YES, I have been MIA for a while BUT thank GOD I am finally finished with school (for now)!!! LOL, well one of my professors said she was giving me a break then she was coming after me to come back 🙂 BUT anyway you can see a couple of my graduation pictures here —->Oh Happy Day!! SO, now that I’ve finally gotten that out the way I can use ALL this free time job hunting and getting back on the fitness wagon. My internship derailed that train so fast I forgot what I was doing 🙂
One of myfitnesspal sheroes did a great blog post a few months ago about working your abs. I know we all have struggled with the belly fat BUT she hit on some key exercises to help get that Janet Jackson (when she skinnty) abs. Of course I asked for her permission to copy her post and she gave me the thumbs up. PLEASE follow and check out her personal blog Gwen She has a wonderful testimony and very inspiring fitness journey. So grab your note pad and take notes on what you need to do to say bye-bye big belly 🙂
Yes this is my constant quest, my very own personal desire. This is my very dream to run this summer in a sports bra and shorts. Some may say after having 3 large babies, I should give up, be happy that I’ve lost the weight and wear a one piece bikini for the rest of my life. Well somehow, I just can’t accept that.
I know there are different elements to having a flat abdominal area, in which I am not referring to in this particular blog, such as excess skin or just fat around the middle. Excess skin or abdominal fat, that’s worked off w/the right eating and cardio/strength training. I lost tons of inches on my stomach doing these 3, yet I still get the bloated look. The moment I put a piece of food or liquid in my mouth, my stomach pokes out. Not to mention other times (the ladies know what I mean). It was all kind of getting frustrating. I do my ab work, I can literally feel my 6 pack, but my stomach still pokes out.
I’m not one to take matters lying down you can call me a researcher. If there’s a solution, I’m going to find it. So it really helped me to understand the whole concept of working your core and the different areas of your abs.
- Rectus Abdominis
- Transverse Abdominis
Most of us work the Rectus Abdominis (that’s the 6-8 pack muscles), obliques. We will do tons of crunches…But most of us do not workout the Transverse Abs.
What are those 0_0? Glad you asked
Transverse abdominis is the deepest, innermost layer of all abdominal muscles. The transverse abdominus holds in the rectus abdominus. So this is the muscle supports the rectus ab and gives you the flat stomach look. Similar to how it is when we ladies or gents suck in your gut. I want that look w/out having to suck in the gut.
Then it dawned on me, after 3 babies of course my inner deepest layer of abs were pretty out of shape. I have been working out hard core for a year now, and just didn’t give any focus to my my Transverse Abs. I notice this also not w/just me but my husband. We both do lifting, cardio, clean eating, and our outer layer of abs are very strong, but we both lacked the slimming look from the side.
So I said of this to explain why I think (my personal opinion) the incorporating a Plank Routine 3-4 times a week is very beneficial to your workout regimen. I have always heard that planks were great for abs, but I never really understood why. In fact I hated planks, they were hard and tough and just not fun. But the moment I realized what they could do for me, planks just moved up in my book. Planks are wonderful at working the Transverse Abdominis (planks work full body as well). Now I’m not saying you don’t ever have to do another crunch again, but I’ve been there and done that and still didn’t have the flat look I was looking for. So I begin to research the plank, and found tons of wonderful information, that helped me to understand what I wasn’t doing.
Again I am not saying this is the cure for excess skin or losing fat around the tummy, this is something to add to your current strength/cardio program.
How to Do the Basic Plank
- Get in the pushup position, only put your forearms on the ground instead of your hands. Your elbows should line up directly underneath your shoulders. Toes on the ground.
- Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abdominals.
- Keep a neutral neck and spine.
- Create a straight, strong line from head to toes – a plank, if you will.
- Hold that position.
Things to Remember
- Don’t let your hips sag down to the ground. Sagging hips makes the exercise initially easier, but it’s not a plank and it defeats the purpose of the exercise.
- Look down at the ground. This is a good prompt for maintaining a neutral neck position.
- When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.
the is a modified plank for beginners
This is a basic plank on elbow
This is harder version, for those who are stronger
If you aren’t use to doing planks, they will be tough. You will feel it in your arms, shoulders, back, and abs. You may have to start w/30 sec holds and work your way up. Start out on your elbows, if need be
I have listed 3 different examples of plank workout routines, that I myself plan to follow.
Plank Routine 1
Beginners start w/30 sec holds and work your way up
2 Min doing right side plank
2 min doing left side plank
Rest 30 sec
2 min regular plank
Rest 30-60 sec
2 min doing exercise ball plank
Plank Routine 2
Spiderman Planks 10-15 reps each side 2/3 sets
Plank Twist 10 reps each side 2/3 sets
High low plank 5 starting w/right 5 starting w/left 2/3 sets
Plank Hold 30sec-2 mins 2/3 sets
Plank Routine 3
Plank Straight leg lift. Hold 10/15 reps each leg. Do 2/3 sets
Plank hold w/feet on bench or stability ball hold 30sec-2 mins. 2/3 sets
Plank feet elevated s/march 1 min 10-15 sec hold on each leg, 2/3 sets
I am in no way an expert, but thought I would share w/you guys. if you are like me and want to have that nice flat look for the summer, try to incorporate plank routines.
Thanks again Gwen for allowing me to use this great blog post.
NO, I’m NOT a doctor. NO, I am NOT a nurse practitioner. NO, I an NOT a nutritionist. NO, I am NOT a certified personal trainer.