Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fit Tuesday: Work Those ABS!!

Fit Tuesdays are BACK, BABY!! 

If you follow me on Twitter or you know me personally the odds are, you know about my slight obsession with abs! I've kept my abs in tip top shape since I knew what they were! Not only do they look good, but having a solid core makes me feel stronger in general! Last night after talking tweeting 6-packs earlier in the day with Bonnie, I did a pretty hard core ab work out, and halfway through it I decided I would pull out the camera and change Fit Tuesday from what I had scheduled to abs! Let me tell you, friends, trying to photograph these exercises with my camera 10-second self timer all by myself was one epic FAIL! Hahaha, I added some of the failed photos at the end for some silly humor. I simply couldn't resist. Anyway, one of my go-to fitness guides is The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises {go HERE to order- it's worth every penny}. This book is seriously AWESOME!! 

I photographed my own copy above, but the rest of the photos in this post {besides my outtakes at the end} are from this book. Let's get started:

Modified Basics-

This is the average crunch. When you do crunches, you use your abdominal muscles to lift your shoulders to a 45* angle, rather than closer to 90* with sit-ups. With the Crossed-Arms Crunch, you cross your arms across your chest. I like to add a 5 or 8 pound weight in my crossed arms for some extra resistance. Make sure you're using good form! Don't use your neck!!

The Elbow-to-Knee Crunch, you start positioned like the top photo. With your hands behind your head- again, do not push your head/neck up with your hands- only use your ab muscles!! Next, you cross the opposite elbow with the opposite knee at the top, and vice versa, as pictured.

This is the Reverse Crunch. With your hands at your side,  you lift your rear just a few inches off the ground, as pictured. The Reverse Crunch works your lower abdominal muscles.

The Alternating Situp is the same idea as the crunch, only you go higher, as pictured. You may also do Weighted Situps, the way I described the crunches, only higher.
Let's PLANK-

This is the Side Plank with Knee Tuck. I love this move!! It's quite difficult as you can see, but equally rewarding in the end! Lift your bottom knee toward your chest and hold it for the duration of the exercise. Be sure not to drop your hips! I find it helps to do these side plank exercises in front of a mirror in order to check your form!

The Wide-Stance Plank with Leg Lift is another good one. For this exercise, your feet should be wider than your shoulders, and hold one foot a few inches off the floor. Switch legs between each set.

Example of how I do it: 
Set 1- lift right leg 12x
Set 2- lift left leg 12x
Set 3- hold right leg up 30-45 sec.
Set 4- hold left leg up 30-45 sec.
Set 4- lift right leg 15x
Set 5- lift left leg 15x

How 'Bout Some V's-

I use two variations of V-Ups. Both begin with the position above ^^

This is the Modified V-Up. I started doing these back when I was a gymnast at 8 years old!!  These aren't as challenging, but I still do them often.

The Full V-Up is more challenging and lots of fun! My advice is again, don't use your neck. Also, keep your arms and legs straight (but not locked) as you do these. Keep them straight and flexed. You will feel these!

Mountain Climbin'-

The Mountain Climber is another favorite of mine! You do this exactly as pictured. Keep your abs TIGHT during this exercise, for best results! Also, be sure to keep your back nice and straight!

The Elevated-Feet Russian Twist is NO JOKE, friends!! And good luck with this one! I vow to always be honest so let me tell ya, I am not coordinated enough to do this one! I fall over every. freaking. time! Please, PLEASE, if anyone can do this one and make it look good, tweet me, comment and tell me, call me- SOMETHING! I want to hear about it!!

edited 1/12/12 to add, I just realized this photo is not the right one! this is just the Russian Twist, which isn't that difficult. I'll replace with the Elevated-Feet version later. My bad!

Same goes with the Swiss-Ball Jackknife. I can kinda do it, but it ain't purdy! Give me a shout-out if you're a jackknife pro!!
Winding Down-

Without taking too much more time, I'd like to   talk about balancing your  lower back muscles with your abs. When  your abs become much stronger than your lower back, it can cause lower back pain. The Back Extension is an exercise I highly recommend as one to help you keep your abs and lower back balanced. Try it!

The Cat Stretch is a stretch I want to emphasize. When I'm doing abs, I'll stop and do this stretch intermittently as well as doing it at the end of my work out. It can relieve some of the lower back tension I sometimes feel, and it stretches your ab muscles. There's also one I learned as a gymnast, where you lie on your back and curl into a ball while holding your knees to your chest. Then you rock on your spine. My spine is kinda bony, so I like to do this on my yoga mat.

Happy Ab Exercising, Friends, and remember, to get chisled abs, you've got to burn off any of that extra belly fat so those babies show!! 

If you try any of these will you give me a shout out via Twitter or Facebook and let me know how it went??

There are more I want to share with you but this post got pretty long... I think I'll tack some on to the end of my outfit posts this week. Stay tuned!

As promised- The Outtakes:

Really instructional, right?? Ha, ha!! I'm silly!

What are YOUR favorite ab exercises??

Have a question?? Formspring Me. I promise to answer!


  1. Wow so inspired now, thanks for posting those workouts

  2. I love jackknifes.  LOVE.  They really work your core out.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot do the side plank with knee tuck.  It must be a coordination thing because I always screw it up and fall somehow.  Lame balls.
    Definitely loving this post.  So glad to see Fit Tuesday back! :) 

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88 

  3. Every time I decide to start exercising - I find that I have no time :(((((((((((((


  4. Girl, thanks for making me feel better. haha! And I just realized I posted the WRONG pick for the elevated leg jackknife. I can do the one with feet on the ground just fine. Haha. I can't fix it until tonight either. Oh well :)

  5. you've got to MAKE THE TIME! :) Honey, even if you're watching television in the evening. I find that it' so easy to get out my yogs mat and hand weights and get some abs, arms and lunges knocked out. no excuses :)

  6. You are very inspiring, I am a fan!


Your comments mean so much to me!! Thank you for the support!!


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