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Workout Wednesday : The Core

Abs and obliques are two of the trickiest muscle groups to get defined.  Even though your core is made in the kitchen, the abdominal muscles still need to be worked out and exercised regularly.  Frequent cardio also is necessary to burn off excess calories and fat stored around your core.  Next I will be taking you through some ab exercises for men and women that should be incorporated at least 3 times a week to ensure consistent results.  If a lift is unfamiliar you can always youtube the exercise for specifics to make sure your form is correct.

 

  • Planks - Hit all three sides of the horizontal plank for 4 sets of 45 seconds each, to start off and increase time as endurance builds.
  • Leg Raises - First of all you should be laying down on a bench with most of your butt hanging off and always make sure to do smooth full range motions with straight legs and hands gripping bench by head.  4 sets of 15 repetitions each, Increase repetitions as endurance and strength builds.
  •  Sitting Crunches - Using a triangle handle on a Lat pulldown machine face away from the machine and pull down with your upper body like a crunch or sit-up while hands are holding the triangle handle.  Try to use as little arm strength as possible to pin-point the core muscles more.  Start with 30 pounds of resistance and do 4 sets of 15 repetitions each.
  • Half Deadlifts - When doing a deadlift instead of lowering the bar all the way down to the ground lower it until right below the knees.  You should never increase your weight over 135, you are going for repetitions here not weight so I usually do 115 pounds for 4 sets of 20 repetitions each.  Doing this will tighten your waistline from the backside keeping your core strength balanced.
  • Bicycle Crunches. Personally, I like to use ankle weights when doing bicycle crunches to maximize the burn in my core and obliques but it is not required.  Make sure your core is always flexed when doing this exercise to increase the effectiveness.  4 sets of 30 bicycle crunches.

 

            On top of having a healthy diet, adding these exercises into your workouts each week will have you looking great all year round.  These are just five of my favorite core exercises that I do weekly, there are many more lifts and exercises that will achieve great results as well.  Staying fit and healthy is all about consistency, the body loves consistency.  The more consistent you are in diet, cardio, and working out every week the faster you will see results, guaranteed.