You’ve done the Plank and master it, and now looking for a way to make it harder and more interesting. Try the Plank with One Arm Row. This exercise will work your total core, and upper back.
Start in the plank position with hands on the ground, holding onto a set of free weights. Ensure that your abs are pulled in and firmed; head, neck and spine are in line. Without moving your body (as much as possible), lift one weight up towards the side of the body brushing the elbows close to your side. Bring the weight down towards the ground but do not allow them to rest completely on the ground. Repeat.
Do about 12 – 15 reps with one arm then switch to the other side. Make sure to watch your form. Do not allow your hips to drop down, forming a slight arch in your back.
Add this exercise to your abdominal routine and let me know how you do. Enjoy!!
The lower abdominal region is often an area of frustration for most ladies. It can be the last area to be reduced when on an exercise program. Try incorporating Stability Ball Pull Ins into your routine to aid you in getting a firm and trim lower ab region. This compound exercise will also challenge upper body strength and challenge your cardiovascular fitness.
Start in a push-up position (with your hands on the floor, shoulder distance apart) and place your lower shins on top of the exercise/stability ball. While keeping your back completely straight, pull your knees in towards your chest, allowing the ball to roll forward under your ankles. Squeeze your abs and then straighten your legs, rolling the ball back to the starting position.
Note: Be sure not to allow your bum to lift too far up. Try to keep your upper body as leveled as possible.
So you want to work your abs some more? Try Frog Sit Ups.
First, sit on the floor with the soles of your feet touching each other. This will cause your legs to be in a diamond shaped position (maintain this position throughout this exercise). Next, lay down on the floor (onto your back) and TRY and push both soles as near to the crotch as possible. Your upper thighs should optimally be very close to the floor (keep in mind that this is relative and it depends on your individual range of flexibility). Now, with your hands crossed and touching opposite shoulders or lightly touching your ears, exhale firmly and flatten your lower back to the floor while curling the torso upwards. (Like the first 1/4 movement of a sit up.) Hold at the top position for a two count, if you wish. Slowly lower to the floor or mat, relax the abdomen completely and then repeat.
(This exercise was 'invented' by Vince Gironda.)
The reverse crunch is proven as an effective lower abdominal exercise once executed correctly. It will take a few attempts to get the movement right and to get sufficient distance from your lower body and the mat.
Lie on your back on the floor with your legs extended in the air directly above your hips and your hands under your hips. Initiate the movement from your lower abs and curl your hips up off the floor and ‘slightly’ towards your head. Hold at the top of the movement for a second and reverse the motion slowly to the starting position and repeat. Do 10 - 15 reps.
Do not get discouraged if you are not able to lift your hips to an adequate height at first. Keep practicing this exercise and not only will you be able to execute it correctly but you will see the added benefits of a firmer and stronger lower abdominal region.
An excellent exercise to work the abdominal muscles is called Toe Touchers. You do not need any equipment to do this exercise (though you can add weights eventually) and it utilizes your own body weight.
Lie on your back, on the floor and elevate your legs up into the air. Make sure you keep your lower back pressed flat into the ground and do not arch. Pull in your abdominals. Exhale and crunch forward reaching your hands upward to touch your toes. (Touching any part of your foot or shins will work!) Please remember, don't pull your chin down towards your chest. Keep your head in a neutral position.
Previously, we looked at the Plank. Today we will take it a step further and we are going to cover the Side Plank. This exercise is excellent for strengthening the obliques, which are your side abdominal muscles.
Begin by lying on your right side. Place your right elbow and forearm on thefloor. Tighten your abs. Push up until your shoulder is over your elbow. Keep your body in a straight line – feet, knees, hips, shoulders, head aligned. Only your forearm and the side of your right foot are on floor (feet are stacked). Hold this position for 10 seconds, to start. Then relax. Repeat five to ten times. Switch to you left side and repeat.
If this exercise is too difficult, balance on stacked knees (bend knees and keep feet off floor) instead of your feet.
In this section, you will find a collection of various exercises as well as tips and information on proper form.