Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Abs Workout Program (Week 1)

Yesterday I started my Abs Workout Routine. I developed this program after reading a couple of books on the subject of abs and core development and from speaking with Lisa Smith-Batchen, who has agreed to coach me towards a strong and well-developed six-pack.

As you probably already know, six-packs are built both in the gym and in the kitchen. That is, they are the result of both a smart, total workout routine and good nutrition. That said, I want to talk here solely about the routine.

Here is what I have devised: the program is about 18 weeks long. The weeks are broken up into levels. The first level, the one I am on right now, is all about building a foundation by developing a strong and muscularly balanced abdominal wall. This level is six weeks long. All you need to do is devote five minutes a day, four times a week. The exercises in this program emphasize quality over quantity, proper technique, and slow, controlled movements, keeping constant tension on your abs.

This base is essential for good posture, taking pressure off the lower back. Good posture will help the body function at a more efficient level.

I would post before photos of my stomach, but I am a little embarrassed. Maybe I will feel better about posting them - I do have photos - when I have some nicely sculpted abs to show in an after picture (if this program produces results). Here goes nothing!

Description of exercises:

Modified knee raises: Lie on the floor on your back, hands under your butt (palms down), elbows out (so small of your back is pressed against the floor), head up (chin to chest), shoulder blades off the floor. Bend your knees, resting your feet flat on the floor. From this modified position, use your lower abs to draw your knees to your chest. Then lower your legs until your heels lightly touch the floor. Repeat.

: Lie on your back, knees up and both feet on the floor. Cross your left leg over the right leg. Rest your ankle just below the knee, making a triangle with your legs. Right hand goes behind your ear, elbow straight out. Rest head and elbow on floor. Place your left hand on your right side (over your abs). From this position, use your abs to raise and twist your right shoulder toward your opposite knee. Then, lower your torso back towards the floor. Repeat. Reverse the procedure for the opposite side.

Crunches: Knees up: Lie on back and raise legs so your thighs are perpendicular to your body, placing your calves and feet parallel to the floor and hands in position of choice. From this position, use your upper abs to raise your shoulders and back off the floor in a forward-curling motion. Then, lower your torso to the starting position, lightly touching your shoulder blades to the floor. Repeat.

Medicine ball arm swing: Stand up with your feet shoulder width apart, knees bent, looking straight forward. Hold the ball at hip level. Move the ball from side to side, hip to hip in a slow, controlled motion.

Medicine ball knee swing
: Lie on the floor with the ball between your knees. Cross your right ankle over your left ankle and squeeze the ball between your knees so that it doesn't slip. Face up to the ceiling, arms out to your sides, and palms down on the ground. From this position, move the ball from side to side. Switch your left ankle over your right ankle and repeat.

Medicine ball sit up: Lie on your back, face up. Knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms over your head with the ball secure in your grip. Rest the ball on the floor. From this position, come up straight up into a sitting position, using your abs to lift your upper body. Keep your arms straight and the ball firm in your grasp as you do so. Roll back down with the ball one vertebrae at a time. Repeat.

Here is the first week of the program:

Week 1
(Days 1 and 2)

1. Modified knee raises----10 reps----60 sec. rest
2. Crossovers-----10 reps----60 sec. rest
3. Crunches: Knees up----10 reps----60 sec. rest
4. Medicine ball arm swing----3 x 1 min----60 sec. rest
5. Medicine ball knee swing----3 x 30 sec. for each side----60 sec. rest
6. Medicine ball sit up----5 reps----60 sec. rest

(Days 3 and 4)

1. Same exercises

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