A Little Monday ABsiration
This weekend I gave you 20 Tummy Tighteners (and you guys added over 180 comments full of your favorite ab exercises for my Designer Whey contest (results coming soon!), so I decided I would start the week off with some ABilicious motivation to get you ready to put some of these exercises to practice this week!
They always say a picture is worth a thousand words. However, as I showed you in my recent blog “Celebrity Bodies: Perfectly Photographed or Perfectly Normal“, many of the photos we see are not “real” – or a true realistic goal for everyday life. So, instead of showing you some perfectly photographed (and photoshopped) abs, I decided to search for the real deal – action shots from some of our favorite celebrities, when they aren’t dieting down and posing for the camera.
When I was creeping the internet for some celebrity “ABspiration”, I couldn’t help but notice all the chicks rockin’ great abs were rock stars. These super fit female singers, rappers, producers and musicians are great motivation for putting some of those ab exercises to work. Soak it in! (and notice their ages – which range from 28-55!)
8 Girl Rockers with Rockin’ Abs
#1 Spice Girl, Melanie Brown, Spices her abs up the best at 38!
#2 Shakira’s hips don’t lie, they say Shakira works out at 36!
#3 The ABsolutely amazing Pink shows off her abs on stage at 34.
#4 Super lean and fit Jada Pinkett Smith has a smoking hot bikini body at 42.
#5 Fit in her forties, Gwen Stefani, stays lean and healthy at 44.
#6 This new photo of Jennifer Lopez went viral after her stylist posted (just the tummy portion) on Instagram on Sept. 26 , showing off her new tone midsection at 44.
#7 Many younger celebs are just skinny and un-tone, but Ciara looks like she works to stay fit at 28.
#8 There’s a reason our Material Girl doesn’t wear that much material – she has no fat to hide at 55!
Who’s Your Body Model?
I think it’s great to have role models (or body models) to look up to. Some people’s body model is you at a younger fit age, and that’s great too. Goals are always helpful – and having a person who has achieved the goal you want to achieve, at YOUR age, with YOUR same number of kids or YOUR excuses, is even better.
Who is your favorite fit celeb?
Do you have a body model?
Who is she? I’d love to know!
Designer Whey’s 20th Anniversary Ab Workout
Repeat 3 Times
Get more Workouts at DesignerWhey.com:
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I know how easy it is to get bored of workouts, but there really is life outside of traditional crunches and sit-ups. It just takes a little imagination, knowledge or guidance from a pro like my hubby Steve. Over the last year Steve has come up with some great workouts – and ab workouts are always a fav! I mean, who doesn’t want great abs?!
Here are some of my favorite ab exercises that Steve put together for various brands and workout programs – and as you can tell in his pic, they work! Not only will they give you a great workout too, but you’ll learn some new moves to broaden your exercise library.
Give them a try and let us know which one you like the most!
#1 Four-Minute Abs
20 Rock Climbers
20 Figure 8 Ball Pass
20 Reverse Crunch
20 Ball Crunch
#2 Core & Cardio Workout
Left Handed 2-Point Stance
Right Handed 2-Point Stance
Left Elbow Plank with Pulses
Right Elbow Plank with Pulses
#3 Abs & Core Circuit with Balance Ball
25 Rotational Crunches
25 Dynamic Plank
25 Take It or Leave It
25 Oblique Side Bend
#4 Design Your Abs Workout
25 Sit Ups
25 Roll Ups or Toes to Bar
25 Oblique Sit Ups (25 on each side – 50 total)
Repeat 3 Times.
#5 Core & Glutes
Plank (10 seconds)
Upward Facing Dog (10 seconds)
Sunbird Leg 3-Position Leg Lifts
10 circles per position (back, 45 degree, 90 degree)
Plank + Knee to Opposite Elbow (a sit-through)
10 times on each side
REPEAT ENTIRE CIRCUIT
#6 BCx Core
25 Obliques (Left)
25 Obliques (Right)
My blog title may seem a little too good to be true at first glance, but keep reading, because what you are about to read can literally change your appearance in a matter of seconds. Yes, you won’t actually LOSE 10lbs, but with these tips, you’ll look like you did!
When it comes to belly bulge, the first thing that comes to mind is FAT, but that isn’ always the only problem – and sometimes it’s not the problem at all. I’m talking about the dreaded pooch. Belly fat and a pooch can be two totally different things. It’s one thing to have fat, but you can have a pooch and not even be overweight. Or, you can look even heavier than you are simply because you have both belly fat AND a pooch.
