Pre-Holiday Core Challenge: Strengthen and Tone Your Abs!
As we move into the holidays it is time to think about strengthening your abs so that you can have fun and eat well while keeping your figure intact. Better to enter these challenging diet times stronger (and tighter) so that the inevitable couple of pounds you might gain will make no difference to your overall shape. Don’t forget, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. So you’ll be better off not just because you’re starting with stronger abs but also because your metabolism will be working to your advantage.
The core workout I give you below emphasizes transverse abdominal and oblique toning exercises. The transverse abdominal muscle is our deepest core muscle. It is the one that both supports the spine and draws the belly in with neither a forceful nor large contraction. It is known as the corset and flat belly muscle. Stand in front a mirror or lie down flat on your back and simply pull your navel towards your spine to experience how the transverse abdominal works. The obliques are the muscles that line the lateral (outside) sides of torso. Together the deeper internal obliques and more superficial external obliques compress the abdomen. All you need to do to find your oblique muscles is lean to one side. The side that bends is engaging an oblique contraction.
Now, you can see that the result of toning these two muscle groups yields a skinny waist! Here is your core challenge so you can get going!
Set your goal, see the results!
To learn these exercises with proper technique for the best results, check to the fitness tab in the nav bar, which covers the form and function of each move individually.
Here’s the routine!
- 20 Traditional Sit-Ups (add a 15 weight onto your chest if you need a greater challenge)
- 10 Reclined Leg Lifts
- 5 Rotating Reclined Leg Lifts (1=R/L)
- 20 Elbow-To-Knee Crunches (1=R/L)
- 2-Minute Forearm Plank
- 10 Moving Side Planks With Dips (1=R/L)
- 10 Side Lying Crunches Each Side R/L
- 20 Standing External Oblique Crunches With A Dumbbell (20 R then 20 L). The amount of weight you use will depend on your strength and fitness. Start light and build.
Repeat 2 Sets Top To Bottom And Then Build To 3 Sets
*Do this routine 3x per week minimum for the next 2 months!