Week one is in the books, how did everyone do with the basics? I’m hoping it was a good refresher for most of you, and for others I’m sure it was a bit easy, hope you hung in there with me though because week two is a little more of a challenge!
This week I wanted to address a big pet peeve of mine, people who train their abs wrong, more specifically, to stick out. Have you ever seen a person at the gym or on the beach who, while having a flat stomach or maybe even a six pack, seems to have it sticking out in front of them, almost like a bit of a rounded belly? You may have thought it was just that poor person’s unfortunate genetics that caused this to happen, but it was completely avoidable! It’s caused by not pulling in your abs when you’re training them. You should suck in your stomach like you’re trying to button up a pair of pants that don’t quite fit. Do this “sucking in” every time you do a crunch or a plank or any other ab move, this trains your stomach to lie flat instead of pooching out.
So with that in mind, here’s this week’s exercises, remember to do 2 to 3 sets or Tabatas for 20 – 30 sec. with 10 sec. of rest.
Flat Abs Project Week 2
1. V-Sit (stabilizer)
Also called boat pose for you yogis. Sit up with your feet on the floor, knees bent. Lean back with a flat back until you feel your abs contract (they may even shake a little!), hold this. Beginners will hold for 30 sec., intermediate will lift your feet off the floor (see pic) with knees bent and hold for 45 sec., advanced will straighten your legs and hold in a “V” for 1 min.!
2. Ginga (rotational & cardio)
Stand with your legs wide and knees bent. Keeping your knees bent, step one foot back and swing the same arm across your face (to simulate blocking a punch). Alternate sides and hold your abs in tight the whole time. Beginners do 10 reps on each side, intermediate 15 reps, and advanced 20.
3. Plank with Knee Taps (cardio & transverse)
Get into a plank position on your elbows. Keeping your body in a straight line, tap one knee to the floor, then switch and tap the other knee. Go back and forth relatively quickly, 10 times on each leg for beginners, 15 for intermediates, 20 on each side for advanced.
4. Twisting crunch (rotational)
Curl your torso off the ground until just your shoulder blades are touching, then twist your right elbow towards your left knee. Repeat to the other side, that’s one rep. Again, this can be done on a stability ball or Bosu. 10 reps for beginners, 15 for intermediate, 20 for advanced
5. Dead Bug (stabilizer)
Lying on your back knees bent and legs up at 90 degrees, arms straight up over your chest, take one arm and the opposite leg and extend them towards the floor. Switch sides slowly while holding your abs in tight and keeping your low back pressed into the floor. 8 reps on each side for beginners, 10 for intermediate, 15 for advanced.
6. Extended Side Plank (lateral)
Like the side plank, but come up on your hand with your arm extended and either one bent knee for beginners, both legs straight but split for intermediate, or both legs stacked for advanced. Hold this for as long as you can keeping track of your time, beginners should aim for 20 sec., intermediate 30 sec. and advanced 45 sec. or longer!
7. Single Leg Lowering (Transverse)
Lay on your back, one leg straight above your hip and bent parallel to the ground, the other straight in the air. Lower the straight leg towards the ground as far as you can without your lower back arching up off the floor, then return to start. Do all the reps on one leg before switching sides. Beginners do 10 reps per leg, intermediate straighten the non working leg (see pic) and do 15 reps before switching legs, advanced do with straight legs and lift your head and shoulders off the ground. Hold that position while you do 20 reps each leg.
8. Lying Rear Leg Lift (low back)
Lying on your stomach, head on the ground, lift one leg off the floor a few inches, hold for a count of 3, then return to start. Alternate legs until all reps are completed. Beginners place your hands under your hip bones and do 10 reps per leg, intermediate arm beside you and do 15 reps, advanced hold you head off the ground for all reps and do 20..
I hope that cutting back on carbs has been working, here’s another tip for you.
Flat Abs Nutrition Tip #2 WATER
Water really does help you have flatter abs, for many reasons. Water helps to flush any excess waste from your system that can cause bloating in the stomach area, it also helps the body metabolize or break down fat and flush it out of your system. It also helps rid the body of excess sodium which really causes a lot of stomach pooching. Here’s a trick to try the next time you just had a big Chinese meal or just feel really bloated. Try drinking lemon water all day and see how fast you flush out that extra salt! Lemon water is a natural, mild diuretic so it helps you urinate more frequently, and the fluid helps to flush out the salt, and you can say bye bye bloat!
Until next week, good luck and have fun!
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