Quick Core Circuit:
Roll out of bed and do this 6-minute circuit once, twice or even thrice! I did it twice, and my abs were BURNING! It was awesome!
All you need is a stool!
True or False? Ab exercises will give you a 6 pack.
A recent study1 investigated the effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat. Their findings indicated that 6 weeks of abdominal exercises alone (with no other training) did not reduce abdominal fat (Note: both the ab exercising group and the control group had identical isocaloric diets)
Nevertheless, it is important that you strengthen your core musculature. A strong core will support your spine, protecting your from back injuries and pain. This is especially important for people who sit all day long on the job with slouched posture. I am an expert on this topic! Not only am I a dentist (which means I adopt strenuous postures all day long to see inside people’s mouths), but I am also a physiotherapist (which means I know how to prevent low back pain through strengthening, stretching and proper workstation ergonomics).
The Plank is my favourite exercise for strong abdominal and back muscles. I love the plank because it targets all the muscles of the core (including the lower back). You will notice I included 3 themes & variations of the plank in today's workout video.
Take Home Message: Do not underestimate the plank! Not only does it strengthen you core, but it also targets your shoulders, arms and glutes! Remember, the longer you can hold the plank, the more resilient your lower back will be to injury, making it the ultimate prerequisite exercise for all weight lifting and sports. And once you shed your layer of tummy fat, you abs will look magnificent thanks to all the planks you performed!
- Stool (or an Ugi Ball)
- Gymboss Interval Timer (or just do the workout with me in real time)
- Shock-absorbing surface, such as interlocking floor mats. Or a plush living room carpet will suffice.
Always a Must!
- Read my workout rules before you begin!
Drink your BCAAs!
Stay hydrated with water.
Today's Video Workout:
Set your gymboss timer for: 50 seconds WORK, 10 seconds REST.
Do the workout with me! Just click on the video:
Sit-Ups with Legs on Stool
- Lie flat on your back with your feet resting on an exercise ball.
- The closer your bottom is to the stool, the more difficult the exercise will be.
- Keep your hands by your ears
- Push the small of your back down in the floor and breathe out as you sit up.
- Refrain from using momentum.
- Slowly lower to the starting position
Modification: perform crunches instead of full sit-ups.
Plank Up-Downs with feet on stool & alternating toe taps
- Start in a plank position on your forearms, palms facing down with your feet on the stool. Lift your right leg off the stool and tap the floor on the right side of the stool with your toe. Replace this foot on the stool and then repeat with the left foot.
- Bring your left hand in, placing it under your shoulder and pressing your body up, and then immediately bring your right hand in so that you end up in a full plank position with both arms straight. Then perform the alternating toe taps.
- Quickly lower your left elbow down to the floor, and then your right, so you're back in your elbow plank, and repeat.
- For the first round, lead with the left arm. For the second round, lead with the right arm.
Modification: stay in the plank position on your forearms and if you can, perform the alternating toe taps.
Double Crunch on Stool
- Sit on the edge of the stool.
- Extend back and place your hands on the sides of the stool near your bottom for stability.
- Start with your legs extended, and then crunch your knees in towards your chest. As you do this, exhale.
- The knee and crunch motions should take place simultaneously.
Modification: To increase difficulty, extend your legs higher in the air (don’t let them drop down). Beginners can extend their legs downwards.
Right-Sided Plank Dips with Feet Elevated on Stool
- Lying on your right side, place your right elbow directly below your shoulder and perpendicular to your body. Place your left hand on your left hip.
- Place your right leg on the stool and your left leg directly on top of the right leg.
- With your knees straight, lift your hips off the floor and then slowly lower (without touching the floor between reps). Repeat.
- Keep your head in line with your spine throughout this exercise.
Modification: Do not use the stool. Or hold the plank without dipping. If you want to increase difficulty, place a weight on your left hip.
Perform the same protocol for the Left-Sided Plank Dips
Lying Straight Leg Raise with Hip Thrust while Pinching the Stool Between your Feet
- Lie on your back with your hands palms-down at your sides
- Pinch the stool between your feet.
- Keeping your legs straight, raise them up off the floor until vertical. Then thrust your legs upward, like you’re trying to put footprints on the ceiling.
- Slowly lower your rear on the floor and then lower your feet down almost to the floor (don't touch the floor). The feet should only touch the ground at the beginning and end of the set. This maintains constant tension in the abs.
- Do not use momentum
Modification: no stool. No hip thrust. Place your hands under your bottom
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