Who doesn’t want to focus on abs? I mean unless your Santa or a professional cherub. Swimsuit season is just around the corner… even closer if you’ve got a tropical getaway planned for spring break! Here are FIVE tips to keeping your abs toned and FIVE exercises to tighten up. You know what they say right? Abs are made in the kitchen! So even though workouts help, so much of tummy tightening revolves around our eating habits.
1.MORE PROTEIN and FATS; LESS CARBS: This seems so obvious, and I think most of us TRY to do this, but I think the proteins and fats we eat also need to come from UNREFINED, UNPROCESSED sources.
2. KEEP HEALTHY SNACKS HANDY: Always having almonds, protein balls, or hard-boiled eggs ensures I don’t get off track while I’m out running around. This is a habit I use year-round; I’m always trying to avoid arriving at my 5th grader’s class party hangry and then binge eating rice krispie treats!
: my crazy friend swears by this and I’m intrigued. Basically you wear one of these torture devices
. 6-8 hours a day. Apparently wearing one curbs your appetite, improves your posture, and holds your waist in! Loving the idea of wearing one before I have a big party in the evening to help my stomach look its best.
4. AVOID DIET SODA: I know, I know. I love it too. But studies prove that it bloats as well as increases sugar cravings! I’m loving sparkling water with a little flavoring when I crave something refreshing. And drink TONS of water! In addtion to being great for your skin and overall health, it’ll help flush out sodium which is so bloating to the belly. While you’re at it really try to elminate or cut down on alcohol.
5. DON’T FORGET TO EAT: Skipping meals results in slowing down your metabolism, decreasing your energy level, and contributes to overeating at meals later in the day. Apps like My Fitness Pal can help you keep track of how much you’re eating each day to make sure you’re on track in terms of calories and macros if you’re into that. Plus sometimes just the accountability of knowing you have to enter something into your phone when you are about to eat it will derail you from making unhealthy choices.
Below are some moves you can do around the house to help strengthen those muscles in the midsection. And don’t be too hard on yourself if you really want a treat… indulging in just a little of something special won’t derail your goals. I like the three bite rule… it’s often enough to curb my craving and still make me feel like I didn’t deprive myself.
ADIDAS SNEAKERS- true to size!
I usually try to do 4 rounds of each exercise. And because I’m the queen of efficiency (at least in my own mind) all these moves target arms as well.
1. Spiderman plank crunch
•Start in a high plank position with your body perfectly straight.
•Bring your right knee forward towards your right elbow, then return to the plank position.
•Alternate by bringing your left knee toward your left elbow.
•One per side is one rep. Alternate sides for a total of 10 complete reps.
2. Plank Ups
•Start in high plank. Drop one arm to forearm to the floor.
•Bring the other arm down so you are in a forearm plank.
•Push back up to the start position, placing each hand where your elbows were.
•Repeat this movement, alternating which side you lower first.
One time up and down is one rep. Complete 10 reps.
3. Down Dog Taps
Start in down dog.
Lift your right hand off the floor and tap your left ankle.
Return right hand to the floor and repeat with the opposite arm. Remain in down dog throughout entire exercise.
Touching right then left is one rep. Complete 10 reps.
4. Abdominal Hold
(iThis move looks as crazy as it is hard.)
Sit tall on the edge of a sturdy chair.
Place your hands on the edge with your fingers pointing toward your knees.
Tighten abs and bring your toes a few inches off the floor, lifting your butt off the chair.
Hold this position for as long as you can — try to start at 10 seconds.
Lower yourself down and repeat.
Continue for 1 minute.
Planking is one of the best core exercises you can do; it targets almost every single abdominal muscle you have! I’m trying to work up to holding a plank for 3 solid minutes. The key when planking is to draw your belly button IN and UP toward your spine, and make sure your body is in a straight line. I like to do this in front of a mirror so I can check my form. Try starting out with 5 sets of 30 seconds each time.
BONUS! If you’re a mom check out the move Heidi Powell SWEARS by to strengthen the transverse abdominal muscle and shrink inches from your waist!
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