Need a new ab routine? Here’s a program you can follow that will help give you variety and a solid regime to follow. Steve designed this 4-day ab routine to add to any workout program. (click on the links below to see instruction for each exercise)
Before you check out the workout, read Steve’s blog 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
Transformation Requires Surrender
People love to learn what they can do to improve their life. They hunger for tips that are easy to apply, like read this devotional, attend this service, do this workout, take this supplement – but BOY do they NOT like to hear what they shouldn’t do, what they need to give up, what they need to CHANGE.
Most people are willing to work a little harder to get something, but most people are not willing to surrender. Surrender requires giving up something you like. Christianity requires giving up doing whatever you want. Fitness requires giving up eating whatever you want. The gain is worth it, but so many people resist surrender, holding on to what is really making them miserable to begin with.
That’s where the bondage comes in. We hold on to it, and it holds on to us – paralyzing us, and preventing us to be all we can be. In both cases, it’s not about doing, it’s about surrendering. Once we surrender, then and only then, can we experience real freedom. After we surrender, major life-changing transformation can begin.
Let’s establish one thing first. Food is good. Food is a gift from God. Food is to be enjoyed. Food becomes bad only when we abuse it. Excess food is damaging. Unhealthy food eaten often is damaging. When food begins to rule our life, reshape our body, destroy our self-esteem, control our thoughts, affect our health and slow us down – food is wrong. It’s sin.
I know, harsh words from the skinny girl. Food is a big topic in our house. It’s a constant struggle for us too. We love food. We love to eat, but we can’t let it control our life.
Did you know God talks about food and gives specific commands and advice about it? Why? Why does he care what we eat and how much we eat? Simple! It’s not about giving a list of things to avoid, giving us more rules to be mean. He knows what it does to us. He knows we can’t be who He called us to be while we are fat, out of shape and miserable. He knows what’s BEST for us – and He wants us to have a flourishing, healthy, happy, long, vibrant life! He is not a God of rules, He is a God of love. The same way you want your loved ones to feel good and be healthy, He wants the same for His children.
10 Scriptures Concerning Food & Our Body
Even if you don’t believe in God, there is not one person who can deny that every word written is for our benefit. That it is helpful and good. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.. Even if you just feel it’s a good self-help book, it’s words have great value and shouldn’t be taken lightly. And if you DO believe in God, then you REALLY want to take this even more seriously. Check it out…
If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. Proverbs 25:16
How many people could we feed if we shared our food instead of kept it to ourself. It’s amazing how much we are not willing to share. I bet I could feed an entire family every single day with the leftovers I should be leaving behind. Instead, we prefer to eat until we are stuffed…eating more than we even need.
Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. Philippians 3:19
In verse 18, Paul actually calls these people enemies of Christ. ouch! Could it be that our testimony is affected when we don’t practice self control and when we feed our fleshly desires in such a way we are more controlled by our stomach than we are by God? hmmmmm…
…make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Romans 13:14
The New International Version says “do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh”. How often do we think of how much we want to indulge, planning our cheat meal, dreaming of food. We should be thinking of ways to resist it, practice control and think of things that are helpful to us and others.
#4 STUFFING YOURSELF:
When dining with a rich man, be on your guard and don’t stuff yourself, though it all tastes so good. Proverbs 23:1
Matthew Henry explains this verse, “The sin we are warned against is luxury and sensuality, and the indulgence of the appetite in eating and drinking, a sin that most easily besets us.” The next verse (vs 2) says “And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.” Don’t freak! It’s not saying slit your throat here and just kill yourself if you can’t control yourself. Matthew Henry explains it beautifully saying, “We must alarm ourselves into temperance and moderation: “Put a knife to thy throat, that is, restrain thyself, as it were with a sword hanging over thy head, from all excess.” It is clear scripture takes this topic very seriously.
