Diastasis Recti In Men Over 35

Are you a man who has diastasis recti or thinks he does?

In this video, I’ll tell you everything that you need to know specifically for men over 35.

Hi, this is Ivana helping you get fitter healthier and stronger as you get older.

I haven’t done a video about diastasis recti yet, and I wanted to start off with this one aimed at men. Primarily because I don’t think there’s much information out there for men who suffer from diastasis recti. I had it myself and it was related to my pregnancy.

But in the past couple of years, I’ve actually had two male clients, both men over 35, who suffer from diastasis recti. They’d hadn’t heard of it before. And it was something that I identified in them. So I don’t think there’s a lot of information and that men might not think that this is something that’s a possibility, but it definitely is.

Diastasis Recti In Men

I’m going to tell you what diastasis recti is, the risk factors in men, and the exercises and activities that you should be avoiding.

And I’m going to get, you started with a couple of exercises to begin healing your diastasis recti.

At the end of this video, I’m going to share the important lifestyle modification that you need to make to avoid making your diastasis recti worse.

What Is Diastasis Recti?

Diastat since direct day is a separation of the abdominals at the linear elbow. So that’s the connective tissue there in the center. So it can separate in various places, but most commonly it’s around the belly button. Diastasis recti is most common in women who’ve had children. However, there are other risk factors that you need to be aware of.

Risk Factors For Diastasis Recti In Men

Being over 35 is the first risk factor.

As we get older, our bodies don’t produce as much collagen. So the connective tissue is a little bit weaker. So therefore you’re more likely to have those abdominal separate.

Obesity and weight gain is also a risk factor. Particularly if you’ve put on a lot of weight around the belly, that puts pressure on the rectus abdominis. And it means that it’s more likely for the connected tissue to separate.

And the one that I think applies most to men quite frequently is:

Improper Training And Unbalanced Training

Improper training and unbalanced training is the last risk factor for diastasis recti in men.

So doing a lot of crunches, doing a lot of planking activity over time can really cause a lot of stress. You’re building the rectus abdominis. That’s your six pack muscle. That’s what everyone wants, right? So that’s all you’re working at the expense of your inner core muscles, which actually helped to stabilize your spine.

Now, if those rectus abdominis muscles are too strong, then they’re going to be pulling everything forward and they’re more likely to separate. So the TVA or the transverse abdominis is the muscle that you want to focus on when healing your diastasis recti.


It’s the one that stabilizes and holds everything in place. It supports your lower back, particularly.

And most people don’t train this muscle because quite frankly, it’s a little bit boring. The exercises are not quite as exciting. You don’t feel them the same way that you feel crunches.

Many people avoid those exercises, or don’t even know that they exist.

Issues That Diastasis Recti Can Cause

It’s important. Do something about your diastasis rectum because it can be a contributor to back. Pain may be the cause of your back pain. If you’re still searching for one over time, it can lead to an abdominal hernia. If it’s not treated correctly, if it’s a very large diastasis, then it may result in the organs bulging out through that hole. And that’s definitely not something you want. So speak to your doctor. If you do think you have diastasis rectum. Now, I don’t want you guys to be shy or embarrassed about diastasis rectus, just because they normally talk about it.

With respect to women. Who’ve had babies. If you start to look around, you’re going to notice. There are quite a few male fitness models who have a separation in their abdominals.

the bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman, eight time Mr. Olympia also well known as being one of the strongest bodybuilders. If you look at pictures of him on stage, you’ll see that he has quite a prominent diastasis recti:


This is probably from his heavy lifting. Because once you get up to the kind of list that Ronnie does, it’s very difficult to get the abdominal support in there. So heavy lifting, sometimes incorrect technique.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you’re a male with diastasis recti, you’re in some good company.

Exercises To Avoid

Any time you increase the intra abdominal pressure, you can aggravate the delicate tissue. So if you have diastasis recti, it’s important for you to avoid lifting things in the downward position.

If you’re lifting heavy boxes and you’re leaning over, bending over. That can be a big aggravator for diastasis recti. You have to be very careful with those sort of activities, especially in the initial stages. And in particular, if you have a large diastasis recti, that also means that exercises like deadlifts and really heavy squats are pretty much out. At least while you were in that aggravated stage over your diastasis recti.

I actually re-injured my diastasis rect day. I had already pretty much after I had my son. And then I started lifting, doing deadlifts and I re aggravated it again.

Any sort of crunching action is not a good idea.

So stomach crunches, they’re not my favorite exercise anyway, planks as well. You’ll want to be avoiding those. So, and then downward position where there’s a lot of pressure that can be quite dangerous for diastasis rectify, anything where you’re forcibly twisting.

If you think about a bicycle exercise on the ground, that’s not going to be an ideal exercise for diastasis recti.

Abdominal exercises like V-ups or anything where you’re jackknifing your body together and down.

Avoid Yoga!

A lot of yoga exercises aren’t a great idea either.

So downward dog and upward dog and time you’re stretching and opening any sort of backward bend. Isn’t a great idea either. If you want to excuse not to do yoga, I just gave you another one.

How To Check For Diastasis

You can check for diastasis rectify by lying down on your back, bending your knees, and then placing your fingers around your belly button level. And then as you gently kind of curl up, you want to see how big the separation is at that level. And also if you have a doming effect or a coning effect that happens along the midline, the linea alba.

Diastasis generally starts around two centimeters of separation.

So anything less than that is not really considered DR. And then it can be quite wide for a lot of people. Once you get to a certain point several centimeters, then you’re going to be at a higher risk of developing a hernia.

Strength is really important as well for diastasis recti. So even if you do have a separation, but it actually feels quite firm in that area, that’s what you’re aiming for.

Sometimes the actual gap will not fully heal. As long as you can build the strength in that area. Then you are going to be able to have a lot more strength in the core to be able to do your movement.

Draw In Maneuver

So now I’m going to show you a couple of exercises to get you started on healing, your diastasis Rick dye. We’re going to start with a draw and maneuver, start this by breathing in. Then you’re going to breathe out and pull your belly button in towards the spine. Very gently. Start this off with three sets of 20 seconds. And then you can build your way up to three sets of 45 seconds.

TVA With Arms & Legs

The next exercise is The TBA with arms and legs.

It’s really important to squeeze the TVA throughout this exercise, breathe in first and then breathe out and pull your belly button towards your spine. You can flatten your lower back a little bit to help you, and you want to maintain the TVA contraction throughout these movements. So as you’re alternating the arms and legs, make sure that the TVA is really tight. You’re not seeing any movement up and down, and you’re not wiggling your hips from side to side.

If you find this a bit too challenging, start with just the legs at first, making sure that the TVA is activated throughout the movement, and there’s no movement at the hips or in your back.

I actually have quite a few videos of TVA exercises to help strengthen your core transfers of dominance exercises are a key for healing, diastasis direct tie. So really focus on doing those and avoid the other types of abdominal exercises.

Lifestyle Modification For Diastasis Recti In Men

And the lifestyle modification that I think is really important is watching how you’re getting up, particularly getting out of bed.

So rather than jackknifing yourself out of bed every morning, you want to roll over onto your side, put one hand down and then push off gently that avoids putting the stress on the rectus abdominis. And you’re not going to see that doming effect. Whenever you see that doming effect, it means that you’re stressing the rectus abdominis. You’re causing issues for your diastasis recti.

I’ll look forward to seeing you next week.

Ivana Chapman


How To Do A Stomach Vacuum Properly

Do you want to learn how to do the stomach vacuum exercise?

In this video, I’ll show you how to do the stomach vacuum properly to strengthen your core.

Hi, this is Ivana.

I’m here to help you get fit healthy and strong at any age. If that sounds good, please subscribe and hit the bell. The stomach vacuum exercise primarily works. The TVA, the transverse abdominis, which is nature’s weight belt.


The TVA is important for posture, and it’s a key component of your core strength without strong inner core muscles. You won’t be able to properly stabilize your spine, and that can put stress on your lower back.

I’m going to show you the traditional form of the stomach vacuum.

And then I’m going to show you a variation that’s really good for beginners to learn this exercise. The main cues are breathing out all the air and then drawing your belly button in as far as you can towards the spine. The idea is that you’re going to hold the stomach vacuum as long as you can. If you’re just starting out 20 seconds is a reasonable goal.

 Variation One

So first you want to breathe in and allow the belly to expand in front. Then you’re going to breathe out and pull your belly button in as far as you can towards your spine.

There we go.

Okay. So you noticed that I’m still trying to breathe while I’m doing this as well. I’m not holding my breath because otherwise the stomach vacuum exercise is going to be limited by how long you can hold your breath. So you’re trying to do a little shallow breath. So as you do this, I’m going to show you a slightly from the side, same thing, breathe in, expand, and release.

Definitely not pretty, but it does effectively target the TVA. So you wouldn’t really want to pull it in there underneath the rib cage as much as you can.

Variation Two

So the second variation which I really liked for beginners is leaning over a table or anything that’s solid. You just want to put your hands in front and kind of use that to support yourself as you begin the exercise, the process is exactly the same. You want to breathe in, release the Valley and then breathe out and call on your belly button towards your spine. So I find it a little bit easier to breathe in this position and still maintain the contraction. Obviously, if you’re just getting started, try this one first and then work to the other position. I’m going to show you this one from a slightly different angle. So you can see it just leaning forward,

Breathe in, and then breathe out.

Correct Breathing For The Stomach Vacuum

So I’ve had someone asked about the correct breathing.

There are two ways of doing this.

1) You can either breathe out continuously. So you’re going out, out, out, out, out, out. And that means that you’re pulling in with your stomach at the same time.

2) Or you can do what I actually do most of the time is I breathe out slightly, but then I just kind of pull in and whole and then maintain that contraction rather than a long smooth breathe out during that

Try both variations, whichever works best for you in order to maintain that TVA contraction.

That’s the most important thing.

How Long To Hold The Stomach Vacuum

You can start with two sets of 20 seconds and then work your way up to two sets of 45 seconds.

Try this exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Do it every day.

If you need any help, please ask your question in the comments. If you enjoyed this video, please hit that like button.

I’ll look forward to seeing you next week.

Ivana Chapman


Prevent Knee Pain Over 35 With Six Exercises

Do you want to prevent knee pain over 35?

In this video, I’ll show you six exercises to help stabilize and strengthen your knees as you get older.

Hi, it’s Ivana helping you get fit healthy and strong at any age.

There is some natural wear and tear of the knee joint over a time. And there’s not a lot we can do to avoid that.

When we think about wear and tear, it’s generally of the cartilage between the joints there, the exercises that I’m going to show you will help keep the muscles balance. So there’s less stress on the knee. They’ll help stabilize the knee and prevent injury as well.

Stick around until the end, because the last exercise addresses the one muscle that most people completely ignore. When they’re trying to prevent knee pain or deal with knee injuries.

Glute Bridge

The first exercise is a glute bridge. This exercise helps you activate the glutes and strengthen them. Weak glutes can affect the positioning of your pelvis and they can lead to knee. So you really want to squeeze the glutes with this exercise.

A band just above your knees can provide additional resistance and force more activation of the gluteus medius, which is the important glute for stabilizing of the knee.

Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

The next exercise is the Single Leg Romanian Deadlift.

This can be quite a challenging exercise for stability of the leg. It’s really important that it’s also a unilateral exercise. So you’re forcing that one leg to stabilize. You’re going to get some hamstring work here and glutes as well as you try to stabilize.

Don’t worry if it’s a bit wobbly, just focus on the position. And if this becomes too easy for you, then you can add weights either to one side or to both.

Side-Lying Hip Abduction

We’re moving on to the side-lying hip abduction.

Now with this one, you really want to lead with your heel and keep your toes slightly down. That helps activate the gluteus medius and really focus on that. This exercise has been found in research to be most effective targeting the gluteus medius. This is the glute that’s responsible for stabilizing the legs and the hips keep this fairly slow and controlled, and you don’t need to come up too high.

Actually, if you come up to a higher than it’s not as effective for the glutes.

Towel Hamstring Curls

The next one is going to be Towel Hamstring Curls.

