Our resident fitness expert, Fiona Murphy from Metabolic Fitness is back and she has her sights on some Crunchies, sorry, crunches. To ab-finity and beyond!
Hi Beauties! This week I’m focusing on something that I often get asked about - abs. I will usually incorporate a quick core workout into the end of a weights or HITT session (and you can read more about HITT here). Working on this area is really important because a strong core will improve your posture and make other exercises and daily actions easier.
But when clients ask me about ab workouts its usually to help them reduce their tummy area. Unfortunately there’s no miracle cure for love handles and ab workouts are only part of the solution. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen”, then you'll know that diet is just as important as exercise to target this area.
And believe it or not, stress and sleep also affect your capability to shift the pounds. High stress and poor sleep creates excess cortisol in your body and this is the stress hormone that tells your body to store fat. With our often hectic lifestyles, that's really not what we want to hear.
Here are some core exercises I include in my workouts. Repeat these for two to four rounds depending on ability, and can be done two to four times a week:
- Ab Crunch - 20
- Back Extension-20
- Mountain Climber-20 each side
- Boat pose- 30 seconds
- Plank -60 seconds or as long as you can
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Place your hands on your thighs.
- Brace your abs and then raise your body and hands up towards your knees, shoulders should be lifted off the floor.
- Keep your head neutral, don’t press the chin on chest and do not pull the head forward.
- Slide your hands back down to the starting position.
- Perform 20 reps.
- Lie flat on your stomach with your legs straight out behind you, feet in contact with the floor.
- Place your hands by the side of your head.
- Keep head down facing the floor.
- Inhale and lift your chest off the floor. While lifting, squeeze your shoulder blades together and down.
- Hold for 2 seconds at the top of movement before slowly lowering as you exhale.
- Perform 20 reps.
Mountain Climber To Opposite Elbow
- Begin in a push up position, hands directly beneath your shoulders, feet apart.
- Bring one knee towards your opposite elbow then alternate while keeping your core tight.
- Perform 20 reps on each side.
- Sit down with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
- Keep your legs together.
- Lean back so that your feet lift off the ground.
- Bring your shins parallel to the floor.
- Reach your arms forward each side of your legs making sure not to hold on.
- Brace and balance in position while squeezing your core for 30 seconds.
- Start by getting into a press up position.
- Rest your weight onto your forearms while keeping your elbows beneath your shoulders.
- Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
- Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine.
- Hold position for 60 seconds.
So there you have it, include this at the end of my weights workout or my HIIT session for best results. And remember, diet plays a big part in fat loss and toning up. You'll find some of my favourite brekkie options here. To reduce stress, I recommend some “me time”; walking, yoga or reading before bed can reduce stress and help with a good night’s sleep. Ignore your phone, TV and laptop for at least 30 minutes before bed time too as this will help your brain turn off for the night.
Until next time,
Are you more Team Crunch or Team Crunchie? Do you have any core exercises that you find work best for you?