Abs workout

Nicole Glor, 34, trainer

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  • Grab a mat and two sets of weights, light and heavy, for this routine that challenges your abs by putting you off balance, forcing your muscles to work to maintain stability. Perform the sets of exercises three times for a 30-minute workout and repeat three or four times a week. Ideally, you shouldn't rest between exercises, but take a short break if you're unable to effectively perform them.

  • V-Up
    (1) Lying on your back with straight legs, prop your upper body up on your elbows with your palms on the floor.
    (2) Inhaling, lift your legs slightly off the floor.
    (3) Exhaling, crunch your knees into your chest and use your abs to lift off your elbows and onto your hands so only your hands and tailbone area touch the floor and your body is shaped like a V.
    (4) Inhaling, lower your upper body back to your elbows and lengthen your legs to hover a few inches above the mat.
    Repeat the movements (3) and (4) 20 times.
    Advanced: Take your hands and elbows off the floor and hold them straight in front of you, as if on an imaginary tabletop. Crunch in and out using just your abs.

  • Weighted shoelace crunch
    (1) Lying on your back with your legs flat on the mat, extend your arms over your head, holding the large ends of a heavy weight (Glor uses 10 to 15 pounds) in each palm.
    (2) Lifting the weight over your head and keeping your arms straight, bend your legs into your chest.
    (3) Lifting your shoulders off the mat, reach your hands and the weight toward your shoelaces. Crunch in as tight as you can, with your gaze on the ceiling to keep the neck in line with the spine. Return to position (1).
    Repeat the movements 20 times.

  • Plank crunch
    (1) Adopting the side plank pose on your left hand with your feet staggered (the bottom [left] foot in front of your right), bend your right elbow and put your right hand behind your head.
    (2) Balancing on your right (top and behind) foot, bring your left knee across to your right elbow to crunch. Return to position (1).
    Repeat the movements 15 times; switch sides and perform 15 more.

  • Side V
    (1) Lying on your back with your shoulders flat on the floor and hands behind the head, bend your knees and turn your body to your right side.
    (2) Moving the knees up to hip level (so the body forms an L shape from knees to hips to head), crunch the chest to the ceiling.
    Repeat the movements 40 times, switch sides and perform another 40 times.
    Advanced: Turning onto the side of your body, extend your right arm on the floor at shoulder level for stability, bringing your armpit off the floor, and lift both knees off the floor as you lift up onto your elbow. Perform 20 reps; switch sides and perform 20 more.

  • Wings, thighs and a six-pack
    (1) Adopting a short-side-plank pose (hips off the floor and balancing on your right forearm), bend your lower knee and place that leg on the floor for balance Hold a weight in your left hand behind your neck; your left elbow should be pointing straight up to the ceiling.
    (2) Lift your left straight leg off the floor and toward the ceiling as you straighten the left hand and weight to the sky. Return to position (1).
    Repeat the movements 15 times; switch sides and perform 15 more times.

  • Biceps boat
    (1) Sitting with feet flat on the floor, knees bent over the ankles and a heavy weight (Glor uses 10 to 15 pounds) in each hand to the sides of your body, lean back so that your abs engage and your back is forming a diagonal line (called the boat pose in yoga).
    (2) Hold the abdominal contraction and lift and lower the weights out to the sides in biceps curls. Perform 20 bicep curls.
    Tip: To make it harder, lift your legs off the floor to tabletop position, so your calves are parallel with the floor.

  • Thighmaster chest crunch
    (1) Lying on your back with your legs straight above the hips, soles of the feet reaching for the sky and holding two light weights (Glor uses five to eight pounds each) above your chest with straight arms, use your abdominal muscles to crunch your shoulders off the ground.
    (2) Lowering your head and shoulders to the ground, slowly open your arms out to the sides and toward the floor in a chest fly, keeping your elbows slightly bent, while opening your legs out into a V shape.
    (3) Bring your arms and legs together above you and crunch your shoulders off the ground using the strength of your abs.
    Repeat the movements in (2) and (3) 20 times.

  • Plank glute rows
    (1) Adopting a full plank position with medium to heavy weights (Glor uses ten pounds) under your hands, lift the weight in your right hand up to your chest and return it to the floor.
    (2) Lift your right straight leg off the ground and return it to the floor. Repeat on the other side; perform 20 reps, switching arms and legs each time.
    Tip: To make it easier, just hold a plank on your forearms and toes for 30 to 90 seconds.

Grab a mat and two sets of weights, light and heavy, for this routine that challenges your abs by putting you off balance, forcing your muscles to work to maintain stability. Perform the sets of exercises three times for a 30-minute workout and repeat three or four times a week. Ideally, you shouldn't rest between exercises, but take a short break if you're unable to effectively perform them.

Download this workout as a PDF

Glor's fitness favorites

"My favorite class to take for fun is Baby and Me and Family Yoga at Harlem Yoga Studio. My two-year-old works out with me and can do the down dog and happy baby poses on command." 44 W 125th St between Fifth Ave and Malcolm X Blvd (Lenox Ave), third floor (917-538-0457, harlemyogastudio.com). Baby and Me Fri 12:45--2:15pm; Family Yoga Sat 9:30--10:15am, Sun 9:15--10:15am. One adult and one child $17.

"My favorite piece of gym equipment is the weighted power balls at Crunch with eight pounds of sand inside. They look like big stability balls but you can use them as weights too." Various locations, see crunch.com for more information.

"My favorite post-workout spot is Haru Sushi because of their crazy roll combos, such as brown rice, strawberries, lemons, cilantro, spicy tuna and scallops, to name a few. You get your fruits and vegetables with carbs and protein all in one fun package." 430 Amsterdam Ave Ave between 80th and 81st St (212-579-5655, harusushi.com)

Train with Glor: Crunch, 162 W 83rd St between Amsterdam and Columbus Aves (212-875-1902, crunch.com). Ass & Abs Wed 6--6:30pm; Cardio Express Wed 6:30--7pm; Cardio Sculpt Sun 11am--noon. Day pass $35, monthly membership $65--$99. For more information, and to buy Glor's Hard Core Abs DVD, visit nikkifitness.com.

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