You’re just going to use any towel and a slick surface, and you want to curl in and out each time. You’re just going to have your legs straight out in front and then curl in and back out. The three hamstring muscles are involved in knee flection, and they’re often weaker compared to the quad. So we want to correct that balance and help protect and stabilize the knee. If this one becomes too easy for you, you can try it by lifting your hips off the ground and then pulling it hard at the same time. So you’re keeping your hips up with this one. It’s going to require a lot more strength to do the hands.

VMO Step-Up

Now we’re moving on to the VMO Step-Up.

VMO stands for vastus medialis oblique. That’s the inner quad muscle. This muscle is weak in many people relative to the other three quad muscles. So we’re trying to balance it out by training this muscle specifically, keep an upright stance for this exercise. If you lean forward, you’re working more on the glutes and we’re already dealing with the glutes with other exercises.

So here, we’re going to focus on the VMO. You can keep this one fairly fast and do about 15 to 20 reps.

Calf Raises To Prevent Knee Pain

And the last exercise is calf raises the gastrocnemius or the gas drop is one of the calf muscles. And it’s the one that crosses the knee joint. So it’s involved in knee flection, which makes it important for me, strength and stability.

If you’re just starting out, calf raises are just fine doing bilaterally, both legs at the same time, but once you get a little bit stronger, it’s quite helpful to do it. One leg at a time. It’s a good idea to do it on the edge of a step so that you can get the full range of motion on the gastrocs.

Let me know in the comments:

What kind of knee pain do you get? How have you been able to manage it in the past?

I look forward to seeing you next time.

Ivana Chapman


Training Tips Over 35 From Two Experienced Coaches

Are you over 35 and trying to get the most from your training?

in this video, you’ll get advice from two experienced coaches who specialize in working with people over 35.

Hi, it’s Ivana, and I want to help you get fit healthy and strong at any age.

If that sounds good to you, please subscribe and hit the notification bell.

My specialty is helping people over 35 bust through their limitations and get in the best shape of their lives.

Our Best Training Tips Over 35

I’m going to share training tips over 35 from over 20 years of experience.

And I’ve also invited my friend and colleague Joey Shillolo to share his training tips over 35 as well.

Joey and I met on a course for advanced strength coaches in 2013. And now we we coincidentally live across the street from each other here in Toronto, Canada.

Hello, my name is Joey Shillolo.

My specialty is training busy professionals over 40 to get fit.

Using The Four Components Of Fitness

One of the main guidelines I gives you those training over 35 is we need to be well rounded in our approach.

What that means is we need to consider all four components of fitness in our weekly regimen or routine.

Strength Training

We should have two to three strength sessions a week, which is going to help maintain our lean muscle mass and strength.

Cardiovascular Training

We need to have cardiovascular sessions, which is going to maintain our endurance and cardiovascular system as well as facilitate recovery.

Flexibility & Mobility

Flexibility is the third component, which falls under the mobility umbrella, which means we need to be doing daily mobilization techniques or stretching techniques to maintain efficiency of movement.

Maintaining A Healthy Body Composition

Our fourth component of fitness is maintaining a healthy body composition and that’s accumulation or a result of a sound approach to our fitness plan, as well as consistency with nutrition. If we ignore even just one of these components, it could cause us issues down the road.

Strength & Flexibility Over 35

The combination of strength and flexibility is something that I really emphasize with my clients who are over 35.

Weight training is obviously key because we want to maintain our muscle mass as we get older. And you want that balance because it may be nice to be able to deadlift 600 pounds.

But if you feel stiff and sore, if you’re walking for long periods and don’t have any endurance and you don’t have the mobility and flexibility in your hips, then you’re not going to feel quite as good.

Although it does feel pretty good to deadlift 600 pounds, I guess, and equally you don’t want to be able to do the splits, but then not be able to do even a pushup because of your lack of upper body strength or a solid squat with some decent weight, because you don’t have the lower body. So training tips over 35 include both strength and flexibility.

Being Consistent With Your Fitness Regime

So for those over 35, I believe one of the most common challenges is being consistent with their fitness regimen and fitting it into a busy lifestyle.

I agree with that. Most of my clients who are over 35, they have children, they have busy careers. So it’s about managing their schedules and trying to fit everything in.


But people often think motivation is what keeps us consistent. Motivation is usually what gets us started, but we need systems and plans in place to follow through on consistency. What I mean by having a system or strategy in place when it comes to fitness is planning ahead. For example, look at your week, which are the busier days, which windows you can, you find to work out and schedule like you would any other appointment,

Big believer that motivation just isn’t really going to get you where you want to go. There’s only so much raw. That’s actually going to get you going. The busier you are, the more important it is to have exercise in your plan.

Building Systems And Strategies

Look to areas of your life that you’re already successful. You probably already have systems and strategy and plans in place that make you successful in that area of your life. All you have to do is apply those same strategies to your fitness.

It may actually be better to do full body workouts as opposed to body part splits. So doing chest and triceps one day back and biceps full body three times a week. And if that’s all you’re doing is three sessions a week, then you’ll probably get enough recovery between those sessions in order to build and grow muscle.

The upper body tends to recover a little bit faster than the lower body. So you might just include the legs one day or perhaps two for women, particularly this tends to be easier. We can recover better. Whereas men might only be able to handle one to two leg training sessions. And that’s assuming that they’re not maximum lifting sessions like a power lifting.

Consistency Vs Perfection

I believe my main focus when it comes to training over 35 is focusing on consistency versus perfection. We need to be moving on a daily basis. So even if you go for a daily walk, five minutes of stretching, all that stuff is gonna accumulate over time. Consistency always wins the race

Like working for consistency rather than perfection is something that a lot of us work on throughout our lives. Many of our clients are very hard workers, they’re perfectionist and high achievers. So it’s very hard to let go of that high standard. And I’m not saying that high standards aren’t useful because I definitely demand that of myself and or my clients as well.

However, it’s often important to take a little bit of moderation there and realize that doing something continuously at a moderate level is much better than going full on for a short period of time and then just quitting altogether. And that’s what happens to a lot of people that all or nothing principle, if you can’t get over that, you’re actually going to struggle much more than someone who accepts progress instead of perfect.

Using An Individualistic Approach To Training Over 35

So the main message I would have to those that are weight training over 35 is an individualistic approach.

And firstly, I’m gonna talk about mindset or a psychological realm for those that are just starting out. You want to focus on incremental improvements based on yourself and your progress.

Don’t compare yourself to any, any others secondarily to that is for those that are say, getting back at it and they have more of a competitive nature. They used to be like an athlete back in college.

Don’t compare yourself to your former self. Don’t try to do the last work that you did 25 years ago with your gym buddies? That’s probably going to cause some issues.

Individual Approach (Physical) To Training Over 35

When it comes to an individualistic approach on the physical realm. What I mean by that is I highly encourage you to learn more about yourself, learn about your limitations and capacities.

This feeds in with the weight training conversation in the sense of weight training is a double edged sword. Because on one hand you literally have thousands of different exercises on the other hand. We have so much variety. It can create some confusion as to what to do as well as some of those exercise may not be meant for you? Maybe you’re not qualified for them.

The name of the game, as we mentioned before, is consistency.

So if we can maintain pain-free movement and don’t have injuries, we can keep active for a longer period of time, which means we’re going to be fit as we age.

Best Training Tips Over 35

My message to anyone over 35 is you still have a lot more to achieve.

You can still build muscle. If you want, then you can still get leaner.

You need to still keep working towards those goals because you have not reached your potential. You can be fitter healthier and stronger. This is not down, down, down from here, whether you’re 35, 40, 45, you still have plenty of room to grow. So focus on the positive and work your way to a fitter and healthier, stronger you. If you like the sound of that, please hit that like button.

What Changes Have YOU Made Training Over 35?

Training Tips Over 35 from Joey Shillolo:

So one of the biggest changes I’ve made to my own training is paying attention more to how my body’s feeling each day, as well as putting more effort and strategy into recovery methods, you can only train as hard as your body’s ability to recover.

This is even more important as we age because our bodies are producing less collagen and our bodies are recovering less effectively or efficiently.

Therefore we need to put more proactive measures into helping ourselves heal and recover. We should have a daily plan or process for helping ourselves heal or recover. And that starts with prioritizing a good night’s sleep secondarily to that is moving every single day, right?

Which includes soft tissue work, mobilization techniques, also meditation, which also calms the mind, which will help calm, calm the muscles as well. So the idea is that we want to always want to be paying attention to how our body’s feeling, focusing on recovery and maintaining that efficiency of movement.

Training Tips Over 35 from Ivana Chapman:

I’m going to be honest and say that I haven’t changed a whole lot about my training since I turned 35. That was around the time that I had my son. So obviously having a child made a difference on the sleep for a period of time. I competed in a fitness competition nine months after my son was born.

So I tried to maintain the weight training during that period. It was hard. The changes that my body went through around that time were more to do with pregnancy and childbirth than anything that I think of is age.

Listen To Your Body

I do place more of an emphasis on listening to my body, recognizing when it needs sleep, as opposed to harder and harder training. Sometimes it’s just knowing when to rest and that’s something that I’ve required in these years.

Over 35, there is a lot more balance in my life. And that’s just out of necessity.

When I competed in the physique shows, I had an infant at that time. So my priorities were different. It was to have a balanced life and to have something for myself as a hobby, something that I could work towards as a goal.

Reaching Goals When Training Over 35

I think that’s really important as we get older, don’t forget that this is not the end of anything. Still have things to work towards, whether it’s that 600 pound deadlift or doing a full chin up or a dip or even 20 pushups, you need to set some sort of goal for you to work towards in your training.

Thanks everybody for listening. Thanks again. You’ve honored for having me on your channel.

Thank you for sharing your training tips over 35 with us today. I hope you enjoy these tips from two experienced coaches.

I’m also curious to hear from you. What have you done differently since you turned 35?

Have you noticed changes either positive or negative in your training?

And I look forward to seeing you next week.

Ivana Chapman


Increase Hip Mobility To Do The Splits

Do you want to increase your hip mobility to do the splits, or do you just want to improve flexibility around the hip? Watch this video and I’ll show you hip mobility exercises to loosen tight hips.

Hi, it’s Ivana helping you get fit healthy and strong at any age.

If that sounds good to you, please do subscribe and hit that notification bell.

Hip mobility and flexibility becomes increasingly important as we get older.

Tight hips can cause knee and back pain and limit your movements. Getting the necessary range of motion improves, whatever exercise or sport you’re doing.

I’ve worked with tons of clients over the past 20 years to increase their hip mobility, particularly men over 35, who tend to suffer from tight hips.

I’m going to take you through some hip mobility exercises to get you to the splits. At the end, I’ll show you my two favorite stretches to improve hip flexibility. So before you start these exercises, it’s a really good idea to do a warmup 10 to 15 minutes. So we’re starting off with the hip rock and you’re can keep your knees 90 degrees And just twist from side to side, rock the hips and loosen them. Once you do about 10 rocking side to side, I want you to focus just on one side, doing that internal hip rotation On one side and then 10 on the other side.

Butterfly For Hip Mobility

Now we’re going to move on to the butterfly. You’re going to be moving up and down. When you’ve done both legs together, focus on one side.

Now you’re going to move into the traveling butterfly. So your legs are straight and then you’re gonna move forward and then straighten all the way back. That’s going to pretty tricky and quite challenging as well for the shoulders. As you can see,

Cossack Squat To Improve Hip Mobility

Now we move into that Cossack Squat. So you’re going from heel to heel and moving side to side. You want to keep your hips quite low to the ground, to the deep lunge position. And you’re just going to move it around. Roll around in the hip for this one.

You want to keep pushing the knee out to the side as well.

Deep Squat For Hip Mobility

Down into a deep squat,
Just keep moving it around. Use your elbows to push the knees out to the side. You see there’s a lot of movement going on here for all these exercises. I want you to do a lot of movement. Move around through your range of motion. Now drop one knee to the side at a time and switch from side to side. So you’re getting the internal rotation of the hip. And the last part before actually going into this splits is the middle splits reach. So just bounce through the legs gently And try to keep stretching out that way.

