What’s the one thing that many of us just wish we could have? Abs. No matter how toned our arms or legs might be, we’re always longing for those ever illusive 6-pack abs. Here’s a little secret: abs are equal parts your work out and your diet. “But I can feel my abs under there..why can’t I see them?!” sound familiar? You might be working hard to build those abs in the gym, but the kitchen is where you have the power to uncover them. This post is part 1 of a 2 part series this week all about ABS. Part 1 is about the workouts that will help build those abs and part 2 is all about not sabotaging your hard work by your choices in the kitchen.
11 Exercises in 11 Minutes to target your ABS
Workout by James Pett of Barry’s Bootcamp SF
1. Standard sit-up (1 min.) Tip: Have a friend hold your feet, or if you’re alone – try sticking them under a couch.
2. In & Outs (1 min.) Using your arms for balance, bring knees in & out. You’ll feel this in your hip flexors and the hard to reach lower abs!
2b. In & Outs advanced modification For an even tougher challenge, try holding a weight or medicine ball.
3. Russian Twists (1 min.) Turn your shoulders with your body to really feel the work in your obliques. For more advanced: add medicine ball
4. & 5. Leg lower/lift Now we’re really targeting those lower abs. Start with legs up and slowly lower for 8 seconds. Then lift back to top for 1 second. Do this 5 times. Next, lower legs quickly for 1 second and lift slowly back to the top for 8 seconds. Do this 5 times. Tip: if 8 seconds is too tough, start with 5 seconds. *Extra credit! If you can, hold legs straight out at the bottom for 30 seconds. Make sure to keep your lower back flat and don’t let it arch!
6. Toe Reach “Pulses” (30 sec.) Small move, big results. Start with shoulders slightly off the floor, then reach up as high as you can towards your toes. Never let those shoulders touch the ground!
7. Slow Bicycle kicks (1 min.) These aren’t your typical bicycle kicks. The secret killer to these is meeting your feet together in front of you before each side. Do these slowly taking 5 seconds to get from one side to the other. Slowing the movement requires more strength and control and will make your abs burn. Remember, shoulders never touch the ground! *Extra credit! 20 second burnout… kick as fast as you can!
& I always love to finish any ab workout with a plank series!
8. Forearm & Side Planks (30 sec. each) Start with forearm plank for 30 sec. Then left side plank and then right side plank. Note: during side planks lift your hip straight into the air as if someone were pulling it upwards with a string to really hit the oblique properly.
9. Spider mans (1 min.) Take your left knee to the outside of your left elbow hold for 3 sec. Then do the same with the other knee and elbow. Keep alternating for 1 minute.
10. Alternating knee tucks (1 min.) Touch knee to the opposite elbow & hold for 3 seconds. Continue alternating knees for 1 min. Remember to keep your bottom down!
11. Mountain Climbers (1 min.) End with one last burnout! You’ll do 30 sec. of slow mountain climbers before giving it all you’ve got for the last 30 seconds of FAST mountain climbers.
I’m far from my ideal abs right now, between being homesick and an hour away from the closest Barry’s… I’ve fallen out the routine that had me stage and photo shoot ready. But I’ve made a conscious decision to stop the self-pitying and take control of my life and my body! Hopefully I’ll be brave enough to post progress photos after my first month of being back on my routine, but I challenge you to start with me today! My biggest motivation on my fitness journey was taking progress photos week by week, after the first week of dedication, nothing motivated me to stay on track like seeing the hard work making a visible difference. You might not be proud of that first photo but by the end, you’ll be proud of how far you’ve come!