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Flat abdominals before the holiday?

Exercise

Written by:
Birgitte Nymann ( www.nymanns.dk )
Author, speaker and educator within Exercise, health, nutrition and motivation. Concept – and seminar developer at Pro Academy, Denmark. Educated and trained in sport from University of Copenhagen.

If you want to prepare your abs for summer and look stunning in your swimming shorts or bikini, you can still make it happen, or at least be a good step on the way if you start today.

If you wish to have fit abs, it is required from you to challenge all your abdominal and back muscles, both inner and outer layers. Furthermore, you must exercise energetically and regularly. A correct combination of abdominal exercises shapes the muscles and work as a tight corset that keep the internal organs in place. If you work hard, you will already see results within the first few weeks.

Exercise your abs correctly!

In order to exercise the abs correctly and become flat, you must pull it in when you perform the exercises. When you pull your abdomen in, a kind of constriction of the transversal abdominal muscle occurs, which is the inner muscle of the abdomen. It is the same muscle that gives you nice and flat abs when it is exercised correctly. If you perform the exercises without pulling your abdomen it is actually a waste of time.

Pull your abdomen in before you start and hold the tension throughout the entire exercise. To pull your abdomen in correctly, pull your navel towards your spine without moving the back. Lower your shoulders at the same time.

Exercises:

On all four – lift knee

Muscle focus:inner abdominal muscle (transversal abdominal muscle), shoulders, hips etc.

Initial position: Rest on all four with arms right under the shoulders and knees right under the hips. Pull your shoulders down towards your backside. Sway your lower back corresponding to the sway you have when you stand up. Tighten your pelvic floor and pull abdomen in.

Movement: Lift knees 2 cm from the floor. Hold the position for the indicated time.

Focus: Keep your back completely straight and pull your abdomen in strongly. Keep your head in a natural continuation of the spine.

Breathing: Take deep breaths when you hold the position.

Diagonal lift with cross

Muscle focus: inner abdominal muscle + back and shoulders, hips and buttocks

Initial position: Rest on all four. Place your hands right under the shoulders and the knees right under your hips. Pull your shoulders down towards your backside. Sway your lower back corresponding to the sway you have when you stand up. Tighten your pelvic floor and pull abdomen in.

The movement: Lift your right arm diagonally up in the air above your shoulder, and lift your leg up in the air straight behind at the same time. Lead your arm down at your side and bend the knee of your left leg. Touch your foot with the hand. Stretch your arm above your head and stretch your leg out again. Repeat the exercise with opposite arm and leg.

Focus: Keep your back completely straight during the entire exercise and pull your abdomen in intensely without rounding your back.

Breathing: Breathe out when you lift arm and leg. Breathe in when you cross. Breathe in when you stretch arm and leg out again. Breathe in when you lower arm and leg down.

Cycling

Muscle focus: : the inner and outer oblique abdominal muscles + the transverse abdominal muscle

Initial position: : Lie on the back with knees pulled across your abdomen. Tighten your pelvic floor and pull in your abdomen. Tip your pelvis floor and push your lower back towards the floor. Place your fingers behind the ears. Lift your head from the floor so you can see your knees.

The movement: Move your right and left leg diagonally across the floor in turns. Stretch you leg out completely. Keep your upper part of the body still.

Focus: Keep your lower back on the floor during the entire exercise, in order to exercise the lower part of your abdomen.

Breathing: Breathe out when your legs are lead across the floor, and breathe in when they are pulled against your abdomen again.

Dip toe with rotation

Muscle focus: the outer and inner oblique abdominal muscles + the transverse abdominal muscle.

Initial position: Lie on the back with knees pulled across your abdomen. Tighten your pelvis floor and pull in your abdomen. Tip your pelvis floor and push your lower back towards the floor. Place your fingers behind the ears. Lift your head from the floor so you can see your knees.

The movement: Move your right and left leg in turns diagonally over your foot, down against the floor and ”dip” your toes against the floor. At the same time, turn your chest and shoulders to the side. Turn to the side where your knee is pulled across your abdomen.

Focus: Keep lower back against the floor during the entire exercise, in order to exercise the lower part of your abdomen.

Breathing: Breathe out when you turn to the side, and breathe in then you turn into initial position. The breathing is more pulsating in this exercise.

Dip toe

Muscle focus: oblique abdominal muscles + inner abdominal muscle (the transverse abdominal muscle)

Initial position: Lie on the back with knees pulled across your abdomen. Tighten your pelvis floor and pull in your abdomen. Tip your pelvis floor and push your lower back towards the floor. Place your fingers behind the ears. Lift your head from the floor so you can see your knees.

The movement: Move your right and left leg in turns diagonally over your foot, down against the floor and ”dip” your toes against the floor.

Focus: Keep lower back against the floor during the entire exercise, in order to exercise the lower part of your abdomen.

Breathing: breathe out when you ”dip” your toe against the floor. The breathing is more pulsating in this exercise.

Push on knees

Muscle focus: The straight abdominal muscles and the transverse abdominal muscle.

Initial position: Lie on the floor with knees pulled across your abdomen. Place one hand on the front side of each thigh. Place your right hand on the right thigh and left hand on the left thigh. Tighten pelvic floor and pull your abdomen in.

The movement: Lift your head from the floor and push on your knees, as if you were pushing them away from yourself, while you pull the knees up against the chest without moving your legs. Push all you can with your arms. If you are able to perform more repetitions than indicated, you are not pushing enough with your hand.

Focus: Pull abdomen in and push strongly with your hand!

Breathing: Breathe out when your round your back. Breathe in when you lower your back.

Exercise programme

Perform the exercises three times a week with an interval of 1-2 days. Do not take a break between the individual exercises. Rest for one minute after the last exercise and start from the beginning and do the exercises two more times.

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