Having been trussed in a bikini for the past two weeks (nothing like a bit of over exposure to make you want to get fit!), I can hand on heart say that the biggest problem area of my body is my stomach, belly, tummy, whatever-you-want-to-call-it but there definitely aren’t any abs!
I’m not precious about my mum tum (I enjoy dark chocolate and rosé way too much for that!), but it doesn’t stop me from trying to improve the situation.
I know it’s unlikely it will ever regain its pre-pregnancy form, and that’s fine (after all, it amazes me what this part of my anatomy has been capable of over the past 4 years), but when I look down from my sunbed, somewhat disappointed at the view, I turned to Terry who kindly sent me some fab ab exercises that anyone can do from home. So, in the tongue-in-cheek words of “Knocked Up“, now is my time to “tighten“!
1. Plank –Works your abs, lower back and glutes. Start in a push up position, and then lower yourself onto your elbows. Maintaining a straight back, hold for as long as possible.
2. Side Planks – Same as the first exercise, except this time you are you are on one elbow, while your obliques (the muscles on the side of your abdomen) are parallel to the floor. Depending on how hard you want to make this, you can either split your feet, or keep one on top of the other.
3. Walk Out – Start in a push up position, and progressively walk your hands as far away from your body as possible. Return your arms back in, and repeat.
4. Reverse Crunch – Lay on your back with your legs up by your chest. Push your legs up and lower down slowly. You want to focus more on the downward phase of the crunch. This will engage your lower back more, strengthening your abs.
5. Leg Raises – Lay on your back with your legs out straight. Slowly lift them up to approximately a 45′ degree angle. Once up, lower your legs towards the floor (not touching), and repeat. This one can really affect the back if not strong enough, so you may need to use your hands to support your back, or alternatively, work with a shorter range or motion and progress slowly.
6. Inchworm – Start standing upright, then slowly lower the top half of your body and place your hands on the floor (without moving your feet). If you aren’t flexible, the distance between your hands and feet will be larger. From here, walk your hands out until you reach a push up position. Finally, walk your feet in towards your hands, keeping your legs straight. Repeat.
7. V-Crunch – Start in a seated position and lift your legs off the floor so you are pivoting on your bottom (V Shape). Slowly straighten your legs out and lean backwards so you go into an almost laying down position but do not touch the floor at either end. Then pull your knees back in and lift your upper body back up into the V shape you started with. If you need to support yourself, keep your hands as close to your hips as possible.
8. V-Sit Up – Similar to the leg raises, but you lift your upper body as well and try to touch your toes.
9. Hyper Extensions – Strictly speaking not an abs exercise. However, you will need to balance things out by working on your lower back in order to support all the work you are doing on your abs. Start by lying face down and try to lift the top half of your body without using your hands.
10. Dog Bird – This will help both core stability and lower back strength. Start on all fours and lift your right arm and left leg up at the same time. Hold for approximately 2-4 seconds, and then alternate. Very simple – very effective.
Terry told me that there are lots more exercises that you can do which combine abdominal contraction – squat thrusts, mountain climbers, box jumps and overhead squats. If you can find ways to incorporate exercises like these as well as just working on your abdominals, you will progress quicker than just abdominal exercises alone.
So there you have it. 10 great tips from Terry to tone those abs. Happy crunching!
Love Mummy B