We’re gearing up for the warmest time of the year which means you will be soaking up some Vanuatu sunshine at one of our many beautiful beaches. However, if the thought of baring it all has you wishing for winter again, it is time to give your abs some loving. A beach-ready belly won’t happen overnight but a clean diet of simple carbs, whole grains and lean protein, regular exercise and these tips and exercises will guarantee you will be ready to rock that swimsuit or shorts.
The three major muscle groups that compose your midsection are the rectus abdominis, external obliques and internal obliques. To work your entire midsection accurately and efficiently you want to target each of these muscle groups. The rectus abdominis is a long muscle that runs from your lower chest to your pelvis and it is activated through ‘crunching’ movements. The external obliques lie on each side of the abdomen and the internal obliques are situated below the external obliques. Both muscle groups are used to twist the torso. Make sure to include both crunching and twisting motions in your abdomen exercises. We’ve included both crunching and twisting movements in this ‘abs’ program to give your core a complete work-out. Do 2 sets of 20 or more repetitions for each exercise 3 times a week.
Follow these tips when performing the moves: Exhale deeply upon exertion, pull your belly button in and up when performing a move and keep the movement in your waist.
Start lying on your back with your legs straight up in the air at a 90 degree angle from your hips. Your arms are extended next to your body. Using your lower abdomen, pull the hips towards the torso lifting your gluteus off the ground. Resume starting position and continue with repetitions.
Long arm medicine ball crunches
Lie on the ground with your feet close to your buttocks. Holding a medicine ball, extend your arms straight behind your head, keeping your arms close to your ears. Contract your abs and lift your shoulder blades off the ground, hold for two seconds and release back to the ground. Keep your arms still and be aware that your abdomen is lifting your shoulder blades not your arms. Resume starting position and repeat.
Start in plank position, with hands underneath the shoulders and a straight line from the head to the toes. Make sure to pull the belly in and do not let your spine curve. Lift the left foot a few centimetres of the ground then bend the knee and pull it into the opposite elbow by twisting the torso. Resume starting position and alternate legs for 20 or more reps.
Jack knife Sit-Ups
Lie on the floor with your legs straight on the ground and your arms extended behind your head. In a clam-shell motion, simultaneously lift your arms and legs by bending at the waist taking your arms past your ears to reach for your feet and your legs towards your arms. Lower your arms and legs to the starting position and repeat. Note: this movement can be done at an intermediate level by bending your legs and taking your knees towards your chest as you crunch or at an advanced level by keeping your legs straight.
Seated Oblique Twists with Medicine Ball
Lie on the floor with your legs bent and your feet close to your glutes. holding the medicine ball at your chest. Engage your abs and come all the way up to a sitting up position. Using a twist in the torso, tap the ball to the right side of you and then left. Return the ball back to your chest and resume starting position on the floor. Note: If you struggle to keep your feet on the ground during this movement, you can place your feet underneath a low bar or have a friend hold your feet down.
With Journey Jolley from Fit For Life Gym.