Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Best Ab Exercises

You can thank the Big Guy upstairs for that muffin top. Womens' bodies are programmed to store more fat in the abdominal area to aid in pregnancy. This is all great, grand and wonderful when you're preggers but most of us are not the majority of the time! That means we have to work twice as hard as our male counterparts to flatten our tummies. But never fear, Jessi is here! Through research and A LOT of trial and error (more error than trial...?), I have compiled my favorite, most fun and most effective ab workouts. (p.s I am fully aware how ridiculous these pictures are, but ill embaress myself to help you ladies out!)

The stability ball transfer: Get into the position as shown and on the exhale lift both legs and arms up and transfer the ball from your arms to inbetween your legs. Lower down to starting position and hold, then repeat. Push yourself on this one and go for 20-25 reps.

Pike with ball: Start in push-up position with your feet on the stability ball and your hands on the floor, elbow under your shoulders. Move the ball towards your chest and pike your body in a V-position. This is probably the hardest because not only are you contracting your abs through the entire move you have to balance as well.

Stability ball roll out: Kneel on your mat with the ball directly in front of you. Roll the ball forward as you exhale contracting your abs through the entire move. Hold keeping your body straight without letting your belly sink or your butt in the air and pull the ball back in toward you as you sit back up to kneeling position.

Yoga abs: Start in a plank position on your mat. Pull your left knee in to touch your right elbow and hold for 3 seconds. Return to plank and pull your knee to your nose holding for 3 seconds. Return to plank and bring your left knee to your left elbow and hold for three. Return to plank and do three push ups and repeat for the other leg.

So start with those and let me know what you think. Other good ones are mountain climbers (which double for getting your heart rate up and blood pumping), regular crunches on a stability ball, ab machines, plank, and bicycle. Remember when doing abs on your back look up at the ceiling behind you and keep your elbows down when they are behind your head. Try to do these every other day and add a new one each time, you need to give your muscles time to recover in order to build and burn fat effectively. Happy crunching!

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