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Welcome to Jasmine’s Workout Wednesdays. As a mom, I know how hard it is to fit in time for yourself. So each week I’ll feature a new workout that’s easy to do and requires minimal time. Let’s pledge to spend at least 10 minutes a day to better our health, and together we can do this!
Ahh … those tricky abs. What I would give to have an amazing stomach. But realistically, I just want to look good in a bathing suit. I want to feel confident this summer and not have to suck in my stomach every time I am sitting down. But in order to do that, I need to start “sucking it up so I won’t have to suck it in.”
Believe it or not, abdominal work is probably one of my favorite exercises to do. Why, you ask? Because I get to lay on the floor and mentally lie to myself and pretend it’s not a workout since I’m not on my feet.
I like to start my abdominal workouts by getting my heart rate up first. To do this, simply add a five-minute cardio session before you hit your abs! Great cardio that’s easy to do includes: jump rope (if you don’t have a jump rope, just use your invisible one), running in place, jumping jacks, cross country skiers, mountain climbers and lunge jumps.
After your quick cardio session it’s time to start your abdominal workout. There are a variety of workouts that target different parts of your abdomen. Here are a list of my favorites. Pick one or two of these workouts and try doing at least one to three sets of 12-16 reps. Don’t forget to listen to your body!
- The Bicycle: Works on getting your waist down and defining your lower abs (AKA mom pooch).
Lie on your back on a mat with your hands behind your head lightly, your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your left knee up and bring your right elbow over to your left knee, and then bring your left elbow over to your right knee in a twisting, bicycle pedal motion. Alternate opposite elbow to opposite knee with hands behind your head in a slow and controlled manner and with full extension of each leg on every repetition. Always remember to breath naturally. I like to exhale every time I lift my elbow to my knees.
- Vertical Leg Crunches: Works muscles of the thighs and defines the upper abs.
Lie on your back with legs straight up and knees slightly bent. Your legs will stay in this fixed position. Place hands behind head lightly. Lift your shoulder blades up off the floor and bring your torso towards your knees. Lower and repeat.
- Traditional Crunches: Works on defining your upper abs.
Lie on your back with knees bent. Place your hands behind your head lightly. Begin by bringing your shoulders off the floor, towards your knees. Lower shoulders and repeat.
- Planks: Works on defining your lower abs and back, building endurance and stabilizing muscles.
This is one of the most effective of the abdominal exercise. Don’t be deceived by how simple this looks, it will definitely work out those muscles. Lie down on your stomach. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows with your arms laying flat. Your weight should be balanced on your arms and on the toes. Hold this position for about 60 seconds and release. Repeat.
- Rope Pulls: Works upper abs and arms
Lie on your back with your legs straight up and knees slightly bent. Your legs will stay in this fixed position. Bringing your shoulder and torso up, extend your arms, reaching for your feet. Begin to imagine there is a rope by your feet. Start trying to climb the rope with your hand. Pulling up and down while keeping your shoulder and torso off the ground.
Always remember to go at your own pace, stay hydrated and maintain proper form. If you are unsure how to do the workout properly, you can either google that specific workout or find it on YouTube. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and we will be sure to reply as soon as we can.