Kiss that muffin top good-bye!
I get it. I think it is safe to say we all want a flatter, more toned tummy, and it happens to be one of the hardest muscle groups to get in shape. If you hate crunches, but also hate muffin tops, the following five exercises are for you. I am not a personal trainer, but on my path to fitness, I have found these exercises are good ones for touching the major abdominal muscles. You may have to tailor the exercises or programs to your ability level (aka. you are responsible for your own health and safety).
Note: I am closer to a six-pack by going to the grocery store and picking one up than I am in my abdomen, but I'm working in it. Translation: If I can do this and feel the burn, you can do it, too.
1. Side leg left
Lay on your side, balancing yourself with the help of one elbow and the other hand on the ground. Start with feet together, body in a straight line. Keeping legs straight, lift legs at same time up, hold. and slowly lower back down. Flip over and repeat. Try for 10-12 reps, 1-3x per side.
2. Forward-facing leg lift and kick
Start seated on your tush, elbows supporting your weight so you are slightly propped up. Bring knees up to a slight bend and heels up so legs are off the floor. Extend legs fully, hold, and retract to bent-knee position. Keep those feet in the air! Repeat. Try for 10-12 reps, 1-3x.
3. Side body bends
If you have some light weights for this exercise, great, if not, don't worry. Stand straight up, feet should width apart. Keep lower body still and back straight, bend at the waist and lean slightly over, keeping arm straight and touching your body on the way down. Slowly straighten back up to standing, and repeat. Try for 10-12 reps, 1-3x.
4. Plank and side plank
Start on your elbows and knees, then lift body off the ground, supporting yourself on toes and elbows. Keep your body parallel to the ground, back straight, hips tucked in (no tush in the air!). Hold for 30 seconds. Lower yourself back to the ground.
Turn to one side, and support yourself on your elbow and outer foot while lifting your hips off the ground. Keep body straight and hips tucked in. Hold for 20 seconds. Lower yourself back to ground and repeat on other side. As you progress, gradually rise the time you hold each position. Planks are tough!
5, Mountain climbers
Now let's mix in some cardio. Starting on hands and toes in a push up position, quickly bring right knee forward, then shift and quickly bring left knee forward while right foot kicks back. The idea is to look like your feet are climbing a steep hill/mountain. Repeat quickly and count to 60, each step counting as 1.
You and I will have abs of steel in no time!!