Exercise Modifications and Forbidden Black Rice

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Dear Friends,

Although tomorrow’s forecast does call for cool temperatures and rain, LG Boot Camp is still on! We will meet inside the Lodge’s banquet room just behind the tented area if it’s raining too hard.

My goal is to make every workout an advanced boot camp experience for every fitness level. That means every exercise will have modifications for those who need to take it a little slower and options if you want to ramp it up. If you are not invigorated and tired after a workout, talk to me. Our time together should be worth your while!

A basic modification is crunches vs. sit-ups (courtesy of LiveStrong.com):

Sit-ups and crunches are both common exercises performed to work the abdominal muscles. While these exercises are very similar, there are a few small differences that should be taken into account when deciding which exercise is best for your own personal fitness goals.

Sit-ups are performed by lying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and your hands behind your head. Hooking your feet beneath a solid object or having a workout partner secure them to the ground will make this exercise easier to complete. Contract your abdominal muscles and raise your torso off the ground by bending your hips and slightly rounding your back. Continue until your torso is upright and your back is completely off the ground, and then slowly lower back to the floor.

Crunches are similar to the sit-up but with a much smaller range of motion. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and hands behind your head. You can also begin with your knees bent and thighs vertical if this is a more comfortable position for you. Contract your abdominal muscles to round your back and lift only your shoulders off the ground while leaving your lower back firmly pressed against the floor. In a controlled manner, lower back to the floor.

Both sit-ups and crunches target the rectus abdominis muscle that runs from your sternum to your pelvis. This is the muscle focused on when striving for the “six-pack” look. Along with the rectus abdominis, sit-ups also intensely work the hip flexors and to a lesser extent, the obliques. During the first part of the sit-up, the abdominal muscles are primarily used, and then after your lower back leaves the floor, the hip flexors are used to complete the movement.

While sit-ups are primarily considered a safe exercise, they may not be appropriate for everyone. The strong use of the hip flexors during sit-ups can make them dangerous for individuals with weak abdominal muscles or a history of low back problems. If you find that sit-ups create a pull or pain in your lower back, opt instead for crunches or half-sit-ups in which your lower back never leaves the floor. These exercises will strengthen your abdominal muscles while protecting and maintaining spine health. Once your abs are stronger, you can begin to introduce complete sit-ups into your workout routine.

Food for thought:

Black Forbidden Rice
Cook rice with organic chicken broth. Separately, sauté ½ sweet potato w/ ¼ to 1 inch of ginger root chopped up and 1-2 cloves of garlic in 1-2 Tbsp of coconut oil over low heat until soft. When rice is finished combine with sweet potato and ginger and serve. This is great with wild salmon.

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