Fitness Friday: Are you there abs?
I have a habit of focusing on cardio and forgetting the rest of the workout. I mostly forget that I even have abs. I think it comes from a lifetime of ignoring my middle - all my mirrors only show the waist up.
I have a feeling there are others like me out there ... you know who you are.
Let's try to reconnect with our abdomen by doing a workout designed to build core muscles - and you only have to do it three times a week!
This workout comes from Muscle & Strength. There are three exercises per day for three days - we can do this.
• Floor Crunch - Hands on the side of the head, keep the eyes fixed at one point on the ceiling, then lifting the shoulders off the floor but leaving the back on the floor, thereby crunching the abdominals, breathe out on the way up, hold at the top position for a count of 2.
Repeat for three sets of 20 reps.
• Leg raises - On the floor, lift your legs up and raise your head to feel it in your abdomen.
Repeat for three sets of 10 reps.
• Hover - also known as the plank. With your stomach on the floor, lift up onto your elbows, fists in front of you and hold. Keep your body straight from your head to your toes and hold for three sets of 1-minute counts (or as long as you can hold it).
• Floor reach - On the floor, on your back, raise your legs straight up while reaching your arms for your toes - forming a 'U' shape. Pause, and slowly lower back to starting position.
Repeat for three sets of 5-10 reps.
• Air bike - Lie face up on the floor and lace your fingers behind your head. Bring the knees in towards the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the ground without pulling on the neck.
Straight the left leg out to about a 45-degree angle while simultaneously turning the upper body to the right, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee.
Switch sides, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee.
Continue alternating sides in a 'pedaling' motion for 12-16 reps.
• Side hover - Instead of a plank with your face looking at the floor, try alternating with a side plank. Balance your body on one extended arm holding your upper body up. Hold for as long as you can. If you can't fully extend your arm to hold yourself up, try starting out on your elbow.
• Floor Crunch - see above.
• Floor Reach - see above.
• Advanced Hover or Plank - If you are feeling adventurous, try starting with the regular plank facing the floor, then after one minute, extend right leg out straight for 30 seconds. Relax the right left, then extend your left leg straight out behind you for 30 seconds. Repeat on right and left legs.
When you've finished pat yourself on the back and cool down with this post-workout smoothie.
2 medium oranges (10 ounces total), peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup whole, raw almonds
1 small sweet potato (about 4 ounces), scrubbed and coarsely chopped
1 medium apple (8 ounces), cored and cubed
1/2 cup water
In a blender, combine oranges, almonds, sweet potato, apple, and water; blend, scraping down sides occasionally, until smooth. Strain juice and, if desired, thin with additional water. Refrigerate up to 2 days (shake before serving).
Have a great weekend droolers! See you Monday.