Audra Yocom is a certified personal trainer based out of Los Angeles, who will be answering your fitness questions on a weekly basis (every Monday) and will also bring you monthly fitness tips via her regular column (resuming in April) to help us to disspell those myths we’ve all been subjected to regarding fitness at one point or another in our battle with the bulge. You can also hear Audra with her fitness tips during the early morning (5am – 7am) A.M. Blast block of upbeat tunes geared towards your morning workout and via her new “Fitness and Health” Show beginning Wednesday April 11th at 7:30 pm on intraffikradio.com (http://tinyurl.com/intraffikradio) or under Intraffikradio under the eclectic section under iTunes Radio. To learn more about Audra or to inquire about training sessions visit her site http://audrayocom.com.
QUESTION: I’ve been wanting to take up surfing, but am a little hesitant as I’d tried it before and found it impossible to stand/stay on the board. Are there any exercises I could maybe do as prep for the next time I attempt to hit the waves?
ANSWER: What exercises shouldn’t you do would be a much easier question to answer in this case because surfing requires the use of pretty much all your major muscle groups. Since your main concern is staying on your board I would suggest focusing on stability/balance exercises as well as core strengthening ones. It’s a good place for everyone who is just taking up surfing to start at.
Some Good Workouts to Help Strengthen the Core Area (consisting of the hips, pelvis, abdominal area, lower back, and mid-back) Would Be:
Quadruped Opposite Arm/Leg Raises - Start on all fours, and keep the spine in a neutral position. Draw your abs in, tuck your chin and raise the right arm (thumb pointing up) and the left leg with toes pointing away from your body. Raise both limbs so they are level with your torso. Hold them for two seconds and return them to the floor and then do the same with the opposite arm and leg.
Floor/Ball Bridge – Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Your toes should be about shoulder-width apart and pointing straight. Place your arms out to the side palms facing up. Draw your abs in and lift your pelvis off the floor and raise until your knees, hips and shoulders are in a straight line. Then lower pelvis back to the floor.
Reverse Hypers – Lie face down on a bench torso fully resting on the bench. Extend your legs straight out behind you in the air until your entire body is in a straight line. Then relax and lower your legs back to the floor.
Crunches – Lie on your back on the floor and cross your arms over your chest. Keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Feet should be shoulder width apart. Flex your upper body toward your knees lowering your rib cage toward your hips. Then lower your body back to the floor.
Standing Cable Rotation - Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly flexed and your toes pointing straight in front of you. Draw your abs in and rotate your body away from the weights. You should feel it in your abs and in your glutes. Make sure your back foot pivots in the direction you are pulling the cable toward.
Standing Cable Lift – the same as the standing cable rotation except you’ll want your cable to be coming from a low position. You’ll be squatting down to grab the cable then standing and lifting the cable up toward the sky and pivoting your foot in the same direction.
Stability and Balancing Exercises Would Include:
The Single Leg Squat – Stand on one foot with leg slightly bent and other leg slightly bent and “floating” in front of your body. Squat down with the leg you are balancing on as though you are sitting in a chair then push through the heel, activating the glutes, and stand back up straight.
Single Leg Squat Touchdown – Follow the steps for the single leg squat except when you squat down you’ll reach the hand opposite of the balance leg toward the balancing foot while keeping your chest lifted. Hold this position for two seconds and then stand upright pushing through your heel.
Single Leg Romanian Dead Lift – Place one hand on your hip and balance on the same leg of the hip your hand is resting on. Your “floating” leg will be slightly bent but still next to your balancing leg. Next bend at the waist and reach your free hand toward the stabilizing foot. Lower down until your hand is right in front of the middle of your shin and then stand back upright (you may also incorporate a kettleball or weights to add to the difficulty level)
Audra will be answering your fitness questions every Monday. If you have questions you’d like answered you may email her at Audra@intraffik.com or send to email@example.com. To see if your questions have been addressed check out past “Ask Audra” Column Entries here
surfing photo originally published here
BY: MS. AMANDA JONES
I am a native Angelino. I can swear by this and provide documentation if needed. It seems that people born and raised in the City of Angels, are now few and far between.
At least that’s what people say. I do run into native Angelinos often, and I think if anything an overwhelming sense of pride comes with being of this patch of soil. The pride is not because we were lucky enough to be born here before you ever thought about coming to Los Angeles. Not because we think we are cooler than you or any other silly reason. Nor is it the endless sunlight we get day in and day out. Well maybe that’s part of it? I know for many of us, once you’ve made this town your home, there is enormous amount of love that slips into your blood claiming Los Angeles as your very own.
I love Los Angeles for these very simple reasons:
I love it because of the sunshine that is reaped on us day in and day out whether we like it or not. I love that when it rains in Los Angeles it becomes a mini-holiday. These days it so rarely rains and when it does, I think most of us are ready to turn into 5 year olds again and run out into the showers. Or we want to call in sick to work just to listen to the sound of the rain from our beds.
I love it because on a good day I can surf the beautiful Pacific Ocean and then drive back to my home in the city. I love it even more because in the winter I can still surf AND snow-board in the same day if I really wanted to.
I love Los Angeles for all of the ethnicities and oddities that are nurtured here. I love the different neighborhoods with many cultures and the ability to navigate through all of it pretty peacefully. Each neighborhood unlocks a different beauty – a new reason to appreciate the uniqueness of those ethnicities.
I love it because of the amazing neighborhoods that litter all of Los Angeles, but most specifically North-East Los Angeles where I was raised. I love the working class neighborhoods where people strive to make homes for their families and sacrifice safety at times to do this. I love that as my children grow up in this city they can learn Spanish and English proudly, and a myriad of other languages if they choose to do so. I love that as it stands now, they can say thank-you in at least 6 languages thanks to the lovely shops and store owners that are always willing to teach us how to be polite in their native tongue.
I love it because of the bacon wrapped hot dogs at 2am and the Tamale Man that shows up at 2:15am when you are out at night in Echo Park.
I love the Dodgers and the fireworks I would watch with my grandfather from his front porch on summer nights when I was growing up.
I love the pathetic Los Angeles River and the area known as Frog- Town where there really are tons of frogs in the river. I love how much the neighborhoods have changed over the years and how much it continues to change as a New Year approaches.
I love the resilience of its residents that can pretty much withstand anything when they are faced with adversity.
I love the shops, the taco stands, the taco trucks, the meat markets, the liquor stores, the bakeries, the small business’s that our residents create to fulfill their dream of a better life.
I love the artists and musicians I have met, year after year, that create beautifully synthetic scenes within the smallest parts of the un-cool portions of Los Angeles.
I love the friends I have made that see as much beauty in their own adopted neighborhoods and revere them with the same feelings that I do.
I LOVE that this city, is the place where people come to create a better life, to fulfill their dreams, to chase the hope that maybe this city can provide. And I love that this city makes you work for all of it. There is a cost of living amidst such beauty, such passion, such hope, but those of us that choose to stay in Los Angeles know that it will be worth it.
Now as I raise my children in this city and I look at their faces while they learn so much about their city and themselves, I realize that this is the place that our parent’s and our parent’s parents dreamed of. This is a city filled with Angels and Demons and if you stick it out long enough you will witness both.
Most importantly you will see why people come to Los Angeles year after year…because Los Angeles is a city of hope and aspirations and once it gets in your blood you will never be the same.