And then down into the splits.

Stretches To Improve Hip Flexibility

Now I’ll show you my two favourite stretches to help improve hip flexibility.

The first stretch is pigeon you might’ve seen it before on the floor. There is do it often in yoga, but I find this one is a lot better for people who have tight hips who really want to work on the glutes.

Modified Pigeon

You’re going to bring the knee up onto a bench and you want to bend it about 45 degrees to start and you want to work your way out and that’s more challenging. So if you bring it close and your hamstrings and your calf are together, then that’s really easy.

You want to bring it out and work your way into it. Your knee at the bottom and your hands are supporting your weights or just control the amount of pressure that you’re using this condition quite painful. And if you find it too easy, then work your way, twisting your chest towards the knee at the top.

You’re really going to feel this one in there right here is you’re stretching.

Hip Flexor Stretch (Psoas Stretch)

My other favourite stretch is the hip flexor stretch.

This one is specifically for the psoas muscle. The psoas is the hip flexor muscle that originates in the lower part of your lumbar spine. It goes through the pelvis and then inserts into the femur. That’s your thigh bone.

If this muscle is tight, you’re going to find that it might pull your pelvis and you can get back pain from this. You can throw your whole spine out of alignment.

So you gotta come quite close let’s to the bench, run that knee down and the other foot is coming up and you’re supporting yourself there. Now you see this one a lot and it’s pretty common. But what I like about this particular style of doing it is that you’re going to squeeze the glutes.

And that means that’s going to change the position of the pelvis, and you’re going to get a better, you’re going to get better access to the source muscle there. So squeeze the glues. And for me, that’s enough. I already feel it it’s super tight. You may feel quite a painful sensation there as well.

So squeeze the glutes. If that’s too easy for you, you can keep bringing yourself closer to the bench to bring the bench closer to you, bring it right up and keep squeezing the glutes or, and that’ll help stretch out the psoas on that side.

You also want to switch over, maybe hold this for about 15 to 20 seconds and then switch sides.

Feeling Better?

So If you tried these hip mobility exercises and you’re feeling a little bit more loose, please hit that like button for me.

I want to help you get fit healthy and strong in every way.

And I look forward to seeing you next week.

Ivana Chapman


Why I Gave Up Running For Weight Loss

Hi guys, in this video, I’m going to tell you my personal story about why I gave up running for weight loss. And I’m going to tell you why you might want to give up running as well if weight loss is your goal.

Hi, it’s Ivana helping you get fit healthy and strong at any age.

If you’d like the sound of that, please do subscribe and hit the bell.

Just before we get any further, I want you to know that this video is not for runners. If you enjoy running, you’re a competitive or recreational runner and you love it. I would never try to discourage you from doing something that you enjoy that’s exercise.

Who This Video Is For

If you’re thinking, “Ahhh, I need to lose weight. I really need to start running again.”

“Oh, I have to go running again. I wish I didn’t need to do this to lose weight.”

This video is for you.

If running isn’t your thing. I’m going to explain why you don’t have to do it to lose weight and what you can do.

At the end of this video, I’m also going to share the specific medical condition that I have that makes running a bad choice for me.

I used to run occasionally just for fitness or to maintain my weight as a competitive karate athlete.

But in 2012, I ran at 10 K. I ran a half marathon, and then three weeks after that I ran the Toronto Scotiabank Waterfront marathon.

It was pretty much just a bucket list item for me.

Here’s what I want you to consider.

If you’re deciding whether you want to start running for weight loss or not, the first thing is:

Do you really enjoy running for weight loss?

Because if you want to maintain your weight, you want to achieve weight loss and maintain that weight loss. Running for weight loss may not be ideal for you.

You need to pick something that’s sustainable for you. If you find running boring or the thought of it just makes you, then it’s not for you and I’m giving you permission not to do it.

What does running do to your body?

How do you feel after running? Does it make you feel good or are you starting to develop aches and pains?

Maybe it’s back pain or knee pain or ankle pain from running.

Not everybody is conditioned enough to do running. Particularly if someone’s carrying a lot of extra weight running is actually not the best way to get started. If you’re carrying a lot of extra weight, it does affect the amount of impact that you have on the ground.

Muscular Imbalances

The other thing is that most of us have muscular imbalances of some type that’s completely normal. It’s nothing that you need to freak out about or anything like that. I actually have a hip issue myself, which really came out in about the 16th in the marathon. The longer you run in, the more often you run, the more likely those muscular imbalances are to show themselves.

It’s not that the running is causing the problem as such, but you need to be aware that sometimes you need to do other things. And that means exercises that will help correct those muscular imbalances as well as the right stretching.

If particular areas are tight and then causing pain and imbalance as well in your movement patterns, you need to correct those things before you spend a lot of time running. A lot of people think of running as like, Oh, I need to run to get I fit. But I like to think of it as you need to be fit in order to run. If you’re finding that your it band is hurting after running, even if it’s short periods of running, you get irritation around the knee. There are things you need to work on before you consider a lot of running in your plan.

Running Makes You Hungry

Another thing I want you to consider is that running makes you hungry. Excessive cardio can really build up your appetite to the point where you are negating all those calories that you’re burning off. When you’re doing that cardio.

How Running Interferes With Appetite Management

Obviously if weight loss is your goal, then appetite management is a really key thing. Another important consideration is that your body adapts to running. So this means initially, while your body is not used to running, you’re going to be burning more calories.

And as you get more practice and you’re running more often, your body adapt. That means you’re going to be burning fewer calories, doing the same activity, your body becomes more efficient and it’s no longer as exciting for weight loss as it once was.

This is one of the reasons that people get frustrated with running.

They’ll lose a lot of weight at the very beginning, and then they’ll continue to run the same amount. And they’re wondering why they’re no longer losing any weight or they’re starting to climb back up again.

If they’re not managing their caloric intake, well, then they’re using the running to burn off those calories. It means that you have to keep increasing the time that you’re running in order to get the same result.

So it can be very frustrating to try to lose weight in that way.

Here’s what you can do instead:

Walking is probably the best thing that you can do to add on to a muscle building program.

You basically use your energy for your strength training for your weight training. And then you’re just going to be doing gentle cardio, like walking. The walking is a lot less likely to burn off your muscle mass. And that’s exactly what I’ve done. When I gave up running, I decided that I was going to do walking. Instead, you won’t burn the same amount of calories. You do have to go for a longer walk than you would run. You can enjoy the scenery a little more. Now I had two reasons for giving up running for weight loss.

The first one, the aforementioned recurring hip issue. Although I basically got that under control with the right training and stretching, I don’t necessarily want to aggravate it.

GERD And Running For Weight Loss

The main reason I gave up running is because I suffer from GERD, gastroesophageal reflux, disease, heartburn, and acid reflux on a chronic basis.

I’ve had this for about 20 years and only in the past few years, have I discovered that my reflex is triggered by exercise? So I, in fact, activities like running actually bring up the condition or make the condition worse. So I need to be very careful with not only running, but also weight training. I can’t necessarily lift really, really heavy weights because intra abdominal pressure also can cause issues for reflux.

If you happen to have GERD or acid reflux just as a symptom occasionally, please do leave a comment below.

And if you’re interested in a video about this topic, I would love to do that for you as well.

GERD Prevention & Treatment

Here on my website, you’ll find some information in terms of prevention and treatment, giving up running for weight loss doesn’t mean that I’m not physically active or that I don’t run for short periods.

What To Do Instead Of Running For Weight Loss

Often when I’m playing with my son, we’ll play zombie tag or we’ll play soccer. And then I like to do a little bit of tennis too. So there is some running around so I can get away with a little bit, but I need to make sure that I’m quite careful about anything that’s high impact. So I try to stick to low impact activities.

Walking is excellent for everybody.

I recommend it.

I personally have a recently discovered scootering with my son as well, which is a surprisingly good workout. In the winter I also do skiing and skating. So you can mix it up a little bit when it comes to the cardio side.

Weight training, the thing that you should be consistently doing, building strength.

That should be the one thing that stays. And that’s the best thing for weight loss for maintaining your muscle mass.

As you get older, if you’d like to run occasionally, that’s totally fine. But if you’re finding the whole idea of running just a little bit too much to take, I hope that I’ve convinced you, that you don’t actually have to run for weight loss and that you can enjoy other activities that will help you lose weight without having to pound the pavement.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Ivana Chapman


How To Start Exercising Again After A Setback

Have you stopped exercising for a few weeks or months, or maybe even years? i

In this video, I’m going to tell you how to get back to working out after a long break.

It’s Ivana helping you get fit healthy and strong at any age.

If you’re new, please do subscribe and hit the bell to be notified whenever there’s a new video every week.

I’m an Online Fitness Coach and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and I’ve been helping people get fitter and stronger for over 20 years.

If you want to start exercising again after a setback, then I’m going to give you specific guidelines to help you navigate your way back into exercise again.

So whether you’ve been sick or injured, or you just couldn’t get motivated, or you couldn’t get to gym because a lockdown or isolation or quarantine or whatever you want to call it.

Not everybody wants to do body weight workouts at home. And yes, eventually they do get really boring. I want to help you get back into working out after a setback. And at the end, I’m going to share three important tips so you can keep that momentum going and you won’t get off track again.

Start Off Easy When You Start Ex

So the first thing is start off easy. That means lighter weights, chill, relax, work your way around the gym again. And don’t train to failure.

Don’t try to make yourself throw up. You may do it anyway. So don’t really push yourself the first time that you get back into the gym. If you’ve worked out before and you’ve got some muscle memory on your side to help you build back up again more quickly. So you’ll be able to do those exercises you could before. You’ll probably feel a lot more sore afterwards than you normally would, and you might not be able to do the same weight, but you’ll be able to get back up to your maximum weight, much quicker if you’ve previously trained.

Make Sure The Workout Is Balanced

The next thing is to make sure it’s balanced.

So start off with a warmup, preferably a dynamic warmup.

I have a video with a dynamic warm-up, if you want to use that to start your workout.

I’m thinking weights primarily.

That’s what I recommend that you do when you’re start exercising again.

And then at the end do a bit of a cool down and a stretch for the tight areas of your body. It doesn’t need to be a full body stretch, but just the areas that you know are tight. So generally it’s going to be hip flexors, your chest, probably the front of your shoulders. Also the hamstrings tend to be pretty tight, sometimes the glutes. Those kinds of things work on the stretch at the end. You have a good balanced workout.

This is the opportunity for you to start from scratch and develop a balanced workout routine.

Keep It Short

The third one is keep it short. Work your way up to it gradually. It takes time to build up your work capacity when you start exercising again.

So it’s going to be very difficult for you to do a long, hard session. You can do a long session, but it’s going to have to be very, very gentle, or you can do a hard session, but it’s going to have to be very short. I prefer to do a shorter session. That’s sort of moderate intensity. That’s probably going to be the best way for you to build up your muscle mass again, anyway, and then you can gradually work your way into slightly longer sessions.

Thirty minutes, three times a week is just fine.

That will get you back into things. Then use your recovery and how you feel afterwards to guide you into how much longer a session you should do, perhaps work your way up to 40 minutes the next week, and then see how your recovery is.

So it’s all about monitoring yourself, seeing how you’re coping with it and progressing gradually full body workouts are a great way to get started. It’s often what I do with my beginners, especially you don’t need to do the bodybuilding part splits.

You don’t need to do chest one day and then legs one day.

It’s a good idea to mix it up just to have some upper body and some lower body activity happening on each session when you’re getting into things. So 30 minutes, three times a week, full body sessions of a moderate intensity.

Keep It Simple

My fourth tip is keep it simple when you start exercising again.

If you’re just getting back into exercise after a setback now is not the time to do cluster sets or drop sets or pyramid sets. You don’t need to add chains to the end of your barbell. I mean, if I’m being honest for most people, unless you are a powerlifter or bodybuilder or a professional athlete, those kinds of things don’t really need to be done at all.

If you’re coming back to the gym after a long break, pick a few exercises that you’re comfortable with do three to four sets and then go home…after your stretching, of course. So keep it really simple. See how your body adapts to the training and then think about progressing from week to week and month to month.

