WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: 5 AB EXERCISES THAT FLATTEN YOUR STOMACH
It's an area in our body that we always need to be strengthening. Not only because abs are aesthetically pleasing, but because core strength helps support your spine and pelvis. So, it's important to use your abs to prevent injury.
Here are five exercises you can do in this order or you can add one or two to your current workout routine.
PLANK & FOREARM PLANK
Never underestimate the power of a plank! This move works the entire body and fires up every muscle of your core! If you've only got a couple of minutes to do something, do a plank!
It can be super intense, especially if it's been a while. So, ease yourself into them.
Hold straight arm plank for minimum of 30 seconds' maximum 2 minutes, same for the forearm plank, and repeat 3 times.
CROSS MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS WITH DOWNWARD FACING DOG
This is a slightly different type of ab workout. Start in Downward Facing Dog, and reach your right leg up to the sky (Three-legged dog - to those yoga peeps). Then as you shift your body weight forward draw your knee to your left triceps. It won't touch your triceps without you twerking your hips - do not twerk your hips, it's ok it doesn't touch. Your abs need to scoop up and in as you draw your knee forward. Exhale as your knee comes forward that will help you scoop the abs up and in. Extend the leg back to three-legged dog as you inhale, to lengthen the abs. Return to downward facing dog, then repeat on the other side.
We suggest you do 15 on each leg and repeat 3 times, during your workout. You'll want to stay on the same leg do 15, then repeat on the other side.
V ROLL UPS
This is a personal favorite, because it's hard, and you can feel your abs kick in immediately! You start laying on your back, arms up over the head. As you inhale, scoop the abs in and back as you roll up to a V position. You can modify (as pictured above), some days it's super intense on the hamstrings, so bending the knees is a great option! Take your time rolling up, we suggest 4 counts to roll up and 4 counts to roll back.
Do 15, and repeat 3 times during your workout.
REVERSE CRUNCH REACH
This is a tough move to master, but it works your deep lower core muscles. You are scooping your lower abs in and up (reverse crunch) as you reach your hand to the outside of your ankle (twisting your torso slightly). You are exhaling as your arm goes to the ankle, and inhaling back to center, then exhale cross to the opposite ankle. That breath work will help engage your abs correctly, and work them a little harder.
Do 15 on each side and repeat three times.
The Scissor is HARD! There's no denying this –it requires a lot of engagement as it’s working a lot in one movement. So, if you're just getting back into your fitness routine, we suggest you start with the bicycle. Then work your way up to the Scissor. We say this because it can be easy to let your core go, and if your core isn't totally engaged in this exercise you will hurt your back! It is so important you keep your pelvis neutral and you scoop your belly in towards the spine as you lift and lower each leg.
Do 25, repeat three times.