If you feel like you have Poochitis, then this blog is for you!
Here are 4 simple tips to get thin fast!
1. Suck In – Often times people don’t have as much belly fat as they appear, they just don’t hold their stomach tight. Even worse, it seems “letting it all hang out” is almost a trend, especially with teens. Kids paint on their skinny jeans that happen to stop right below their belly – and they just let their stomach poke right out and do whatever it wants. With hip-hugging pants and low-rise bathing suits, their pooch us more exposed than ever. If they simply would tighten their abs and suck in, they’d easily appear to drop 5-10lbs in an instant.
Tummy Tip: Maintaining a tight belly doesn’t happen overnight, it takes practice. The more you do it, the easier it is. Post notes around the house, and even in the car, to remind you to suck in. Eventually, your tighter tummy will be your new resting posture.
2. Eat Small Meals – It’s hard to suck your tummy in if you eat too big of portions and walk around stuffed all the time. If you want to maintain a flatter stomach, limit the size of your meals and snacks so your stomach isn’t loaded up with digesting food. It’s not just the last meal you ate either. You have food in your stomach and intestines from several snacks and meals that push out on your abdominal wall. If you want to suck in with ease, don’t fight a stuffed gut.
Tummy Tip: This graphic, from The National Post, is supposed to show us just how big Starbucks’ new Trenta cup size is, but I think it reminds us how easy it is to fill up our stomach. If our stomach’s average capacity is 900 ml, then no wonder we feel fat after having a small sandwich and a Big Gulp. Our stomach is completely overstretched, making it close to impossible to hold our stomach in.
3. Tone Up – If you want maintain tighter abs, you’ll need to work your ab muscles. Doing abdominal exercises tightens and strengthens the muscles needed to hold your stomach in. The more you do them, the easier it is to hold your stomach tight. My favorite tummy tighteners are Plank exercises. Try our “Plank & Simple” at FitStudio for a killer core workout that will help you tone and tighten your midsection.
4. Improve Posture – Look at how poor posture automatically makes someone appear to have a belly. Picture standing up straight as if you are taking the slack out of your stomach. When you are hunched over, your folds of skin and fat accordion together. Yet, when you stand up tall, you lengthen you body and tighten the slack in your skin, giving you a much thinner appearance. Plank exercises also help improve posture, strengthening and elongating the core.
Tummy Tip: Have a friend take a photo of you standing normal. Then have them take a picture of you standing with really bad posture, as well as really good posture. Compare the 3 photos to see the difference good posture will make in your appearance.
Get More Belly Busting Tips in 60 Seconds at FitStudio
Everyone admires them. Everyone wants them. Everyone can have them …if they really want them. I’m talking about smokin’ hot abs.
When people talk about the hottest celebrity bodies, they show bikini shots & shirtless guys showing off their abs. You rarely see a magazine talking about how great someone’s back is, or how amazing their quads look. No, they are talking about six-packs. And although so many people wish they had them, ironically, many people don’t work them. Here are a few reasons why I believe abdominal exercises get left off the exercise check list.
5 Reasons Abs Get Neglected
1. Not enough motivation. Let’s face it, the “out of sight out of mind” mentality, oftentimes, is the driving force for what gets attention in the gym and what doesn’t. Unless you live by the water or have a pool, you probably aren’t exposing your midsection that often. So, your emphasis is improving the body parts people see the most of, like your arms, legs and butt (because a good or bad butt shows through clothes!). Then you plan a cruise or a vacation that requires swimwear and you freak because you realize just how much you’ve neglected your tummy.
2. You can’t see your abs through your fat. If you are carrying extra weight you probably can’t see your abdominal muscles. And the truth is, you can do abs until your blue in the face and you’ll never see your abs if you don’t lose the layer of fat covering them. However, you can still work them and help tighten your midsection so your stomach muscles stay tight and your core is more fit. Weak abdominal muscles allow your organs to push your stomach wall out, causing you to look even heavier than you are. So, if you can keep those abs tone, you can keep your tummy flatter.
3. Ab exercises suck. I’m sorry for the yucky word, but honestly, there is no other word for it that truly captures the pain of a brutal ab workout. Not only do they burn like mad, they literally suck the living life out of you (your breath). Since you want to minimize space in your gut while working the abs, you can only take shallow breaths. And, unlike working an isolated muscle group like biceps, abdominals are a huge muscle group and require a lot of work. The end result is they wipe you out – and you have to keep doing that over and over for days, weeks, months and sometimes years before you see the first ice cube in your six pack.
