If a “six-pack” is on your wish list this holiday season you will need to clean up your diet and focus on strength training to tone abdominal muscles and eliminate that pesky fat that sits on top of them. Many people carry their weight in the lower portion of the belly and don’t realize that most crunch-like exercises target the upper abdominal muscles. To work your lower abs you need to start incorporating anti-extension and anti-rotation exercises into your workouts.
Try these four exercises; these movements require you to resist extension or rotation at the spine and strengthen the lower abdominal muscles:
How: Begin on the floor on your knees and rest your forearms on a foam roller. Roll the foam roller out in front of you as far as you can without arching your lower back. Return to start.
How: Lie on your back with your knees bent and shins parallel to the floor. Extend your arms toward the ceiling and tighten your abdominals while you lower one arm toward the floor and straighten the opposite leg. Only lower your limbs as far as you can without arching your lower back. Return to start and repeat on the opposite side.
SINGLE LEG CRUNCH
How: Lie on your back and bend one knee with your foot on the ground. Put the same side arm behind your head for support. Extend your opposite leg out straight on the ground. Engage your abs to elevate your head while lifting your leg and then return to start.
How: Set up in a forearm plank with your feet on sliders or on a wood floor. Brace your core and push yourself away from your forearms. Only slide as far back as you’re able without letting your stomach drop to the floor. Reset by pulling yourself back toward your forearms.
Need help getting started? Contact me to discuss a plan on how to get your abdominals stronger and leaner!