It’s summer and everyone is bustling about trying to perfect their beach bodies. We all want skinny legs, perfect curves, and non-existent bellies. Thankfully, the HFR team is here to help you get your ideal body – the healthy way. The only sure-fire way to get flat abs is to reduce your body weight with clean eating and cardio workouts, but if you really want to get a chiseled and toned tummy you must invest some extra time in strengthening your abdominals with exercises. This 5-day challenge will whip you into shape and allow you to start seeing the results you deserve from your healthy lifestyle and workout routine. In addition, you can also use this challenge as a learning experience for new exercises that you can incorporate into your workout regimen for years to come. Read on and get flexin’!
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5|
|10 sit-ups||10 sit-ups||15 sit-ups||15 sit-ups||20 sit-ups|
|20 bicycle crunches per side||20 bicycle crunches per side||25 bicycle crunches per side||25 bicycle crunches per side||30 bicycle crunches per side|
|10 side crunches per side||15 side crunches per side||10 toe touches||15 toe touches||20 toe touches|
|30 sec. plank||10 plank side squeezes per side||10 reverse crunches||15 reverse crunches||20 reverse crunches|
|10 plank cross-body knees each side||15 plank side squeezes each side||20 sec. plank||25 plank side squeezes each side|
|20 sec. plank||15 plank cross-body knees each side||20 plank side squeezes each side||25 plank cross-body knees each side|
|40 sec. plank||20 plank cross-body knees each side||60 sec. plank|
|40 sec. plank|
Exercise jargon mildly confusing? Look below for some quick instructions.
Sit up – A proper sit up is done with the feet placed firmly on the ground and the torso moving from rest to fully upright in a careful, controlled movement. To keep feet down, you can place them under the edge of a couch, bed, or table. Place your hands crossed over your chest and not behind your head to prevent strain on the neck.
Bicycle – Slowly bring your right elbow to your left knee, and without bringing your legs or head back to the ground, switch legs bringing your left elbow to your right knee. Continue until you have the correct number of reps on each side.
Side crunches – Lay on your back and twist your knees to the side, lying flat on top of each other, knees bent. Keep your shoulders parallel to the ground and perform crunches from this position. This exercise targets your oblique abs, which is where those lovehandles like to sit on.
Plank – Lay on the ground as if going into a push-up position, but stay on your elbows and forearms with your hands together under your face. Keep your body elevated but low enough to be in a relatively straight line from head to toe. When holding this position, keep your core tight and imagine that you are trying to squeeze your belly button to your back bone.
Plank side squeeze – In plank, bring your right knee to your right side, squeezing your obliques and balancing carefully on your left foot. In a controlled movement, place your right foot back on the ground and repeat with the left leg on the opposite side. The balancing and squeezing movements strengthen your core.
Plank cross-body knees – Still in plank, bring your right knee up under your body, squeezing your knee toward your left shoulder. Bring it back to the ground and repeat on opposite side, squeezing the left knee toward the right shoulder.
Toe touches – Lay on your back and perform a sit up with your torso as you raise your legs straight up and reach your arms up toward your toes. Then, slowly lower your shoulders and legs down, but not all the way back to the ground and repeat the movement, without allowing yourself to rest until completing all of the reps.
Reverse crunches – Lay on your back, holding a table or chair with your arms for support if necessary, and raise your legs, slightly bent, from rest toward your chest and back down again. In this exercise, too, you must not allow your legs to touch the ground until you have completed all of the reps. Then rest.