Disclaimer: I’m not a personal trainer, nor do I have an exceptional amount of experience in weight training. I took a really helpful weight training class in college and have worked out with people who have a lot of experience, so that’s where most of my knowledge comes from. That said, if you’ve never exercised before, make sure you see a doctor before starting a rigorous exercise routine.
I’ve been posting on Fridays about my weekly fitness, and I know I’ve been mentioning some things that may not be familiar to everyone. Of course, most people have done push-ups and sit-ups, but do you know how to do a proper plank? What about bicycles?
I have been incorporating 4-5 ab exercises into my workout at least three times a week. I don’t think I’ve been doing them long enough to show results, but I wanted to share them with those of you who may be looking for a way to tone up that belly.
I’ve been doing two sets of push-ups, alternating each set with a set of sit-ups. Right now, I can do two sets of 6 push-ups each.
See a YouTube video that shows the proper way to do a push-up.
Some people prefer crunches, but I like sit-ups better. I alternate a set of sit-ups with a set of push-ups. Right now, I’m doing two sets of 15 sit-ups each.
A great YouTube video that shows how to do sit-ups without hurting your back.
These aren’t bad for the first 5 seconds, but try doing them for 30 seconds. That’s all I can do right now, and when I’m done, I pretty much want to die. That said, they’re supposedly one of the best ab exercises you can do.
See the proper way to do bicycles for maximum benefit.
This is actually a yoga/pilates move, but anyone can do it. It works the core of your body – where your abs are – and you can work up to holding it for longer and longer periods of time. I’m currently holding it for 30 seconds at a time.
See a video on YouTube of the proper way to perform this exercise.
Medicine ball crunches.
These are best when you have someone to do them with, but you can do them by yourself. I can’t find a video that shows how I do these, so I’ll try to explain. Take a medicine ball (I use a 4 pound ball) and get in sit-up position (I use the crunch machine at the gym). When your back is on the ground, hold the ball directly over your face. When you’re up at your knees, push the ball into the air and bring it back down before going back to the ground. If you have a partner, you can throw the ball to them when you come up and catch it when you come up the next time.
I’m finding that these exercises leave me sore the next day, so I think that means they’re working. What are your favorite ab exercises?
Next week: Exercises to strengthen your arm muscles.