My 11 Minute Ab Workout
In the age of technology, people are beginning to find themselves immersed into a daily life that leaves little time for doing the things they enjoy. Or, for doing the things that they want to enjoy such as working out. Due to this supposed lack of time, more and more people are seeking quick and easy health regimes that will still give the results they desire. I was once one of these people that was looking for a shortcut to abs, but only after a lot of research did I realized that there is no shortcut. There is only smart planning. A flat stomach and strong core are not just the result of doing ab exercises. Developing a smart ab routine that targets many areas can help you achieve your goals faster than eating healthy, doing intense strength training, but only doing easy non-specific ab exercises ever will. I have tried many different ab workouts from online trainers and models; however, I have never found a workout that I not only get better results from, but also enjoy more than the one I have put together myself. This is my 11 minute ab workout...
1) Heel Touches (Lower Abs) - Lay on your back with your arms by your sides, and lift your legs up into the air bending the knees at a 90° angle. From here, slowly bring your right leg down until the heel lightly touches the ground being sure to move the leg from the hip in order to keep the knee bent. After touching the heel to the ground bring the leg back up and then repeat the process on the left side. Keep repeating heel touches for 1 minute.
2) Toe Taps (Obliques) - Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet resting flat on the ground. Lift the upper body off of the floor slightly with arms extending towards your toes. Begin to move your upper body side to side gently touching the side of your feet with your fingertips. Keep moving side to side for 1 minute.
3) Bicycle Crunches (Lower Abs) - Lay on your back with legs extended straight. Lift your upper body off of the ground slightly while your arms remain at your sides, and begin to pull your legs towards your head alternating from right to left as if your riding a bike while laying on the ground. Keep alternating for 1 minute.
4) Half Wipers (Core) - Lay flat on the ground with your arms extending out to form a "T". Lift both of your legs off of the ground and bend them at a 90° angle the same way you would if you were doing heel touches. Next, slowly wipe your legs side to side similar to the motion of windshield wipers while resisting the urge to let them touch the ground. Remember to keep your torso still and to not put tension in your arms. USE YOUR CORE TO MOVE! Wipe for 1 minute.
5) Sitting Punches (Obliques) - Sit up straight and bend your legs. Then, lift your legs off of the floor crossing your ankles for stability. For beginners it will be easier to do this exercise sitting higher up, if this is not challenging enough then try leaning back further. Once you're sitting with your legs raised and ankles crossed, begin to punch at the air in front of you. Start with your right hand in a fist at your waist and punch with your left arm making sure to punch across your body. After the punch, quickly draw your left hand to your waist and punch across your body with your right arm. The faster you punch the more effective it will be. Continue alternating punches for 1 minute.
6) Hundreds (Upper Abs) - Lay on your back and raise your legs into the air bending the knees at a 90° angle keeping your arms at your sides. Cross the ankles for stability and then lift your upper body off of the ground slightly. Proceed to pump your arms up and down at your sides keeping your palms facing towards the ground. Your arms should be pumping in short tiny motions, not swinging. Pump for 1 minute.
7) Flutter Kicks (Six Pack) - Lay on your back with your arms at your sides and legs extended straight. Keeping your arms on the ground and without tension, lift your legs off of the floor and kick your feet up and down alternating from left to right. The kicks should be a light motion. The objective is to flutter your feet not swing your legs up and down. Flutter your legs for 30 seconds.
8) Leg Raise Scissors (Lower Abs) - Lay on the ground with your legs extended straight in front of you and arms at your sides. Cross your right ankle over the left and then raise your legs straight into the air bringing them as straight up and down from the ground as you can get them. Once you reach this point, slowly bring them back down to the ground resisting the urge to let your legs touch the ground. While lowered, uncross your ankles and recross them with your left on top of your right this time. Then bring them up into the air in the same motion, then slowly lower them to the ground again. Repeat this process for 30 seconds.
9) Sitting Twists (Obliques) - Sit up with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Next, lift your legs off of the ground and remember that the further back you sit the harder the exercise will be. If it is hard to balance on your tailbone then try crossing your ankles for more stability. Now clasp your hands together as if you have caught a bug and don't want it to get out. Keeping your hands together, rotate your upper body from side to side reaching to touch your hip bone with your hands at each twist. Keep twisting for 30 seconds.
10) Sitting Crunch Kicks (Lower Abs) - Sit on the ground with your legs extending in front of you and arms extended straight. Lift your legs off of the ground bending slightly at the knees, and repeatedly kick them out in front of you then pull them back towards your torso. The further back you lean the harder this exercise will be. This exercise can be difficult because of balance so try to find a rhythm in order to use your momentum to help you balance. Kick in and out for 30 seconds.
11) Elbow Plank (Six Pack) - Get onto your hands and knees making sure that your arms are directly beneath your shoulders. Then extend your legs straight back behind you balancing on your toes and holding yourself up on your elbows. While planking be sure to keep your body in as straight of a line as possible, you shouldn't sag or have a rounded back. Also, remember to breathe. Planking can be hard so you may unknowingly start holding your breath. Suck in air for several seconds and then exhale loudly for a few seconds longer than you inhaled. Try to keep the same breathing pattern throughout the exercise. Plank for 1 minute.
12) Side Crunches (Obliques) - Lay on your right side with your knees bent, if this is uncomfortable try raising the top knee so that it's less vertical and a little more horizontal. Cross your left ankle underneath the right ankle for stability. Now, bend your elbows out in front of you clasping your hands together, holding them in fists out in front of you as if you're going to punch, or crossing them behind your head. Now thrust up as you face the right wall, you should immediately begin to feel this in your obliques. I have found that at my pace I usually finish 50 crunches in 1 minute, but just do as many as you can. When you finish on your right side, switch to your left side. Don't forget to cross your right ankle underneath your left ankle. Do as many crunches on this side as you did on the right side in 1 minute.
Now I'm definitely not a health guru, or fitness know-all so I'm sure there are definitely ways the routine could be improved depending on your specific body type, or for how toned of a stomach you're hoping to achieve. But, this is a quick routine that has continually challenged me for several months now and has actually given results. However, don't forget that a healthy, toned body takes more dedication than eleven minutes of abs. Cardio, strength training/conditioning, and healthy eating are all important and vital components as well. Now stop reading and go out there and get fit!