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4-Week Abs Workout

Created by Lisa Wheeler, Creative Manager for Equinox Gym, this month-long program will target your abs to give you a stomach worth showing off. Of course, it is important to remember that any exercise regimen needs to be accompanied with proper nutrition in order to yield optimal results.

Watch and learn your new strength workout regimen below, with added nutrition and cardio tips to help burn more calories as you sculpt away. For best results, alternate your two weekly exercises for three sets, three times a week.

WEEK ONE

Beast Activation

Exercise #1: Beast Activation
Begin on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders, your knees slightly in front of your hips, and your toes curled under. Keeping your spine neutral, lift your knees one inch off the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Then release for one to two seconds. Repeat 5 times for a total of about 60 seconds.

Bicycle with reverse curl

Exercise #2: Bicycle with Reverse Curl
Begin on your back with your knees bent, feet off the floor, and shins parallel to the ground. With your hands behind your head, lift your head and shoulders off the ground, flexing your spine. Next, extend your right leg out and rotate your torso so your right elbow is reaching for your left knee. Hold for a beat then come back to the center and perform a reverse curl, lifting your hips slightly off the ground. Repeat on the other side. Right and left equals one rep. Perform 8 to 12 reps.

Nutrition Tip

Clear up your diet. Begin to replace sugars, processed white flour, and other processed food with fresh berries, veggies, and lean protein.

Cardio Tip

To really burn calories and fat, add one minute of jumping jacks after each exercise for a four-exercise circuit (beast, jacks, bicycle, jacks, repeat).

WEEK TWO

Three Way Plank

Exercise #1: Three Way Plank
Begin in a plank position with wrists under shoulders, legs extended with feet hips width apart. Keeping your arms straight, pull your right knee forward under your chest, maintaining a neutral spine. Extend the leg back, then pull your right knee under your body to your left elbow. Extend the leg back then pull your right knee to the outside of your right elbow. Extend the leg back, place on the floor and repeat to the other side. Alternating, perform 4 rounds on each side.

Back Extension Lat Pull

Exercise #2: Back Extension Lat Pull
Begin on your stomach with your legs extended and arms overhead. Slowly lift your legs, torso, and arms off the ground keeping your chin tucked. Hold this position as you pull your hands to your shoulders. Pause, then reach the arms out and slowly lower to the floor. Perform 8 to 12 reps.

Nutrition Tip

Drink more water. You should aim for half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces a day to remain hydrated.

Cardio Tip

Add a 30 minute morning run with speed work to your routine. Warm up for 5 minutes with a light jog, then run for 30 seconds at a higher intensity. Recover for 1 minute with an easy jog and repeat the intensity burst. Alternate for about 20 minutes and cool down for the last 5 minutes.

WEEK THREE

Plank with Hip Rotation

Exercise #1: Plank with Hip Rotation
Begin in a plank position with your wrists under your shoulders, legs extended, with feet hips width apart. Keeping your arms straight, rotate your shoulders and torso and dip your hips to the floor right and left. Pivot to the inner and outer edges of your feet as you rotate and brace through your abs. Right and left equals one rep. Perform 10 to 20 reps.

Hollow Body Hold

Exercise #2: Hollow Body Hold
Begin on your back with your arms overhead, your legs extended, and your toes pointed. Keeping your lower back touching the ground, start slowly raising your legs and shoulders off the ground. Glue your arms by your ears and keep your abs tight. Find the lowest position for your arms and legs without letting them touch the ground and without letting your lower back arch. Hold for 10 seconds and release for 1-2 seconds. Repeat 5 times for a total of 60 seconds.

Nutrition Tip

Add fiber to your diet. Fiber helps diminish the amount of visceral fat that can build-up around your belly. Aim for 10 grams a day from beans, crunchy vegetables, almonds, whole grains, brown rice, and berries.

Cardio Tip

Mix it up. If you run, try cycling. If you cycle, try a cardio sculpt class. If you circuit train, try a dance class. Cross training is a surefire way to jump-start your metabolism.

WEEK FOUR

Side Plank with Arm and Leg Lift

Exercise #1: Side Plank with Arm and Leg Lift
Begin in a side plank on your left forearm, legs extended with your hips and feet stacked, and your right arm by your side. As you lift your hips toward the ceiling, lift your right leg up and reach your right arm overhead. Lower your hips a few inches as you lower your arms and legs simultaneously. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps and switch sides.

Lunge Chop

Exercise #2: Lunge Chop
Begin standing and hold a small towel over your head with both hands. Step back with your right leg as you “chop” to the left, aiming your right hand to your left hip. Keep the towel tight and the left knee over your ankle. Return to standing and repeat to the other side. Right and left is one rep. Perform 8 to 12 reps.

Nutrition/Health Tip

Get more sleep. Sleep deprivation can decrease your metabolism and if you’re tired you’re more likely to make bad food and drink choices.

Cardio Tip

Add one “big bang” move like a squat jump or a burpee to the end of your workout. Perform the exercise as hard and as fast as you can for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat for a total of 8 rounds.

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