Exercises for Women Over 50 to Lose Belly Fat

Exercise and burning belly fat get harder as women age. Plus, a lot of outdated myths exist, so you might be doing things wrong. Debra Atkinson has helped 250,000+ women flip their second half of life with vitality and energy. She's the best-selling author of You Still Got It, Girl! The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women and Navigating Fitness After 50. In this episode, JJ and Debra reveal the best exercises for women over 50, with tips and truths you need to know.

Debra gives her number one thing women of this age need to work on, and why. The truth is, yoga and Pilates are good, but they’re NOT enough. She discusses what building muscle does for women metabolically and why the old way of determining flexibility isn’t enough.

Then, they talk about core exercise: why it’s important and myths surrounding this important type of exercise. Doing it right will help you lose belly fat and be stronger. Visceral fat is a killer, so you want to learn how to address this.

You won’t want to miss the five specific exercises that women over 50 should do and how to do them from Debra. They are super short and doable, leaving you with more energy. If you’re not strengthening your body the right way, your health and your metabolism will suffer, so this is a conversion every woman over 50 needs to hear.

Freebies From Today’s Episode
Get Debra’s 5-Day Flip (5 short workouts over 5 days)


00:00:07 – Health expert J.J. Virgin welcomes Deborah Atkinson, a fitness professional, to discuss core exercises and burning belly fat in women over 50
00:04:10 – Beautiful accident: helping women, health influencers
00:06:13 – Strength training is first and foremost
00:08:00 – Train for what you want at 100
00:10:06 – Building strong muscles not only strengthens bones but also increases metabolism
00:13:07 – Ability to stand on one leg correlated with mortality; core exercise myth debunked
00:17:06 – High intensity repeat training, short, intense bursts with longer recovery time
00:22:48 – Core exercises can be done better. Avoid crunches. Brace your core by exhaling deeply
00:25:46 – Back pain, fitness misinformation, core muscles
00:29:04 – Plank, bird dog, rotation, side plank exercises
00:32:36 – Challenge: Get a friend, exercise together for the ‘5 day flip’

Mentioned in this episode:

Watch Debra’s TED Talk: What Women in Menopause Learned About Exercise May Be A Lie

