My 11 Minute Ab Workout Part 2
Back in January I wrote a detailed post about my eleven-minute ab routine and how to do it. Many of my viewers seemed to enjoy this post, and several even tried out the routine for themselves. After expressing their love and success with the routine I decided that it only makes sense if I write about my second ab routine. I know some of you may be thinking, "Why do you have two routines when one of them already works?" and the answer is so that my brain and my abs don't get bored.
When your targeted muscles are continually exposed to the same routine, with the same exercises, and for a long duration of time (for example three to four months) then you will eventually begin seeing fewer results. Put simply, once your abs become conditioned to the same stimuli they stop working as hard thus giving you fewer results. It took me months to figure out an ab routine that worked for me, and by the time I wrote my first post I was getting close to the point of having conditioned abs. So, I quickly began formulating another routine so that I could continue to challenge my muscles and my mind. This is my eleven-minute ab routine part two:
1) Elbow Plank (Six Pack) - 1 minute - Planks are an incredible exercise not only for your six pack, but also for your arms, shoulders, and back which is why I always try to incorporate one into any routine that I do. If a regular elbow plank is too easy or boring try a different plank variation such as a spider plank, windshield wiper plank, up/down planks, or an elbow plank with hip twists. For a regular elbow plank 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 entire routine.
2) Sitting Twists (Obliques) - 1 minute - 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's hard to balance on your tailbone then try crossing your ankles for more stability. Now clasp your hands together as if you've 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. If this exercise is too easy even when sitting far back then add some weight to the exercise by holding a medicine ball or similar heavy object when twisting.
3) Dead Bug (Complete) - 1 minute - Lay on your back and lift your legs off of the ground bending your knees at a ninety-degree angle. Now raise your arms straight up into the air. Lower your left leg to the ground straightening it as you move while simultaneously lowering your right arm behind you. Return your leg and arm to the starting position and repeat the same motion with your right leg and left arm. Repeat.
4) Leg Raises (Lower Abs) - 1 minute - Lay on your back with your legs extended straight and your arms tucked by your sides. Now lift your legs into the air until the come to an approximate forty-five degree angle with the ground, hold for a few seconds, and slowly lower them back to the ground. This exercise is easier to do if you tuck your thumbs underneath your bum, and pretend your legs are glued together.
5) Toe Touches (Upper Abs) - 50 touches - Lay on your back and extend your legs as straight up into the air as you can get them to go. Now lift your arms straight into the air and pulse up as close to touching your toes as you can. Repeat this process 50 times remembering to keep your legs as straight up as you can, and to breathe. I chose fifty toe touches because it takes me just under one minute to do fifty, but this number may be more or less depending on your ability.
6) Scissors (Lower Abs) - 1 minute - Lay on your back with your legs extended straight and arms tucked by your sides. Now lift your legs just slightly off of the ground and cross your left ankle over your right, then cross your right ankle over your left, and repeat. This exercise can get tough so remember to tuck your thumbs under your bum and breathe.
7) Toe Taps (Obliques) - 1 minute - Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet resting flat on the ground. Lift the upper body slightly off of the floor with arms extending towards your toes. Begin to move your upper body side to side gently touching/reaching for your heels with your fingertips. If your neck begins to hurt make sure that your spine is straight and that you're not tipping your head forward or backward.
8) Bicycle (Obliques) - 1 minute - Lay on your back with your legs extended straight and place your arms behind the base of your skull. Now lift your upper body slightly off of the floor and bring your right leg in while twisting to bring your left elbow to meet your knee. Now repeat this process by bringing your left leg in while twisting to make your right elbow meet your left kneecap. Repeat this process at a moderate pace as if you're pedaling on a bike and whatever you do, DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH.
9) Reverse Crunches (Lower Abs) - 1 minute - Lay on your back with your arms tucked by your sides and legs in the air bent at a ninety-degree angle. Now swing your legs towards your chest then slowly lower them towards the ground without actually touching the ground and repeat. Once again, this exercise is easier with your thumbs tucked under your bum, and pretending that your knees are glued together.
10) Side Planks (Obliques) - 1 minute EACH side - Lay on your right side and raise yourself up onto your right elbow stacking one leg on top of the other. It's up to you what you do with your other arm, but I personally like to place it on my hip. Continue holding yourself up for the entire minute and then repeat on the other side. Sometimes I feel like side planks aren't really do anything for me, so to make it harder I either try to do it on an extended arm, or by adding a yoga pose into it by bending my top leg and placing my foot on top of the knee of my other leg, and extending my arm into the sky (imagine doing tree pose but in a side plank). No matter which way you choose to side plank be sure to keep your body in a straight line. No sagging behinds!
I know that there are a few repeat exercises from my first routine to this second routine, but when I find exercises that I really like, that really work, or both I try to incorporate them into every opportunity I get. Remember that I am not a fitness know-all and that everyone has different bodies that have different needs, so don't feel down if this routine is too hard or doesn't work because then you're just one step closer to figuring out what does. Now as I said in my last post stop reading, go out there, and get fit!