Guest Author - Terri Johansen
Most of the time we think of exercising our abs as lying on the floor doing crunches. Crunches are a good exercise but they work only a small group of abs muscles. To develop the awesome abs you want try standing up. You will work your entire core, which includes your abs ,back, hips, pelvis and more.
In order to do these exercises effectively you need to understand the breathing and engagement of the core. Stand with your feet hip width apart and tip your pelvis forward slightly. Let your arms hang loosely at your side and relax your shoulder blades down your back. Begin monitoring your breath; notice your abdomen press out when you inhale and contract in as your exhale presses out the air. Draw your navel towards your spine and anchor it there. Continue the regular breathing pattern described but keep your core engaged as you breathe. This is essential to the success of any core exercises whether standing or lying down.
For each of the following exercises continue the breathing and anchoring of the core; therefore it will not be repeated in each instruction. Always aim for good form. When told to come back to starting point before going on, be sure to follow this instruction.
Stabilizing the Core
•Stand with feet hip width apart. Hold a dumbbell in both hands straight out in front of your chest.
•Slowly twist your arms to the left as far as you can and still keeping your torso stable facing forward.
•Come back to center and repeat to the right.
•Do 10 full sets, to the left and right.
•Stand tall, shoulders lined up with your hips.
•Reach up with your right arm. You may hold a dumbbell to increase the workload.
•Extend you left leg out to the side keeping your toes pointed.
•Bring your right elbow down as you lift your left knee.
•Touch them together crossing the body.
•Repeat 10 times on each side.
Dumbbell Side Bends
•Stand with your feet hip width apart.
•Your arms hang at your sides each holding a dumbbell.
•Anchor your torso and slowly bend to the left, allowing the weight to draw your hand toward your knee.
•Come back to center and do 10 repetitions on each side.
•Stand with feet open wide, keep your knees slightly bent.
•Clasp your hands in front of your chest, holding a dumbbell.
•Keep your pelvis static facing forward.
•Bring both hands down to the left hip.
•Take your hands back to your chest and repeat on the right side.
•Do 10 times on each side.
•You will hold one dumbbell together in both hands.
•Stand with feet open wide. Bend your knees; rotate your torso to the left and bring your hands to your left thigh. This is starting position.
•Straighten your legs.
Keep your arms straight and at the same time extend the weight above your right shoulder.
•Return to start and perrform 10 “chops” to each side
Arm Reaches-this is similar to the before exercise but works some different muscles.
•Stand with your feet open wide apart and turned out.
•Slowly bend your knees and come into a partial wide legged squat.
•Your arms are hanging straight down in front of you. Try this using one dumbbell held together in both hands.
•Push up from the squat and raise both arms over your head and to the right.
•Come back into the partial squat, lowering the hands down in front of you and repeat to the left side. This is one repetition.
•Do a total of 10 repetitions.
Do these exercises 3 times a week, carefully following the instructions on breathing and engaging the abdomen. You will find that your posture becomes better as your core grows stronger, presenting a new lean you with awesome abs.
Always check with a medical professional before starting any exercise routine. Be healthy, be happy.
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