Ever heard the saying abs are made in the kitchen? Totally true. To see your abs, you have to be eating to lose weight. However, if you don’t have the muscle there to pop out, then you won’t see the six pack because… there isn’t one! Abs are like every other muscle – you want them to develop, you have to add resistance. And like every other muscle, you should not work them every single day.
If your New Year’s Resolution is to get six pack abs or at least some visible ab definition, here are three exercises to tone and flatten that belly. I also recommend doing these along with some planking so you strengthen and tighten up that transverse abdominus (your innermost core muscle). That’s the muscle that pulls in your waistline so you don’t look bulky! We want to look toned not bulky, right? Plus, planks you can do everyday. Time yourself so you can keep track of how long to hold your next plank!
What you’re going to need: a mat or carpet to lie on, ankle weights (start light!) and clothing you can move in easily.
Start with at least a five minute warm-up. Really important to have your muscles warmed up so you get the most out of these exercises!
Then, we start with the first exercise: the single leg lift. This might be familiar if you’ve ever done pilates! This is a great oblique (the lines down the sides of your tummy) and lower abs workout. Lie down on the floor on your side. Angle your legs slightly in front of you so you’re in a pike position – this helps for stability. Your body should not be in a straight line. Making sure to engage your core, (think sucking in your belly to fit into some tight jeans!), lift the top leg up and slowly lower it down. Repeat 10 times. Rest for 30 seconds, repeat for 10 more times. Then, switch legs.
The next exercise requires you standing up. Engage your core and place your hands on the floor. If you aren’t able to reach the floor, you can use a bench, chair, barbell, yoga block… whatever you can reach and feel stable. One leg is planted firmly on the floor with a bent knee. The other leg wears the ankle weight and you’re going to crunch that leg into your body then out behind you. Flexing your gluts (your butt muscles) will help you with stability and also help you tone that badunk-a-dunk. Do 10 reps with one leg, rest for 30 seconds in child’s pose, 10 more reps with the same leg and then repeat with the other leg.
Last one – this is an old school flat belly exercise called the ‘In & Out’. You’re going to sit in a ‘V-Sit’ position with your hands behind you for support. Engage your core and pull your knees into your chest, then lower them to the floor. Do 10 reps, rest, then 10 more reps. If your lower back starts to hurt at all, you can put a pillow behind you for support or use a back-jack chair.
Comment and let me know how these workouts went! Also, what is your favorite way to work your abs?