They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved. Psalm 78:18
The people were rebelling against God, being unappreciative. They wanted meat. This is when God sent down manna, but it wasn’t long before they were complaining about that too. Can you imagine? Complaining about God giving you a miracle of food falling from the sky. Ironically, we do it all the time. God has given us a miracle too. Each plant that sprouts up from the ground and delivers us a beautiful piece of fruit is a miracle, a gift. When did eating fruit and vegetables become such a bad thing? Do we demand the food we crave and have we become unappreciative of the food God has given us? What lengths are we willing to get it?
#6 FOOD ANXIETY
“Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Matthew 6:25-34
How much do we stress about dieting, eating healthy, being around unhealthy food, dreaming about eating foods we love and anxious about eating healthy? I love this line: “Is not life more than food? Powerful!”
#7 FOOD ADDICTION:
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
Many are enslaved to food. We look at food like “we have the right to eat whatever we want. What scripture is saying is you “have the right to do anything, but not everything is beneficial” you “have a right to do anything, but do not be mastered/controlled by anything”. Sure, you have the right to eat a cookie, but does that cookie control you? Ouch again!
#8 GLUTTONY & ALCOHOLISM:
Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for they are on their way to poverty, and too much sleep (laziness) clothes them in rags. Proverbs 23:20-21
This tells me 3 things. One, it’s wrong to drink and eat too much. Two, it’s wrong to be lazy and sleep too much. Three, we shouldn’t even hang out with people that eat and drink too much. Why? It’s not because we are too good for them or that they are bad necessarily. I think it’s because God knows it’s too tempting for us to join them.
#9 UNHEALTHY CHOICES:
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Eating too much and eating unhealthy foods destroys our body – plain and simple. We have an obligation to protect God’s temple, to protect our body.
#10 GOOD CHOICES: (Make God proud!)
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
How wonderful to think I can honor God even in what I eat and drink. If we never thought he cares about what we eat or drink, this scripture corrects that. He does care, and He desires us to honor him even when we eat and drink. People are always watching what we do, and He knows we can even be a good example at the table. Awesome!
Please know I struggle with this too. You aren’t alone. I hope you were encouraged by these scriptures. I know some of these scriptures seem harsh, but if your kid jets out in traffic, do you think you’d be gentle and whisper? No! You’d yell and yank them back to safety in a heartbeat. God wants to yank you to safety! He cares about you – even what you eat and drink. What LOVE! ❤
This topic excites me SO much! I would love to write a book on this and a matching devotional! I pray someday I can do this!!!
On our LiveXFit show, we don’t just throw exercises together for no reason. Each set of exercises has been well-thought out and has a purpose – and it’s to get you results. If you missed yesterday’s live workout, not only can you go back and watch it at your convenience, you learn from what we do on the show.
For instance, yesterday’s workout consisted of a shoulder circuit of 9 exercises, an ab circuit of 9 exercises and a leg circuit of 9 exercises. Each circuit was made up of 3 triplets. Another words, we did 3 sets of 3 mini circuits to make one big circuit that targeted one muscle group. You could do the whole workout (and we hope you do!!) or you could take pieces of the workout and add them to your own routine.
This triplet (above) is just one of those sets of 3 we used in our abs circuit. As you watch our shows (hopefully not while sitting on the couch eating ice cream lol), take mental notes of what we are doing. If you like combination of exercises we do, FIRST, let us know!! We’d love your feedback (members can comment on the workouts and interact with us online), SECOND, bookmark the workout so you can do it again, or jot down the part you liked so you can do it ‘a la carte’. THIRD, use it alone and beef it up. If we only did it one time through in a line up with other exercises, just repeat that set of exercises for 3-5 times for a great blitz.
