August Ab Challenge – Week 2

August 5, 2016 | posted in: Exercise, Fitness Tip of the Week, Nutrition | by

How is the first week of the August Ab Challenge? Did you remember to add an extra serving of vegetables and fruits? Our mid-section is responsive to exercise, but it also takes a healthy diet to get definition in our belly.

Here is the new 5 minute workout for week 2. If you started the challenge on the 1st, your week 2 starts Monday the 8th. If you started on Tuesday or Wednesday, you can start week 2 on the 9th or 10th.

Diet

Add at least one extra serving of vegetables and fruit each week. Try to compound this so you are up to 4 extra servings a week by the end of the month.

Exercise

Week 2 – Complete this 5 minute workout every morning and evening:

  1. Side plank with hip lift and lower – 45s to 1 min each side
  2. Leg drops – 45s to 1 min
  3. Mountain climbers or wide knee mountain climbers – 45s to 1 min
  4. Opposite hand to opposite foot – 30s each
Exercise Descriptions

1. Side plank with hip lift and lower: For side plank on your R side, your R hand is directly below your R shoulder. Legs are straight and feet are stacked. Lift your hips and L arm up towards the ceiling to make a right-triangle with your body. If that is too much pressure on your R wrist, you can come down to your R forearm so your elbow is directly below your R shoulder.

The movement is to lower your R hip towards the ground and bring your L elbow in towards your L side, then lift back up into side plank with hips straight and L hand reaching towards the ceiling. If this is too difficult, you can bend your L knee and bring your L foot in front of you planted on the ground. See second set of pictures below.

IMG_6621  IMG_6631

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2. Leg drops: Lying on your back, bring heels up towards the sky keeping legs as straight as possible (bending your knees is ok, it just means your hamstrings are tight). Make sure you can keep your low-back flat by contracting your abs and pressing it down to the ground. If you feel your back lift at any point during the exercise, you can place your hands under your bum to tilt your hips and help keep your low back flat. The movement is to drop your legs towards the ground while keeping your legs together and your low-back flat. Try going to about 45 degrees as shown below. If your low-back lifts, don’t go as low. If 45 degrees is too easy, you can go lower but lift back up before touching the ground. If your low-back still lifts, you can bend your knees as much as you need to keep your low-back flat.

IMG_6636  IMG_6646

3. Mountain climbers or wide knee mountain climbers: Start in plank with hands right underneath your shoulders and back flat (stomach in tight) not letting your hips sag. The movement is bringing one knee forward, keeping that knee and foot lifted; then returning it back to plank position. Then bring the other knee forward, continue alternating.

If that feels like too much in your hips (i.e., hip flexors), try a wide knee mountain climber where your knee comes out to the side instead of straight forward underneath you. See second set of pictures below.

CIMG4071  CIMG4073

IMG_6659  IMG_6672  IMG_6682

4. Opposite hand to opposite foot: Lying on your back, keep R heel on the ground and lift L leg to about 45 degrees, bring L hand behind your head and extend R arm overhead. Keep low-back flat the entire time (you can use your R heel on the ground to help press your low-back flat). The movement is to reach L leg and R arm up toward each other to try to touch above you. If needed, you can bend your L leg. Stay on the same side for 30 seconds, then switch to L arm and R leg extended for 30 seconds.

IMG_6763  IMG_6782

Here’s a video that shows a couple seconds of each exercise:

As always, contact me with any questions.

Healthy, happy living!

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