December 14, 2018

Creative Abs

Fit Body:

Creative Abs

Get creative with your ab exercises. Your abs and core work during all of your daily activities. Sometimes your core works to bend and twist. Other times, your core works to stabilize against movement by preventing bending and twisting of your torso. Your core is a multi-layered, multi-functional group of muscles.  Here’s how to get creative with your abs: Begin by choosing your base-move, for example a crunch or a plank. Once basic form is mastered, add a moving challenge. A moving challenging is moving an arm or leg in any pattern (forward/backward, side/center, up/down, in/out) to challenge core stability. Adding a creative touch into your ab workout will keep motivation high and results coming.

 

Strengthen your Core!

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Strengthen your Core!

A strong core or center is important for all activities of daily living. We often carry items with only one hand, which means your core has to be strong to counter-balance your body. This is an example of functional fitness. You should strengthen your body to be able to perform its functions more easily and more effectively. Here’s a functional exercise to strengthen your core:

Begin lying on your back. Place both arms flat on the floor along side your body. Lift both legs up off the ground and move them in a bicycling motion for a count of 10. The key is to keep your torso and hips from rocking or shifting weight from side to side. Breathe as you go and focus on keeping your shoulders down flat on the floor.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Strengthen your Abs: Crunch…Plus!

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Crunch-hold with both legs up!

 

To target your core try this crunch exercise:

Lie on your back on the floor. Lift both legs up, with your knees over your hips and your lower legs parallel to the floor. Next, lift your shoulder blades up off the floor to establish your starting position. For more of a challenge, extend both arms straight off the floor along the side of your body. Hold this position for 2 deep breaths or 10 seconds, then release. Do 3-5 reps.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise. This exercise is not for those with back injury concerns.

 

Ready to Challenge Your Abs?

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Toe touches!

Ready to challenge your abs? Do Toe Touches with your Crunches. Here’s how: Begin lying on your back on the floor. Raise both shoulders up off the floor. Lift your right leg up toward your chest and reach your left hand toward your right shin, then slowly release. Next lift your left leg up toward your chest, reach your right hand toward your left shin. Start with 10 reps.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

 

 

Strengthen Your Core

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 Ab Tuck 

To build core strength implement this ab exercise into your routine. Begin seated on the floor. Lean back slightly and lift both legs up off the floor, then extend your knees. Hold both arms straight out in front of you to stay balanced. Next lift your torso, and bend both knees pulling them in toward your chest. This completes 1 rep. Start with 10 reps.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Challenge Your Plank!

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Bird Dog Plank!

Begin in a plank on your hands and toes. Keeping your torso stable, lift your right hand and left foot about six inches off the floor. Without rocking your torso, lower your right hand and left foot and immediately lift your left hand and right foot. Repeat until 10 reps total are complete. The key is not how high you’re able to lift your hand and foot, but maintaining proper alignment and form when transferring from side to side.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

 

Legs ‘n Core!

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Strengthen your legs and core with this balance exercise!

 

Stand on your right leg only. Bending from your hip only, lean forward until your torso is parallel to the floor. Lift your left leg so it is in line with your torso. Hold your arms wide to assist with balance. Tuck your chin into your chest and hold for 10 seconds. Release. Repeat standing on your left leg only.

 

*This exercise is for intermediate/advanced exercisers without injury concerns. Consult your physician before performing exercise.

 

 

Crunch-less Abs

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Take your Abs on the go with this crunch-less ab exercise!

Begin standing. Place both hands behind your head with your elbows wide. Lift your right knee out to the side of your body and move toward your right elbow, then return to the floor. Perform 10 times. Next, lift your left knee toward your left elbow, then lower. Repeat 10 times. To progress, keep your foot up off the floor as you lift and lower your knee.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Quality-Control your Crunches

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Quality Crunches!

Do a quality-control check of your form while doing crunches.

Begin on the floor on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head, with your elbows wide. Lift your chin off your chest. Slowly lift your shoulders up off the floor sliding your ribs toward your hips. You should feel the ab muscles engage. Exhale, and lift up 1-2 inches higher, that’s it. Pause at the top of your range of motion.  Inhale, and slowly lower your shoulders to your starting point, not all the way to the floor. Pause at your starting point. Start with 10 reps.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

 

To challenge your abs…

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Elbow to Knee Plank

Want to challenge your abs? Add this exercise into your workout! Begin in a plank on your hands and toes. Lift your right foot up off the floor, next bend your right knee and bring it toward your right elbow. Extend your right knee to and return your foot to the floor to complete one rep. Next lift your left foot up off the floor, bend your left knee and bring it toward your left elbow to complete two reps. Repeat until 10 reps are performed.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.