To help you build your workout library, I will occasionally pull some of my favorite exercises from some of our shows and share them here and on social media. Hope to see you on LiveExercise – available on LiveExercise.com, on Roku and on SamsungTV. 🙂
30 Seconds of Each (0-10 seconds rest in between)
3 Rounds (no rest between rounds)
This was the first circuit in last week’s LiveXfit show (Episode 7) at LiveExercise.com (or on Roku) – and I have to tell ya! My obliques were SO sore! BUT, I loved it. I was dying during the workout (wanted to fall to the floor, I could barely hold my body in plank – and those squat thrusts were BRUTAL!). Anywho! After I did it, I loved it. I just didn’t really like it WHILE I was doing it – but that’s nothing new! hahaha
Honestly though, I felt this workout literally shrink wrapped my core. My abs were so nice and tight, my waist was tone (and SORE! lol) and I was able to hold my stomach flatter from the recently tightened and toned muscles. I need to do this at least once a week! It was great! Give it a try!
There are a lot more exercises to work your abs than just crunches. Unfortunately, many people can’t think of more than 3 or 4 abdominal exercises, so they get tired of the few they know pretty quick.
ABsolutely Awesome Give-A-Way
Today I’m going to not only give you 20 of some of my favorite ab exercises you can put to the test, but I’m going to give you a chance to share some of your favorite exercises for a CHANCE TO WIN a HUGE Designer Whey protein package that will keep you stocked up for the ENTIRE YEAR!!
All you need to do is post your favorite ab exercisE below (even if it’s listed already). In the comments on this blog, post as many exercises as you want (as separate comments) and share it on your social media! Share a whole ab workout if you want! The more you share and the more exercises you comment, the more chances you have to win!! You have until midnight October 6th to enter. I will announce a winner Monday!
20 Terrific Tummy Tightening Exercises
- Reverse Crunch
- Cable Crunch or Kneeling Band Crunch
- Plate Crunch
- Bicycle Crunch
- Flutter Kick
- Oblique Crunch
- Snowboarder Crunch
- Crunch And Punch
- Toes to Bar
- Take It Or Leave It Abdominal Crunch
- Snow Angel
- Side V-up
- Knee Raise or Hanging Knee Raise
- Side Plank
- Pulse Side Plank
- 2-Point Stance
Here is the cool matching graphic for Pinteresters and Instagrammers! 🙂 Have fun!!
- Keep your stomach tight. One reason we battle the bulge is because we are lazy. We don’t maintain good posture and hold our stomach in like we should. Laziness causes us to lose our resting tone in our abdominal muscles, allowing our gut to stretch out the abdominal wall. We can increase muscle tone simply by keeping our tummy tight and standing up tall.
- Limit overeating. It’s hard to hold our stomach in tight when our belly is full. When we eat large meals our stomach increases in size, pushing out against our abdominal muscles. It’s a lot easier to maintain a smaller, tighter waistline by simply eating smaller portions.
- Retrain your muscles. If you think it’s too late to get a six-pack, think again. Look at all the women who retrain their ab muscles after pregnancy. The same can happen to a beer belly too. Crunches, sit-ups and plank exercises get great results and don’t require a gym membership or equipment.
- Choose cardio that trims your waistline. Trade the bike for exercises that allow the arms to swing and the upper body to rotate. Aerobics classes, like kickboxing, are also excellent as they incorporate a lot of rotation through the mid-section. Concentrate on the ab area while exercising, maintaining good posture and tight abs throughout the exercise.
- Reduce your calories. We can do abdominal exercises until we’re blue in the face, but it won’t do a thing about the fat that’s covering our muscles. The only way to trim off the fat is to take in fewer calories than we burn. Otherwise, we will just have a six-pack under the keg.
- Don’t fall for the gimmicks. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Let’s face it; we can’t get a six-pack in six minutes without changing what we do in the other 1,434 minutes that fill our day.
My abs are SO sore! I just sneezed and this literally popped into my head (right after I winced, grabbed my stomach and said OWWWWIE!). Then I smiled, stood back up nice and tall and said “THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!!!!!”
The workout that left me in painful bliss:
CLICK HERE to get the whole weekly ab workout plan.
