I love a great set of abs. On men or women young or old, there is something about seeing the little cutlets of muscles along the torso that just scream fit to me!
My ab journey has been a love hate relationship. Like many of us, my torso is the first sign of any weight issues, and the last sign to show any real progress on the scale. Damn you bellah! Damn you! The women in my fam are quite hippy and curvy which helps to give the illusion of a waist. Me? I look like a 16 year old boy lol. Trust I’m not harping about my body, but lets just say I did not receive the curvy Latina/West Indian body gene that EVERY woman in my family was blessed with. No lovely lady lumps for me, more like bee stings and coined nicknames: FlatBush or sin naglas.
(My baby brother on the other hand? Blessed with the track star/football, bounce a quarter off it, drink afternoon tea on it booty…. No shade here though, he’s still a handsome man!)
Anywho, I wanted to share some great ab exercises that help me ‘get it right,(get it right, get it tight)’ =)
Plank: get into a push up position with your hands over your shoulders and fingers facing straight forward. Another variation is placing your forearms on the floor, elbows over your shoulders. Try to keep your booty in line with your shoulders. Too low and you can cause serious strain on your back. Too high and it’s a downward facing dog! Which isn’t a bad thing, not the goal for the moment lol.
Hold for 30 sec to a minute.
Too easy? Try lifting up one leg and hold.
(REMIX! Try a side plank: lie on your side then lift your body using your forearm, contracting your obliques. Reach your other hand toward the sky or place it on your hip. Your head, shoulders, hips and feet should form a straight line! Hold for 30 to 60 secs. )
Frog Sit Ups: Lie on the floor with your hands lightly behind your heads (no interlocking fingers!!!). Place the soles of your feet next to each other, knees pointed out so it looks like a butterfly stretch position. Perform sit ups as usual, contracting your abs and keeping your lower back to the floor.
Bicycles: Great workout for those love handles! If done properly of course. Start in a regular sit up position then bring in your left knee and stretch out your right leg. Bring your right shoulder towards your left knee. Do not touch with your elbow! This doesn’t allow your chest cavity to remain open and you are more likely to injure your neck if you touch elbow to knee.
Alternate touching the right shoulder to left knee and left shoulder to right knee. Repeat for 45 secs concentrating on form and those muscles!
These are just a few way to get that belly into shape! But don’t limit it to just a few exercises on the floor! Contract and hold your abs every time a commercial comes on or when you are at a stop light. Keep your posture in check to make sure your belly is taut and strong. You can actually ‘train’ your muscles to stay firm if you try these tips! Night Night! Keep those ab muscles tight!