The Peter Attia Drive Podcast

JJ’s blog: Top 10 Ground Rules To Be The Best Fat Burner

Read more from Mark Sisson about High-Intensity Repeat Training

JJ’s podcast with info about a DEXA body scan: The Best Way to Measure Body Fat

Learn more about Debra Atkinson

Click Here To Read Transcript

ATHE_Transcript_Ep 521_Debra Atkinson
JJ Virgin: [00:00:00] Hey, this is JJ Virgin. Welcome and thanks so much for joining me. This is Ask the Health Expert here. I put the Power of Health in your hands and give you access to the top people in health and wellness. In each episode, I share safe ways to get healthy, lose weight, heal your gut detox and lots more. So if you wanna get healthy and get off the dieting for life merry-go-round, I'll give you strategies that will help you look and feel better fast.
All right, so in this ask the health expert, we are going to ask a midlife exercise specialist. All about what the best exercise to do, especially for your core. So if you've been going, you know, it's some ways for me to burn off this belly fat, we are gonna be digging into that digging into [00:01:00] some exercise, miss, and really what you can do to be hormonally balanced with your exercise, all that good stuff.
And I have debra Atkinson of flipping 50 with me, she has literally helped over 250,000 women now flip their second half of their life with vitality and energy. She's the best selling author of You Still Got It Girl? The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women Navigating Fitness After 50 and Hot. Not Bothered.
She also hosts flipping 50 TV and the Flipping 50 podcast, and she's a TED X speaker. She's a subject matter expert recognized by the American Council on Exercise, A A R P, Washington Post Prevention Magazine, and USA Today, and her TEDx talk. Everything women in menopause learned about exercise may be a lie.
Oh my gosh. You'll definitely wanna listen. That one. We also have, she's someone who, whenever I do a course, I include her in it. She is my go-to on exercise. Remember, I started my life [00:02:00] as an exercise physiologist. So I'm super picky on this in this area cuz I have a big background in it. So I love everything she has to teach and say she is so spot on and she really is the go-to fitness professional, fitness expert in this
area training other trainers as well. She's also got a great gift for you for listening, for tuning in that you'll be able to get at jjvirgin.com/flip. So be sure to grab that and when you do, make sure you get started on it. All right. I will be right back with Debra Atkinson. Stay with me.
I am super excited about digging into core exercise, and if you can burn belly fat. And I have the amazing Debra Atkinson in the house, longtime friend and midlife fitness expert, really an expert on [00:03:00] hormonally balanced exercise. So Debra, I'm happy you're.
Debra Atkinson: I am so happy to be here and I love this topic,
JJ Virgin: right?
I mean, and first of all, how, how much you get hit up on Instagram and Facebook on this, on belly fat, on can you spot reduce on what do I do about this? So I love the fact we're gonna dig into this. and figure it out. So let's talk and, and core in general, like core exercise and overall exercise. I'd also love to get, go broad as well as like, you know, what does for a woman 50 plus, what does a.
You know, a good exercise program look like? What are they trying to achieve? All of that. So let's back up. Before we go there, we have so many things to talk about. To first, to first ask the question as to, you know, why did you really decide to focus in here? You know, your company's called Flipping 50.
You not only work with women, 50 plus on hormonally balanced exercise, you train [00:04:00] trainers and certify them in this as well. Why'd you get so into this
Debra Atkinson: accidentally. So it was the most beautiful accident ever because I'm having a blast. I love helping these women and these women influence so many other people and, and they're the best health influencers in the world.
But I started out, I had quit safety and security to help trainers learn how to market and sell and keep the good ones. The, the heart-centered ones with the education hate selling and hate marketing. So I wanted to help them so that consumers had better choices and so that we all are prouder to say we're in the fitness industry.
And then I realized I can't just be saying do this, do this if I'm no longer doing this . So I had to come back and say, I've gotta pick a niche and show them this is what's working. And that's when I decided, I've been hearing this for 30 years as I worked with midlife women. Nobody gets us, it gets harder as I age.
And so, [00:05:00] Fit them. And that just took off like Wildflower because nobody else is really paying attention to them, creating programs based on research featuring them. Yeah. So we're doing
JJ Virgin: it. Well. It's not the easiest audience to work with , right? I mean, it's a big moving target. I remember my mom. At like, I don't remember quite what age she was, but she, she always had like, you know, as she got older, and she's still, my mom's kicking at 92, 90, 92, now she's 92.
Yeah. But she had this, what she called shifting sands, where she lost her backside and gained it in the front. And I was like, I was like, okay, I'm never having shifting sands like that is not happening. right. Outline. Yeah. But it is, I mean, you look. Hormonal shifts, et cetera. Way easier to work with a guy or a younger woman, let's be honest.