We all do it. We blow our diet over the weekend. We not only eat poorly, but we just eat too much. By the time Monday comes around, we feel fat and miserable – and we feel like we are 10lbs heavier than we really are. Well, don’t fret! You can get back on track fast and get your skinny back on!
The truth is, although the weekend is over and your mistakes are behind you, they aren’t really behind you YET. You bring those mistakes with you because you still carry all that food in your gut. The Mayo Clinic explains that the average transit time, from the time you eat the food to elimination, is 40 hours – 33 hours for men and up to 47 hours for women. While you wait to get rid of you poor choices, here are a 5 things you can do to help you feel thinner again!
5 Ways to Feel Thin Fast!
1. Drink a TON of water. Dining out (because restaurants can use a lot more sodium than we are used to) and eating dry snacks (like chips, nuts, etc) can cause you to hold more water. Water retention can account for up to 5lbs of additional weight from eating foods high in sodium. Flush your body by increasing your water intake – every day, all week long.
2. Go for a run. Get your sweat on and burn some calories! Not only does running help you sweat out the toxins built up from your poor choices over the weekend, but it tightens the core and will help burn off those extra calories and “erase those sins”.
3. Eat tiny portions. Work on shrinking your stomach by limiting portion sizes. It will take a few days for your copious amount of weekend food to get out of your system, but you can feel thinner quicker if you immediately go back to small portions. The less you have in your belly, the smaller your belly will look and feel. If you struggle to limit portions on your own, then eat Lean Cuisines and pre-packaged foods to help control portion size. This frozen entree (pictured left) is the correct portion for a dieter. As you can see, is much smaller than a dinner plate. Visit www.elegantportions.com to shop their unique glassware designed to help you track portions.
4. Go mushy. When I totally blow it, I like to stick to mushy foods for a few days. Like a healthier version of a fast, mushy foods (like protein shakes, oatmeal, greek yogurt, grits and soups) help me to feel full without adding a lot of solid volume to my gut. I only do this for 3 days and I feel a million times better by the end of the week!
5. Plank it out. If you are like me, you’re probably tired of trying to hold your stomach in all weekend. Why? Because it’s hard to suck your tummy in when it is completely stuffed all weekend. Plus, if you didn’t workout over the weekend, your stomach muscles have probably gotten relaxed and stretched out. However, if you tighten up your core with some exercises, those muscles will tighten right back up – and it will be a lot easier to keep your stomach flat.
Tighten Your Tummy: Four Your Core Workout
There is one common problem area on most women – the dreadful pooch. Even when a woman’s body fat is low, they can still have a rounded tummy. Why? Because their muscles aren’t strong enough to hold their tummy flat.
Picture the ab muscles acting like tie down straps. As you engage your core muscles and tighten your tummy, it’s like cranking on the ratchet to pull everything in. As your muscles get stronger, it is easier to hold your tummy flat. But, if your abdominal muscles are weak, you only can hold your stomach flat for a few seconds or minutes – and some people can’t even pull the tummy in at all.
The more you work your abdominals, and engage the core, the stronger and tighter those muscles will get, making it easier to hold your stomach. Sit ups and crunches are always the go-to exercise, but there is one exercise that is often left out of routines that trains your core to improve posture, tighten the waistline, and flatten the stomach all in one exercise – it’s called a plank.
You’ll never work so hard staying so still.
It’s funny how holding a position still is so much work. Your arms will tremble, your core will burn, your body will wobble around and your body will drip with sweat. You’ll grunt, moan and pant – and you’re eyes will be glued to the clock until it reaches 0 so you can have relief. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Give it a try today.
Try to do all three rounds with NO rest (don’t even let your knees or hips drop once). If you MUST rest, set rules, like only allow 5 seconds rest after round one. Set goals each time you do this workout. Slowly increase your time from 30 seconds each to 40 seconds each, etc until you reach 1 minute each for 3 rounds. This workout can always be amped up by increasing length of time, or number of rounds.
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.