Abs Part 2: Obliques

Since we're well into swimsuit season, I thought I should do a continuation of the plank circuit I previously posted. This portion of the workout will help with your obliques and love handles! Once you are able to hold the previous planks in good form for about 1 minute at a time, add the following on to it:

Lower and lift each knee to the floor and then back level with body - right then left. As you lower, move the knee slightly inward to also engage the sides of your waist (the obliques). Do 16 of these - that means 16 on each side!

Next lift and each of your legs, right then left – toes will come off the floor, then go back into plank position on the floor. It’s a small lift, so that as you lift you further contract the gluteus of the leg you are lifting, further contract the lower back, and feel your abs flatten even more (the lift slightly stretches the abs – keep your belly button sucked in toward your spine and feel this lengthening of the abs). Do these 8 times (on each side) at an even tempo.

Once you have lifted and lowered each leg alternating 8 times, intensify the movement by lifting your rght leg and holding for 8 counts. Lower your right toe back to the floor then lift and hold the left leg for 8 counts. Repeat 2 more times on each side.

Now it’s back to the knee drops, (lower then lift as described above). Continue contracting the abs, lower back, and gluteus. Do 8 reps on each side.

Now stretch as described in the first planks circuit. Really feel your lower back rounding. This will feel great. Hold this stretch as long as you want, but not so long that you stop feeling it.

Now flip your body over to a supine position, keeping spine rounded even as you flip. Once in supine position, place your feet on floor with knees bent. Keep your spine rounded into the floor. Continue to feel the stretch.

Do a pelvic tuck kby lifting your butt off the floor, lifting your hip bones, and pulling your stomach in. Again, keep your belly button sucked in to your spine. You should feel as though you are lying flat on your back with your stomach concave, like a U-shaped torso flat on the floor. Holding this position, place your hands behind your head, and rest your head on your fingers (do not lace your fingers). Elbows stay to the side. Eyes to ceiling, chin lifted so that you could hold an orange between chin and chest. Now lift and lower your shoulders, being sure to hold your pelvic tuck and spine to floor. Do NOT allow your abs to round up – keep them sucked in. Now you can do some standard ab moves if you want, and by holding this correct position, you will be amazed at your results!