So you picked, you picked the challenging crowd. Now we are part of the challenging crowd. Right. And [00:06:00] what are a couple things that, that a woman of this age needs to know? Kind of heading into exercise and doing the right exercise for her?
Debra Atkinson: Number one, first foremost, we need strength training. We gotta hold onto that muscle.
So if you really wanna be sexy, you wanna be slimmer, ultimately you're gonna want that muscle for your metabolism and you, you need it on the inside and the outside. I mean, that's where your confidence is gonna
JJ Virgin: come from. Hit it hard. This is like, as you know, this is my biggest, biggest focus. I am all about aging powerfully.
I, I'm so afraid of, of some of my friends and how I see them now because I see them getting frail. So let's really talk about muscle, why it's so critical and what you need to do to build it. Cuz it's not like doing Pilates and lifting pink. . Oh gosh.
Debra Atkinson: Thank you so much, . All of you who love yoga and Pilates, we're not discriminating.
I'm certified in both. But the truth is they are not enough. [00:07:00] They're not enough stimulus to get your muscles the overload they need in order. For them to say, push back and I'm gonna get stronger. So that's how it happens. We've gotta reach muscular fatigue. Whether you lift a lighter weight and you do it more times, or you can lift a heavier weight because you don't have any other limitations, and you lift it fewer times.
Reaching muscular fatigue is key, crucial.
JJ Virgin: And what does muscular fatigue mean? Just so people really, really get what that means.
Debra Atkinson: Absolutely. It means you get to those last few repetitions and you wonder, I don't know if I can actually get this up, maybe mid repetition. You're like, I'm done. And it's temporary, meaning you put those weights down and.
30, 60 seconds from now, you could pick them up again. But it is very different than just overall fatigue, tired, exhaustion at the end of a workout. Anything can do
JJ Virgin: that to you. Yeah, I think that's such a key point because you look at a lot of like the fitness [00:08:00] classes and they'll be in there with tiny little weights moving around and Sure at the end of the class you're tired, but you never got to the point during any specific exercise where you went, I can't do another one of.
Right. And that is a critical place you have to get to in order for your muscles to build, and this is the time to build it. I, I've been kind of obsessed Debra with Peter a Atia's podcast. I admit it. I'm gonna stalk him anyway because he has this concept that when I heard it, I go, that is the greatest concept and it is this concept of the centenarian decathlon.
Mm. This idea that we need to train for what we wanna be able to do at at a hundred. And he goes, and the things I wanna be able to do are. Walk up the two sets of stairs with groceries. I wanna be able to pick up my great grandkids. I wanna be able to get up off the floor without assistance. And I just went, wow.
I remember when I was a trainer in Palm Springs and a woman said to me she was 75 or 80, and she goes, listen, I want to [00:09:00] be able to go walk downstairs in my high heels and dance. . I go, awesome. Cool. We'll do it. You know, , so what? What are those things? Because if you wanna be able to do that at a hundred, you better be training for it at 50.
Right? Amen. Yeah,
Debra Atkinson: absolutely. Right. And I think that's a big part of it though, what you just said without saying it is we have to have the vision. We have to be thinking and imagining what we want because right now we haven't had a great model. We're the model. Mm-hmm. , our we are is raising the ceiling.
JJ Virgin: Yep. And I mean, prior to this, I used to take people to Gold's Gym in Venice, way back when, and the women were afraid. , they were afraid to go. I go, you are not gonna get bigger. Right? Like, it's not gonna. You're gonna get smaller and it will hold everything in tighter. So talk about what muscle does for us metabolically, physically, et cetera, too, just to further convince people.
Debra Atkinson: Well, [00:10:00] it's the only metabolic. Activity or active type of tissue that we've got. So I mean, your fat is not burning anything for you. It's just taking up space and your bone isn't there, although crucially important. But another argument, another reason why you need strong muscles, number one, they actually pull on the bone.
That's one way of strengthening them. You're doing the right thing for your muscle to gain that lean muscle mass and stimulus. You're also increasing your bone density, or at least preventing losses. The same exact thing that improves your muscle, doesn't necessarily improve your bone. It takes a little more stimulus to do that, but.
The other thing, the hidden piece, right? So we increase the lean muscle, we're gonna increase your metabolism, the number of calories you burn. But you know, if we really get down to the science, it may not be a whole lot. I mean, it may be 30 calories by the end of the day, depending on your size. But what is the hidden [00:11:00] metabolism boost is now you feel like doing all the other things.
All day long for 23 hours when you're not even exercising. So you're burning calories all day. And that total energy expenditure is so much more important than people think. So it's not just 30 or 60 minutes at the gym, it's how does it make you feel and what does it make you want to do or inspired to do the rest of the day.
JJ Virgin: That is so key because now if you can carry the groceries up the stairs, all those different things, but also if you're doing more neat, you know, more non-exercise activity thermogenesis, you're just flat out moving more because as we know, the more you do, the more you do. . That's absolutely
