Beach Bodies – Still Time To Get Great Abs!
Toning Your Core
By Elizabeth Henderson
The first day of summer is just a few weeks away and beach/bikini season will be in full swing! We all want to look our best while strutting on the sand or sitting poolside so, here are some tips to get you on the fast track to 6-pack abs.
There is a not so old adage: abs are made in the kitchen and trained in the gym.Therefore, in order to attain a 6-pack you’ll need to clean up your diet! I know, I know that’s not too fun to hear (especially during grill season) but, it will be a key factor in your overall success. So be sure to eat clean- I can’t stress that enough! Avoid processed and fast food at all costs as well as sugary sweets. Instead eat more lean meat, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Stick to appropriate portion sizes and be sure to consume an appropriate amount of calories per day- you don’t want to over eat nor under eat. Also drink plenty of water!
Now that you’ve got your diet covered how can you best build your abs? You can’t spot reduce and endless crunches and situps are not the way. To get your 6 to reveal itself you’ll want to burn fat overall. This requires incorporating some cardio as well as abdominal training into your workout. Running on the treadmill will increase your cardiorespiratory endurance as well as shred fat. I suggest interval training and/or, walking or running on an incline and not flat. This will challenge your body and keep it guessing forcing it to respond by burning calories and fat.
To build your abs focus on stabilizing your entire abdominal area: upper abs, lower abs, and obliques. On each day of the workout series below combine your cardiorespiratory training with these ab exercises each day working one specific area. Perform each exercise the recommended minimum number of reps and sets or until your abs feel fatigued.
Day 1: Upper Abs
● Basic Crunch – 2 sets, 20 reps
● Vertical Crunch – 2 sets, 20 reps (Add a 5-10 lbs resistance ball for more of a challenge)
● Plank – 2 sets, 30 seconds
Day 2: Obliques
● Oblique V-Up – 4 sets (2 on each side), 20 reps
● Bicycles – 2 sets, 30 reps
● Side Plank – 2 sets (one on each side), 30 seconds
Day 3: Lower Abs
● Reverse Crunch – 2 sets, 20 reps
● V-Ups – 2 sets, 20 reps
● Ab V-holds – 2 sets, 30 seconds
REST- you’ve earned it!
Be sure to end each session by stretching out abs.
Feel free to add other ab exercises to this regimen. Just be sure that you are targeting the specific area for that particular day. You can also use this regimen in conjunction with an existing workout routine you already have in place. Try this routine for several weeks and you will start to see and feel results.
Cheers, have a great summer!