Wish you had flatter, more toned abs?
While many people think that the midsection is one of the most difficult areas of the body to trim and tone, it can be done!
But it’s going to take some work.😜
If your abs are hidden under a large layer of "insulation", it will take more than exercise to reveal the toned muscles underneath. To burn off this extra layer of fat, you’ll want to increase the intensity and consistency of your workouts and focus on your nutrition to use the stored fat as fuel.
Get 30 to 60 minutes of challenging exercise 3-5 days each week. (Call or email me to make your workouts more effective. We do 3 workouts per week on zoom and my members are in GREAT shape!)
In addition to your regular workouts, include an ab workout to work the muscle of your core, every other day. What should your ab-centric workout look like?
Check out the exercises below to find what you should include in your ab routine. Choose four to eight of the following exercises and perform 15 to 20 repetitions of each.
One of the best core exercises that also works your obliques (side core muscles) is the bicycle. Lying on a mat, put your hands behind your head and support your head with your hands. Lift your knees toward your chest and lift your shoulder blades up off the floor. Turn your chest toward the right, bringing your left elbow toward your right knee as you extend your left leg away from your body. Switch sides by bringing your right elbow toward your left knee and extending your right leg. Continue in this alternating "elbow toward opposite knee" motion. Exhale as your elbow and knee move toward each other, and inhale as you slowly switch sides.
One of my favorite exercises because it works the core with focus on the lower back and buttocks. Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor, about hip distance apart. Keeping your neck relaxed and your shoulders away from your ears, lift your butt off the floor by tightening your core and pushing your feet into the floor. You can "curl your spine" off the floor and "peel back down" or you can lift and lower as one unit. Both methods are effective, so I recommend a few repetitions of each version. Exhale as you lift your hips as high as possible (without arching your back), keeling your abs tight. Then lower your hips to the ground as you inhale. Repeat.
A classic exercise known for effectively toning abs, the crunch starts as you lie on your back, bend your knees, and keep your feet on the floor. Place your hands behind your head to support your head. Keeping your lower back on the floor, use your ab muscles to lift your head and shoulders off the floor as you exhale. Hold for three seconds, lower back to the starting position, inhale as you lower, and repeat.
Targeting your lower abs—the reverse crunch is another great abdominal muscle exercise. Lying on a mat, keep your arms at your sides with your palms facing down. Lift your knees up toward your chest until your knees are bent at about 90 degrees. Using your abs and avoiding momentum, exhale as you lift your hips and tailbone off the floor, curling your lower body off the floor with control. Keep your head on the floor and your neck relaxed and lower your hips down as slowly as possible as you inhale. Repeat.
Planks work your entire core and they are challenging! Lying face down on the mat, place your forearms under your chest. Lift your body up on your forearms and feet (or forearms and knees for more support), keeping your elbows under your shoulders and your upper body strong. Breathe and hold yourself up for as long as you can in good form, then gently lowering to the floor. Practice your planks until you can hold yourself up for 60 seconds or longer. You can also do planks on your hands instead of forearms, and once you've mastered a basic plank, add some variations and movements.
Another exercise that works your entire core is the bird dog. In a kneeling position with your hands and knees on the floor, raise your left leg up behind you until it’s straight and parallel to the floor. At the same time, lift your right arm up in front of you until it’s parallel to the floor as well, with your thumb pointed up (like you are reaching out to shake someone's hand). Hold for a breath, then slowly lower your leg and arm back to starting position with a minimum of weight shifting and body movement (focus on stabilization). Then lift your right leg and left arm, and repeat, alternating sides. When you're ready for more challenge, hover your knees off the floor as you perform this exercise.
Remember that your diet plays a HUGE part in getting flatter abs! Decrease empty calories from your diet by eating wholesome, real foods and drink plenty of water.
Want flatter abs faster?
Call or email me today and I’ll get you on the fast track.