Debra Atkinson: right. The more inspired it feels, good movement feels better because you've got more muscle.
It feels like less effort, and I mean, most of us are running to pleasure things that feel good as opposed to those that don't.
JJ Virgin: So now beyond [00:12:00] adding muscle and doing that via. You know, moving your body through, you know, space and it's hard and you can't keep doing it. What else do you have in this critical in, in exercise?
Debra Atkinson: Well, in order to get all the other exercise that you need, you need mobility. I mean, we need to be doing some range of motion exercise. And it's not the old flexibility. Like I could care less if you could sit on the floor and touch your toes, which is what we all used to do, and say, this is a, this is the best test.
It's flexibility test, and, and it, it really doesn't matter. I mean, look at your daily activities of life and are you able to do them? Can you put the dishes on the top shelf if you do that regularly? Can you put your carry on bag in the compartment by yourself? You know, I mean, those kinds of things.
That's not just strength, that's some core work that's also mobility in being able to lift. Over your head
JJ Virgin: [00:13:00] comfortably. I saw a I'm trying to think of where this research came out of but I thought this was super fascinating and looking at mortality, and one of the things that they correlated mortality with was your ability to stand on one leg.
Mm-hmm. . So I have now blessed my yoga teacher, cuz I was always like that lifted mountain. I'm like, why are we doing this? You know? And I have to stand on one foot and I broke my foot when I was like 19. So standing on that foot is always like, eh, sketchy. So, You know, being able to stand on one, but being able to get off the floor, not having to grab onto something or with assistance we're actually correlated with mortality.
And I was like, that's so things you would never think about. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. So key critical. Well, that brings us into core. Let's talk about why core is important and also kind of jump on the myth that just won't go away. I think we all know it's not true, but we still keep doing it in hopes that maybe, maybe we're wrong, is this.
Like tons of sit ups will, will burn belly [00:14:00] fat. So let's, let's dig into core exercise here.
Debra Atkinson: So here's why it is important, right? And then we'll talk about how to get there. But the reason core is important is number one, I think 80% of people get lower back pain in their life. 80% of those people have it recur again and again.
So not a great. Prognosis. Nobody wants to go there and be incapacitated. But the other thing is it's an enabler from the positive side. It enables you to do all of the other things that truly give us a flatter stomach, help us to lose the body fat that can be centrally located right there in the midsection and took up residence there when we weren't looking, you know, by strength training and doing.
High intensity interval training. Being able to go faster or against more resistance is actually gonna help and been proven for women in post-menopause to help them target that visceral body fat. So core is important because it helps you be stronger [00:15:00] and. Yet faster as
JJ Virgin: well. Yeah, I think about that and I think you know of the weakest link and if your core is not strong, squatting's gonna be impossible.
Mm-hmm. , you're not gonna be able to sprint. Like all the things that we tend to think of, oh, I can't do that, I'm older. But it could that be just because our core isn't where it needs to be, so we can't do all of those things. Even getting groceries outta the car, you know, the important things. Okay, so you said a little thing that I want to.
And then we'll move back to like what's important here with core and the mistakes that might, we might be making. You said a little like core allows you to do hit that then allows you to burn that visceral fat. Yeah.
Debra Atkinson: Yeah, and, and don't we all wanna do that and
JJ Virgin: Right. So explain that. Explain what Hiit is.
Just I've talked about it, but just in case. Absolutely. It was good to hear it again. And then what visceral fat is and how that all happens and why it's important.
Debra Atkinson: Yeah. That was a loaded sentence, wasn't it? So ,
JJ Virgin: yeah. You just dropped it down there and [00:16:00] I'm like, oh no you don't.
Debra Atkinson: high intensity interval training.
So let's be clear on what that is and what it's. So it is not alternating jogging and walking, right? It's actually getting to complete breathlessness, like you're bump over hands on your knees, like you need to stop and take a break. It's the kind of thing that. You can't talk while you're doing it, while you're getting there, and you literally have to stop.
It's not one of those 1980s marched around the room while you're taking your heart rate and don't let your blood pool by standing still. And we no longer believe that .
JJ Virgin: Remember that? Oh my gosh. Like you and I have been like started out at the same time. So all these ridiculous things we used to tell.
Holy smokes. Right.
Debra Atkinson: Right. And yet if you're 50 or 60 or 70, the, you're walking around with that still in your head. Yeah. And you're still thinking
JJ Virgin: that's, that's nuts. How to do 30 minutes at least to get in your target heart rate zone. . Right. Oh boy. Seconds.
Debra Atkinson: [00:17:00] Seconds of 15 to 20 seconds. In fact, we're even seeing that burst not short.
