Trainerkristinw's Blog


Posted on: November 22, 2010

Before I go start my rant, there is one thing you must remember: abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. This means that when Ms. Britney Spears said all she does for her abs are crunches, she was lying! Yes, it is very important to work your core, but you will not have a magic six pack unless you fix your diet. We will go into this more in depth in the weeks to come. Long story short, eat better quality food, and the correct portion size. The exercise will sculpt what the diet flaunts. The diet shrinks the fat and the exercise tones the muscle.

            Here are my favorite ab and core exercises. Like all muscles, you must fatigue them before they actually start to “burn” so perform these exercises up to three times. Think of the first as a warm up, the second to make your muscles remember the motion, and the third as actually advancing the muscle into toning. Always remember, the last set is the most important, it’s your gold star!

            In the first video you’ll see some sets of planks always in 3 different levels. The first is front plank performed on the elbows. It’s important to keep your hips in line with your shoulders, holding in your belly button, and squeezing the cheeks…not the ones on your face. Hold each position starting at 30 seconds, build up to 1 minute. 

–          Level one: on your knee or toes making that straight line from shoulders to hips.

–          Level two: lifting one leg so all of your weigh is on both elbows, and one leg. Adding balance will work all of the little tiny muscles attached to the larger ones.

–          Level three: lifting one leg and the opposite arm. Wowza! It’s challenging but worth it!

Side plank: This is really challenging. Again, this is something that takes a lot of practice. If you have to use your knees, that’s fine and work your way up to being able to have your whole body just resting on your feet like you see in the video. Try this for 30 seconds and work up to 1 minute.

–          Level one: just holding this position. Focus on squeezing your hips up higher and higher.

–          Level two: add a five pound weight to the hand in the air.

–          Level three: Now with the weight in your hand, inhale while your hips are almost touching the ground and exhale those hips right back up to the side plank position.

The second video you see is another set of exercises I love. The first being V-ups, the second gut busters, and the third hip thrusts. Again, try these starting at 30 seconds and build up to 1 minute.

– V-ups: exhale as your legs and arms come up to twelve o’clock. As your get more advanced, add a small weight to your arms and v-up together. Try to keep your knees straight as well.

                        – Gut busters: with your hands under your hips, inhale your legs down almost touching the ground, and exhale them back up to twelve o’clock.

                        – Hip thrusts: again, keeping the hands under the hips exhale and lift your hips off of the ground. Try not to put any pressure on your hands, squeeze your belly button as your hips lift up.

Try each of these in a set of three. Just like everything else these take practice, so schedule in about 10 minutes into your workout for these. Take some good tunes, a timer or stop watch, and good luck! Special thanks to my boot camper, Nafeesa for letting me film her! She’s an awesome example of how dedication will get you the definition you want.


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