The Flat Abs Project Week #4

Week 4 is here and we’re in the home stretch!!  This is the last “official” week of the project, but I will be adding a bonus week for the week before Christmas so anyone interested can give it one last push!  I did want to share with you my own personal results so far.  Even though I had great intentions to decrease my carb intake and drastically increase my sad water intake (I only get about 1 to 2 litres per day which is bad for the amount of activity I do), my diet didn’t change at all!  I haven’t changed my exercise level either, it’s pretty much the same as it usually is.  I have been doing the ab exercises diligently, I’ve only missed one per week so far, most of the time I do either the intermediate or advanced versions, once in a while if I’m short on time or my abs are killing me I’ll only do the beginner.  But like I say to all my clients, consistency is key, and after measuring my waist today, I’m down 2 inches!!!  I’m so excited by the results, they are even better than I’d hoped!  I’d love to know if everyone else is experiencing good results as well, please be proud of your accomplishment and share to inspire others!

This week, I had a request from my Dad who works out religiously (yeah Dad!) but has a bad back and can’t do crunches.  I have told you all about trying crunches on a stability ball if you feel discomfort, but if you don’t have a ball or if crunches still cause you pain, here’s an entire workout that’s challenging with no crunches at all!

Warm up:

SupermanSuperman – lying on your stomach with legs extended and arms over your head, lift arms and legs off the floor at the same time and hold there for a count of three, then lower.  Do 10 reps.

ScorpionScorpion – on your stomach, arms airplaned out the side, bend one knee so foot is pointed toward the ceiling.  Twist across your body and touch the toe to the floor on the opposite side of body.  Return to the start, and repeat, alternating sides.  If this hurts your back, stick to the Lying Twist from week 1.  Do 10 reps on each side.

Workout:

Strong Man/Pin up Girl AbsStrong Man or Pin up Girl Abs – standing with legs shoulder width apart, bend over and place your hands on your knees, back rounded in a C-curve.  Pull your abs in towards your spine and up like your trying to suck them under your rib cage.  Hold this for 30 – 60 sec., then release and stand up.  Beginners do 5 reps, intermediate 10 reps, advanced 15 reps.

The TwistThe Twist – sit up tall with a flat back and your legs straight out in front of you (cross your legs if this is too difficult).  Reach your arms out to the side, then take a deep breath in, pull in your abs and twist as far as you can to one side without leaning backwards.  Return to facing front, then repeat to the other side.  Beginners do 10 reps to each side, intermediate do 15 reps, and advanced 20 reps.

Plank with Knee InPlank with a Knee In – go into full plank position from your hands and toes, then pull one knee in towards your chest.  Return toes to the floor, then repeat with the other knee, keeping your hips down and abs tight throughout the move.  Beginners do 15 reps per side, intermediate 20 reps, and advanced 25 reps.

KayakersKayakers – sit in a V-sit position with the variation that is comfortable for you (see Week 2).  While leaning back, twist your upper body to one side, then the other, remembering to twist from the waist.  Beginners do 15 reps per side, intermediate 20 reps, and advanced 25 reps.  Advanced can try adding a weight in their hands to increase the intensity.

Side Plank LiftSide Plank Lifts – like the extended side plank, come up on your hand with your arm extended and either one bent knee for beginners, both legs straight but split for intermediate, or both legs stacked for advanced.  Hold for a count of three, then lower your hips to the ground.  Repeat doing all reps on one side then the other.  Beginners do 10 reps, intermediate 15 reps and advanced 20 reps.

My nutrition tip for today is about fibre.  A lot of times the extra padding we carry in our lower abdominal area is simply waste that we haven’t eliminated from our system yet.  If you are not regular this can mean an added 5 lbs. or more in your belly at any given time!  The best way to get rid of it is adding more fibre to your diet, along with the water intake I talked about in week 2.  So that means eating whole wheat and brown instead of white, mixing high fibre cereal like All Bran into your regular cereal or yogurt, and eating more fruits, vegetables and beans!  (if you want a sneaky, delicious way to get in more beans, try my Chocolate Chip Blondies, yum!)  Go slowly at first and remember to drink your water to prevent bloating and try digestive enzymes if you get any uncomfortable gas build up.  Good luck and stay tuned for week 5 the bonus week!

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