Here's the great news for people who are really like, Ugh, I hate those intervals, those Tabata intervals. You're familiar with them, you know, but they happen so quickly. You barely get to recover and then you go again. We see injury rates go up so correspondingly as people started using hit more and more, we saw injury rates go up by 144%.
Women in. Are more prone to injury and I can't document any research. But when I talk with physical therapists, when I talk with other personal trainers or medical exercise specialists, we will all agree, you know, there's more plantar fasciitis, there's more knee issues, there's more hip veritis. There's.
all of those things happening. So the last thing we wanna do is have you exercising in a frenzy, not recovering, and then doing it again because we all get sloppy. So we don't want that. [00:18:00] But now the good news is we can do something called high intensity repeat training, and Mark Sisson wrote about this.
and you know, it's basically do those bursts, but you can take up to three minutes to recover if you want to, as long as you do the same amount of bursts as you might do. Mm-hmm. on the intensity interval training, same results, lower risk. Nice.
JJ Virgin: Yeah. Nice, nice. And I think the important thing here, I remember the first time I went and did 'em, I.
Doing 'em with a friend and we're on those big step mills that go around like the stairs that go around. Yeah. On the gym. And I about threw up . I was like going, okay, you know, because you forget the feeling you felt because it's really the feeling you felt when you were like six on the playground. Yeah.
And you were like chasing someone or getting chased almost out and you saw and your lungs burnt and, and you just, then you went, I am never doing that. Right. That is the feeling you have to get to. So it's pretty [00:19:00] unpleasant. What is Mark saying? And
Debra Atkinson: it doesn't, it doesn't take that many times, so you,
JJ Virgin: it doesn't, so how much, how many times do you need to do literal
Debra Atkinson: when you're starting out?
Mm-hmm. , you do three, three times. So you do a warmup so you're prepared cuz you're going hard and then you, you wanna cool down. But three. So three times increasing maybe to five as you progress and six. But we reach this point where there's a no ROI on doing more and more more because that's where we get hurt.
JJ Virgin: I always say more is not better on this one. Harder is better. Right. And that's the thing. It's like, no, it does not get easier. , you did skip stronger. Yes. And you never, cause I had someone once tell me, they go, oh my gosh, I've been doing hit and it's so great. Now I can do two minutes. on and I go, then you're not doing hit.
Cuz that's not what it is. like you could never do. Two minutes. I go just the better is is to, is to burn out faster.
Debra Atkinson: Truth. So true. [00:20:00] Yeah. I've got people telling me that too. It's like no matter what I feel like you know, always can do more. I'm like, no, .
JJ Virgin: Yeah. It's hard though because people tend to look at workouts and I'll just do more and I go, more is not better here.
Like no more is where you get hurt more is when you start to get bad results, et cetera.
All right, so we've, we've talked about that. We've talked about visceral fat and maybe just kind of go into visceral fat, because we have lean body mass, we have fat mass, but then in fat mass we have subcutaneous, we have visceral. Subcutaneous is the stuff we hate. But visceral is the stuff that really hates us.
So what is it?
Debra Atkinson: Well, I Visceral fat is like Santa Claus. It's like the big belly. That was my softball coach in high school. I don't know about anybody else. That seems to be a common denominator, but it's really where it's, it's within and it's taught, you know, as opposed to the [00:21:00] pinch inch and here's the killer.
You could have both darn it that for, but you got 'em. So that visceral fat though truly is a killer. So it's within and woven like a marbled steak back in the. And that's what's kind of within your internal organ, so that puts you at greater risk for heart disease and many other diseases. So we wanna nip that one right away and best ways to do it.
It's been proven to, as well as just strength training, total body strength training. So you're hitting major muscle groups. Is a tremendous fat burner for visceral
JJ Virgin: fat. Nice. And this is one that you can actually go do a DEXA body scan and which I really, I these need to be the, like this just be something that someone does at least once a year, but like Yeah, probably every quarter.
It's not expensive. And what happens when you get that is you'll find out your fat-free mass, how much of your body is lean, mass and bone, and then you'll find out how much your. Fat mass, and then you'll find out how much of that's [00:22:00] visceral fat. And then you'll also find out your bone density, like, and you still don't hear about people doing these and it just needs to be a thing.
Yeah. You know? And especially for the bone and for the, the visceral fat, like we've really gotta make sure we're affecting the change there. Okay. So that's, that's visceral fat. Now let's dig into actual, like core exercise and what this looks like.
Debra Atkinson: So, you know, here's the thing. I think to anybody who's listening, who's over 45, get off your back.
All right.
JJ Virgin: So many ways,
Debra Atkinson: but I mean, there's so many better ways to do core. We don't need to be doing crunching. And I, I won't say there aren't a couple exercises where I like one called single leg marching, where you're on your back, you're still those, you're stabilizing. Mm-hmm. . moving your limbs so that your core has to brace and, and it's like a plank, basically the same task.[00:23:00]
