One of my clients asked for an abdominal workout that she could do anywhere since she is traveling alot this month. This is a great focused workout that targets all of the major abdominal muscles and can be easily done in under 10 minutes. Hold the plank and the 6" hold exercises for 30 seconds each. Do 20 reps of the bike crunches and scissor kicks and repeat 3-4 times. You and your abs will thank me later!
Plank: Lay face down on the floor in a straight line. Push yourself off the floor and with your forearms flat on the floor forming the number ‘11’. Your shoulders should be right over your elbows. The rest of your body should be in a straight line. For better stability move your feet further apart. Beware not to raise your butt because then you lose the entire benefit of the exercise. You want to constrict the muscles in your abdominal section as well as your glutes (aka butt). This exercise works the entire abdominal section.
Bicycle Crunch: Lie back on the floor with your hands supporting the back of your head. Your legs should be bent in a 90-degree angle. Lift your head, neck and shoulders off the floor and rotate your abdominals to bring your right elbow to meet your left knee. As you rotate extend your right leg straight out. Then rotate your body (using your abs) to the other side so your left elbow meets your right knee. And your left leg extends straight out. Picture riding a bicycle while laying on your back. The twisting motion of your trunk should all be done using your abdominals.
Six Inch Hold: Lie flat on your back with your legs straight and hovering off the floor by six inches. Be sure to keep your back flat and contract your lower abs to keep your feet hovered in the air. Remember to breathe and focus on contracting your abs on every exhale. Hold for 30 seconds.
Scissor Kick: Lay down on your back with your arms by your side. Raise your legs 6-12 inches off the floor making sure that your lower back does not arch. If it does begin to arch lower your legs slightly. Slowly cross your legs to form an ‘X’ and then repeat on the other side. You can make this more challenging by lifting your head, neck and shoulders off the floor and raising your arms so they are parallel to the floor. This is great for working the lower abdominals.