The Flat Ab Workout
Toned abs never go out of style, so don’t cover them up any longer! As a celebrity trainer, I understand the importance of a sexy, toned midsection for myself and my clients. I love and teach these 5 favourite Ab toning exercises to my stars as part of their Alkaline Diet and Flat Ab workout routine. Combining these exercises with regular strength and cardio workouts,clean eating and incorporating these flat-belly foods into your diet will help you keep flat abs throughout the whole year.
During all the exercises, keep drawing your navel toward your spine. So remember, this Pilates trick of pulling the belly button in towards the spine, which ensures that you’re working the deepest ab muscle (known as the transverse abdominus). This will protect your lower back while also helping to create a sleek midriff. Make sure you are not “pooching” your abs, which means you are just working the top layer of abs, which is a Pilates no-no.Always use the correct neck supporting muscles by swallowing, then pressing your tongue on the roof of your mouth and holding it there.
So here are my 5 favourite Ab exercises. Do not perform these abdominal exercises if you have back problems.
FLAT AB EXERCISE #1. All Abs: Ab Ball Passes
How To Do It:
1. Lie on your back with a Swiss ball between your calves.
2. Engage your abdominals and raise the ball until it is above your hips
3. Take hold of the ball in your hands, extend your arms back, making a ‘V’ shape with your hands and feet
4. Bring your hands and feet back together and pass the ball between your calves.
5. Lower your legs down slightly and extend your arms back forming the ‘V’ shape again
6. Continue passing the ball between your hands and feet, keep the belly in tight, building up to 12 reps.
FLAT AB EXERCISE #2. Lower Abs: Resistance Band Scissor Kicks
How To Do It:
1. Sit on a mat or carpeted floor. Loop one handle of the resistance band on either foot. Hold onto the middle of the tube with both hands, and lie on your back.
2. Draw your navel toward your spine, and press your low spine into the floor to protect your lower back, then lift both legs up so they are almost pointing straight up toward the ceiling.
3. Holding the band securely, scissor your legs up and down one at a time, starting with the left leg. Move slowly, and point your toes. Each time your right foot lowers down counts as one set. Complete 10 to 15 sets.
4. To make this move more difficult, lower your legs so they are about six to 10 inches above the floor. Make sure to keep your abs scooped when you work with your legs close to the ground. Scissor your legs for another 10 to 15 sets.
FLAT AB EXERCISE #3. Upper Abs: Pilates 100’s
How To Do It:
1. Start lying on your back with your legs in tabletop position (hips and knees at right angles). Engage your deep abs to round your lower spine into the floor. Keep the chin slightly tucked, tongue pressing against the roof of your mouth to protect your neck.
2. Exhale and lift your upper back off the floor, until the bottom tips of your shoulder blades skim the floor. Straighten your legs to a 45-degree angle (but make sure your low back is staying connected to the floor). Reach your arms toward your feet. Your arms will be about two inches off the floor.
3. Pump your arms up and down with a small range of motion, keeping your elbows straight. Inhale for five arm pumps, and exhale for five pumps. That completes one set or cycle. Repeat the cycle nine more times for a total of 100 pumps.
4. Keep your upper body stable while your arms pump.
FLAT AB EXERCISE #4. Obliques: Side Planks
How To Do It:
1. Come into a side plank on your right side, with your feet stacked one on top of the other and your weight on your right elbow with your fingers reaching away from your body, palm down. For higher intensity, be on the right hand (pictured).
2. Place your left arm either pointing up to the sky or elbow bent, hand on left hip. Hold for 1-2 minutes.
Variation 1. Twisting: Exhale and pull your navel to your spine to engage your deep abs, and rotate your left rib cage toward the floor. Stay there for a second, and deepen your abdominal connection by pulling your navel in toward your spine even more.Return to starting position, and repeat seven more times for a total of eight reps, then switch sides. Repeat series again on both sides.
Variation 2. Leg Up (pictured). Hold the side plank, but straighten out the left leg which will add more glute, arms, ab and inner thigh toning.
FLAT AB EXERCISE #5. All Abs: Reverse Plank Tucks
How To Do It:
1. Lay on your back, knees bent up, feet on the floor. Slowly lift one knee then the other so that you are in table top position (both hips and knees at 90 degrees).
2. Place your palms in front of you, touching your knees. Draw the lower belly inwards, tilting the pelvis so the lower back flattens into the floor. Allow your lower back to flatten but use the hands to stop the knees coming in to the chest.
3. Use this gentle resistance against the palms and knees to draw in a strong activation of the full abdominal wall down into the floor. Keep breathing. Hold for 20 sec. Relax for a breath then repeat.
THE FLAT AB WORKOUT:
12 Ball Passes
20 Resistance Band Scissor Kicks
100 Pilates 100’s
1 min Side Plank each side
20 Reverse Plank Tucks
Beginner: 1 Round through Intermediate: 2 Rounds through
Advanced: 3 Rounds through
This is a sample of one of the workouts you can expect in the Celebrity Trainer A-List Body Transformation. 12 Weeks to an A-List Body!