Halloween ABS: 13 in 2013!

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Most of you have heard this before. Diet is 70% of your weight loss or muscle growth journey. While this is true, today we are going to give you 13 fantastic abdominal exercises that you can do right at home or in the gym. I get questions from people all the time about how I get my abs to show, and while they aren’t quite at the 6 pack formation I want just yet, they are coming along quite nicely:

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I try to maintain my diet as much as possible but usually on the weekends I let it slack a bit as I don’t go to the gym either those two days. That being said, here are 13 exercises that might make you feel a little bit better after eating all that Halloween candy!

1. Body Weight Bridge

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Lie down on the floor. Keep knees bent and feet on the floor. Wrap arms around your upper body. Lift your hip upward. Hold for one second. Return to starting position

2. Body Weight Crunch

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Lie down on the floor. Feet are flat on the floor and knees are bent. Position hands behind your head but do not pull on your neck. Raise your upper body upward while keeping your lower back on the floor. Hold for one second. Return to starting position.

3. Body Weight Bicycle

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Lie down on the floor. Lift legs so that your thighs are perpendicular with the ground. Put hands behind your head but do not pull on your neck. Move left elbow and right leg toward the body until they touch. Move left elbow and right leg back to starting position. At the same time, move right elbow and left leg toward the body until they touch. This is one repetition.

4. Body Weight Crunch Reverse

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Lie down on the floor. Lift legs so that your thighs are perpendicular with the ground. Position hands at your sides to stabilize position. Lift lower body towards the ceiling. Stop when only upper back is touching on the floor. Hold for one second. Return to starting position.

5. Heel Touch

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Lie down on the floor. Feet are flat on the floor and knees are bent. Position arms to your side. Lift shoulders off the floor. Touch your left heel with your left hand. Hold for one second. Return to starting position. Touch your right heel with your right hand. Hold for one second. Return to starting position. This is one repetition.

6. Plank

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Lie prone on the floor. Raise yourself up so that only your toes and forearms are on the floor. Keep your back straight. Hold for as long as possible.

7. Side Plank

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Lie on your side. Make sure one leg is on top of the other. Position your forearm on the floor perpendicular with your body. Use your forearm to lift your upper body off the ground. The other arm is placed on the side of your body. Hold for as long as possible.

8. Body Weight Pull In Seated

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Sit at the end of the bench and hold onto the bench with both hands. Lie back and raise your legs until you reach a position of balance. Keep legs straight. Bend Legs toward your upper body while you simultaneously move your upper body towards your thighs. Hold this position for one second before return to starting postion.

9. Scissor Kick

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Lie down on the floor. Place hands next to your sides. Extend legs fully and slightly elevated. While keeping legs straight, raise one leg up. As you lower leg, raise the other leg up. This is one repetition.

10. Sit-Up

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Lie back on the floor. Put hands behind your head but do not pull on your neck. Knees are bent and feet are on the floor. Raise your upper body upward. Hold for one second. Return to starting position.

11. Body Weight Toe Touch

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Lie down on the floor. Lift legs until legs are pependicular with the floor. Fully extend your arms above you. Reach for your toes with your hands. Hold for one second. Return to starting position.

12. Bodyweight Twist

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Lie down on the floor. Lift legs until thighs are perpendicular with the ground. Keep legs straight. Fully extend your arms to your sides. While twisting the upper body, lower your legs to one side. Hold for one second. Return to starting position. While twisting the upper body, lower your legs to the other side. Hold for one second. Return to starting position.

13. Russian Twist

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Sit down with your feet flat on the mat. Your knees should be bent. Lean back slightly. Position your hands together and keep your hands in this position for the rest of the movement (you can also hold a light dumbbell or medicine ball for more advanced exercise). Your arms should be perpendicular with your upper body. Twist your torso in one direction. Hold for one second. Twist your torso in the other direction. Hold for one second. This is one repetition.

So there you have 13 abdominal exercises to add to your arsenal. Complete each one 25-30 times. If you can not do them without stopping, take a break as many times as needed but complete 25-30 reps, 3 sets for each exercise. You don’t need to do all 13. Pick 3 for lower abs, 3 for your obliques and 3 for upper abs and this will round out your workout. Next week we will post a sample diet to follow while you try to bring out those abs! Happy Halloween everyone and be safe!

