The Low Down on ABS
Celebs do them! Why not you?
No Equipment Exercises that will Blast Your Abs and Improve Core
By Regina Kravitz, Certified Personal Trainer, Wellness, Lifestyle Coach
The first and most important thing to realize about achieving ab definition, the erectae Spinae muscles commonly called a “Six Pack”, is that you first have to lose that gelatinous layer of tissue surrounding them called “fat”.
As we all know, there are tons of methods, diets, techniques, celebrity secrets out there but all are just a combination of diet (and by that I mean a regular, day to day nutrition plan that suits your lifestyle and taste buds), twenty minutes of cardio four to five times a week and some form of resistance training to create muscle and boost your metabolism.
This entire protocol should be thought of as a “life time” pursuit and goal, subject to modification and invention as you go along!! (Have a look at me simulating rope jumping without an actual rope as a unique form of cardio. Fun and very portable. On Amazon).
Most of the exercises I am featuring, assume a certain amount of ab conditioning and if hard at first, build up rep by rep each time you work out. I suggest 2-3 sets, a brief rest between sets or treat as an entire circuit, rest and repeat…2-3 sets!
These are recommended for de-conditioned individuals, seniors and beginner exercisers:
CAT AND COW:
- This helps you locate and experience your stomach muscles and spine.
- On all fours, draw your abs into your belly button as tight as you can, head down.
- Assume a frightened cat position, very curved spine.
- Release into what you might think is a sagging cow ab and curved back. Draw up again and really clench those stomach muscles.
- Try 10 times really drawing your entire ab chain in.
STRAIGHT LEG PULSES:
- With straight legs up, open & close legs tapping at ankles.
- Do as many as you can.
- Do not lower legs to floor between.
- Hold it in tight, targeted beats!
PLANK ON ELBOWS:
- This is all about form or you won’t achieve much.
- A plank is straight!!! Right?
- Squeeze your butt cheeks as tight as you can as if you were pressing a checker. No joke. This helps straighten the pose.
- Head is totally aligned with your neck and back.
- Try to get onto the tip of toes with heels pointing up. Much harder and effective!! Hold to quiver!
Try these as you proceed. Remember form and control are everything!!
- Lie on back with your legs and arms extended a few inches off of the mat. That means start with shoulders up, head aligned.
- You are already in an ab contraction. Lift your back and arms towards your feet assuming a V shape. Hold 3-5 secs, lower to flat and start again. 8-10x
SIDE PLANK DIP:
- Begin on your elbows in a side plank with straight legs stacked one on the other.
- Inhale and lower your pelvis towards the floor, not on the floor. Hip hover just above the mat.
- Exhale and press up to an extended side plank. Try 8-10. Switch sides.
PLANK WITH SHOULDER TAPS:
- Start in a plank. For more stability, position your feet wider. Keeping your torso stable.
- Alternate opposite shoulder taps. Hold a few seconds and repeat.
SUPERMAN TO HOLLOW HOLD:
- Got a six pack? This one is a real challenge to the entire ab chain, side laterals and core. I can only do it in one direction!!!
- On your belly, raise straight arms and legs into a Superman. Actively engaging glutes and hamstrings, hold for 3 seconds.
- Without using hands or feet to push yourself, roll onto your back maintaining form.
- Press lower back into the floor with arms and legs slightly raised. Roll back into Superman and repeat! BRAVO!!
MOTTO OF THE WEEK:
Weight management is not about what you eat, it’s about what you don’t eat!!
Also by Regina Kravitz: