As promised (my Birthday present to you!)...here are some tummy exercises to help you get that tight belly you want and improving your posture as well! Your new firm abs will help you to stand taller and straighter and are great if you have back issues as well. Often back problems are directly related to weak abdominals. So, go to it!!
Exercise Routine for a Strong and Firm Tummy
1. Perform 1 - 2 exercises from Group A, B and C. Complete both exercises in Group D.
2. Complete 1 – 2 sets per exercise.
3. Perform 10 – 15 repetitions for each set.
4. Maintain a smooth lifting pace, using a 2-1-3-0 cadence (two seconds on the way up, one second hold, three seconds on the way down and immediately repeat with no rest at the bottom). 5. Take a day off abdominal training every couple of days to rest. Muscles grow while they rest.
6. Perform 2 – 4 sessions per week.
Important Note: Beginners should refrain from using the dumbbells or leg weights!
Group A Exercises - Upper Abs
Weighted Crunches – Hold D/B on shoulders with hands alongside neck. Lie with knees bent and slowly curl forward until shoulders leave the floor.
Weighted Sit-Ups – Lying on back with knees bent, arms out to sides, D/B off the floor. Slowly curl spine forward and lift into a full sit-up position.
Legs-Up Weighted Crunch – Lie on back with legs lifted straight in the air. Arms by your side with d/b off the floor. Slowly curl up reaching with the D/B to reach your highest crunch position.
Group B Exercises – Lower Abs
Weighted Leg Pull-Ins – Sit on the floor with your legs lifted and lean back, hands on the floor behind you. With D/B between feet or ankle weights, pull thighs and knees into chest and back out again.
Weighted Reverse Sit-Ups - With D/B between feet or ankle weights, lie on your back with knees bent. Pull your legs up and over your abs so that lower back comes off the floor.
Ab Flutter Kicks – Lie on back with feet off the floor. Raise one leg to 45 degrees off the floor and then lower. Repeat with the other leg.
Group C Exercises – Abs and Side (Oblique) Combo
Weighted Bicycles – Hold D/B on shoulders with hands alongside neck. Keep one leg straight while the other knee is moving towards the opposite elbow. As it moves back, bring the other knee while the leg moves back to parallel with the floor. Can use weights on ankles.
Knee-to-Elbow Sit-Ups – Hold one D/B on shoulder with opposite foot on knee and opposite arm lying on floor. Reach weighted side towards opposite knee. Complete repetitions on one side then change sides.
Group D Exercises – Sides/Obliques
D/B Side Bends – Stand with feet apart and a D/B in each hand down by sides. Bend from waist all the way to the right, then straighten up and bend all the way to the left. Keep hips fixed and use your sides to straighten yourself up.
D/B Twists – Stand erect with D/B in each hand directly in front of chest. Keeping the spine straight, rotate as far as possible to the left and back around to the right. Move in a controlled fashion. *** If you have back issues, you may want to avoid twisting or twist 1/4 of the way.