Make It Fun And Sustainable

Number five, make it fun and sustainable. Pick a few of your favourite exercises and incorporate those into your first workout. In your first couple of weeks of workouts, you want to establish a positive association with exercise again, so that it becomes something that you want to continue to do.

Let me know in the comments what your favourite exercise is and the one that you can’t wait to get back to.

Obviously there’s two situations here.

Maybe you’re someone who had to, to stop exercising. You had a setback, kept you from exercising, but you love to exercise.

And there are the other people who exercise because they feel they should, or because they need it to lose weight or they feel that it’s something that they should do for their health.

Which it is absolutely it is.

But for me, it’s really important to develop that appreciation if not the actual love of exercise, because if you don’t appreciate what exercise does for you, then you’re always going to have something that’s going to take you away from it.

Three Tips To Keep The Momentum Going When You Start Exercising Again:

Try Not To Think Of It As “Getting Back Into Shape”

Number one, try not to think of about it as getting back into shape. This really makes it seem like a very arduous process and you’re reaching for something you’re climbing. And sometimes it feels like it’s unattainable.

So really when you start exercising again, after a setback, you really just want to appreciate the fact that you can exercise the way that exercise makes your body feel the way you feel afterwards.

Don’t look too far into the future.

Just try to think about going through the motions.

You’re back in doing the exercises rep after rep after set day after day.

So it’s gradual, and then you’re going to see those results coming anyway. And eventually you’re going to look at yourself and go, Oh wow. Now I’m back in shape again. And maybe even in better shape than you were before.

This is an opportunity when you’re coming back to start and do it things properly to kind of get out of the rut that possibly you were in as well. So use it as an opportunity.

Focus On Consistency And NOT Perfection

Number two, focus on consistency and not perfection. Perfection just doesn’t happen. So you might as well get your results by focusing on what you’re doing on a regular basis.

Consistency is actually what will lead to successful longterm commitment to exercise, as well as weight loss and fat loss.

If you’re successful with those things, it’s because you’re consistent with the behaviours that are needed for that to happen.

Don’t Rely On Discipline Or Willpower

Finally, don’t rely on discipline or willpower to keep exercising. Put it in your schedule and take it as seriously as your other appointments.

It is a part of having a healthy lifestyle. That’s part of you feeling good, of you being energetic, and you feeling strong and active, make it a priority.

If you struggle, then find yourself someone that you can hold yourself accountable to like an online coach. I know a really great one.

You can check out the link in the comments afterwards, but it’s really important that you don’t leave this to chance.

I hope this video was helpful for you. If it was, please do hit that like button for me. And make sure you subscribe and hit that notification bell.

And I look forward to seeing you next week.

Ivana Chapman


How To Do A Full Split With A Simple Routine

Do you want to learn how to do a full split?

in this video I’ll show you a simple routine that I help you achieve the side splits.

Hi, it’s Ivana helping you get fit healthy and strong at any age.

I’m a certified strength and conditioning specialist with over 20 years experience in the fitness industry.

My original motivation for learning to do the full split was martial arts.

I started karate at the age of nine. I got my black belt at 15 and I competed for 14 years, provincially, nationally and internationally. I’ve always loved to kick and being flexible and being able to do a full split is really important for that.


I’m going to show you a step by step routine to get to a full split. Even if you’re a beginner or consider yourself in flexible. At the end of this video, I’ll give you a recommendation for how often you should do this simple routine.

And I’m going to tell you how long it took me to achieve the full splits.

Let me know in the comments, how far you are with your splits right now and what your goal is.

Warm Up For 10-15 Minutes

So before we get started, I want you to make sure that you warm up for 10 to 15 minutes. Get your blood pumping in your body, get the joints lubricated a bit. You can just be jogging or walking really quickly riding a stationary bike, or you can do just body movements, jumping jacks, that type of thing.

I actually have a video of a dynamic warm-up that you can use.

If that’s something that you want to try, it might be helpful as well, but make sure you do 10 to 15 minutes of warmup before you start this routine, we’re going to start off with dynamic stretching.

Hip Circles

The first exercise is hip circles. So you’re going to rotate around in the ball and socket joint that is your hip. Just trying to hit all the edges at the front and at the back. And then you’re going to switch and do the same thing in the other direction. Really get all the angles.

Hip Rotations

Now you’re going to move on to hip rotations.

Just support yourself in front and work one hip joint at a time rotating from inside to out. Make sure again, you do this on both legs.

Back Leg Swings

Now we’re going to move on to the back leg swings. So be very gentle at the beginning. Try not to go too high. Just work your way gradually upward.

I’m swinging pretty hard there, but take your time. Wherever your flexibility is.

Then switch over to the other side and make sure you get that range. Your legs don’t have to be fully straight.

Side Leg Swing

Now you’re going to switch over to side leg swing. So opening it up to the side, stretch out those adductors, make sure that you’re still supporting yourself and gradually working your itself higher and higher. Open it up to the other side as well.

Front Leg Swings

And now you’re going to turn it around for the front leg swings again, slowly work your way up. Swing that leg forward in front of you. Give yourself some support, switch over and make sure you do the other side as well. You’re going to find a difference between one side and the other, and that’s fine. You might want to do a few extra swings on the tighter side.

Preparation Stretches For The Full Split

Now we’re going to go into the preparation stretches.

Butterfly Stretch

The first one is going to be the butterfly stretch. It’s very just bringing your feet together and bouncing up and down. Just loosening up those hips, opening up the adductors and then pushing the knees down as close as you can to the ground. I like to drive the arms down into, onto the leg there just to get a little bit of extra pressure.

Hip Spread

And then you’re going to move into the hip spread. So turning over, pulling the knees apart, and you’re gently going to rock forward and back to try to open the hips up.

Just support yourself with your hands.

Deep Lunges

And now you’re going to go into deep lunges. One leg in front, keep the foot in front flat. You can try to straighten out that knee at the back. You’ll get even more hip flexor stretch there.

Then of course the other side go as deep as you can with this one while keeping your front foot lot. Now you’re going to switch back to the original side and you’re going to try to bring your forearms down the ground. It’s kind of in the centre there.

This really opens up the hips. Try on the other side as well, just to stretch it out there on the inside,

Put your body weight into it.

Deep Squat

Now you’re going to move into a deep squat as low as you can go into a squat position, wiggle it around a little bit. I like to use my upper arms to push it out and open up the hips a little bit more. Now they alternate side knee bends. You’re going to keep both feet on the floor.

Switch over the heels, always stay flat on the ground.

The bent knee. Be very careful of that one. That’s a pretty common mistake. And now try to same thing with your toe up in the air. It just shifts your position a little bit and opens the hip a bit more.

Supine Full Splits

Into the supine side splits.

You’re lying down on your back and just pulling the legs together and apart. Keep good control with it.

You’re pulling on those adductors up and down. Use gravity to pull yourself down, pull with your hands, to pull it into more of a split.

And just hold it there.

The Main Side Split

Finally, we’re going to go into the main side split. Coming from the top and pulling the legs apart, using your hands to support yourself, just work your way down. I like to twist it around just a little bit.

I bring the toes down and then bring the other foot on the heel. So I’m twisting the hips from one side to the other. This really gets them loosened up, working it a little bit further out to the side and then sitting back into it.

Seated Side Split

From this position, I bring the fist back behind me just to lift up the chest and really open up that position across the front. You can just try to relax there and then roll your hips forward and back just to get that little bit more of a loosening up of the hips, just to get that comfort in that position. And now reach from side to side.

This will stretches out the obliques a little bit as you’re going from side to side, as well as the QL along the back.

Just reaching for the toes on either side. I like to have my feet flexed all the time. It gives a bit of a deeper stretch. You’re going to feel the hamstrings stretching as well. And now if you’re looking for a little bonus, reach your hands in front and walk them forward, lie down on your chest

And then walk back.

How Often Should You Do This Full Split Stretching Routine?

I recommend you do this full routine every day.

If possible with perhaps a day off once a week, if you just feel a bit sore and need a break muscles, have a natural property of shortening. So if you’re not stretching them regularly, they’re going to stay in flexible.

How Long Did It Take Me To Achieve A Full Split?

So how long did it take me to achieve the splits?

As I mentioned earlier, I started karate when I was nine and there was always stretching as part of the classes, but I didn’t really achieve the splits until I was about 15. And it probably took me a focused effort for the year prior to the time that I got my black belt in order to get the full split, I made it a focus goal to be able to do that.

Now my goal is to be able to continue to do the full splits when I’m eight.

I figure that’ll be pretty impressive if I do get there. If you’re trying to do the splits as an adult, please don’t be fooled by the clickbait stuff.

Like “do the splits in one day” or “do the splits in a week.”

You need to consistently stretch and really work on this in order to get a full split, especially if you are inflexible.

So I think that most of those people who achieve it very quickly, we’re already very flexible on, for some reason, didn’t try it up until that point.

It can take several months of focused efforts for you to be able to achieve the splits.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s the reality for most people just be patient, be consistent and you can get yourself to the splits.

I hope you enjoyed this stretching routine. If you did, please hit the like button to let me know.

Subscribe and hit that notification bill.

I look forward to seeing you next week.

Ivana Chapman


How To Add More Fibre To Your Diet

Are you trying to improve your health by increasing your fiber intake?

Maybe you’ve been told that you should add more fiber to your diet, perhaps by your doctor?

In this video, I’ll show you which foods to include in your diet to easily increase your fiber intake. I’m also going to talk about fiber and weight loss.

Hi, it’s Ivana. Welcome to my channel.

I’m an Online Coach specializing in evidence-based fitness and nutrition.

So no funny business around here.

If you want to add fiber to your nutrition plan, I’m going to go through the best high fiber foods for you to use for weight loss and your digestive health.

And watch until the end, because I’m going to discuss two very important considerations when adding fiber to your nutrition plan.

I’m also going to share the surprising source of fiber that a lot of you are going to be very happy about fiber stabilizes, your blood sugar levels. It can help reduce your cholesterol later on, I’m going to share the specific type of fiber that’s been shown in research to lower cholesterol and people who have high cholesterol levels.

Benefits Of Adding Fibre

Fiber helps you feel fuller. So it decreases your appetite, which is useful for weight loss, eating different kinds of fiber promotes the growth of good bacteria in your gut. And over time, eating fiber has been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. And of course it improves your digestive health and reduces the risk of constipation.

How Much Fibre Should You Have?

The recommended fiber intake for men is about 30 to 38 grams of fiber for women about 21 to 25 grams. I generally suggest that men go for 38 and women go for 25, roughly about 14 grams for every thousand calories you consume. So it’s dependent on how much food you’re eating in total.

Types Of Fibre

There are two types of fiber soluble, which forms a gel light substance in water. And that one is the one that’s specifically for lowering cholesterol levels and lowering blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber is basically roughage. It forms the stool bulk. Many foods contain both types of fiber. In general, foods with skins have more fiber.

Soluble Fibre

I’m going to start with a soluble fiber. So we’ve got an Apple here, pears and Kiwi and oranges and other citrus fruits are also a good source of soluble fiber oats, both types of fiber. And this one, one packet here has six grams of fiber.

These are garbanzo beans, so chickpeas. Other types of beans, kidney beans, Navy beans, pinto beans, black eyed peas. All of those are also high in fiber Popcorn and also a very good source of fiber. This is eight grams for half a cup. That’s pretty good.

I really like Mary’s crackers. Most of the fiber comes from brown rice in this case and flax seeds, which are also a good source of fiber, three grams of fiber and 13 crackers.

I’ve also got this chickpea and lentil pasta. Compared to just a plain pasta, that’s not going to have a lot of fiber, this one does because it’s made out of chickpeas and lentils.

And over here, I’ve got a couple other sources. These are potatoes and also sweet potatoes, both good sources, particularly of soluble fiber. If you leave the skins on, there’s going to be a little bit more fiber in there as well. Now in the fridge, Carrots are also another good source of fiber. I’ve got some edamame and some soybeans. Those just came out of the freezer.

I also got a few things in the freezer.

