This week has been something else, but I'll chalk it personal development...hehehe
Lets talk about abs today! Ok, so everyone is talking about and looking at pictures...of abs right now...and let's face it, even if you're planning on being within 10 feet of a swimsuit this summer, you've thought about what your abs would look like in one...bikini or not. I'm not here to talk modesty...personally I lean towards the middle of the road on swimsuits, but I digress...another topic for another day.
I like to train abs second only to legs....I mean really, just look at my blog archives...
Anyway, it's important to train your abs in order to protect your low back, which takes quite a beating on a daily basis. Your abs also help you to have better posture, lift heavy suitcases and grocery bags, and perform hundreds of other tasks on a daily basis. I threw in an exercise to strengthen the glutes and low back and stretch your hip flexors, which may cramp up during this workout if not stretched.
Reverse Crunch: This move targets the lower fibers of the abdominals - the rectus abdominus. Be sure to exhale and contract your abs as you lift your lower back off of the floor. Beginner's tip: Don't let your feet touch the floor when lowering them.
Donkey Kicks: Some would argue that these are a glutes exercise, but they teach you to balance through your core, so they use the abs as well. Contract your abs and glutes throughout the exercise, don't arch or round your back. Make it tougher: anchor a resistance band under your hands and around the arch of your working leg.
Leg exercise slowly. You can increase your reps for time later. Exhale
as you keep your legs straight, hinging from your hips. Slowly return to the start position. Beginner's tip: Place the ball under your knees instead of your feet and bend your knees to bring the ball towards you.
Cross Body Mountain Climbers: This is just like a traditional mountain climber, but instead, angle your knee towards the opposite elbow. Beginner's tip: step instead of hopping feet back and forth.
Inchworm: This is an awesome exercise for your core and your entire body...sneaking in a little cardio. hehe. Be sure to walk your feet out all the way and don't let your hips sag or pike...think good planking form. Beginner's tip: Take this exercise slowly and do not rush when returning to standing position.
Plank with Leg Lift: This is a great exercise for challenging core strength. Start out by lifting active leg slowly and do not hyperextend your back. Beginner's tip: Plank from your knees.
Do this workout as a circuit, 2-3x. Complete each exercise, then move on to the next with 10 seconds or no rest in between exercises...and 30 seconds of rest between circuits.
To print your own copy of the workout I created using Workout Labs.com, click the link below:
Awesome Abs Workout
|Created using the Workout Builder at workoutlabs.com|
I have a challenge for you: If this is a problem area for you, then try this workout if you can 2x a week for 4 weeks. Take your measurements. Then report your results back to the Julie Auler Health and Fitness Facebook Page and share your results with others! You just might inspire someone else to make a healthy decision that day!
Q and A's about abs:
Can I get away with only training my abs....do I really have to train other muscle groups? The answer is no. Imagine a building that has the first three walls build perfectly, inside and out...this building looks stable and beautiful from the front and the sides....but then when we walk around, the entire back wall and structure are missing! This is true about your body too. Using compound movements will help you reach your abs goals because it will work other parts of your body but will cause dramatic gains in core strength. This workout uses compound moves.
I like working out, but I don't really like eating veggies and lean protein...will I still see results?
Once again the answer is no. If you do see results, they will not be nearly as dramatic. If you put cheap gas in your car all the time, do you think your car won't have problems with the ignition later on? The same is true with your body. The fuel you put on the inside will impact the results you see on the outside, and how your body performs during training. And when I say veggies...I don't mean in a butter sauce....while that may be acceptable as a treat, there are plenty of delicious ways to cook veggies and lean protein without using loads of grease and salt. If you need ideas, see last week's post on Fun, Healthy Dinner Ideas.
I hope this post helped you today! If you learned something new, or were inspired, please comment below or leave me a message via the "contact me" widget!
Have an awesome day!