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Carve Your Abs With the Butterfly Crunch

The sun is out, Spring’s almost here… It’s TIME to GET THOSE ABS IN GEAR!!!

via – popsugar.com

Don’t let the sweet name fool you, this is a tough ab exercise. It works all four layers of the abdominal muscles, to create a flat belly and a sculpted abs. Lifting the feet toward the hands as you perform the double crunch ensures that the lower part of the abs engage to battle the pooch.

  • Lie on your back with your knees open and the soles of your feet together (in a butterfly position). Lengthen your arms overhead so they are resting on the floor.
  • Exhale and bring your hands and knees toward each other performing a full-body crunch. Your shoulder blades should be off the mat as you perform a small reverse crunch lifting your pelvis a bit off the mat. Hold this position for a moment and really feel your abs squeezing.
  • Slowly lower your arms and feet back to starting position to complete one rep. Focus on your low back staying in contact with the mat as you lower your feet.
  • Do 15 reps to complete a set. Do two to three sets.

 


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Tales of Real-Life AbsoluteFITness: Winter Break Edition

via – Lydia M., AVAC® AbsoluteFIT Blogger

“AbsoluteFIT ain’t just for life inside the gym.”

skiingI didn’t write last week because I was in the beautiful snowy Lake Tahoe area, on a quick little mini-vacation with the family. And I will tell you this: I was, and am, so glad for all the prep work I did in my AbsoluteFIT sessions!

There was a ton of fresh snow, very heavy and wet stuff. We spent whole days playing in it, out behind the cabin we shared with another family: building a sledding track out of packed snow, hauling more snow in the sleds to build it higher, making snow spectators, building two forts and the hundreds of snowballs that we then threw in an epic snowball fight, and of course, repeatedly and unexpectedly sinking to the thigh in drifts we thought weren’t that deep, then having to extricate ourselves — talk about a test of endurance and strength! (Not to mention cardio, at altitude — hoo boy!)

We put in some time on the slopes, too; my husband and I used to take several trips to Tahoe each winter, pre-kid, but this was my first time skiing since before I got pregnant with our now-8-year-old, so I was very tentative and rusty — but I managed it just fine, and wasn’t even sore the next day!

And it’s not just my sample of one — everyone in Monday and Tuesday’s sessions who’d been in the snow during “Ski Week” marveled at how AbsoluteFIT had gotten them in much better shape to enjoy skiiing, snowboarding, and just messing around out there. It’s like I’ve said: AbsoluteFIT applies to your whole life, not just your time in the gym.

—Lydia M. 


Changing the World – One Veggie at a Time!

wellness series logo final_no bkgroundJoin us at AVAC® on Tuesday, March 1! In our March Tuesday Wellness Series seminar, “Organic Gardening” you’ll learn how to prepare your garden for spring plantings, including soil amendments, irrigation options, a list of the best veggies to plant at this time of year and more. A sample planting plan will also be presented. Presented by Troy Smothermon of StartOrganic.

It’s FREE! Please RSVP

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Starting an organic garden at home can be easy. See below for some fun tips via this Infographic from agrarianorganics.com


Easy Stir Fry with Chicken, Asparagus & Lemon

A fantastic, simple recipe that can be whipped up in a flash! The options are endless…swap out the asparagus for broccoli, zucchini, or whatever else you’re in the mood for!

via – skinnytaste.com

A quick Spring stir fry made with chicken and asparagus

Although the weather outside still feels like winter, I’m excited to see signs of Spring all around. One of those signs is asparagus. Asparagus is one of my favorite Spring vegetables, and this quick stir-fry made with chicken, lemon, garlic and ginger is a great way to make it a weeknight meal.

I used a reduced-sodium Japanese soy sauce called Shoyu which is similar to Chinese soy sauce, but has a more full bodied flavored and a touch of sweetness that I’m really in love with. I like Eden, which is organic and non-GMO. You can use either one, or even Tamari if you’re gluten free. We served this over brown rice to complete the meal.

Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir Fry

via Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 1/4 cups • Points +: 6 pts • Smart Points: 4 • Calories: 268 • Fat: 7 g • Carb: 10 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 41 g • Sugar: 0  g • Sodium: 437 mg (without salt)  • Cholest: 98 mg

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium shoyu or soy sauce (or Tamari for GF)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil, divided
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • fresh black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Lightly season the chicken with salt. In a small bowl, combine chicken broth and soy sauce. In a second small bowl combine the cornstarch and water and mix well to combine.

Heat a large non-stick wok over medium-high heat, when hot add 1 teaspoon of the oil, then add the asparagus and cook until tender-crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Increase the heat to high, then add 1 teaspoon of oil and half of the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside and repeat with the remaining oil and chicken. Set aside.

Add the soy sauce mixture; bring to a boil and cook about 1-1/2 minutes. Add lemon juice and cornstarch mixture and stir well, when it simmers return the chicken and asparagus to the wok and mix well, remove from heat and serve.


Can You Handle the Gauntlet?

via – John Kensit, NASM Certified Personal Traininer | AVAC®

Another awesome Fitness Challenge from our own John Kensit, CPT.

body weight gauntlet

Want more? Schedule your session with John today!

Almaden Valley Athletic Club®