Green peas. Here’s that edamame, the soybeans. I also have broccoli. This is a source of insoluble and soluble fiber.

I also wanted to mention one other sources, soluble fiber: avocado. Just half an avocado has about five grams of fiber. So that’s a pretty good high fiber source.

Insoluble Fibre

I’m going to move on now to more of the insoluble fiber. So this is the roughage.

I’ve got some strawberries here. All berries are good sources of insoluble fibers. So blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, great sources of fiber, particularly raspberries, actually, they’re an excellent source.

Here’s the brief summary of the fiber content of some fruit:


We’ve also got nuts and that’s the main source. All are excellent. They have more fiber than most nuts, and they actually are quite high in protein compared to other nuts as well. Most nuts have a lot of fat, but not as much protein, not as much fiber, although I’ve got some pistachios over here and they have five grams of fiber for half cup.

I like to think of nuts in quarter cup servings, because that’s really what makes most sense if especially if you’re aiming for weight loss.

So that serving size four nuts, a quarter cup of almonds right here is going to have four grams. So that’s obviously a slightly better choice than a pistachios at two and a half grams for a quarter cup. And then we’ve also got peanuts which are technically legumes. Um, but this one here, this is showing a third of a cup, three grams of fiber. So those are not bad.

Seeds are also a good source of fibre, like sunflower seeds, which I don’t happen to have here. I do have some pumpkin seeds, also a good source of fiber. I’m going to show you spinach. So that’s a source of insoluble fiber.

Fibre And Weight Loss

When you’re looking for weight loss, make sure that you’re choosing things that are very low in calorie density. So specific to weight loss. You primarily want to be choosing things like vegetables, particularly green vegetables. They’re very low in calorie density.

You’re able to fill yourself up with a lot of nutrients and fiber for very few calories.

Here are a few vegetable examples:add-more-fibre-content-of-vegetables

Mixed Sources Of Fibre

I also wanted to mention a couple of mixed sources, plums and prunes. They’re really good high fiber foods.

And now for the fiber that’s been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels: Psyllium husk.

This is also found in the brand name Metamucil, it’s a bulk forming laxatives. It has both types of fiber soluble and insoluble, a dose of 5.1 grams twice a day has shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels in men and women who have high blood cholesterol.

It may be something that you want to talk to your doctor about adding to your diet.

Now for the surprising high fiber source: dark chocolate! So this particular one here, it’s four pieces, eight grams of fiber. So I’m going to show you what these look like.

Two grams of fiber in one of these little pieces and that 185 calories. So not bad. This is definitely something I like to include in my nutrition plan on a regular basis.

Add Fibre Gradually

And now for the two important considerations I mentioned at the beginning, make sure to increase your fiber intake gradually. If you have too much fiber, either all at once or when your body is not used to it, you may get constipated and bloated. A lot of people don’t realize that you can get constipated from having too much fiber. So try not to have huge amounts of fiber in one meal, try to break it up throughout the day.

Drink More Water When You Add Fibre To Your Diet

And the second consideration is make sure that you drink enough water, preferably between meals when you’ve increased your fiber intake. Because if you take in too much fiber without water, again, you’re going to end up constipated and bloated and just feeling generally awful.

So make sure that you’re also increasing your fluid intake, have a lot more water as you increase your fiber intake. I hope you enjoy learning about the benefits of fiber rich foods, and you’re more comfortable adding those foods to your diet. Now please hit that like button to let me know this video was useful for you.

And I look forward to seeing you soon.

Ivana Chapman


How Does Alcohol Affect Weight Loss?

Are you trying to lose weight and wondering how alcohol affects the process?

Should you include alcohol in a weight loss plan?

I’m going to answer those questions for you in this video.

Hi, this is Ivana.

Welcome to my channel.

I’m all about breaking through the BS of the fitness and nutrition industry and giving you practical evidence-based advice.

I’m going to do a deep dive into how does alcohol affect weight loss. You’ll know whether it can be part of your particular nutrition plan.

I believe in highly individualized diets or nutrition plans as I like to call them. That means that not everybody has to eat exactly the same thing or drink exactly the same thing. It’s based on your particular preferences, but I want to give you the information that you need to make those decisions so that you can find a nutrition plan that works for you

Make sure you stick around for the whole video, because I’m actually gonna take you through the calculations that you need to do if you do want to include alcohol in your program.

That’s a little bit of a clue in terms of my opinion of alcohol and weight loss.

And my answer is absolutely!

However, there are so many caveats here and I’m going to take you through those one by one. I want you to understand whether it can work for you or whether you should be limiting your alcohol intake.

Liquid Calories Are Easier To Consume

If you want to lose weight, then you have to produce a calorie deficit and liquid calories are easier to consume.

Whether that means alcohol itself or alcohol mixed with juices or other things, it’s a lot easier to consume than eating food. For the same amount of calories, you’re going to be able to consume a lot more in liquid form than you would in food form, because you have to go through that process of chewing liquid calories or something that you want to limit in general, when you’re on a weight loss plan, because they automatically increase your calorie intake.

Alcohol Delays Burning Of Other Calories

One of the issues with alcohol is that it delays burning of other calories. The body treats alcohol as a poison, which essentially is, and that means that it becomes a priority and your body needs to burn off all the alcoholic calories before it shifts anything else.

If you’re trying to lose fat, then you’re going to have a more challenging process because your body needs to burn through all those alcohol calories before it gets to your fat stores. So your body is using either carbohydrates or fat for fuel and fat burning in particular is delayed when you’ve consumed alcohol.

That means your body has to work its way through all the alcohol calories, before it even attempt the extra body fat that you’ve got on your body. You can see how that can be an issue for alcohol and weight loss.

Alcohol Enhances Your Appetite

Alcohol also enhances your appetite and that’s certainly not something you want.

When you’re trying to lose weight, you need to get appetite under control. The more alcohol you’re drinking, the more likely you are to really crave other foods. Now, it all depends on how much you’re drinking. Of course, the more you drink, the more likely you might be to get into an intoxicated state where things are even a little bit more dicey. Because at that point, you probably care a lot less about what’s going on. You may decide to eat things that are not all that healthy, that are high in fat. And again, that fat is more likely to be stored because you’re also simultaneously consuming alcohol.

So your body is going to weight to burn off all those fatty foods that you’re eating until all that alcohol is burned off. So if you’re drinking a significant amount of alcohol and then having those fatty foods, you’re going to have a much harder time of burning.

Alcohol Is The Least Satiating Nutrient

Also, alcohol is also the least satiating nutrient. So it doesn’t fill you up.

You’re consuming these calories, but it doesn’t really make you feel full. In fact, it makes you feel kind of empty and that you want to eat more and more.

Like I said, it increases your appetite. So other things that kind of go against the process of weight loss.

Alcohol Affects Your Eating Behaviour Before & After Drinking

Now, to me, the most important thing is how does the alcohol affect your behaviour during and after?

So the first one is, are you eating more during the time that you’re drinking the alcohol and then what happens the next day? So, you know, if you’ve consumed too much alcohol, then the next day you might be tired and dehydrated, you might have a headache and you’re not feeling great.

What does that mean?

How does that affect your behaviour?

Are you going to be eating really healthy the next day?

Probably not.

Most people will have some sort of binge or their lazy food, whatever it is that they have whenever they can’t be bothered to do anything. You’re also probably going to have pretty minimal calorie expenditure on that day.

Reducing Calorie Expenditure After Drinking Alcohol Affects Weight Loss

Chances are, if you’re a bit hung over, you’re going to spend a lot more time on the couch, rather than moving around and expending for the calories. You’re going to be reducing your calorie expenditure and that’s not great. So it’s already affecting your calories that day.

You may even skip your workout if you’re due for a workout. Then you’re missing that workout.

There’s that additional calorie burn, but even just being sedentary on the day after you’ve been drinking is going to reduce your calorie expenditure. It’s harder for you to get to the point where your body is starting to burn off fat.

You’re not going to have fat loss. If you’re in a hypercaloric state.

Alcohol Lowers Your Inhibitions

So you’re more likely to consume things that you wouldn’t otherwise.

You’re not able to maintain the discipline if, for lack of a better word. Cause I really don’t like nutrition to fall on discipline. It falls more on routines, but you don’t have the same kind of control that you might ordinarily have.

Lowering your inhibitions is going to change how you eat afterwards.

Many people have eating binges the day after drinking and it’s generally things that are really fatty for me. It used to be eggs and avocado and just a lot of, a lot of fatty stuff. But a lot of people will head straight to a McDonald’s or to some other fast food because they’re really tired and can’t be bothered. And then they’re craving those sort of greasy salty foods.

I know a lot of people are probably telling you that, “Oh, you can’t have alcohol at all.”

If you want to stay lean, if you want to lose weight, IT IS possible to drink alcohol.

But as you’ve seen, you do need to make adjustments. You need to have this as a well-planned part of your nutrition.

Examples Of Alcohol And Weight Loss

I wanted to take you through some examples, so you can figure out how alcohol and the type of alcohol that you enjoy particularly can work into your plan.

I’m going to use myfitnesspal, which is just a calorie counting app.

Here’s my current favourite alcohol.

This is Corona Extra and 330ml is this size. So that’s what we’re going to look for.

When we go into myfitnesspal, I’ve just brought it up here. So we’ve got Corona 330ml. It’s right there.

You can see here that that 330 ml bottle has 130 calories and 10 grams of carbs.

That’s not really even a big deal, right? That’s a small drink. And for me, I wouldn’t normally have more than two of those. So we’re talking 260 calories.

My Personal Approach With Alcohol And Weight Loss

For me, in terms of maintaining my leanness, maintaining my weight, I’m totally okay to have those once in a while. I don’t have it every day. If you’re looking at moderate and healthy consumption of alcohol, then generally it’s a 12 ounce beer. So something that’s just a little bit bigger than this.

One of those for women per day.

And for men, it would be two of those.

That would be considered normal, healthy, moderate consumption. If you prefer one, I’ve got one here. So five ounces of wine. So that’s a small glass would also be the equivalent. That’s your standard unit. So that means one glass for women and two glasses for men.


I’m actually going to take a look at that wine as an example as well, so that you can see the calorie intake there. Now wines can vary a little bit.

Whether it’s a white wine or rose or red wine, ideally you’re looking at the specific one that you’re actually consuming.

In this one, I’m going to have a search for Jackson Triggs. And it’s a Cabernet. If you look at that one, one serving Jackson Triggs 124 calories for that standard size unit, that five ounce. So that’s going to be a small glass that I’ve got up on the shelf.

One glass of wine, certainly after work is not a big deal, but again, you want to take into consideration the things I mentioned before, how does it affect your behavior? How are you going to feel and how will that change your eating behaviour afterwards?

Are you going to consume additional calories and end up in a calorie surplus?

That’s what you need to pay attention to when you’re striving for weight loss.

Now you don’t need to count in order to lose weight. If you’re interested in me doing a video, explaining why please do leave a comment comment below, and I will make that video for you.

Calorie Awareness For Alcohol And Weight Loss

The key thing is that you have some sort of awareness of the calories that you’re taking in on a regular basis. Remember that you can look up the information for whatever alcohol you choose to drink. Obviously the lighter choices that I’ve shown the beer and the wine, and perhaps the simple spirits like vodka are a lot easier to fit into a weight loss plan than all those mixed drinks like anything that’s mixed with juice or soft drinks. Your calorie intake is going to be a lot higher. And those things are really easy to drink too. It’s certainly a lot harder to fit them into a weight loss plan.

I hope you enjoyed this video today.

See you next week!

Ivana Chapman


TVA Exercises To Prevent Back Pain

Hi guys, welcome to my channel.

If you want to prevent back pain training the TVA, the transverse abdominis is really important in this video.

I’m going to show you five TVA exercises to help protect you from back pain.

Hi, it’s Ivana. I’m an Online Fitness Coach and a certified strength and conditioning specialist with over 20 years of experience.

