Have you been stuffing yourself silly over the Holidays and now your left with a “food baby” gut? Yeah, me too. Not to worry though, because today we’re going to tone those abs big time. BIG TIME. Many people who want killer abs will try and do crunches until they are blue in the face. But what many don’t consider is that your back muscles actually support your abs. So today, we’re going to tone your abs AND the back muscles that support your abs, to help you find that hidden 6-pack. Plus, back exercises can help your posture so you look taller and leaner. Bonus!
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 a helluva lot easier.
-medicine ball, balance ball
Circuit 1 – Do 3x Through
A) The “Lift ‘N Lower” – Lay on your back on your mat with your arms at your sides. Keeping your legs straight and together, lift them up to a 45 degree angle. Slowly lower them to just an inch above the ground. Repeat 12x.
B) The “Levitating Workout Girl” – Sit at the edge of a sturdy chair. Try to sit as tall as you possibly can, keeping your back straight. Place both hands on the edge of your chair, with your hands facing your knees. Keep your abs tight. Now simultaneously your butt off of the chair and both feet off of the ground. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 6x.
C) The “Balancing Act” – Get on all fours on your mat. Keep your back as straight as possible and tighten your abs. Now, simultaneously lift your left arm so it is out straight in front of you and lift your right leg so it is extended straight behind you. Return to starting position and repeat with your right arm and your left leg. Repeat the whole exercise 12x.
Circuit 2 – Do 3x Through
D) The “Knee Hugger” – Begin by laying on your back on your mat with your legs extended in front of you. Lift your shoulders a few inches off of the ground. Pretend you are holding an orange under your chin as your lift your head. Bend your left knee in towards your chest. Grab your left ankle with your left hand and your left knee with your right hand. Raise your right leg to a 45 degree angle off of the floor. Then, switch legs by bringing your right knee to your chest and extending your left leg so that it is at a 45 degree angle. Repeat nonstop, 10x both sides.
E) The “Lean Back” – Begin by kneeling on your mat with your knees shoulder-width apart. Sit up tall and keep your back straight. Hold a medicine ball at chest height. Keeping your body as straight as possible, lean as far back as you can and hold for 2 seconds. Tighten your abs and slowly return to starting position. Repeat 12x.
F) The “Bring It In For The Real Thing” – Begin by standing in front of a balance ball. Put your hands in front of you, palms facing towards the wall. Bend at your waist (keep that back straight) until your hands are on the balance ball. Now walk your feet back until you are in a plank position with your hands on the balance ball. Bend your right knee into your chest and hold for 2 seconds. Return to the plank position. Now repeat with your left knee. Repeat 10x each leg.
G) The “Cobra” – Lay face down on your mat with your hands under your shoulders with elbows bent. Push up and extend your arms so that your torso is at a 90 degree angle to the floor. (…or as close to 90 degrees as you can!) Return to starting position. Repeat 10x.
H) “Do The Twist” – Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart holding a medicine ball. Bend your knees to squat down, keeping your back as straight as possible. As you squat, bring the medicine ball down and to the left of your left knee. As you stand up out of the squat, bring the medicine ball up overhead and to the right. Repeat 10x, and then switch sides (right knee to overhead and to the left).
I) The “Flying V” – Lay on your back on your mat with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Hold a medicine ball at your waist on top of your lower stomach area. Thrust your hips to bring your butt and lower back as far off of the mat as you can. Your body should look like an upside down “V.” Repeat 10x.
Try to set a regular workout schedule each week. This way, your workouts will become part of your routine and you’ll be less likely to blow them off in favor of watching another “Real Housewives” rerun.