Sunday, June 17, 2012

The 300/30 Ab Challenge Workout

First, here's what inspired me to begin this lovely workout:
I went shopping for clothes (including a bathing suit) today and it was downright awful. I used to love my figure, I was petite with some curves but I looked and felt good. I started off my freshman year in college as a size 3/5 (all depending where I shopped), I wore a 34-A bra and I had no major stretch marks. Then, I decided to be sexually smart and safe and go on the Depo Provera shot ignoring all warnings that it would cause weight gain and many other negative side effects, because at the time the shot was the easiest to do in terms of remembering to take it.

Anyways...away from all the personal point is that I am hoping not necessarily to lose a ton of weight, but more or less tone up my abs and look and feel good again.

Alright, so here's the actual workout that I will be doing for the next 30 days; all in the hopes that I can slim down enough to actually love my body like I use to.

You can do this routine anytime, before or after your workout. I would recommend before, when you’re fresh before your cardio or the rest of your routine. If you’re working on really getting results, why would you save these muscle groups for last when you’re tired already from working out?
Do 25 repetitions of each move. Keep the pace comfortable but brisk, you want to feel the burn. It should take 15 minutes. Your abdominals, unlike other muscle groups, need higher reps before they start responding.
Let’s get started.
In-N-Outs. Just like it sounds. Sit on the floor with your hands at your sides. Raise feet off the ground and bring knees to your chest. (See above.)
Straighten legs out (see above), hold for a beat, and bring your knees back into your chest. This is one repetition. Repeat 25 times. For a bit more challenge, raise your hands above your head.
Bicycles. Sitting in the same position as the In-N-Out, move legs in a wide, circular motion as if pedaling a bike. 1 revolution counts as one rep. Repeat 25 times.
Reverse Bicycles. Same as above, but instead of pedaling forward, petal backward. 1 revolution counts as one rep. Repeat 25 times. To increase difficulty on the Bicycle, raise arms straight overhead.
Crunchy Frog. Same position and movement as In-N-Out, only your hands are OFF the floor and wrap around your knees (without grabbing or touching your knees) when your knees are at your chest. (See above.) When you extend your legs back out, arms should be stretch out as sides, parallel to ground. (See below.)
This counts as one rep. Repeat 25 times. (Sorry for the blurry photo.)
Cross-Leg/Wide Leg Sit-Ups. Lie flat on your back with legs wide, in a V.(See Above)
Place one hand behind your head and bring your torso up to perform a standard sit-up movement (see above.) Try to keep your legs on the floor.With one arm straight, (see above) try to go straight UP, instead of just over your legs. Sit-Up straight, and then cross your straight arm over to touch your opposite leg. (See below.)
And slowly lay back down. That’s one repetition. On the next repetition, switch arms and cross over to the other side. Repeat these 25 times, alternating sides. If you’re unable to keep your legs anchored, use dumbbells to help anchor your lower body.
Scissors. Life flat on your back, extending one leg towards the ceiling, and lifting the opposite leg off the floor just a few inches. Flex your feet.
Alternate legs in a scissor motion, hold each switch for three seconds. Keep your skyward leg as straight as you can! Repeat these 25 times.
Hip Butt Ups. Lie on your back, open your hips and bend your legs so that the bottom of your feet are touching. (see below.)
I have no idea why my eyes are closed. In pure abdominal bliss, apparently.
With your arms at your sides, rock your hips, lift your pelvis and drive your feet directly up towards the ceiling. When lowering back down, do not let your legs touch the ground. Repeat 25 times.
Heels to the Heavens. Lying on your back, extend legs straight up, with arms at your sides. Lift your butt off the floor (see below.) When raising feet, imagine touching the ceiling with the balls of your feet. Keep your feet very flexed. Be sure to lift the legs straight up at 90 degrees, and not towards your head. Focus on maintaining straight legs.
Repeat this motion 25 times.
Roll-Up V-Ups. Lie flat on your back with legs straight out, and arms extended overhead. (see below.)
Bring your body up as if doing a standard sit-up, touching hands to toes. (see below.)
Slowly, lower your torso towards the floor, simutaneously bringing your legs up off the ground at about 45 degrees. (below)
Now, bring your torso back up and reach for your toes while your legs are in the air! (below) Imagine creating a jackknife position with your body. Your legs and hands should actually get closer then the below photo.
Lower your entire body to the floor and repeat 25 times.
Leg Climbers. Lie on your back with one leg bent, foot flat on the floor. The other leg should be out about 45 degrees.
You want to climb this extended leg, by first grabbing your thigh, then your knee, (see above) then your calf, then your toe. That’s the easy version. I do a two-touch. I just grab onto the inside of my knee, and then continue using my abs to pull me up. (below) You don’t want that extended leg to move around too much, keep it on the same plane the whole time. It will want to move as you crunch up. Fight it!
Repeat 12 times on one side, then switch and repeat 12 on the opposite side.
Kayakers. You’re almost done! Seated, clasp your hands together and raise your feet out, 4-6 inches off the floor. You may need to bend them to make this easier. Twist your upper torso from side to side, touching your knuckles on each side. Do these fast, like your kayaking a fast river. Do 50. If you can’t do 50, do 40. If you can’t do 40, do 30. You will be able to do 50 one day!
Ahhh! You just completed (if you did 50 kayakers) 300 abdominal exercises! You’re on your way to a strong and svelte core!
Now, stretch it out!
Cobra Stretch. Lie flat on your stomach and raise your upper body off the floor, supported by your arms. Your thighs should be resting on the floor.
Childs Pose. Sitting in your knees, fold you body over your legs and relax head and arms on the floor.