If you’re interested in abs training, weight, loss, and ways to get fitter healthier and stronger as you get older, I’ve already done three videos of TVA exercises. I wanted to do this one specifically for back pain prevention. And one of the exercises is from the McGill big three, which is a series of exercises from dr. Stu McGill. Who’s a specialist in back pain. The TVA is considered nature’s weight belt, and it stabilizes the spine and the pelvis during movement without strong inner core muscles. You put stress on your back and particularly your lower back.

TVA exercises can help prevent back pain.

They are a key of back pain prevention.

You can also use TVA exercises to help flatten your belly, strengthen your core.

You’re training those muscles to pull in so that they’re not sagging out in front.

So I’m going to show you five TVA exercises that are going to help prevent back pain.

And at the end of this video, I’m going to put the whole program together for you.

Quadruped Squeezes

The first exercise is Quadruped Squeezes.

This one really introduces the other two exercises. It trains you to tighten up the TVA in the quadruped position.

That’s this one here, with a  natural hip distance apart, and all you’re going to do with this one.

You kind of want to breathe and relax at first, then you’re going to breathe in. And as you breathe out, you’re going to pull your belly button up towards your spine, and you’re going to maintain the arch in your lower back. So from there, I’m going to breathe in and out.
And then relax.

You’re going to try to hold each of these squeezes for 10 seconds.

I’m going to show you one more. So again, breathe in and breathe out.

Pulling that belly button up towards your spine is hard to do. Can You should be able to train yourself to breathe and even speak eventually while doing this exercise. And then after 10 seconds, you’re gonna release. So you are going to do 10 sets of ten second squeezes

Bird Dogs

For the next exercise, bird dogs, you’re going to use the same position, the same contraction, but we’re going to make it a little more interesting. So back into quadruples, same thing, breathe in first, freed out, just do a contraction, pull your belly button in towards your spine. And then you’re going to lift one hand and one leg out in front And then back down. And then you just switch over.

Really make sure that you’re maintaining that contraction of the TVA throughout the movement. If you need to rest in between, that’s fine. You can kind of release it now and then tighten up first, activate the TVA and lift. Then I switched sides.

So are you going to try to do two sets of 10 seconds. That means that you’re going to do five each side at a time. Just give yourself a little bit of a rest in between probably about 15 to 30 seconds. And you can do the second set.

Quadruped With Vertical Lifts

The third exercise is the Quadriped with vertical lifts. So that means, of course, you’re back in the quadruped position.

You should have this down by now!

And you’re going to do the same kind of breath, just release, breathe in and then breathe it out, tighten up. And now what you’re going to do here is lift one hand and one knee just lightly And then release and then switch over to the other side. So when your right hand lifts, your left knee lifts up.

You’re doing the opposite side and you’re going to try to hold this for about five to 10 seconds on either side. It’s really important that you maintain the TVA contraction throughout the exercise.

You don’t just want to be wiggling from side to side, hold it as tight as you possibly can really focus on your inner abdominals.

So I might’ve done a little bit too much of a movement, even there. All you want to do is have a tiny little gap between your hand and the ground or the mat, whatever you’re using. So just a lift upwards, same thing with your knee, just slightly up.

It’s almost as if you’re going to slip a piece of paper underneath, you want it to be just a tiny little lift and it seems really silly. It seems really easy, but if you maintain that contraction and hold your body stable, it’s actually very challenging to maintain the TVA contraction.

Chair TVA Squeeze

The next exercise is the chair TVA squeeze.

This is probably the easiest of the TVA exercises to prevent back pain for you to work into your day.

You can do this at work while you’re sitting at your desk.

It’s very practical and easy.

Anytime you’re sitting, you should be maintaining an arch in your lower back. So the lumbar spine that curve there should be maintained. Give yourself some lumber support. So if you’ve got some sort of padding, when you’re sitting in this case, we’re going to train your TVA in that proper sitting position.

Maintain the arch in the lumbar spine, and we’re doing the same kind of contraction with the TVA.

Just breathe in and allow the belly to come out a little bit and then breathe out, pull the belly button in towards the spine. So here we go. Pull in tight and try to relax the shoulders.

And then relax. So the idea is just to keep pulling in that tight core contraction, and you can do this throughout the day. A basic set is just two sets of twenty seconds but you can do these several times a day.

Modified Curl-Ups

The next exercise is the Modified Curl-Ups.

And this is part of the McGill big three for back.

Bend your knees. One of them is going to straighten. You’re going to maintain the arch in your lower back, and you’re going to place your hands underneath and you want to lift your elbows up. So you’re going to maintain your elbows up in the air throughout the movement. Now we’re going to breathe in To get that TVA contraction again. So now that you’ve got the contraction, all you’re going to do is lift your head slightly up off the mat and maintaining the contraction and the TVA. And then relax.

Now you’re going to try to hold this for 10 seconds at a time, but I really want you to be careful not to crank your head up. You just want to do a tiny little lift, similar to what I said with the previous exercise, where you just want to imagine a piece of paper coming underneath your head. And just being able to slide a of paper underneath just taking the pressure off slightly. You’re not bending forward, just lift straight up towards the ceiling.

While maintaining the contraction of the inner abdominals. So you may notice that my neck definitely gets a bit tense. You can’t do this exercise without activating those the, and in your neck, but that’s okay. You’re going to do these in sets of 10 seconds. And when you’re finished with one side up, you’re going to switch it over just so it’s balanced, Same position elbows up, and then do The ten second holds on the other side

And then rewind.

So those are the five TVA exercises to prevent back pain.

The last exercise is a TVA exercise to prevent back pain that’s part of the McGill Big 3.

I’ve done a full video of all those exercises.

Here’s a summary of the entire TVA workout:


I recommend you do this about two or three times a week and make sure you give it some time to see back pain results from these TVA exercises.

Probably about three to four weeks. You may notice some differences before that perhaps your back pain reduces or you’re able to tighten up your core a little bit better. You have better posture.

Those kinds of things may come earlier, but do be patient in terms of back pain, because it is a complex issue. Let me know when the comment, how often you suffer from back pain and what kind of activities and exercises help you.

If any of this was helpful, please hit that thumbs up and please subscribe to my channel for more practical evidence based information, just like this.

See you next time.

Ivana Chapman


How To Lose Weight After 35 Naturally

How To Lose Weight After 35 Naturally

Are you 35 or older and want to lose weight naturally?

Watch this video and I’ll break down all the steps you need to take.

This is Ivana helping you get fit healthy and strong at any age.

I’m a weight loss coach and a certified strength and conditioning specialist.

I’ve been working with people primarily over the age of 35 for about 20 years. Now, losing weight comes down to producing a calorie deficit.

How you can achieve that calorie deficit in a way that makes sense for you, that fits into your normal life. Without you turning everything upside down. That’s what I’m going to talk about in the video today.

I’ve actually already done a video about weight loss over 35.

This time I wanted to give it a slightly more fresh perspective and add really specific tips for losing weight over 35.

Eat Protein At Every Meal

My first tip is eat protein at every meal.

Now the three reasons why you’ll want to have protein at each meal.

The first one is protein is really important and you’re going to eat more protein. If you incorporate it in every meal, protein helps you build and maintain muscle. And that’s a key thing.

As you’re getting older, you want to build and maintain your muscle as much as you can, and protein will help you maintain that muscle mass.

The second reason the protein is a good idea is because it helps you reduce cravings. If you have a meal that contains protein, you’re less likely to develop cravings later on in the day. That means that you’re going to consume your calories and we’re back to a calorie deficit. It’s going to be easier to maintain your weight because you’re not craving things. Now, cravings are actually what many people say holds them back from their weight loss.

I’ve actually gotten an entire video about helping you deal with carb cravings.

In simplest terms, we already know that over-consuming high calorie foods is going to make you put on weight. If you can reduce the cravings, you reduce how much you’re eating and you’re more likely to be able to lose weight.

And the last reason is that protein will crowd out the other things that are higher in calories and perhaps not as beneficial. So if you start by eating the protein first, so let’s say a chicken breast, fish, lean beef, whatever your protein source is.

If you eat that first, it’s more likely to crowd out the things at the end. So if you eat slowly, take your time, make sure that your body is getting that signal that it’s getting full. Then you may not finish your entire serving.

You want to focus on the protein and have less space for other things.

Deal With Your Stress

So the next one is deal with your stress

Admit that it’s happening and find a way to cope with it.

There’s this tendency for people to brush off stress in two different ways. The first one is

“I’m not stressed. I’m fine.” Meanwhile, you’re biting off people’s heads. And every day, when you come home from work, you really feel like you need to wind down with a couple of beers or a couple of glasses of wine, whatever your choice is.

You’re not admitting that that equates to stress.

The second way that people tend to brush off stress is by saying:

“I know I’m stressed, but am I supposed to do about it? My job is really stressful. I have all these responsibilities. What am I supposed to do with this stress?”

Obviously stress doesn’t start at age 35, but there are particular challenges that come at this age group. If you have young children that can definitely interfere with your sleep and other things that affect your stress. Maybe you have elderly parents that you have to take care of.

You may also be in that point in your career where it’s a really high growth time and you’re pushing yourself very hard to get to the next level. All those things come together at that same time.

Now all these things make your nutrition, which is really where you want to focus on for your weight loss. Very challenging to deal with.

Do you eat when you’re stressed?

Most people do. It’s very common.

Any time when people find themselves anxious, just stressed food is what they reach for. And the food choices you make tend to be very high calorie and are going to make it really hard to lose weight, my personal favourites right now, ice cream and chocolate.

Let me know in the comments, what you like to indulge in.

Just being aware of your stress and realizing that you’re eating because of stress is a big first step. So thinking about it more often, finding yourself some new behaviours that you can do instead of eating.

I’ve actually created an entire video about stress reduction strategies.

You can go through a few different options, just ways of dealing with stress that do not lead to eating, but just being aware of your stress and the eating behaviour, that results from it can be a big thing. So I want you to think about that right now, how your stress affects how you eat.

Train With Weights

My next tip is, is train with weights. Building, maintaining muscle is one of the most important things you can do when you’re trying to lose weight over 35 and without some kind of resistance training, you are going to lose a half to 1% of your muscle mass per year for every year after 35.

So you definitely want to do something about that.

Muscle is slightly more metabolically active than fat. So you’re burning slightly more calories all the time

But more importantly (and a good way to think about), if you have more muscle than you have more active tissue, so you’re not dragging around all that extra fat, you actually have the strength to do more stuff. So you’re going to increase your calorie expenditure naturally because you’re going to feel more energetic.

And a lot of the clients that I work with, if they’ve lost like 10 pounds, 20 pounds, even 30 pounds, then they really feel like it’s easier to be more active.

They don’t feel as tired.

They don’t feel as sluggish.

You have more muscle and you’re able to push yourself through your daily physical activity. It’s not such an effort anymore.

Research has shown that that’s a great way to increase your calorie expenditure.

That’s actually the perfect segue into the next tip.

Increase Your Physical Activity Level

Now this is about moving more in general.

Most of us are chained to our desks all day long, and then we get home and we meant might just lie down on the couch and watch TV or sit in front of the computer again.

That means that your total calorie burn throughout the day is minimum.

A lot of people kind of ignore that incidental movement and think they’re just going to head to the gym for a period of time, or just do a workout for 45 minutes. But really if you’re moving throughout the day, this can go a long way towards increasing your overall calorie expenditure. And that’s what we’re looking at.

Sometimes as we get older, and this is one of the reasons it might be harder to lose weight after 35 is that we don’t do those incidental things, the movements that we used to do. You may just spend more hours on the couch because you’re tired from a really stressful day at work.

Up to a certain limit, the more you move, the more you’re going to want to move. So sometimes it’s just a matter of forcing yourself into a routine that may include walking at lunchtime or after dinner, if that’s possible for you or at some other time, just get more movement into your life.

Get Enough Fibre

My next tip is get enough fiber.

As we get older, our digestive health can get worse. Our stomachs don’t produce as much of the digestive enzymes or enough of the acid. That’s required to break down food and the result can be bloating and constipation or heartburn.

So getting enough fiber, 38 grams for men and about 25 grams for women, is really important.

From a weight loss perspective, many fibrous foods like vegetables or berries are really low in calories and they can fill you up. So you’re consuming fewer calories and you’re feeling full and satisfying.