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10 Mistakes in Your Ab Workout

But here’s the thing about ab training: What you do is only one half of the equation. What you don’t do is the other—and I’m not just talking about the usual pre-photo shoot fitness model tricks like avoiding sodium, carbs, happiness, or air. I’m referring to the piles of abominable abdominal misinformation lurking out there, both on television and in casual conversation. Perhaps more than any other body part, ab training keeps you constantly on guard against making basic mistakes.

Below are 10 of the biggest ab training mistakes I see people make. I could say I “always” see people make them, because that’s how people talk about abs, but that’s not technically accurate. I mean, everybody has to blink sometimes, and every once in a while I have to go get a drink of water. But aside from that, yeah, it’s pretty much constant.

But if you can minimize—or completely eliminate—these mistakes, you might just see your abs pop out sooner than planned.

AB FLUB 1: FORGETTING ABOUT COMPOUND EXERCISES
If you strictly perform isolation ab exercises, you’re making a huge mistake. Compound movements like deadlifts, squats, and overhead presses engage every inch of your core. Don’t forget to include them in your training program.

AB FLUB 2: DOING AB EXERCISES FIRST
Your abs are part of your core area, which helps stabilize your body. If you fatigue them early in your workout, you will have a hard time doing other ab-intensive exercises like squats.

And just so we’re clear, the role that your core plays in squats is to protect your spine, so you want them to have a full tank at that point. Save your ab training for the end.

AB FLUB 3: THINKING YOU CAN OUT-CRUNCH YOUR DIET
The secret to visible abs is no secret at all: Lower your body fat percentage. This doesn’t happen by doing hundreds of reps of ab exercises—nor thousands, nor millions. You can train your abs all you want, but if your diet isn’t in check, you’ll never see that six-pack.

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“YOU CAN TRAIN YOUR ABS ALL YOU WANT, BUT IF YOUR DIET ISN’T IN CHECK, YOU’LL NEVER SEE THAT SIX-PACK.”

AB FLUB 4: HAVING A FULL WORKOUT JUST FOR ABS
All you need is 15 minutes. If you’re already doing compound exercises like squats and deadlifts, one or two ab exercises for 2-3 sets each at the end of your workout is sufficient.

AB FLUB 5: TRAINING THEM EVERY DAY
“But Arnold worked the abs every day!” Save it. Abs are just like any other muscle in your body. That means they need time to recover. When they get worked hard, a couple of days’ reprieve is necessary, in my opinion.

If you can crunch yourself into submission one day and then wake up the next morning ready for more, take it as proof that crunches aren’t actually working your abs as hard as they should be.

Try a harder movement and tell me if you’re up for repeating it tomorrow.

AB FLUB 6: ONLY DOING CRUNCHES
I heard the question you just screamed “So what’s better than a crunch, maaan?” There are dozens of exercises that are much more effective than the traditional crunch.

In fact, the traditional crunch is one of the least effective ab exercises you can do. And just because you can’t perform these other movements for hundreds of reps doesn’t mean they’re not effective. Trust me, this one is: click here for video

AB FLUB 7: NOT FOCUSING ON FORM
Again, abs are just like any other muscle in your body. So why are you writhing around like you’re on fire to work them, when you’re a stickler for form on your squats and presses? Focus on form and make sure your abs engage in every rep.

When you start doing more advanced and effective ab movements like the pike roll-out, you’ll discover that they’re pretty much impossible to perform sloppily.

AB FLUB 8: FORGETTING ABOUT YOUR LOWER BACK
The core has a front and a side, but it has a back, too. A lot of people neglect the lower back muscles (erector spinae), so make sure to train them just as you would with every other muscle.

If you want to have a strong core, treat your lower back like your abs. Train it hard and smart, and you’ll feel as strong as you look.

AB FLUB 9: ONLY WORKING IN ONE ANGLE
Your obliques, transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, and erector spinae are all part of your core, but they’re different muscles with fibers running in all manner of directions. You must train them in more than just one angle.

Complex, difficult movements like windshield wipers can work the whole team at the same time, but if you’re not there yet, don’t take it as an excuse to revert back to middle-school-crunch tests.

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Seated twists (spinal rotation), hyperextensions (spinal extension), side bends (lateral spinal flexion), and planks (isometric/stabilization) are all movements that target your core in more comprehensive ways than the typical crunch (spinal flexion).

AB FLUB 10: USING INFOMERCIAL AB GIZMOS
Click here for YouTube video

Seriously? That thing brings you about as close as possible to kicking your own ass. And if you really think that wiggling from side to side is enough to make you lose 10 pounds in two weeks, you’ve got the kick coming!

For more information go to BodyBuilding.com