We all learned how to brace when planks got popular and we, we do it. But if you're sitting upright right now and you're sitting away from the back of your chair, essentially you're bracing in some way. , there's not a lot of leverage there, a lot of resistance that you're fighting, but you're fighting gravity.
So just think about it. I mean, it's easy to sink down into your chair. So if you take your hands and splay them and you put your thumb on your bottom ribs and your pinkies at your hips so you can kind of feel it in your, your hands are, fingers are splayed in that soft area. Take a deep breath in. And then I want you to exhale like you're blowing through a straw and just exhale it all the way out.
Keep going to the point where you feel like I can't get anymore and I'm almost coughing. Keep going, keep going, keep going. And what you will feel is that you are just right now working what we call the transverse abdominous. And a lot of people, I would [00:24:00] say, I've never actually felt that before. When I do poor work, I don't feel that Now, if you just do one or two more, you should realize you can hold that T b a while you breathe, while you talk.
It's still on and you've learned how to engage it. That girlfriend is your personal girdle as one of the best things you can do while you're lifting weights. Be aware of your form while you're going for a walk, but it doesn't restrict you. We're not sucking in. Mm-hmm. . We actually weaken you. When you draw that navel to the spine and you try to do that, you actually weaken the muscles that we're trying to contract.
JJ Virgin: That is very interesting. It used to drive me crazy when I would go to these fitness classes and I'd. Instructors talk about upper and lower abs and I go, there are no upper and lower abs. Your abs don't cut in half. It's one long thing. And then you have the deep abs underneath. So I always like think of those transverses deep abs, but it was always a pet [00:25:00] peeve.
And you still hear this like, I'll, I'll hear, I'll hear this instruction about what you're supposed to do. And drawing that belly button to the spine, I'm like, Come on, right?
Debra Atkinson: Yeah, totally true. And, and I think still it's, people will come back to me, instructors who go through our training and they'll come back and say, but I was taught to say that I was taught to cue that in my, oh yeah, pilate's training.
And I said, you know, until, until textbooks die and until the older instructors, you know, start reading newer science or we're in trouble now because anything published once on the internet is gonna live.
JJ Virgin: Sure. And well, I also think back when I was doing my graduate work, I wanted to do it all around spinal lifting biomechanics cuz I, everyone had back pain and I was working with golfers.
I'm like, well this, like, this is a population that like, you know, people will always have back pain, so I'm gonna do this. But what was crazy is in the fitness world back then, we were taught to never do back [00:26:00] extension. and to avoid any kind of back extension, always forward it on forward flexion on on abdominal crunches because otherwise you could hurt your back.
And I went, well that seems wrong because I know you're probably going. Oh my gosh. Because if you never strengthen your back extensors and only strengthen your flexors, , the obvious thing that will happen is you'll hurt your back. So I was like, what am I missing here? Like what, what could I possibly be missing here and
And yet, this is what the instructors were teaching. Mm-hmm. Like to the new instructors. So I was like, this is really, this is really bad. I'm gonna. Avoid this and, and do not do things like squats because they're hurt your back. And I'm like, no, you're just making a weak back. So I think this is all really important for, for people to hear because there is some misinformation out there.
It doesn't like, you've got to really think of your core. It's not just the, it's not just your abdominal muscles. . Right. So can we dig a little bit into that? Cause I, that one still seems to be [00:27:00] out there as like, you know, don't, don't extend your back. It could
Debra Atkinson: hurt it. Yeah. So everything core between shoulders and knees, basically, you know, and, and it's funny that, you know, I'm trained as a certified strength and conditioning code, you know, and when we use the word core exercise, what we mean is like, Right.
And lunges. Mm-hmm. . And those core, meaning these are the exercises that boost your metabolism and that give you the strength that you need. And yet in it, if you don't have a strong core, and, and while you're doing them, you'll get a stronger core because right away, faulty form will show up. Mm-hmm.
telling us there's a weak link and we can work on that. So I, I mean, it's all good, but those of you who were going to these classes that are 20 and 30 minutes long for core exercise, it's way too much. You probably need two and a half to five minutes regularly of a variety of [00:28:00] exercises that work on the five different muscle groups, that transverse abdominus.
Your rectus abdominus is the last thing on your list so that if you run out of time, you don't need it. We're already really good at forward flexion. Stop right now. and
JJ Virgin: that's where everyone spends all their time.
