Health And Exercise Prescriptions ®

"Fighting Disease And Aging With The Best Medicine"

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Body Shop “Killer Abs” Demystified? Got Great Abs?

Hello Readers

Bathing suit season is approaching fast. It is time to get your abs stronger and looking good:)

Great abs is definitely a lot of work but, well worth it.

Lets first look at the basic anatomy of  abdominal muscles that we will be using to “Shred our abs” (with an infomercial like emphasis :)giggles.).As you can see there are four different muscles that we need to hit to get your abs looking good.

  1. Transverse abdominal   This is your inner most unit and has a co-contractor called multifidus which helps stabilize your spinal segments. This muscle generally automatically works for all the time.(but injury can lead to dysfunction of this inner unit.) 
  2. External obliques  Specific exercise =Side lying crunches
  3. Internal obliques   Specific exercise=Twisting crunch
  4. Rectus abdominis Specific exercise=Straight and reverse crunch

Most people just do one or two types of crunches. It really takes hitting your abs from different angles to get a good workout.  Oblique means 45 Degree angle so the external and internal obliques are doing to different things; External obliques pull you side to side and internal obliques do more of a twisting motion. Rectus abdominis is what people call “6 pack” and attaches to your pubic bone and runs up your belly to the bottom of the ribs. Your transverse abdominal muscle wraps around you like a girdle ,around the ribs into the back, pubic bone and hips.

When you are exercising these muscles the goal is to put stress in the direction of the muscle(cells) to make them work to their maximum potential. So that means going through the full range of motion with all of the abdominal exercises. Your abs are an endurance muscle and so it takes a lot of exercise at the right resistance to make them hypertrophy or gain muscle. To start you can do at least 2-3 sets at 20 reps daily.Your diet is 70% of gaining muscle and losing body fat.

Well this should help to demystify your ab workouts,…. and now you know the facts. Don’t believe the hype in all of the magazines your read…”Exercise is a science”.

If you need any help putting together a complete plan contact me.

Thank you for your time and energy…be well

Jaime Hernandez

Health and Exercise Prescriptions


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Part 2 of 2 Learn to help control your blood sugar through exercise and diet

Hello readers I hope that the last blog Part 1 helped to get you started on a sustainable road of better health.

Next component is strength training and Cardiovascular prescription to help keep your blood sugar in check.

#1 rule to follow make sure you get clearance from your doctor and monitor your blood sugar before, during and after your exercise. It is extremely dangerous to not monitor your blood sugar.

Why is it important to do a full body weight-bearing workout?

A full body workout includes all of your bodies major muscle groups to be exercised so that your body does not have strength imbalances. When your body get stimulus to all of your muscle groups it helps to decrease fat, gain strength in your bones, muscles and tendons; it also helps to keep your joints lubricated so they glide better. Weight bearing activity also helps to keep blood sugar in check.

How many days a week should I do a full body workout?

You can start with 1-2 x a week if you are a beginner and do 1-2 sets of 15-20 repetitions. After you first 6-8 weeks doing 1-2 sets you can do 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions for another 6-8 weeks. Rest at least two days in between weight lifting sessions. After you have a half a year under your belt you can do your full body workout Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting with 1-2 sets for 6-8 weeks and then after that move back up to your 3 sets M, W, and F. That should be a great start for you to gain fitness safely. Always clear your new exercise program with your primary care doctors.

Here is the full body workout blog post with pictures of machines.

Always warm up and cool down on a piece of cardio equipment of your choice for at least 5-10 minutes. Stretch if you have tight muscles before you get started.

Points to Remember

  • Always warm up before you start exercising
  • Do not lift too much weight to start because your body is not ready if you are a novice
  • Make sure to eat at least 1 hour before you exercise(small meal)
  • Make sure to drink at least 8-16 oz of water 45 minutes before you exercise
  • Make sure to get enough rest days in; and you should not be sore more than 2 days
  • Make sure to get a goodnight sleep, eat 3 meals and 2 snacks and take your multivitamins daily

Cardiovascular fitness is a key component to making long term changes in your body.

If you are a beginner you should start with 2-3 times a week(every other day) 10-20 minutes of cardiovascular training for the first six weeks. Chose a walking route that is flat to start out.Every six weeks ( Mesocycle 4-6 wks )you are going to change the amount of time and number of days per week that you do your cardiovascular exercise so now you will do 3-4 days per week and 25-30 minutes. If you need more guidance check out this link to my last blog for a walk to run program.

Remember to always check your blood sugar and have something sweet if your blood sugar drops suddenly.

Well I hope that this helps you put together a plan to get you blood sugar in check.
If you need help putting a safe plan together please contact me.

Thank you for your time and energy…Be well

Jaime Hernandez

Health and Exercise Prescriptions®