Friday, April 9, 2010

20 Minute Abs

Do you get stumped trying to be creative with your abdominal routine? If you do the same abdominal routine every time you go to the gym, you may have noticed that it stopped working. Many people don't realize how or what exactly they are working when exercising. If you can focus more on where you should be feeling the exercise, you will get more out of your routine.

The abdominal muscles include, and are not limited to, the rectus abdominis (all four sections), transverse abdominis (upper and lower fibers), internal/external obliques (anterior and lateral fibers), pyramidalis, and yes, even that psoas! That's a lot of ground to cover with your routine. I am going to give you a full abdominal workout, but here are some helpful hints before you start your exercises:

1) Make sure you lift the shoulder blades off the ground or ball when crunching.
2) If you are on the ball, stretch all the way back as you come back down from crunching up so that you get a slight curve in your lumbar spine and get those spinal erectors involved in the movement.
3) Feeling pain in your back with exercise is not okay! Make sure that you can do the exercises pain free, if not, then you need to ease up on repetitions and build more strength.

Here's the routine:

Stretch Back Ball Crunches (20-30 reps)
Alternating Oblique Ball Crunches (30-40 reps)
Plank Holds (60 seconds)
Side Plank Ups (15 reps each side repeat twice)
Side Lying Leg Lifts (feet together lifting both, 15 reps each side repeat twice)
Pilates 100s (count 100 bounces with arms)
V-ups (20-30 reps)
Lower Abdominal Knee Tucks on Ground (30-40 reps)
Bicycle (30-40 reps)
Alternating Lower Abdominal Leg Extensions on Ground(20-30 reps)
Reverse Crunches (20 reps)
Lower Abdominal Scissors on Ground (20-30 reps)

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