Ab-tastic!

Many moons ago, a friend of mine asked me to post an abdominal workout video. I decided it's about time I post a little something to work the "somethin'-somethin'" area. The video is taken on Hyperlapse, so it's sped up 6 times its regular speed. Due to the high-speed, I'll break down the exercises I'm doing below. Keep checking back for more videos/how-tos/general thoughts -- and follow me on Instagram (@yogigoup).

High-Speed Ab Workout
  • cat/cow stretches X 5 (inhale chest up, tailbone up; exhale round back, tailbone down).
  • plank hold to stabilize core (check out my "Do This! Not This! ~ Plank Pose" on my blog for a refresher. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
  • plank to hovering tabletop walk-ins (begin with the right leg) X 10 
  • hold hovering tabletop and work scapular protraction/retraction. Yes, this is now shoulder work, but the belly will fire up as you hold your hovering table top. Protracting the shoulders means to take the shoulder blades apart; retracting the shoulders means to draw the shoulder blades together. Do 10 times.
  • downward-facing dog for one breath cycle
  • on belly -- alternate backbends (cactus arms lift, while legs lift) with push-ups to plank and back to belly. The push-up to plank can be done with knees down. Do 5 times.
  • repeat above steps starting with the plank hold. (You might notice I didn't do another round of the backbends/plank lifts, but this is due to tendonitis in my elbow, so I was hesitant to do more pushups. If you're feeling well, go for it!) When you get to the plank to hovering tabletop walk-ins, make sure to begin with the other leg.
  • single-leg "broken boat" (the name I gave this exercise) - start seated with heels digging into the ground; lean back until you feel your abs engage; lift one leg to 45 degrees; lower the leg and upper body and then lift everything back up, bending your lifted knee at the top of the movement. Repeat 5-10 times.
  • single-leg "broken boat" - do the other side.
  • toe taps - lean back, place elbows on the ground, and lift your knees above your hips so knees are at a 90 degree angle; keep the knees at this angle and lower the knees forward as the toes reach to the front of the mat. Do NOT just bend the knees so the heels tap the butt! Note: a less challenging version is to alternate legs. Do 10 times.
  • Pilates knee pull-ins (30-60 seconds)
  • Pilates single leg pull-ins (30-60 seconds).
  • *Repeat the entire sequence for more sweat OR rest!*