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It’s time to get focused this week. Join me for an advanced abs routine. It’ll be like boot camp for your abs in just 15 minutes!
Are you looking to get a toned midsection? I’ve got just the workout for you. Today’s ab routine only takes 15 minutes, but it’s challenging enough that I like to call it my belly boot camp. You can do this routine after a cardio session, or you can do it as a quick workout on days when you can’t spare more than 20 minutes for a workout. Let’s get started.
Before you start this routine, make sure your body is warmed up for exercise. This routine works best after a cardio session. If you choose to skip cardio, be sure to do a dynamic warm-up with stretches for at least five minutes. Once you’re warm, you can tackle my belly boot camp.
Complete these moves for the time listed. When you reach the end of your first circuit, repeat two more times to complete your routine. You’ll need an exercise ball and an exercise mat.
1. Forearm Plank (60 seconds)
Place your forearms on your exercise mat in line with your shoulders. Plant your toes into the ground, so that you are using your core strength to hold your forearm plank. Take deep breaths and be sure not to put too much pressure on your neck or back. Your abs should be working to hold you up.
2. Pike Roll with an Exercise Ball (30 seconds)
Start by holding a push-up position, only this time place your feet on an exercise ball. You can adjust the difficulty of this exercise by placing the ball closer to your abs. The closer to your feet, the more challenging it will be. Keeping your abs tight, press your hips up towards the ceiling. Then come back to your original straight position. Keep your back flat throughout this exercise.
3. Bicycle Abs (30 seconds)
Lie flat with your back on the floor, press your lower back to the ground. Place your hands on either side of your head, but be sure not to strain your neck during this exercise. Gently lift up so that you are in a crunch position, and lift your feet off the ground so that your lower legs are parallel to the floor. Simultaneously, do a bicycle motion with your legs as if you were riding a bicycle. Bring your opposite elbow and opposite knee close together, and then switch sides. Continue for 30 seconds.
4. V-Sit Hold (60 seconds)
Begin in a seated position with legs straight out in front of you. Lift your legs up to a 45-degree angle, and lean back to a 45-degree angle, but keep your back flat and core tight. Reach your arms straight out in front of you, and hold this ‘V’ position for 60 seconds.
5. Crunches (30 seconds)
Go back to lying on the floor, with lower back pressing towards the ground. Your knees should be bent, and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on either side of your head, but don’t strain your neck in any way. Lift up so that your upper back comes up off the floor. Your abs should be doing all the work to lift, no cheating! Lower back down and repeat.
6. Reverse Crunches (30 seconds)
Lie on the floor, knees bent and feet off the floor so that your lower legs are parallel to the ground. Your legs should create a 90-degree angle. Keep your arms stationary by your sides. Lift your hips up and move your legs towards your torso. Go back to starting position and repeat.
7. Full body crunch (30 seconds)
Now it’s time to combine the last two exercises. You’ll combine a traditional ab crunch with a reverse crunch. Lie on the floor with knees bent at a 90 degree angle and feet off the floor. Place your hands on either side of your head. Lift up to bring your upper back off the floor and at the same time, pull your knees towards your chest to work your lower abdominal muscles.
8. Recover (30 seconds)
Give your abs a quick break after working hard for the last four and a half minutes! Now’s your time to hydrate and get ready for the next round.
Remember to couple your fitness plan with good nutrition. You can work as hard as possible on fitness, but you can’t exercise away a bad diet.
I know today’s abs workout was challenging. I hope you got enough out of it to share this belly boot camp routine so that you can exercise with your friends.
Samantha Clayton is responsible for all activities relating to exercise and fitness education for Independent Herbalife Members and employees. Through in-person training sessions, educational tools and materials, and her blog (www.discovergoodfitness.com), she ensures that the important role of exercise as part of a healthy, active life is understood by all. She also helps create, organize and promote employee fitness programs and activities as an integral part of the company’s corporate wellness program.
A native of Liverpool, England, Samantha initially worked as a consultant for Herbalife for two years and led the Herbalife24-Fit program, the company’s first comprehensive fitness training program and DVD series.
Before joining the corporate ranks, Samantha was a professional athlete. She represented Great Britain in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay events. Prior to the Olympics, she won two medals in the Olympic AAA trials – a silver medal for the 200m and a bronze for the 100m – as well as a silver medal in the 4x100m relay during the European Junior Championships in 1997. Her personal records include 11.40 seconds in the 100m and 23.02 seconds in the 200m.
Samantha is a personal trainer and group exercise coach through the American Fitness and Aerobics Association (AFAA) and International Sport Science Association (ISSA).