30 Day Ab Challenge | 7 exercises
I have a simple and efficient 30 Day Ab Challenge for you. If you partake in the challenge you will train your core four days out of the week and rest the other three days.
You can approach this challenge in a few ways.
You can simply just do the workouts in the challenge for the month. However, this won’t be enough for many of you. I would highly recommend training your other body parts as well.
Perhaps you can do the workouts in the challenge after you are done with your main training routine. So if you go to the gym to train your lower body or upper body, you can then finish with core training.
Another approach would be to complete your main strength training routine first in the morning, and then complete these ab challenges at home in the evening.
I have a very useful tip for you…
Don’t do these exercises really fast. Take your time with them. Strive to perform them well. Doing them quick just to get over with it is not better.
30 Day Ab Challenge- Workout A
30 Day Ab Challenge- Workout B
The first one on this list is the Bird Dog exercise. This exercise is great for muscle coordination, hip, shoulder and core stability.
How to do it: Get on all four and keep your spine and neck in a neutral position. Extend opposite limbs slowly, pause briefly and then return hand and on foot back to the starting position. Keep your hips and shoulders squared, facing the ground. Don’t let your torso rotate and don’t over arch your lower back.
How to do it: Bicycle crunches might seem easy to do but I often see them performed poorly. A common mistake is to pull on your neck to assist you in getting up. A quick fix is not to interlock your fingers behind your head. Simply place your hands lightly on the sides of your head for some support and keep your chin away from your chest.
Without returning your upper back back to the ground, try to connect elbow to opposite knee. Exhale at this point. If for some reason your lower back starts to bother you simply don’t extend your legs that much.
Side Plank With Hip Abductions
This is the first of two side planks variations in this post. This exercise will strengthen the obliques, quadratus lumborum, as well as the glute medius muscles found in the hips. This particular version will demand a lot from your hips. Having strong hips can make our lower body more resilient.
How to do it: Lie on your side with your forearm on the floor. Stack your top leg on top of your bottom leg. Keep your elbow underneath your shoulder. Hips should be squared. Once you feel stable enough, lift the upper leg slowly (exhale at this point) and then return it back to the starting position under total control. Avoid letting your hips get close to the ground when you lift your leg up.
This side plank variation will also target the same muscles from the exercise above but with more emphasis on the obliques.
How to do it: The set up for this exercise is similar to previous one. Once you feel stable enough you’re going to rotate your upper arm inward and lift your hips up. You should feel your obliques contract at this point. Breathe out at this segment of the exercise.
Plank With Elbow Taps
This exercise targets the obliques, transversus abdominis and rectus abdominis, while challenging hip and shoulder stability.
How to do it: Get in a push up position and then bring one knee to the outside of your wrist (the wrist that’s on the same side of the moving leg). Pause briefly and then go back to your push up position and continue on the same side. The higher you bring your knees, the harder your abs will work.
This exercise is very similar to the previous one but instead of moving your legs, you will move your arms. I often see this exercise performed with too much haste. A better approach would be to slowly return your arms back to the ground, this will increase tension through out the abs.
How to do it: Get in a push up position. Lift your hand off the ground and gently tap the opposite shoulder. Bring your hand back to the ground and continue the sequence in the other side. Avoid rotating or shifting your torso outwards.
Hollow Body Rock
This is the most advanced core exercise in this post.
How to do it: Lie on your back and lift your arms where they are next to your ears. Extend your legs and point your toes. Make sure your lower back is in contact with the ground through out the exercise. Don’t let your back arch, then begin rocking back and forth. Your body should resemble the shape of a banana.
How to regress this exercise: If you find your form constantly breaking or if your lower back irritates you, then retract your legs. The closer your legs are to your body, the less stress you will feel on your lower back.
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