WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: ABS AND CORE
*Repeat this sequence 3 times with the Kinetic Bands*
This type of crunch is great for building core strength and toning your thighs, while also working your hips and glutes.
Repetitions: 20 (10 Reps Each Side)
1. Begin by lying on your back with your legs extended straight out on the ground and your hands behind your head with your elbows pointing out. Tip: Only rest your hands behind your head, do not pull your head up with your hands.
2. Lift your legs, head, and shoulders off the ground. Tip: Lift knees up to a 45 degree angle and squeeze your core.
3. Bring your right knee toward your chest and rotate your left shoulder toward your knee at the same time. Tip: Keep your elbows back at the sides of your head. Don't allow them to move in toward each other when you are crunching, this can put stress on your neck and cause pain or injury.
4. Extend your right leg back out hovering off the ground and bring your left knee to your chest and rotate your shoulder toward it. Tip: Make sure to fully lift your shoulders off the ground to get the full benefits of this exercise.
5. Continue alternating legs in a pedaling motion
This this an excellent advanced exercise to really hit those abdominal muscles. It targets the front layer of your abdominal muscles that you see when you look at yourself in a mirror!
1. Start lying on your back with arms and legs extended out. Tip: Your arms should be flat on the ground with your biceps next to your ears.
2. Lift your arms and legs up about two inches off the ground. Tip: Engage your core and keep your neck in a neutral position.
3. Crunch up, bringing your feet and arms to each other at the top. Tip: Try to keep your legs as straight as possible. If this is too difficult, slightly bend at the knees.
4. Slowly return to starting position and repeat the motion. Tip: Use your hips to balance your body as you crunch up
This is a great exercise because it strengthens your abs in a relaxing position. It helps loosen tight hips and hamstrings, while strengthening your quads.
Repetitions: 20 (10 Reps Each Leg)
1. Start lying on your back with your legs extended straight up toward the ceiling and your hands under your lower back for support. Tip: Keep your neck in a neutral position and your core tight.
2. Drop your right leg down until it hovers about 1-2 inches off the ground. Tip: If you have lower back pain, don't drop your leg down as far. The lower back pain could also be caused by not having your lower back flat on the ground. Try to imagine pulling your belly button down to the ground so that your lower back will lay flat.
3. Immediately repeat the movement with your left leg by switching the position of your legs at the same time (right leg goes up, while left leg drops down). Tip: Both legs should stay straight throughout the entire movement.
This exercise is great for building overall strength in the abs and core.
1. Begin lying on your back with your legs and arms extended straight up toward the ceiling. Tip: Keep your neck in a neutral position.
2. Lift your head and shoulders off the ground. Tip: Lift with your chest, not your head.
3. Crunch straight up, reaching your fingertips toward your toes. Tip: Keep your legs as straight as possible.
4. Slowly lower down and repeat. Tip: Do not allow shoulders to touch the ground in-between reps.
This exercise builds strength in the entire core. It is very effective for reducing lower back pain.
1. Start lying on your back with legs extended straight up toward the ceiling and your hands under your lower back for support. Tip: Keep your neck in a neutral position.
2. Slowly lower your legs down toward the ground trying to go as low as possible without letting your legs touch the ground. Tip: Keep your legs straight throughout the movement. If you feel pain in your lower back, don't lower your legs down as far.
3. Lift your legs back up to starting position and repeat. Tip: Keep your core engaged throughout the entire set.
SIDE PLANK WITH ROTATION:
This exercise is great for toning your entire core as well as firing your shoulders and hips.
Repetitions: 15 (Each Side)
1. Start in a side plank position on your left forearm, hips in line, and feet stacked with your right arm extended straight up. Tip: Make sure your body is in a straight line from head to feet.
2. Using your right arm as a guide, slowly rotate your torso downwards and reach under your body with your arm. Un-stack your feet as you rotate toward standard plank position. Tip: Bend your right arm during the rotation so that it is close to your chest as your body rotates. If you are having trouble staying balanced there are other variations (1. perform the side plank from your knees or 2. Only rotate your torso as far as you can without losing balance, this means not unstacking your feet to end in plank position).
3. Once your hips are facing the ground, reverse the movement and rotate back up to the starting position and repeat. Tip: Do not drop your hips or head throughout the entire exercise.
4. Once you have finished the reps on your left side, complete the same amount of reps on your right side. Tip: Make sure to keep your core engaged throughout the exercise.