Okay, okay…I’ve been talking about posting a quick and efficient abs workout for you for the last 2 weeks. I guess the time has come to put up or shut up. 🙂
Let me start out by stating that you need to practice a complete, balanced exercise program. By that, I mean you need to do more than just the routine I’m going to post. You should incorporate cardio exercise and strength training into your routine. These things, combined with a sensible eating plan, will not only cause the fat to literally melt right off of you but will also give the best thing of all…vibrant health.
As I’ve stated many times, your exercise routine does not have to be anything fancy. If you’re a beginner, it can be as simple as some pushups, some squats, and a 30 minute walk. Just get moving!
Also, if you are significantly overweight, have health concerns or if it’s been a long time since you’ve exercised, you should not begin any exercise program unless and until you have received the OK from your medical professional.
Having said all of that…
I recommend doing your abs/core workout at the end of your regular cardio or strength training workout. This way you are already sufficiently warmed up.
You only need to work out your abs/core 3 times a week. Personally, my current routine consists of strength training on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday. I do cardio and abs/core on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Assuming that you’re a beginner, I recommend a goal of 10 repetitions of these 10 different exercises, with the exception of the bridge exercises. These call for just one rep. Now, keep in mind that 10 reps of each exercise is a GOAL…it’s OK if you can’t do that many. We all have to start somewhere. Just do the best that you, and know that you WILL improve as long as you exercise consistently.
And don’t be afraid of “failing”…there’s no such thing as failure as long as you’re trying.
Be sure to wear loose, comfortable clothing such as shorts and a tee shirt.
No need to be uncomfortable…lay on an exercise mat or a carpeted floor.
1. Basic Crunch – 10 Reps. Lie on the floor, bend your knees at a 90 degree angle keeping your feet on the floor, and put your hands behind your head. Pick a point on the ceiling to watch. Without taking your eyes off of the ceiling, raise your shoulders up off of the floor about 6 inches. Hold a second, and then slowly lower back down. Repeat.
2. Reach for the Sky – 10 Reps. Staying on your back, raise your legs until the bottom of your feet are facing the ceiling. At the same time, raise your arms straight up with your fingers pointing towards your toes. Now lift your shoulders up off of the ground about 6 inches or so and reach with your fingers towards your toes. Hold for 1 second, and then slowly lower back down. Repeat
3. Leg Raises – 10 Reps. Lie on the floor, legs straight out and resting on the floor. Take your left hand and place it under your left butt cheek, and your right hand under your right butt cheek. Lift your feet about 6 inches off of the floor. Slowly raise them to about 12 inches off of the floor, and then slowly lower to 6 inches off the floor. Repeat.
4. Core Pulse – 10 Reps. Keep your hands under your butt, and raise your legs until the bottom of your feet are facing the ceiling. Flex your butt, and raise your hips up off of the floor 2-3 inches. Lower your hips back to the floor. Don’t move the rest of your body, just your hips. Repeat.
5. Bridge – 1 Rep, held for 15 seconds. Get into the “up” position for a push up, except bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms, not your hands. Tighten up your core, and hold for 15 seconds. Gradually hold longer until you can hold for 60 seconds.
6. Side Bridge – 1 Rep each side, held for 10 seconds. Lie on your right side on the floor. Tighten your core muscles, then using your right forearm and edge of your right foot to support your weight, raise yourself up. This looks like you’re doing a push up on your side. Try to hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on your left side. Work your way up to 30 seconds per side.
7. Left Oblique Crunch – 10 Reps. Lie on your back, knees at a 90 degree angle, feet flat on the floor. Put your hands behind your head, and pick a spot on the ceiling to concentrate on. Now take your legs and move them to the left until your left leg is flat on the floor and your knees are pointing to your left side. Hold your legs still, and without taking your eyes off of the ceiling, raise your shoulders off of the floor about 6 inches, then slowly lower them back down. Repeat.
8. Right Oblique Crunch – 10 Reps. Lie on your back, knees at a 90 degree angle, feet flat on the floor. Put your hands behind your head, and pick a spot on the ceiling to concentrate on. Now take your legs and move them to the right until your right leg is flat on the floor and your knees are pointing to your right side. Hold your legs still, and without taking your eyes off of the ceiling, raise your shoulders off of the floor about 6 inches, then slowly lower them back down. Repeat.
9. Upside Down Crunch – 10 Reps. Lie on the floor face down. Place your hands behind your head, and then slowly raise your shoulders up off the floor a couple of inches. Repeat. CAUTION: do this move slowly, and with a limited range of motion. DO NOT try to do too much too soon! Build your reps gradually…do not push too hard for 10 reps if they’re too hard for you.
10. Supermans – Staying face down on the floor, stretch both of your arms straight out in front of you. This looks like the way Superman looked when he was flying…hence the name. J Look straight ahead of your, then slowly raise your arms and your legs up a few inches. Hold a second, and then lower them. Repeat.
So there you go…a great routine to start building core strength and developing awesome abs.
Let me finish with one more word of caution: DO NOT work beyond your current level of capability. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your core be. So do it slowly, be consistent, and eat healthy. Your core may be sore for a day or two, so don’t push too hard.
And please let me know what you think of this routine.