I feel like most times I ask women about their fitness goals, they inevitably mention their midsection – whether it’s wanting to get six-pack ready for bikini season, a desire to trim that stubborn muffin top, or getting rid of a tummy ‘pooch’ that hangs over their jeans. If any of these sound familiar to you, the first step you can take to trimming your midsection is to improve your diet. If your abs are toned, it isn’t helping you any if you can’t actually see any of the muscle definition due to excess fat. With a healthy diet, coupled with doing this core-focused workout on a regular basis, you’ll be well on your way to owning bathing suit season.
Know Before You Go
Do a 10-minute warm up before your workout. Walk or jog around your block or in place in your living room, or dance around to 3 of your favorite songs. If you have access to a treadmill, walk at a slow speed (I recommend 3.5 mph) and at a high incline (8.5-9.0). Drink water between each circuit to stay hydrated, and stretch for 10 minutes after the workout. It’s OK if this workout is challenging for you… if you keep this up just 2x per week, in a month or so this will likely be easy peazy.
Circuit 1 – Do 3x Through
A) The “Elevator” – Begin by laying on your back on your mat with your arms resting at your sides. Keeping your legs together, lift them off the ground until they are at a 45 degree angle to the ceiling. Slowly lower your legs to just above the ground, and then with control lift your legs to up to a 45 degree angle. Repeat, alternating sides, 12x each side.
B) The “Back It Up” – Begin in a position as if you are going to do a push up, and then bend your elbows to lower onto your forearms. All your weight should be resting on your forearms and your toes. With control, lift your right leg behind you towards the ceiling as high as you can. Then slowly lower your right leg to just above the ground. Repeat 12x, and then switch legs and repeat again with your left leg.
C) The “Flattened Workout Girl” – Begin in a position as if you are going to do a push up, and then bend your elbows to lower onto your forearms. All your weight should be resting on your forearms and your toes. Hold this position for 60 seconds.
Circuit 2 – Do 3x Through
D) The “Roll It Out” – Begin in a position as if you are going to do a push up, except your feet are resting behind you on a balance ball. Bend your knees in towards your chest to roll the ball in towards your chest. With control, slowly unbend your knees to roll the ball back to starting position. Keep your feet on the balance ball the entire time. Repeat 12x.
E) The “Rocking It Out” – Begin in a position as if you are going to do a push up, except your feet are resting behind you on a balance ball. Twist your torso 90 degrees clockwise so that your stomach is facing the wall. With control, return to center. Then twist your torso counter-clockwise 90 degrees so that your stomach is facing the wall. Repeat 12x each side, alternating sides.
F) The “Upside-Down ‘V'” – Begin in a position as if you are going to do a push up, except your shins are resting behind you on a balance ball. Lift your butt as high as you can towards the ceiling. As you lift, the ball will roll in towards your chest. Keep your feet on the ball the whole time. Your body should look like an upside-down ‘V.’ With control, slowly lower your butt to starting position, and the ball will roll to starting position as well. Repeat 12x.
Circuit 3 – Do 2x Through
G) The “Captain Crunch” – Begin by sitting on a balance ball with your feet on the ground and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Walk your feet out in front of you until you body slides down the ball slightly. You should be resting so that your lower back is on the ball. Cross your arms behind your head. With control, crunch up slightly towards the ceiling until you feel your abs are engaged, and then slowly lower your lower back back onto the ball. Repeat 25x.
H) Repeat the “Captain Crunch,” except as you crunch up, twist your torso slightly to the left. Lower your torso back onto the ball. When you crunch up again, twist your torso slightly to the right. Lower your torso back onto the ball. Repeat 20x each side, alternating sides.
I) The “Pass Through” – Begin by laying on your back on your mat. Rest your arms overhead and hold onto a balance ball. Simultaneously lift your arms and shoulders towards the ceiling while you lift your legs towards the ceiling. Pass the balance ball from your hands to in between your feet. Simultaneously lower your arms, shoulders, and feet back to the ground. Then, lift your arms, shoulders, and feet towards the ceiling and pass the balance ball from your feet to your hands. Lower your arms, shoulders, and feet to the ground. Repeat 12x.
Fitness Tip of the Day
Don’t focus on how far you have left to go; focus on how far you’ve come already! :)