If you’re trying to lose weight over 35, fibrous foods will help you naturally reduce your calorie intake because they’re both low in calorie density and they help fill you up so that you’re going to be eating less. That means you eat fewer calories at the time and you eat fewer calories later on. So it’s fewer calories overall.

The Great News!

These tips will work for you, whether you’re 26 or 36 or 46 or 56, there’s really no difference.

Although there are specific challenges that you might have when you’re over 35, you kind of touched on those and how you can deal with that. But the basics of weight loss don’t change. You still need to produce a calorie deficit and you need to have strategies that make sense for your lifestyle.

So I hope that feels good to you.

As you get older, you’re still going to be following the same kind of plan. The basics that you need to use are always the same, maintain a calorie deficit, keep active, build your muscle, eat well, eat lots of vegetables, get your protein, get your fiber.

These are all standard things.

I really want people to be more positive about getting older, because as long as you make the necessary changes and you really don’t use any excuses, then you can lose weight. After 35, you can get in the best shape of your life at this age.

Ivana Chapman


Upper Back Stretches To Relieve Pain And Stiffness

What are the things that makes you feel really stiff and horrible. And I don’t want to say it, but a little old, is when you’re tight and stiff and your back’s aching, whether it’s the middle of your back or your neck.

So it’s really important to deal with those postural issues through some mobility, exercises and stretching.

Today I’m going to show you some upper back stretches that will help relieve that pain and stiffness that you might be experiencing.

Hi guys, this is Ivana and welcome to my channel.

This week. I’m going to help you relieve pain and stiffness in your back.

If you’ve been sitting around more often than usual, you’re not moving around as much as you should. Your posture is getting a little bit not so great. Then this video is going to show you the back stretches that will help you feel a little better relieve that stiffness, especially when you’re working from home.

If you’re new here, please do subscribe. Hit the bell to be notified. Whenever I release a new video.

Side Lat Stretch

The first exercise is the side lat stretch. So you’re going to be in the seated position here, and then you’re going to bring one arm down the other over, and you’re just going to reach, got him, get that stretch to the side. So you can feel the lats, which are the large muscles of your back.

And if you bring it gently forward, you’re going to feel a little bit of that QL as well, which is a shorter muscle that’s along the erector spinae at the back. Do this for 10 to 20 seconds.

And then you’re gonna switch over to the other side. Well, I can definitely tell which side is tighter. So check it out for yourself, which of your sides are tighter.

And then relax. So you can also try this one in a standing position as well.

Thoracic Extension

The next of the back stretches is the thoracic extension. So it’s really the thoracic area that midpoint of your spine that you want to stretch out. Now, I’m going to come close to this.

You can use anything that’s at this level of your couch is about that level. You can kind of kneel down in front of the couch. This is a pretty good level for me.

You’re going to bring your elbows in front, rest them on whatever surface you’ve got there. And then you’re going to bring your body down just gently
In between.

So you probably feel it underneath your, with your lats there. You can see this area. I can definitely feel that happening now. And then you’re trying to extend the thoracic spine. Just keeping your hands there And just relax into it.

Try to hold this for about 30 seconds.

Prone Cobra

The next exercise is the Prone Cobra. It’s not exactly a stretch of your back and that you’re not stretching this way.

What you are doing is counteracting that thoracic curve that you often have that curvature that happens from poor posture. Most of us do when we’re sitting at our desks, right?

So we want to counteract that curve and extend the thoracic spine. So you’re going to come down onto your stomach or arms down at your sides, and you’re going to gently come up onto your elbows. Now for most people, this is far enough. I prefer to stay here.

I don’t think it’s necessary to force the spine any higher. You just want to hold this for 30 to 60 seconds and then you can come down. Once you’ve done that time and then come up again. So you would be holding this two sets of 30 to 60 seconds.

As an extra special bonus tip. Here’s what I’m going to tell you. If you get into that position, let’s say once a day in the evening when you’re reading, or if you need to do something on a device life forward in that position,

Just on your elbows and read your book in this position. Okay?

And just try to stay there for about 20 minutes if that’s possible for you. So you get that thoracic extension. Cause most of the time we have too much thoracic flexion. When we’re sitting at our desks for long periods, we tend to slouch and you want to force that thoracic extension even a little bit more than usual.

If you’re reading your book here for about 20 minutes every evening, you’ll probably find that you’re a lot more comfortable and your spine feels a lot better. So we’re going to relieve back pain and stiffness by practicing this more often.

Table Back Stretch

So this exercise is called the table stretch and the idea is to stretch the lat muscles, the large muscles of the back.

You will get a little bit of thoracic extension as well. I really love the way that this one feels. Cause I tend to get a little crunching in my back. It feels like it really stretches it out. So I want a nice little counter here.

You can do this in any table, go a little bit wider than your shoulders, keeping your back around.

You don’t want to force it into an arch position, just round it out and then drop down wherever you’re comfortable, Bend your knees to come down lower. Of course, if you’ve got shoulder issues at all, be very careful with these back stretches.

Only go where you’re comfortable, where there’s no pain.

So you want to hold this one for 30 seconds and you’re going to do two sets of 30 seconds.

If there are other areas of your body that you’re feeling a little bit tight, please do leave a comment below and I can address those in a future video.

I hope you enjoyed this video. If you did, please give it a like really helps my channel to grow.

And I look forward to seeing you soon.

Ivana Chapman


Upper Body Mobility Exercises To Relieve Stiffness

Are you feeling a bit stiff in the upper body?

I’m going to show you some upper body mobility drills to help you relieve that pain and stiffness.

Hi, this is Ivana.

Welcome to my channel.

I’m a fitness and nutrition coach and I’m all about getting you fit healthy and strong.

So if that sounds good to you, please do subscribe and make sure you hit that notification bell as well. So you’ll know when I release a new video every Wednesday.

Today I’m going to share five upper body mobility exercises that are help you relieve pain and stiffness.

And the last one is the easiest to fit into your workday.

So you’ll probably want to do it several times a day. I’ve actually already done a video about mobility drills to keep you flexible as you get older, you can check that one out over here.

So let’s get into it.

Threading The Needle

This exercise is called threading the needle. So you’re going to get into quadruped position with knees apart. And then you’re going to start by taking one hand and threading it through and then opening up and then through, and then opening up again. So I’m going to show you this one from the other side, reach through,

open up all the way through. So you can see that I’m rotating around the thoracic spine, loosening that up finish.

I recommend you do 10 on each side. Two sets of 10 reps for this one.

Cat & Cow

The next exercise is called cat and cow, and you’re going through two positions for this one. You’re also going to do this in the quadruped position,

and this is to mobilize the lower back and the shoulders. You’re going to see the whole spine mobilizing here. So I’m going to breathe. And then, uh, also tilting the pelvis to mobilize the lower back and then back down really curling the spine. This is a great, fine mobilization exercise.

You’re also going to feel some shoulder mobilization.

so try to do this one quite slowly and controlled.

I want you to do two sets of 10 reps and one rep is going to be both positions up in that one position. And then back down again.

Supine Arm Slides

Now the next exercise is supine arm slides, and you’re going to do this one on your back and what we call this defined position. Knees are bent, and now you’re going to bring your arms up just at your side there, bend the elbows. And I actually want you to try to come down a little bit closer, and then you’re going to slide the arms up, keep the hands touching and the elbows touching the floor as you’re doing this slide. So really trying to get the best range of motion for you.

Sometimes you can call these angels when they’re on the wall. This is a really great upper body mobility exercise. It’ll help relieve pain and stiffness in that shoulder area. So just keep it slow and controlled and keep pressing the backs of the risks and the elbows along the floor.

and I want you to do this one for 15 reps and you can do two sets.

Opening A Book

The next exercise is called opening a book.

You’re going to start lying on your back, bend your knees, and then you’re going to take the knees to the side, bring them together, arms out both of them at your side sides, straight out from your shoulders. And now I’m going to bring it together, the top one over and then opening it up. And you’re trying to keep your eyes and your head still towards that original arms. So you’re mobilizing the upper body.

As you open the arm up, you probably feel this in your chest and shoulders as well. We’ll do this fairly slowly. I’m going to show you from the other side as well. So both hands together, over here, nice up and together, and then I’m going to open it up and back. So I’m keeping my gaze in this direction, away from you. Sorry about that. But I just want you to see the other angle here.

Take it slow and easy with this one, do 10 reps on each side.

Arm Twists & Lifts

And the last exercise is arm twists and lifts. So I’m going to show you this in two parts.

The first one is the twist.

You’re going to start off clasping your hands together as tight as you can. You want to straighten out your elbows really pull down away from your away from your ears so that your shoulders are down. And then all you’re going to do with this one is gently move and twist from side to side.

You’re going to be opening up the chest with this one, stretching out the anterior adults, the front of the shoulders as well.

You’re going to do about 20 of these. That’s 10 from 10 to one side then to the other side.

And then you’re going to pause. I have about 15 seconds rest, then straighten the arms again.

Arm Lifts

And you’re just going to lift gently and back down.

This is going to depend a lot on your personal mobility. Not everybody can maintain a high lift for this. So you want to look straight ahead, keep your posture upright.

You want to keep this as a mobility exercise. So improving your upper body mobility by lifting and then returning it back. So you’re going to do 10 of the lifts as well.

Thanks for watching!

And I look forward to seeing you next week.

Ivana Chapman


Stomach Vacuum Workout For Flat Abs

Hi guys, this is Ivana.

Welcome to my channel.

In this week’s video I’m going to show you a stomach vacuum workout that’s going to help you get flatter abs.

I’ve already done an initial video about the stomach vacuum itself, the stomach vacuum exercise.

It’s probably a good idea to go through that one first and get a little bit of a practice.

But if you already know how to do the stomach vacuum, then today’s workout is going to be a great challenge.

if you’re new here, please do subscribe and hit the bell. You’ll be notified when I release a new video every week

The stomach vacuum exercise is a great way to activate the TVA and your internal and external obliques. So the way that this stomach vacuum workout is going to go is that you’re going to have five different versions of the stomach vacuum five different positions, and you’re going to hold each of those for 20 seconds and then 30 to 60 seconds rest.

Standing Stomach Vacuum

So the first exercise is going to be the standing stomach vacuum, which is the traditional one that you’ll see. It’s the one I demonstrated in my previous video as well. It actually is the most challenging one because the standing position is the hardest one to get that TVA activation, that abdominal suction in that, in there.

We’re going to start off with this one while you’re fresh, and then we’re going to work our way to the less challenging ones as you go along. So, first one here, remember that you’re always going to breathe in and expand the belly out. Just give yourself a chance because you’re going to try to hold for 20 seconds. So breathe in and then breathing out. Just keep sucking it in.

And then really, so I’m not always going to do these for the full duration, but I want you to try to do up to 20 seconds for each of these. And now in between you would do about 30 to 60 seconds of rest.

Bentover Stomach Vacuum

The next part of the stomach vacuum workout is the bent over stomach vacuum.

So again, you’ve had 30 to 60 seconds rest.

Now you’re going to lean forward, arch your lower back. We want to maintain that position. Put your hands on your thighs, wherever it’s comfortable. You don’t want to put a lot of pressure there and you’re going to do the same stomach vacuum. So breathe in, open up the stomach and let it go and then breathing out.

So again, you’re aiming for up to 20 seconds on this one, and then we’re going to move on after 30 to 60 seconds rest into the next position.

Quadruped Stomach Vacuum

And now you’re going to take it down to the floor for the quadruped stomach vacuum onto your hands and knees. And you wanted to breathe out first, just release the belly a little bit and then let’s draw it in.

Supine Stomach Vacuum

So again, after this one, you want to take 30 to 60 seconds of rest and then you’re going to move her right onto your back. I like to do this with the knees bent. We’re going to breathe out, just release the belly a little bit and then pull it in.

okay. So hopefully you managed to hold that one for 20 seconds. Remember to take your rest onto the stomach.

Prone Stomach Vacuum

And this is going to be the prone stomach vacuum. So we’ve gone from supine facing up and now the prone stomach vacuum, same kind of thing.

