Written by: AliciaMarie
Want some AB MOVES for the lazy days (and we have all had them)?
Herrrrrrre you go, lovelies (finally) – just ONE of my favorite ‘mini’ ABDOMINAL workouts (Truthfully, I have about FIVE varying ab workouts that I like – this one is the SHORT simple 5 move one),
This is also the ‘half’ abs workout that I did FRIDAY after I posted a cheesy cellphone ‘voyeur’ pic of myself pulling my shirt up while standing in my closet like a freak on wheels on Facebook. GAH!
I know I said “the weekend” on Friday – and it’s SUNDAY, kinda, sorta STILL the weekend…
Better late than never. ANYWAY –
Let’s get this pawty stawted, shallssss we?
You will notice that I like to give ‘odd’ names to well-known abdominal moves. It just makes it all a bit more fun for me, dig?
CARDIO: 20 MINUTES STEPMILL (burn, baby, BURN)
1. Ball with a Ball: Lying back on a Swiss fit (big) ball with a lightly (no 20lb’ders!) weighted ball in both your hands – arms outstretched in front of you – lean back over the ball, bringing your arms (the ones holding the ball) overhead with you. Contract your abs and slowly come back up, keeping arms outstretched. 3 sets of 12-15 reps
2. Plank and Bake: You know the drill. Put a mat or something for your elbows/forearms on the floor. Lying face down with your forearms on the floor, feet flexed – push up on your forearms while keeping your body in alignment (no saggy middles!) – squeeze and BREATHE (don’t forget). Hold for 30 seconds -work up to holding for a full minute. 4 plank holds. The ‘bake’ part is the BURNNNNNN.
Here is a GREAT descrip I found on the web. Thank the good lord because I am LAZY today!: Start on your hands and knees on the floor as if you were about to do a pushup. Lower yourself down to your elbows so that most of your weight is resting on the back side of your forearms (you should be able to give a “thumbs up” sign with your fists on the ground). Then, place your feet behind you as if in a pushup position, resting on the balls of your feet. Your body should form a straight line, with no sag or elevation of the hips. This is your starting position.
3. Crunchy Twists: i.e. BICYCLES (Crunchy Twists just sounds yummier!). Lying on your back on a mat – contract your abs and hit opposite knee to opposite elbow. Now I have seen people do these WAYYYYY TOO FASSSST. Slow down! The idea is to work both your rectus (middle) and obliques (sides) in one exercise. You fully extend one leg while the other is bent IN – you touch your opposite elbow to the bent leg – you are basically doing a ‘crunch twist’ (well, that sounds yummy). You repeat for the other side without rest. if you don’t feel this – you are doing it wrong. Do alternating 50 – 4 times.
4. Decline Bench-Ups: These kill your abs BUT also stress your hip flexors if done incorrectly – they should be put into the ‘advanced’ category.
You can make these work wonders by switching up what you do on it…come halfway up then down – then ALL THE WAY up, then back down again; use a light ball weight to press overhead and you crunch up; holding that same ball, crunch up and twist to the side bringing the ball over your hip and alternate; have a buddy toss you a ball on your way back (be careful – this can equal a gym disaster…this is *ADVANCED*). 4 sets of 15.
This is not a traditional exercise – but I lurve them because they challenge my lower abdominal area -which brings me to…my last fab AB exercise of the day!
5. ‘Roly Polys’: (or Reverse Abdominal Crunches) Yes, I decided to liken these things to the bugs.
These have to be done correctly (like everything!) to be effective so pay attention to this amazing description I found on the webbbbb:
Now for some FAQs I get from Facebook/Twitter:
1. How many days a week should I work my abs?
AM: I do 3 days a week. Abs can take a lot of work – but they DO need rest just like any muscle group.
2. Where did this belly come from? I never had it before…
AM: Excess calories? Sedentary behaviors? Also – as we get older hormones and stress play a big part in holding onto belly fat – why MOVING is even more important after spending a day at a desk.
3. Why don’t abs show unless you are ripped up???
AM: We are human – humans have a natural tendency to store fat in abdominal areas. It gets worse as we age – that’s why there is no time like the present to get started on ‘em.
Memorize this mantra: Diet is KEY: – IF YOUR DIET ISN’T ‘TIGHT’ – YOUR ABS WON’T BE
4. Will crunches give me a six-pack?
AM: Nope – overall fat reduction will. Crunches strengthen your abs and can increase muscle fibers which will strengthen your core and increase your overall lean body mass – but not automatically give you that ripped tummy look unless your body fat is low enough for them to be ‘palpable.’ How soon you can ‘see’ your abs depends on a few factors ranging from genetics to most importantly – what your diet consists of i.e. how ‘hard’ you diet.
5. Is a full sit up better than a crunch?
AM: Crunch isolates the abdominal muscles much better than a full sit-up – full sit-ups also put more strain/emphasis on your hip flexors.
With ab workouts it is important to keep in mind that QUALITY always trumps QUANTITY.
100 crappy, half-hearted crunches on the floor next to your bed before you jump into bed does not a bikini belly make.
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