Step Up Your Ab Routine! BY Jen McSorley

Who doesn’t want great abs!  The best way to get awesome abs is with consistent cardio and clean eating. You use your abs all day, so there is no reason to go too crazy with an ab routine if you are doing your cardio and eating well.   Remember to work your entire core, especially your lower back, for more effective training.

Standard Crunch

Level 1, cross your arms on your chest.

Level 2 bring your elbows out to the sides.

Level 3 will have arms straight, glued next to their ears or even hold a dumbbell.

Exhale as you bring your shoulders off the floor and draw your belly button in towards your spine. Slow and controlled is the key.

Bicycle Crunch

Keep your elbows out, in line with your ears and lead with your shoulder, not your elbow.

Reverse Crunch

Place your hands behind your head (more challenging) or under your lower back. Bring your legs up and try to lift your hips to press your toes towards the ceiling.

Double Crunch

As your shoulders rise off the floor, hips also come up, drawing knees in closer to your chest.

Frog Crunch

Exhale as you try to meet knees to elbows (keeping your elbows in line with your ears), lower down and straighten legs out to a hover.

Side-to-Side Crunch

Come up into a regular crunch, and engaging your obliques, bring your torso towards the side and “chop” with your hand at your ankle. Back to center, then to the opposite side.

Pullover Crunch

Start with legs in a hover position. As you exhale, bring your legs up, shoulders off the ground and arms out parallel to the floor.

Roll-up

Bring your arms at chest level, straight in front of you, as you engage you abs, exhale and slowly roll up. Roll back slowly to your back with arms in front, then lower back to your ears.

To make things a little more challenging as you crunch:

Try playing with tempo: up fast, down slow; up slow, down fast; up for 2 counts, down for 2; pulsing at the middle portion of the movement; etc.

Focus on your breath. As you engage your abs to crunch up, exhale and bring your belly button towards your spine

Think about contracting your abs while exercising and even during everyday activities

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