4. You like food too much. Let’s be honest here, having abs means being lean. If you love food more than you love the idea of having abs, you will never see your abs. Kelly Ripa and Kiera Knightley are prime examples of this. It’s not that they have huge abs like LL Cool J, they are just super lean. If they were holding more body fat, you wouldn’t see their abs as well as you do. However, that’s also a bit of good news too because that means you don’t have to primarily rely on a insane ab exercises to develop abs. If you diet down, you will start seeing what you already have – and I promise, you have abdominal muscles.
5. You don’t know how to work them. If you are a member of a gym, there may be 20 machines to work chest and only one or two to work the abdominals. Your abs don’t require machinery to work them effectively. Since some of the best ab exercises are done with minimal equipment, it’s up to you to learn all the ways to work them, using nothing more than a yoga mat and maybe some sort of weight. (see below!)
I admit, one of my weakest areas is my abs. I too fall victim to the above reasons why I don’t work harder on my abs and I hope to make improvements. My challenge to you is this. Purposefully schedule ab exercises in your weekly workout routine. Non-weighted crunches can be done daily. Weighted ab exercises should allow a couple of days for rest just like regular weight training. Stick with it and you will see and feel an incredible difference!
10 Ways to Crunch Your Abs into Shape
If you thought there was only one way to do a crunch, think again! Here are 10 variations that are phenomenal for sculpting your midsection. Click on the exercise to preview a demonstration video so you can give it a try yourself!
2. Bicycle Crunch
3. Bar Crunch
4. Weighted Crunch
5. Kettlebell Crunch
6. Crunch And Punch
7. Snowboarder Crunch
8. Incline Reverse Crunch
9. Take It Or Leave It Abdominal Crunch
10. Resistance Band Kneeling Crunch
Learn more incredible exercises at www.FitStudio.com
Not sure if you are doing crunches right? Here are some tips:
My #1 Flat Abs Tip is NOT an exercise. We crunch, sit up, lift, squeeze and burn our abs up hoping to make improvements, but there is one extremely important thing many people don’t do when they leave the gym that can sabotage it all – they don’t hold their stomach in.
Of course Uma Thurman, photographed left a few years ago, is not a fat girl by any means. But if she had been standing up tall and holding her stomach in, she would have even looked more slender and fit. Unfortunately the paparazzi caught her in a not-so-glamorous pose and now this photo continues to float around the internet, which stemmed the question “is this just another weird bikini shot or could she be pregnant?”
The idea behind training your abs is not JUST to build cubes of muscle that show through the skin and look like the coveted six-pack everyone dreams of having, but ab exercises also shorten and tighten the muscles which flatten the stomach. However, if you leave the gym only to eat huge meals that expand the stomach area, stretching back out the muscles, you are defeating the purpose of an awesome ab workout.
Here are a few things you can do outside the gym to train your abs to stay nice and flat.
6 Tips to Getting (and KEEPING) Flat Abs:
2.) Keep meals small. If you’ve ever eaten a HUGE meal, you know how difficult it is to hold your stomach in. It’s MUCH easier to do this when you keep your meals and snacks small and manageable.
3.) Avoid loose clothes. Lose clothes say to me “relax! be sloppy! Let it all hang out!” Fitted clothes say “Shape up! Stand up straight! Suck it in! If you want to be held accountable, let your clothes help!
4.) Check yourself. Many times we don’t realize just how poor our posture is and how little we really are maintaining a flat tummy. Look in the mirror and use your muscles (opposed to just sucking wind like kids do when trying to hold their tummy in) to flatten your stomach. Hold that for as long as you can. At first you may not be able to hold it for long, but eventually your muscles will get stronger and tighter
5. ) Create triggers & reminders. Your body learns it’s resting tone. For instance, have you ever seen how a cop walks aroundwith their arms bowed out? That’s a learned behavior as they have to position their arms where it doesn’t swing and hit their gun belt. Over time, their body assumes this new position as their resting tone. You can do the same thing with your stomach. The more you practice it, the more you remind yourself with notes and set triggers, the sooner your body will learn this new posture as it’s resting posture and it will just become a natural position for you.
6.) Practice good posture. It is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to keep your stomach flat if your hips are rolled under and your shoulders are hunched over. Try it! Go look in the mirror and see how your your entire posture effects your belly. Elongate your body, flatten your stomach, stretch out your neck nice and tall, stand up straight, roll your shoulders back, lift your chest up, and curve your hips out (which delivers a nice perky looking bottom) – and see how much better you look!! Practice makes perfect!
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