SO excited to be doing a series on ab exercises!
I will share 5 exercises with you today that will be effective in working upper, side, and lower ab muscles. The video below demonstrates these moves briefly (I figured you didn’t want to watch me do a 10 minutes workout). You will want to do each of these exercises much longer than I displayed in the video! I will give you suggestions in the descriptions.
#1 Plank with Leg Sweeps
I start you on the most difficult. When you plank, you need to make sure that your back is flat and your weight is distributed evenly between your arms and legs. Keep your abs and thighs engaged. Do not let yourself sink into your shoulders or let your shoulder blades pop out. You will lift one leg and, keeping it straight, extend it to the side and then end up with your foot in a lunch next to your hand. Then reverse the move, bringing the leg back to its original position. This is great for your obliques (sides). Do the other leg. Start off by doing 5 on each leg and work your way up to more.
#2 Elbow Plank with Arm Reaches
Stay in a plank, but lower your forearms to the floor. Then without twisting your hips, reach one arm forward and stabilize the rest of your body as much as possible. You will likely twist or rock a bit (you even see me doing it some in the video some… too many outtakes!), but over time you will build up the strength to stay stable. Pretend there is a glass of water on your butt and you don’t want it to spill! Start off with 10 on each arm and work your way up.
#3 Side Plank with Kick
Get in a side plank and make sure you do not sink into your shoulder. Your stabilizing leg will be at a 90 degree angle, though, instead of extended like in a typical side plank. You will then kick up your leg to meet your opposite arm (that means that if you are stabilized on your right arm, your left leg will hold you up and you will kick up your right leg to meet your left hand). Make sure you do not hunch over and that you focus on contracting your abs. Switch over to the next side and repeat. Start off with 10 on each side and work your way up.
#4 Peddle Kicks
I demonstrate a modified and more advanced version in the video. The modified keeps your legs bent, while the advanced has you straighten your legs out. Sit just behind the bones in your butt on the floor and lift your feet up to make a 90 degree angle with your knees or straighten your legs. If bending knees, extend one leg at a time, like pushing a peddle in front of you. If advanced, kick legs up and down. Maintaining balance is key here! Do 20 sets of 2 (right kick left kick) and work your way up.
Lay down on your back and bring your knees up to your chest. Keep your hands flat on the floor beside you or folded on your chest. Extend your legs out together so that they are straight and hovering a few inches off the floor. Bring them back into your chest and repeat 20 times and work your way up.
Hopefully this is a good start!! Let me know if you tried these by commenting below or finding me and messaging me on Instagram @JillianRedefiningWellness
Check out this video to clarify the explanations!