January 6, 2015

New Year Toned Abs

We all do it. A new year rolls around we all say we are going to focus on eating healthier and working out more. While we may start out strong, sticking to our work out routine gets harder as we get deeper into the year. Work gets busy, things come up and slowly we begin to skip out on gym time. Trust me... I do it too...

However, I have found a way that seems to help avoid getting into the gym rut or feeling like not even going at all. Try to switch up your daily workouts. I sometimes catch myself getting stuck just jumping on the treadmill for a quick run and rushing through a quick weights workout. Now that we are almost a week into the new year, try switching up your workout routine. Take a new class at your gym, jump in the pool for a new type of exercise, or download a workout plan online to exercise new muscles.

To get you going, I've found seven easy exercises you can try to target your abs. Make tomorrow abs day at the gym and try this new workout! See picture examples from the workout here.
Plank Row

Get into a plank position with a glider under each foot. If you don’t have gliders or want to do the workout at home, try using paper plates or towels. Hold the plank, press down on the gliders, and slide legs out behind you, maintaining the plank position. Your arms will extend as you slide your body back. Then, pull your body back into the starting position. Keep a straight plank pose the entire time. Make sure you’re pushing and pulling as far as you can, getting as much range as possible. Do 10-15 forward and backs (counting forward and back as one) or for 30 seconds.


Position yourself into an extended arm plank. Place your hands directly beneath your shoulders, feet hip-width apart. Press down on the gliders and slowly pull the knees until they are about 4 inches in front of your hips. Then, push back to starting plank position, keeping the core tight the entire time, drawing the navel in. Do for 30-45 seconds, or about 10-15 reps.

One-Legged Mountain Climber

Start in a plank position and lift your left leg. Keep the right leg engaged and stable to help maintain balance Then, slide the left knee in and back, maintaining the height of your hips. Do 10-15, then switch and do the same on the other side.

Army Crawl

Get down into a plank position, squeezing your butt, with a glider under each foot. Start with your arms on the back edge of your mat. Using your forearms, crawl forward about five steps, until your gliders hit the end of the mat, and then crawl back. Make sure to hold the plank position. Engage your muscles to keep legs straight and hips stable. Do this 3-5 times, counting forward and back as one full rep.


Sit on the floor on your tailbone. Keep your back straight and lower down slightly as if you are lowering down for a sit-up. With a ball squeezed tightly between your thighs. Rest on your elbows and make sure to maintain that height throughout. Arch your back into a small stretch, tuck the tailbone and drive the low back down. Pick your elbows up and hold onto the backs of your thighs. Keep shoulders down, chin open, and elbows wide. This is the c-curve position.

From here, grab a set of light weights (soup cans work!) and hold arms out by your knees. Lower arms and tap the ground, then lift back to start position. Repeat as you hold the c-curve for 60-90 seconds, concentrating on the arm movements the entire time.

Hip Tips

Lay flat on your back, legs straight up in the air at a 90-degree angle. Place a ball in-between the inner thighs. Relax your hands down by your side. As you press in on the ball, tip the hips up. Keep in mind, this is a subtle movement: Be careful not to rock your hips, just tip them up slightly, initiating all movement from your lower abdomen. Crunch in and tip the hips, release halfway, repeat. Progress it by holding weights in your hands. Do 15-20 controlled reps.

Start with your body sprawled out on the floor in an X, holding a weight in each hand. You can also do this exercise without weights. Lift your left hand and bring the weight towards your right shin, lifting your torso and keeping your belly pulled into your spine, until you roll all the way up to balancing on your tailbone. You can come up onto your elbow a bit to make it a little easier. Lower back down and alternate sides. Try turning your foot out, still keeping the leg straight, to get a deeper inner thigh workout at the same time. Do 24-30 reps, alternating every time (so 12-15 each side).

Six Pack Scissor

Lay flat on your back, hug your knee into your chest your left leg straight and about two inches off the ground, right leg up toward the ceiling. Lift your upper body nice and high, use hands behind knee and then bring your hands behind your head. Lift the left foot and tap the back of the right heel, crunch and tip your hips, half release (just shoulder blades don’t drop your torso), and bring the leg back to its starting position a half inch from the ground. Do 12-15 per side, completing all on one side before switching to the other.

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