your outside shoulder. Keep your arms straight and core braced the entire time.

3. TRX Reverse Crunch

Start on your hands and knees and place each foot through the bottom loop of each TRX band. Lift your knees off of the ground and keep your elbows straight similar to a pushup position. Tighten your core muscles and try to keep your back straight. Use your abdominals to pull your knees in towards your chest. Carefully extend the legs to the starting pushup position.

Give us your feedback! What are some more great abs exercises?

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College Students Should Make Exercise A Habit

Having exercise as a habit means never thinking twice about working out!

Recently the Founder and CEO of Collegiate Risk Management, Vonda White gave advice to Pretty Hard Work on how to get motivated to work out. Working out is very important for being healthy and succeeding in college… so here’s the scoop on exercise motivation.

First off — Here’s some insight on Ms. White. Vonda not only started the successful student health insurance company, Collegiate Risk Management in 1996, she has also become a success coach and author. Her book, Success Against the Odds and Success Planner have helped others turn their dreams into reality. She strives to inspire and help others achieve their goals through her effective goal-getter process. Learn more here!

In the article on Pretty Hard Work, Vonda explains how the best way to get motivated to work out is by making it a daily habit. You want to stop saying that you “should” work out and just start doing it one day. It only takes 21 days to have a new positive habit, after all! So decide right now when, where and how you will work out regularly.

Try looking at exercise like school — you have a set schedule on when and where your classes are that you can’t change. If you skip class, you’ll miss valuable information that may hurt your grade or even worse… your future. Therefore slacking off isn’t even an option — You work hard and finish strong with positive results!

Don’t waste another minute of wishing you were fit. See below how to get motivated and make exercise a habit!

So… what motivates you to work out?