Walk The Plank! (April Abs Challenge)

Hey everybody! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend because I know I did. Yesterday I participated in the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) group exercise certification workshop. It was a great experience where I learned some new group exercise techniques and finished the workshop off with a practical and written exam. I feel like I did very well, but I’ll found out my official results in 4 weeks. Wish me luck!

Can you believe we are almost done with our abs challenge? Hopefully you all are on pace to reach your goals for the month. I have to say this challenge has been harder to me than the 3000 Squat Challenge in March, but in a good way. Before the April Abs Challenge I would normally work on my abs every other day due to the muscle group needing proper recovery time. Working different sections of my abs every single day has really helped but I have definitely been sore.

For the last week we are going to take it up another level and finish strong. Remember, when working the abs you want to focus on 4 areas which are our 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 assists with adding definition and sculpting your abs in different ways.  The new exercises were focusing on today are decline reverse crunch, incline crunch, and walk out plank (pirate style!).

LEG RAISE (Target: Upper Abs)

  1. Lie on your back with your lower back pressed against the bench
  2. Head and neck should be relaxed, you should be holding on to the top edges of the bench while both your hips and knees should be bent at a 90 degree angle.
  3. Contract your lower abs to raise your hips towards your rib cage, rolling up and slowly curling your tailbone up off the bench.
  4. Exhale on the lift, inhale as you slowly lower your hips back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat

DECLINE CRUNCH (Target: Lower Abs)

  1. This is a standard crunch but on a declined bench
  2. Keep your hands across your chest if you are not holding a weight plate
  3. Breathing technique is also very important with abdominal training to get a maximal contraction on each rep so find a steady breathing rate and stick to it.
  4. Repeat

WALK OUT PLANK (Focus: Core)

  1. Start in a standing position with your feet about shoulder-width apart
  2. Bend forward at the hip and dynamically stretch your hamstrings as you touch the floor and use your hands to walk out into a plank position
  3. Contract your core and walk your hands back up towards your body complete the plank
  4. Repeat

TIPS TO REMEMBER

  1. Be careful to watch your form!
  2. Make sure you are doing each exercise at a nice tempo.
  3. 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.
  4. Make sure you switch up the exercises you are doing for each target area. Just like with our strength training you want to make sure you are always switching up your exercises.
  5. Lastly, make sure you target two different areas each day. You don’t want to work the same area continuously.. You want to give each muscle area time to recover before training them again. 

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO:

I hope everyone continues to work their abs hard. Also if you haven’t started the challenge yet, it’s definitely not too late. This week look forward to an article about Zumba, our weekly nutrition discussion and, of course, Photo Friday.

Yours In Fitness,

Lauren “LC” Chatman

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