You’ve probably seen tons of ads that read, “Get flat abs in a week!” Don’t believe any of them. If it were that easy, we’d all have a perfect set.
It’s harder for girls to obtain a visible six-pack because unlike men, we have two layers of skin (necessary for bearing children). Therefore, we have to work twice as hard as men to achieve those distinct lines.
But why have so many women become obsessed with obtaining a six-pack? Quite frankly, it’s not attractive on a woman. So let’s simply focus on building strength and balance in our core.
[If you have any health concerns, please consult your doctor or physician before performing any exercise posted on this blog. Lil’ Fit Birdie is concerned for your health, but is not responsible for any injuries. Happy workout!]
You’ll really feel the burn in today’s workout. Today’s exercises focus on our legs, but keep the core engaged by tightening it during all exercises. But don’t forget to breathe!
Grab your mat and water, and let’s get started!
Music: Brave by Nichole Nordeman
1. Neck Flexion/Side Bend
- Gently pull your head down so you chin touches your chest.
- Pull your head toward one side gently.
- Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side.
2. Triceps Stretch
- Raise your right elbow and bend it behind your head. Pull your right elbow back with your left hand. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 3 times on each arm.
3. Latissimus Dorsi Stretch
- Weave your fingers together and lift your arms above your head, palms turned upward. Make a circular pattern, moving as slowly as possible. Make 3 circles in each direction.
4. Quadriceps Stretch
- Lift your right foot toward your buttocks. Using your right hand, pull the foot in while pressing out with the left leg.
- Hold for 15 seconds on each leg.
5. Adductor Stretch
- Separate your feet wider than your hips and bend your knees.
- Place your hands on your knees and bend at your hips, keeping your back straight and shoulders slightly forward.
- Shift your weight to one side; straighten one knee while bending the other.
- Hold for 10 seconds on both legs.
6. Hip Stretch
- While seated, extend your left foot and cross your bent right knee over to your left, with the foot flat on the floor. Wrap your left arm around the bent knee.
- Keeping your back straight, turn your torso toward the right.
- Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times on each side.
7. Piriformis Stretch
- Lie on your back with bent knees. Bring your left ankle to your right thigh. Place your hand around your right thigh and slowly pull your thigh toward your chest.
- Hold for 15 seconds on both legs.
Grab some water before we get serious!
Music: Be My Escape (Acoustic) by Relient K
1. Single-Leg Circles
[Pelvic stability, abdominals]
- Lying on your back, lift one leg up and make large circles. Make sure your back is not arched; use your abs to push your spine to your mat.
- Switch directions.
- Repeat full circles 8 times on each leg.
- (For an extra challenge, wear weight anklets.)
2. Wall Sits
[Quadriceps, gluteal muscles]
- Stand against a wall. Walk your feet away from the wall until your entire back touches the wall. Raise your arms and slide your torso against the wall, creating a 90° angle, your hips parallel to the floor.
- Hold for 1 minute and repeat 5 times.
- (This is good for strengthening the leg muscles, important to improving the movement of the knee. But if it bothers your knees too much, move on the next exercise.)
[Abdominals, abductor, adductor, rotator cuff]
- Lie on your right side with your knees bent and stacked on top of each other. Bend your right elbow and place it on the mat, directly under your shoulder. Place your left hand on your hip.
- Lift your ankles off the floor and open your left knee upward and close.
- Make sure to keep your hips steady.
- Repeat 10 times on each side.
Music: Heels Over Head by Boys Like Girls
1. Abdominal Kick
[Torso stability, abdominals]
- Lie down and pull your right knee in toward your chest while tightening your left knee, raising it about 45° off the mat.
- Place your right hand on your right ankle and your left hand on your right knee, maintaining proper alignment.
- Switch your legs and hands simultaneously and repeat for one minute.
2. Russian Twist
[Abdominals, hip flexors, quadriceps]
- Sit with bent knees; feet flat on your mat.
- Lift up using your torso, stretching your arms parallel to the mat.
- Rotate your upper body slowly to the right and left.
- Repeat 10 times on each side.
- (For an extra challenge, try to do this while lifting your feet off the mat.)
3. Abdominal Hip Lift
- Lie down with your legs straight up in the air, crossing your ankles. Keep your arms flat on your mat.
- Lift your hips upward while tightening your buttocks muscles.
- Lower your hips.
- Repeat 10 times. Cross your legs the opposite way and repeat.
Repeat the stretches in reverse over.
If your knees are bothering you, ice them for 10 minutes after the workout.
Congratulations! You’ve made it through Day 2 of Core Training!
Some of these photos are courtesy of Core Training Anatomy by Dr. Abigail Ellsworth, published by Thunder Bay Press and used with permission.