lifestyle

Exercise: 5 Fab No-Flab Ab Exercises

lifestylehealth-wellness

Whether your baby is 6 months or 16, the ab “pooch” can always be blamed on your big-headed baby, am I right? The good news is that there are lots of exercises you can do that will help reduce the flab and increase the fab! I’ve picked 5 to share with you.

5 Ab Exercises to Get Rid of Flab

1. Technique

First of all, none of your exercises will be any good if you do them wrong. So my first tip is to show you how to contract properly. If you bounce or protrude, then you’ll get stronger, but you won’t like the look. I use a tuna can in this video because it’s the right weight. You can use a protein bar if you prefer!

2. Oblique Ab Crunches

Your external obliques run diagonally, forming a V in front. Imagine you’re putting your hands into a vest or front coat pocket – voila! Your internal obliques run at right angles to your external obliques and form an inverted V.  Put your hands on your hips with your thumbs in front and fingers behind, pointing down as if putting your hands into back pockets. Why the short lesson in musculature? Because we see so many people just twisting side to side, and your obliques don’t run that way. You have to move in the direction of the muscles to properly work them. So no elbows to knees or quick twists; aim your chest or armpit toward the opposite knee and keep your elbows to the side. We show the wrong and right way to do oblique crunches in this post.

3. Reverse Curl (aka “reverse crunch”)

This one is great because it works from the bottom up, requires compression, targets the area most people want to look better (ie, below the navel vs above it), and gets lots of oblique and rectus abdominis activity. Compress your abs and lift your hips toward the ceiling. If your legs come toward your face, then away, you are moving from hip flexors (you don’t want that). You should have very little movement, and your legs should stay at a 90 degree angle to the floor.

4. Standing wood chop (best with a medicine ball or something similar)

Stand with feet hip distance apart and slowly bring the medicine ball to the left, high and behind you (in peripheral vision on left). Keep your head, hips and torso facing forward (you’ll be tempted to rotate them). Keeping control of your speed, bring the medicine ball down and across your body toward the right hip. Repeat on both sides.

5. Seated Swirlies

We made this one up, and tend to just call it the Wicked Hard Abs Move because it’s hard to do, yet gives great results. It can also give you a swirlie so be warned! Sit with bent knees and arms tight across your chest. Take your feet off the floor and twist your body in a full circle clockwise, then counterclockwise. You’ll be tempted to use your arms or torso to “fling” yourself around, but avoid temptation! If you get stuck, you can walk the feet around - you’ll still get the benefits of the move.

What are some of your favorite exercises to get your abs in shape?

Alexandra Williams, MA has been teaching, mentoring, presenting, emceeing, editing and writing about fitness for over 25 years. Co-owner of Fun and Fit with her twin sister, Alexandra is currently on staff in the Dept. of Exercise Studies at UCSB, is a contributing editor and writer for IDEA International Health and Fitness Association, and co-host of the international online radio show, "Fun and Fit",  based on the witty fitness advice blog of the same name. She is also a former judge for international aerobic championships. Her advanced degree in counseling has helped her succeed as a presenter at professional conventions both in the US and Europe, and as a master teacher for university students and new group exercise leaders. She loves people, fitness and a microphone--a winning combination! You can reach her at [email protected].

 

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