Debra Atkinson: Exactly. Yeah. So we need those back extensors and we need those rotation muscles with inner and outer obliques and for lateral flexion, cuz we move, we do forward flexion, extension, and rotation all in about three seconds as soon as we're awake.
Getting out of bed, the most challenging things we do. So we all need those things. We need a variety of movement in order to make those things stronger for life. Yeah.
JJ Virgin: So if you were gonna say these, here's five things I want you to do, five exercises, what would they be? .
Debra Atkinson: So I would suggest that you're doing some kind of a plank that you're doing some kind of a, [00:29:00] so you're blinking on your forearms if you have elbow or wrist issues, you can even come down.
Your body doesn't know if you're six inches or 12 off inches off the floor. It's gonna be fine . So you've got that, you're doing something so you are in back extension. So if you're just starting out on all fours, raising opposite arm and leg called the bird dog, for those of you that remember it, If you're a little bit more advanced, lay belly down flat on the floor and do those alternate arms and legs.
Just put your head down, make sure it's an extension of your spine so it's not leading up. We don't need to strain that. So you're doing those two things and you're doing something with rotation, so you can do that standing, you can do it lying, but I like using a cable and rotating across my body with it.
Great for golfers, but not necessarily just golfers. We all do it, and then you're doing some kind of lateral flexion, and I like a side plank, but for a lot of people, the risk to the shoulder is [00:30:00] something that'll get in the way of them doing that. Lying down, holding a ball between your ankles and raising the ball up.
So imagine that instead try that one. So you can keep the shoulder down that way, but you're doing lateral flexion and you will feel it in the waist. Just takes 10 of each. So that's the other thing. You don't need 200 of anything. And that's what we all used to do. I do. Yeah. Oh
JJ Virgin: gosh. I remember like. Like we would have whole core classes.
You know, this is gonna be a a 45 minute core class . It was like burn a horrible thing, you know, feel the burn. You've just worked these really small muscles and spent all this time. Just think if you've done some squats, pushups, and you know, a bent over row. Holy
Debra Atkinson: smokes. Exactly. , even though you do less of it than you maybe ever thought, doesn't make it any less important.
It's just now you've got the quality time spent there and you've opened up. To doing all the other high quality things that are [00:31:00] gonna matter so much more to your
JJ Virgin: metabolism. Nice. And you have that, I know you've, you've got the five day flip you're giving everybody tell, tell everybody about that and, and then I'll share where I'm gonna stash it for you.
Debra Atkinson: These are, Super short. So they're 15, 20 minutes long at the most, and I'm gonna give you five days in a row. So you'll get two days of cardio, two days of strength training, and then of course right in the middle we do a little recovery day, even in five days, I give you a little recovery, but we do core on that day.
So you'll see it in motion, you'll see how I pick five exercises, one for each type of core activity, and it's doable. You'll convince yourself I do have time to do this, and when I exercise correctly, I have more energy, not less.
JJ Virgin: Well, considering you've helped hundreds of thousands of women do this, I'm, I know we have proof it's doable and you know it's five days we can do anything for five days.
So I'm challenge you listening to do this and then report back. You're gonna be able to get it for free [00:32:00] at jjvirgin.com/flip. You'll be able to get your five day flip and just commit that you. Like I, I don't wanna say start it tomorrow, like, just start . That's,
Debra Atkinson: well, here's what we do to keep you honest, right?
You'll ask for it. You'll get video one today and you won't get the other one until at least 24 hours later. But this one is gone, so you gotta use it.
JJ Virgin: Ah, that's fantastic. And here's the thing, get a friend to do it with you too. Like that's even better. Like just get another friend to do it. Do it together.
Do this thing. Throw down the challenge five days. , you've got it. And if it's worked for hundreds of thousands of women, it can work for you too. There you go. So thank you so much, Debra. Thank you first of all for like taking this on. This is like the population that's been ignored and it, you know, that this was the population I really worked with most when I was in fitness and.
I just apologized to all of you who I worked with [00:33:00] back then, . Cause I can tell you go through it yourself. You're like clueless, honestly, you know, to really understanding the, the challenges that are unique to this group. And the cool thing is, boy can exercise. If exercise was a drug, every single OB, G Y N, every single hormonal doc would just go here.
They'd write a prescription for it. Cause it makes such a massive difference.
Debra Atkinson: So true, so true. And thank you so much for having me. The work that you do in this world?
JJ Virgin: Oh my gosh. Lots to unpack in that episode. Again, I wanna remind you to go to jjvirgin.com/flip to get started. Notice I said get started. On your five day flip because the minute you get it, you wanna make sure you have it in your schedule to do it right. Five days you can do this, and if you've not yet subscribed to the show, you can do that too.
Just go to subscribetojj.com and I will see you next time. [00:34:00] Bye.


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