How do you go from “Flab” to “Fab?” By working those “Abs!”…Wow, I imagine that would be the intro if Dr. Seuss were to write a fitness article. But in all seriousness, your 6-pack abs are hiding under there somewhere. It’s time to find them, so let’s do a core-focused workout to shape and tone those abs.
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 be easy-peasy.
Circuit 1 – Do 3x Through
A) The “Sideways Strutter” – ‘Gallop’ sideways back and forth across the room. To do this, jump sideways and then bring your feet together, and repeat as fast as you can until you’ve made your way across the room. Repeat back and forth x2. Get that heart rate up!
B) The “Power Walker”- Start by standing with one leg forward and one leg back. Jump and simultaneously switch legs. Repeat nonstop as fast as you can for just 1 minute. Decrease to 45 seconds and then 30 seconds when you go through the circuit for the 2nd time and 3rd time, respectively.
C) The “Social Climber” – Start by standing up on your mat. Bend over and put both hands on the ground just before your feet. Walk your hands all the way out until you are in position like you’re about to do a push up. Walk your hands back to your feet. Stand up and jump up, reaching your hands up as high as you can. Repeat 10x.
D) “Balls-A-Swingin'” – Stand with your legs a little more than shoulder width apart. Hold a medicine ball straight up overhead. Keeping your legs as straight as possible, bend over and reach to touch the medicine ball to your left foot. Stand to return to starting position, holding the medicine ball overhead. Now bend and touch the medicine ball to your right foot. Repeat 10x, each foot (alternating sides as you go).
E) “Twist-N-Shout” – Stand up straight with your legs together, holding the medicine ball at waist-height. Step out to the right and squat down. As you squat, keep your back straight and stick your butt and chest as far out as possible. While bent in a squat, twist your torso to the right with the medicine ball. Now stand up straight and bring your feet back together. Repeat 10x each side.
F) The “Balls-Are-Still-A-Swingin'” – Stand with your legs a little more than shoulder width apart. Squat down slightly, keeping your back straight. Let your arms hang down, holding a medicine ball in between your legs. Swing your arms up, so that the medicine ball is over head. Then swing your arms down to starting position. This should all be as one continuous motion. Use the momentum from swinging your arms to bring the medicine ball up and down. Repeat 10x.
G) The “Longest 30 Seconds Of My Life” – Start in a position as if you were going to do a push up. Your arms should be fully extended, your back should be as flat as possible, and your butt should be low to the ground. Now bend your arms at your elbow so that your forearms are resting on the mat. All your weight should now be supported on your toes and on your forearms. Hold this position for just 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat 3x.
H) The “This Is Making Me Dizzy” – Lay on your back on your mat with your arms bent at the elbow behind your neck, supporting your head, and your legs suspended together in the air, bent at the knee. Pretend you are holding an orange under your chin the entire time (i.e. keep your chin up towards the ceiling). Sit up and touch your left elbow to your right knee, and then lay back on your mat. Now sit up again and touch your right elbow to your left knee. Repeat 10x for each side, alternating sides as your go.
I) The “Mermaid” – Lay on your back on your mat with your hands under your butt. Keeping your legs together and as straight as possible, lift your legs off the mat so that they are at a 45-degree angle to the ceiling. Now lower them so that they are only a few inches off the mat (don’t let them touch the mat!). Repeat x 15.
If your fitness goals involve weight loss, you can make some easy substitutions to improve your diet. Choose whole wheat/whole grain pasta and breads whenever possible, and opt to bake fish and chicken instead of frying them in butter or oil. Add fruits and vegetables to your recipes whenever possible. For example, add peas to your pasta dish, or marinate your fish in orange juice. And when it’s “that time of the month,” it’s OK to sneak in a little dark chocolate…don’t worry, we’ve all been there!