Welcome to April and our new focus of the month, April Abs. I hope you all enjoyed the 3000 Squat Challenge as much as I did. I’m proud to announce that I completed 6,500 squats which exceeded my goal of 6,000 squats. I’d love to hear how many squats you did in March. Did you reach your goal? Everyone’s legs should be looking great! Now it’s time to get our abs nice and tight.
Since we’re focusing on abs this month let’s start with a few things of importance. One important factor in working our midsection is to hit four key target areas: lower abs, upper abs, obliques and core. It’s mandatory when you are working out your abs to hit all four areas if you want to truly define your abs. Targeting all four areas adds definition and sculpts your abs in different ways. As always, since we are in this together I wanted to share a few exercises with you to get you started.
REVERSE CRUNCHES (Focus: Lower Abs)
- Lie on the floor and place your hands on the floor or behind your head
- Bring your knees in towards your chest until they’re bent at 90 degrees with your feet together or crossed
- Contract your abs to curl the hips off the floor, reaching the legs up towards the ceiling
- Lower and repeat
Tip: It’s a very small movement so try to use your abs to lift your hips rather than swinging your legs and creating momentum
VERTICAL LEG CRUNCH (Focus: Upper Abs)
- Lie on the floor and extend your legs straight up with knees crossed
- Place your hands behind your head for support but avoid pulling on your neck
- Contract your abs to lift the shoulder blades off the floor, as though reaching your chest towards your feet
- Keep your legs in a fixed position and imagine bringing your belly button towards your spine at the top of the movement
- Lower and repeat
RUSSIAN TWIST (Focus: Obliques)
- Sit on the ground with your feet on the floor.
- Rotate the hips to either side, alternating left and right with a fluid, controlled movement without stopping in the middle.
Tip: You can do this with a medicine ball, a weight between 3–10 lbs., or just your body weight.
LONG ARM CRUNCH (Focus: Overall Core)
- Lie on a mat and extend your arms straight out behind your head with your hands clasped, keeping your arms next to the ears.
- Contract your abs and lift your shoulder blades off the floor.
- Keep your arms straight and avoid straining your neck. If you feel neck pain, take one hand and place it behind your head while keeping the other arm extended.
Tip: You can hold a dumbbell or medicine ball to make the exercise more challenging.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
Watch your form!! Make sure you are doing each exercise right and at a nice tempo.
Feel free to have someone hold your feet or place a weight on your feet to assist you if needed on any of the exercises.
Make sure when you are doing your abs you periodically switch up the exercises for each target area. Similar to strength training you want to make sure you’re always switching up your exercises.
Lastly, make sure you target two different areas each day. You don’t want to work the same area continuously two days in a row. You want to give that area time to recover before training them again. For example, one day you can target your lower abs and obliques. Then the next day upper abs and core.
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO
This week look forward to cardio suggestions, new arm exercises, nutrtion and of course new pictures on Photo Friday.
Yours In Fitness,