Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's All About the . . . Abs

Another post in my "It's all about the..." series prepared for you and delivered on Workout Wednesday. This one focuses on your abdominal muscles and guess what! You will not see a single crunch in this entire post. After mentioning it just then, I will not even say the dirty word again. What a great day!



These ab workouts are designed to boost your metabolism to help get rid of belly fat. However, it's important to remember that exercising your abs will not get rid of belly fat (flat stomachs are about 90% what you eat) but a strong core is important to help protect your spine.

Make sure you focus on this muscle group three times a week on non-consecutive days. Muscle groups need a 48-hour resting period between workouts.



Download this free printable workout.

For clarification on what to do for each of these sets here are descriptions of the action (full glossary):


Glute Bridge March
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms on the floor at should level, with palms facing up. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Engage your abs and lift your knee toward your chest, hold then lower. Repeat on other leg.

Hip-Thigh Raise
The same as a Leg Bridge. Lie on back with knees bent. Rest your arms on the floor at should level, with palms facing up. As you lift your hips from the form to form a straight line from shoulders to hips, extend on leg in the air. Hold, then lower foot flat to floor and switch to the opposite leg.

Lunge with Rotation
Grab a 5- to 15-pound dumbbell with both hands. Stand with feet hip-width distance apart and your arms straight out. Take a big step forward with your left foot and, engaging your abs twist your torso to the left as you bend your knees and lower your body until both legs form 90-degree angles. Twist back to center, push off with your left foot and stand back up. Do reps, and then repeat on other leg.

Plank
Set-up the top of a push-up position with your hands directly below your shoulder. A variation of this is to rest on your forearms with elbows directly beneath shoulders. Hold your body completely straight by engaging your abs. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: don’t drop your hips or raise your butt.

Plank with Arm Lift
Get in plank position, with your body in a straight line. Engage your abs and shift weight into one arm. Extend the opposite arm in front of you and hold.

Reverse Lunge with Single-Arm Press
Grab a 5- to 15-pound dumbbell in left hand and hold it next to your left shoulder, palm facing in. Step backward with your left foot and lower your body until your knees are bent 90 degrees while pressing the dumbbell directly over your shoulder without bending or leaning at the waist. Lower the weight back to the starting position and you push back into standing. Do reps then repeat on the right side.

Side Plank
Lie on your side with your legs straight. Prop yourself up with your hand directly below your shoulder (or on your forearm with your elbow directly below your shoulder). Your body should form a diagonal line with your feet stacked on top of each other. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: be sure your hips and knees stay of the floor.

Side Plank with Rotation
In the side plank position, engage your abs and reach your hand toward the ceiling. Slowly tuck this arm under your body and twist forward until your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Return to side plank.




Let me know how it goes!