Friday, July 23, 2010

More Flat Abs

By now, you're an expert on the medicine ball crunch. Ready to add variety to your weekly workout? Here are a few exercises to add to your Flat Abs routine that are from my "Belly Blast Class".

Plank: 
This is the Mecca of Abs. It will help to retrain your core to be on your side and to be flat!

Beginning on all fours, walk your hands out until your palms are directly under your shoulders, then walk your feet out until your body forms a "plank" position (pictured below) or what is recognized as the beginning of a push up.

Goal:
Your goal is to hold this position for 10 seconds to start. Allow your arms, abdominals, and legs to contract and get stronger. Your body may begin to quiver...that's a GOOD sign, don't come out of it yet, hold on a little longer until you've reached the goal.

Remember your form in this move:
Try to keep your head relaxed looking down towards the floor. Your body should be straight, no sagging in the middle (if anything think of lifting your hips slightly up towards the ceiling). Most important: Pull your belly button in towards your spine to maximize your results. 

Picture 1/Full Plank position
 Work up to holding this plank up to 30, 40, 60 seconds at a time.


Plank with yoga ball:
Try your plank on the yoga ball. This is advanced and should only be done once the plank on a flat surface can be held for at least 35 seconds. The same form should apply to this position. Remember no sagging those hips down towards the floor and pull your belly button in towards your spine. Have Fun!

Picture 2/Yoga Ball Plank position

For an added blast:
Not ready for the "yoga ball plank", but ready to step your plank up to the next level? 

Forearm Plank:
Begin in your Full Plank position (picture 1), but this time come down to your forearms. You can interlace your fingers or keep palms flat on the ground as pictured.

Picture 3/ Forearm Plank
Picture 4/ Knees bent hovering over floor












Do 10 knees bends after a 10 second plank. Repeat for 2-3 sets

To execute this movement, you will hold your forearm plank for 10 seconds, then bend and straighten your knees just enough that your knees are hovering above the floor/mat. *Your knees never touch the mat in this exercise*


Picture 3/Forearm Plank
Picture 6/ Leg Raise












Do 10-14 leg raises total (5-7 each leg) after holding your plank for 10 seconds

Begin in your forearm plank (picture 3). Slowly raise one leg in the air while keeping everything else stable. Take 2 counts up and two counts down. Take your time and focus on your form in this exercise. Feel the burn!!

Recommended Playlist:
Don't forget your music, it helps ease you through a workout

Usher, O.M.G.  OMG  Omg
  B.o.B feat. Haley Williams of Paramore, Airplanes  Airplanes  Airplanes [Feat. Hayley Williams Of Paramore] (Explicit Album Version)

4 comments:

Naimah said...

Love the plank! It's such a great position to practice. I like to make sure I use it in my work out, you do really get great results!!!
Thanks, I'm gonna try it on the ball next!

* Ebony * said...

Thanks for your comment! Planks are a great way to enhance a workout, let me know how the yoga ball takes it to the next level!! Enjoy!

jarina said...

I love the motivating spirit in this blog. Got to hit the gym tomorrow and try all out.
Thanks:)

* Ebony * said...

Jarina:
Motivation is key to a fulfilling workout, I am glad you get that energy from me. I'll work to keep that going. Let me know how the gym goes and if you have any questions about new exercise, form etc.