Release the belly. This one is kind of challenging to see you’re just going to breathe out and pull it in.

They could just see I was lifting my belly up off the floor for that one.

Those are the five exercises that are part of this stomach vacuum workout to help you get flat abs. Just work your way from the top down to the bottom. And that’s a full workout. You don’t need to do that again. You’ve just done it five times through the stomach vacuum exercise, and that’s pretty much enough for a solid workout.

Let me know in the comments, which one you found the easiest to do. The one that helps you activate and get that stomach vacuum really tight. I hope you enjoyed that stomach vacuum workout.

Thanks for watching.

And I look forward to seeing you next week.

Ivana Chapman


Stomach Vacuum Exercises For A Strong Core

Do you want to learn how to do the stomach vacuum exercise?

Watch this video and I’ll show you how to do it properly. And I’ll tell you how you can use it to flatten your stomach.

Hi, it’s Ivana.

Welcome to my channel, please subscribe and hit the bell to get my video notifications.

The stomach vacuum exercise sometimes called the belly vacuum exercise is an old fashioned bodybuilding exercise.

Use Of The Stomach Vacuum Exercise

Famous bodybuilders, including Arnold himself have used it to get the look of a flat stomach while standing on stage, as well as, as part of training, the stomach vacuum is an effective way of targeting the TVA, the transverse abdominis, as well as the internal and external obliques.

I’m going to show you some key steps.

And at the end of this short video, I’m also going to give you an important tip that will make this stomach vacuum exercise safer and more comfortable for you.

Let me do a quick demo first, and then I’ll explain a little bit more.

So you notice for that when you can really see the hollow here underneath the rib cage for this exercise, you’re working with the breath. You’re going to let first let the air in, expand the stomach, and then you’re going to force all the air out as you pull in, and you’re basically driving in towards your spine. Here we go.

So I’m going to repeat it again from the front, and then I’m going to show you to this side. So opening up first and breathing out.

Stomach Vacuum Instructions

So you’re going to try to do this for about 20 seconds.

If you’re really brave, you can start working your way up to 60 seconds doing a belly vacuum.

It’s actually a lot trickier than it looks so don’t worry if it takes you a little while to get the hang of it, I feel like I’m still kind of working on it myself.

Important Tip!

And now here’s the important tip that most people don’t think about.

Do this stomach vacuum exercise on an empty stomach, do it first thing in the morning or a few hours having a meal. Otherwise you’re going to compress your stomach and it’s going to be even more uncomfortable than this exercise already is.

And yes, it is very uncomfortable.

I’m particularly susceptible to this because I suffer from acid reflux.

So I’m really careful about when I do this exercise and I always make sure that my stomach is not too full either with food or with liquid.

If this video was helpful, please let me know.

I’m going to continue the abs theme for upcoming weeks.

So make sure you’re subscribed to my channel!

Thanks for watching. And I’ll see you soon.

Ivana Chapman


TVA Exercises For A Flat Stomach


In this video, I’m going to show you some TVA exercises for a flat stomach that will help tighten things up in the midsection.

Hi, it’s Ivana. Welcome to my channel.

I’m a certified strength and conditioning specialist and Online Coach.

I’ve got some practical TVA exercises that will help you get a flat stomach.

If you’re not sure how to correctly activate the TVA, please check out my video: TVA activation exercises.

So I’m going to go through some of the most effective TVA exercises.

At the end I’ll share what most people don’t tell you about flattening your stomach.

Seated Stomach Pull

So the first TVA exercises for a flat stomach is the seated stomach pull.

You’re going to be trying to cross your legs here just so you’re in a stable position, and what’s going to happen is that first you’re going to breathe in and expand your belly out and then you’re going to breathe out and pull those stomach muscles in as far as you can towards your spine.

From there, you’re actually going to breathe out short and sharp and then trying to do 20 to 30 exhale. Short and sharp exhales when you’re already at that, the furthest part in. So I’m going to demonstrate this.

Obviously I’m not going to talk through it. I’m going to try to do about those 20 so here we go.

Then you breathe in and relax. That was 20. I want you to aim for two sets of 20 to 30 reps. So basically 20 to 30 exhales like I just did there. Try to keep your posture nice and upright and then get the stomach in. Get the TVA pulled in as close as you can towards your spine. Really tighten up that core. Once you’re done and try to just relax the belly again and then you’re going to do the second set.

Knee Hovers

The next TVA exercise is knee hovers.

For this one you’re going to be on your hands and knees. Just bring your hands straight down from your shoulders, knees, hip width apart, and you’re going to tuck your toes underneath. Now before you begin this, the first thing you want to do is activate your TVA by pulling in your stomach muscles towards your spine. So the same kind of activation we did in the previous exercise. Just pull in tight and then you’re going to come up with your knees and hold for five seconds. Tighten everything up,

and then relax. So you don’t actually want to bring your knees up too high. If you bring your knees up higher, it makes it easier to do this exercise. So just a couple of inches off the floor and then lift up again.

come back down. So remember to keep your neck in neutral as well. Don’t squeeze your head down or anything like that. So it’s really important to maintain control. With this one, I want you to do 10 sets of five second holds. The next exercise is also in what we call the quadruped position. So this is head squeezes. So this is your quadruplet physician. You’re going to maintain an arch in your lower back rather than rounding your back. You’re going to keep it in the slightly arch position. And now you’re going to pull your TVA up towards your spine, breathing out as you do that

and then relax. So you probably didn’t see anything happening there. It’s just a very small movement. As I’m pulling my stomach in, my ads are just coming in as tight in this exercise. And then relax. So for this one, I want you to try to do 10 sets of ten second holds.

Leg Lowering

The last of the TVA exercises for a flat stomach I’m going to show you is leg lowering.

You’re going to do this one on your back in the supine position, knees bent. You’re going to maintain an arch in your lower back like we did before. And the first thing you’re going to do is also breathe in, expand the belly, and then breathe out, tightening up the TVA.

So that happens first. You want to maintain that contraction whenever your leg is moving. So first we’re going to move one leg slowly and slowly down. Now you might want to relax in between.

Eventually when you get the good at this, you can maintain the contraction throughout, even in between the different reps. So I’m going to do another one here, tightening up first. Maintaining that TVA contraction as I do the movement.

When this becomes too easy for you, you can try this with straight legs, both legs up in the air and you want to also maintain that arch in the lower back but you’re going to squeeze first again, squeeze and hold and then slowly down and slowly up as well as I’ll try it with the other leg. So squeeze first, maintain that TVA contraction and then back up. So both movements are pretty slow. I want you to try two sets of 10 reps, so five each leg.

What Most People Don’t Tell You About Flattening Your Stomach

And now what most people don’t tell you about flattening your stomach.

There were three things that affect how flat your stomach actually is.

One is exercises like the ones that I’ve just shown you to train your TVA to contract and pull things in just so you don’t have those muscles loose and kind of bulging out.

The next one is your belly fat.

A lot of people joke that they have a six pack under all their stomach flab and that can definitely be true. If you’ve got a lot of fat around your stomach, you’re going to cover up your abs and I’ve actually got a video about how to lose belly fat, so check that one out as well.

And then the third thing that can prevent a flat stomach is digestive bloating, your stomach and your intestines underneath all those muscles so they can help make them kind of push things out as well.

This happens to me quite a lot because I have IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, so my stomach can look very different depending on how my digestive system is doing.

I’ve also got a video about reducing stomach bloating.

It covers the digestive side of things so you can have all three areas covered.

Let me know in the comments, what’s keeping you from having a flat stomach?

So at least you’ve got the TVA exercises covered.  I’m going to be doing a little bit of an abs series here so you don’t want to miss out on that.

Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time.

Ivana Chapman


TVA Activation Exercises

Do you want to learn how to activate your TVA?

Watch this video and I’ll show you how to get proper TVA activation to flatten your stomach and protect your lower back.

hi, it’s Ivana helping you get fit, healthy and strong at any age.

Today I’m going to show you three ways of TVA activation, the transverse abdominis.

Those are the innermost abs.

Many people think of it as the lower abs, but it’s actually the muscle that’s deeper inside. It’s larger than most people think:


It runs under the ribs and also along the iliac spine. So the hip bones that you’ve got there. I’ll show you three ways of getting the TVA activation so you can find out what works best for you. At the end of this video, I’m going to tell you how to speed up your results and make these TVA activation exercises even more effective.

TVA Activation 1 – Pelvic Tilt Exercise

So we’re going to start on the floor with the most basic TVA activation, the pelvic tilt exercise.

I want you to lie down on the floor with your knees bent and now you’re going to feel for your hip bones at the top, what we call the ASI ES. And then you’re coming in about two inches. That’s going to move my hands so you can see that and then down an inch, and that’s the area I want you to feel it from both sides so you can do it.

That’s where you want to find the TVA muscle and that’s where you should feel it.

What you’re going to do is pull the muscle in towards the spine, so you’re drawing your belly towards the spine. Just pull it in and you should feel that muscle popping up under there if you push down hard.

We’re going to do it with a tiny bit of it’s pelvic tilt, just a little bit of movement, just enough so that you feel that muscle pop under there and then you relaxed. So you tighten it up, pull in, pull in at the same time you’re squeezing and then release.

Try not to move your hips too much. We really don’t want a big movement. Just a very small movement squeeze.

and then release. So just about three seconds and you’re going to do two sets of 10 reps of this one.

TVA Activation 2 – Draw In Maneuver

The next one is a draw in maneuver.

Sometimes it’s called a seated cat squeeze and you’ll see why.

For this one you also want to pull in the lower abdominals towards your spine as hard as you can.

We’re just going to try to hold this one for a little bit longer. If 10 seconds is okay for you, great. If 20 seconds is possible, that’s really what you’re aiming for. For this one.

Two sets of twenty second holds.

So I’m going to show you how it’s set up, hands and knees, but I don’t want your hands to be too far out. Just keep them fairly close to the knees and then tuck your toes under just to give it a little bit of stability there.

And all you’re doing is the same pelvic tilt as before.

You’re doing a squeeze and then relax. You’re just pulling up so you can do a tiny bit of an action here just to so you feel the lower back. Start to release a little bit. That position there with the hold. Squeeze, breathe all the air out. Keep it super flat and then release.

It doesn’t seem like much when you’re looking at it. But if you do two sets of 20 seconds for this one, you’re going to feel the TVA activating pretty well.

TVA Activation 3 – Stomach Vacuum Exercise

The last one is the stomach vacuum exercise.

The principle is pretty much the same but it’s a little more challenging because you’re in the standing position.

You really want to drive the stomach muscles in hard towards your spine and you want to hold it for quite a long time. So you can start off with 10 seconds, but I recommend you will work your way up to 30 seconds on this one. I’m going to show you from the side first. I’m going to breathe in and the stomach goes out and then as you breathe out you’re going to pull the stomach in towards your spine is there. Here we go.

That wasn’t 30 seconds yet it’s just a short one. But that gives you the idea, really tighten it up. Hold for as long as you can, and that should really activate the TVA.

So let me know in the comments which of these TVA activation exercises works best for you.

TVA Activation BONUS Tip

And now here’s my tip for getting faster results:

Do these TVA exercises every other day.

But then I also want you to practice a simple TVA activation a few times a day, every day.

This really strengthens the neural connection to your lower ab area.

You’re going to set up a trigger, something that you do a few times a day and your practice squeezing the TVA for just 10 to 20 seconds while you’re doing this activity or just after.

It could be brushing your teeth or just going to the washroom, or if you’re really keen, then you can do the TVA squeeze every time you wash your hands. Do this for two weeks along with the TVA exercises that I’ve shown you, and I’m sure you’re going to notice a difference in the tightness in your lower abdominal area.

Come back here and leave me a comment and let me know how it worked for you.

I hope you enjoyed these TVA activation exercises.

My upcoming videos are also going to be more TVA exercises, so we’re going to hit the abs.

If you like the sound of that, please do hit that like button.

Make sure you’re subscribed so you get notified when those videos are released.

Thanks for watching and I’ll see you soon.

Ivana Chapman