Sometimes I get in a rut with my workouts and need to freshen them up with something new. For some reason, when I have a workout in writing, I am more apt to stick to it than if I just wing it each day. It’s like, as soon as it’s in writing, I HAVE to complete it. This goes for my daily workouts, as well as an overall plan.
So, I asked Steve to write me up a workout just for my abs that I could incorporate into my weekly routine. I HATE working abs, but really need to work them more. Here is what he came up with – BUT, before you check out the workout, read Steve’s blog today on abdominal and oblique muscles. He explains each muscle, why we work it, how often we can work it, why we work it with and without weights, and what each muscle does for our physique! It’s GOOD STUFF!
4-Day Workout Program:
Each week, pick 3 days of A OR B Workouts and 1 day of C OR D Workouts
Click on the exercise to view video instruction.
High Rep Day
High Resistance Day
Bikini season is here and, if you’re like me, you’re more aware of your midsection than ever. It’s time to trim up and get rid of some of the winter fluff!. You’re abdominals are already there, we just need to shed the layer of fat hiding them and tone them up.
Six Pack or Just Plain Flat?
Abs come in different shapes and sizes. Some of you may want those ice cube abs “Marky Mark” Wahlberg showed in his old Calvin Klein ads. Most people just want a nice flat smooth surface, free of lumps and bumps. Although the training may be slightly different depending on your goal, one thing remains the same – diet and cardio is a must.
Uncover Your Abs
Everyone has abs – you just might not be showing yours. Sorry pFIT pFANS, although I’ll be giving you ab exercises today, let me first point you to some cardio to burn off that extra layer of fat that’s hiding your abs, no matter what shape they are in. Whether you have a 2 pack or a six pack, you still have lines under that fat and the only thing that will reveal it, is burning more calories than you eat. So it’s time to decrease your caloric intake and increase your calorie burn. Don’t have a treadmill or elliptical? No worries!! I’ve got ways for you to scorch and torch that fat on your living room floor!
Fight the Fat
Keep your abs tight throughout this entire kickboxing inspired cardio workout.
Cardio & Core
Planks, Pushups and mountain climbers require you to hold your core tight. Add in a few cardiovascular exercises and you get to tone the midsection and burn fat too.
10 Rotational Push-ups
20 Steam Engine
10 5 Second Football Stomp With Sprawl
20 Plank Jax
10 Plyometric Double Knee Jump
20 Mountain Climber
10 Seconds Rest
Repeat 2 Times
The following 8 exercises will hit your abs in every direction, upper abs, lower abs and obliques. Remember to keep your tummy tight throughout each exercise, keep your butt and shoulders off the floor through the crunches for the best possible ab-crunching action. This workout can be done often. However, if you want to work on those “ice-cube” abs, you’ll need to add in more weighted abdominal exercises, and those will require at least a day of rest between workouts just like regular weight routines.
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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