Welcome to week 1 of the September Ab Challenge. Thursday is September 1st, so let us do a September Ab Challenge for the entire month!
This Ab Challenge will include a diet portion and an exercise portion as explained below. I will update the exercise portion with a new 5-minute workout each week.
Add at least one extra serving of vegetables and fruit each week. Try to compound this so you are up to 4 extra servings a week by the end of the month. Use this weekend to buy and chop your extra veggies and fruit so they are ready for consumption next week!
Week 1 – Complete this 5-minute workout every morning and evening:
- Bicycle Crunches – 1 minute
- Vertical Leg Toe Touches – 1 minute
- Low Plank Hold – 1 minute
- Pushups – 1 minute
- Squats (or jump squats) – 1 minute
- Lying on your back, keeping low back as flat as possible, cross left shoulder towards right knee while pushing left leg out straight. Then switch sides.
- Keep elbows back and knee right over your hip (not pulling elbow towards knee, the goal is “not” to touch your elbow to your knee!).
- If your low back starts to hurt, bring your extended foot higher towards the sky.
Vertical Leg Toe Touches
- Lying on your back, bring heels up towards the sky keeping legs as straight as possible (bending your knees is ok, it just means your hamstrings are tight!).
- Make sure you can keep your low-back flat by contracting your abs and pressing it down to the ground.
- Lift your upper body to reach your hands to your toes, try to touch your toes and still keep your feet over your hips.
- If this hurts your neck, you can complete the same movement with your hands behind your head (so your hands completely support your head!).
Low Plank Hold
- Keeping elbows right underneath your shoulders and back flat (stomach in tight) not letting your hips sag, hold this position.
- To make this exercise easier, bring your knees to the ground.
- To make it harder, try lifting one toe slightly off the ground and alternating.
- Start with hands in line with your shoulders, but wider than your shoulders.
- Keep a flat back (stomach in tight) not letting your hips drop lower than your shoulders.
- To make push ups easier, bring your knees down to the ground.
- To make it harder, hold in the down position for 5 seconds.
- For a typical squat, sit back in your heels like you are sitting into a chair behind you.
- If squats for one minute seems easy, you can make it more cardiorespiratory by doing jump squats (dynamically squatting to stand up into a hop, then smoothly landing back into squat position).
- If squat jumps are painful in your knees or low-back, try holding the squat position for 10 seconds or more.
September Ab Challenge: Week 1 Workout Video
Here is a video that shows a couple seconds of each exercise: