I live in south Florida and the weather has been so insanely hot this summer I can barely stand it. I like exercising outdoors but not when it’s 100 degrees. To keep from having a heat stroke I’ve been doing a lot of pool workouts lately (I’ll try and do a video on this soon as pool workouts are a great way to mix things up…especially for the summer! I’m not the best swimmer plus I get incredibly bored doing laps so I do a sort of circuit pool workout) Anyway, I get a great upper and lower body workout in the pool, but I really prefer to do my ab exercises on land. The workout in the video below is super fast, and super effective. It is a bit advanced though, so if you are a beginner exerciser you might not be able to do all of the exercises. The only piece of equipment you’ll need is a huge stability ball.
Slooooooow Down! Slow Training Works Your Abs Best
One of the tricks to effectively working your abs is to go super, super slow. Just when you think you are going slow enough, you’ll want to slow it down another notch. I know this is hard to do because training your abs isn’t exactly loads of fun. If you are anything like me, you have the natural tendency to rush through the movements in order to get the whole ordeal over with. Yet rushing through the movements will be a total waste of your time. You just can’t effectively target your abs going speedy fast. If you are going to take the time to do the exercises you might as well do it right. Try to fight the “hurry up and get it over with” thought pattern and just repeat to yourself “I will go slow” over and over in your head. You’ll be glad you did because the slower you go the more effective your ab workout will be…which means the better results you’ll have. And you do want results, right?!?
Focus on Form…and on What You are Doing
For the past few weeks I’ve started doing a once weekly pilates workout with my good friend Trisha Hardin (who, by the way, is an amazing instructor). One of the things I’ve really started to do more of since working with Trisha is to focus on each exercise. I can tell you this has made a HUGE difference, especially with my abs!! Ever since having my son 9-years ago my lower abs have been my weakest part, but in the last few weeks I can feel they are getting stronger and tighter than they have been in years. I can thank Trisha for this! I know I’m not the best person to give the “focus” advice as I’m always thinking of ten things at once, but I can tell you it really does make a big difference when you are working your abs. A lot of times you can zone out and yet still get some benefit from other non-ab exercises (such as lunges or squats) just by going through the movements because the motions use big muscles, consume a lot of oxygen and are overall exhausting. But with ab exercises the motions are small and concentrated, so you really need to focus on what you are doing to get the maximum results. Get your mind into it and your abs will feel the difference. Promise! If you don’t feel a deep burning with this workout you aren’t doing it properly (or you are just much stronger than me!)
The Stability Ball 6 Best Ab Exercises Workout
- Ball rolls: 10-12 reps
- Double crunches (pause at the top): 12-15 reps
- Pull-ins: 12-15 reps Note: to protect your neck, keep your head in alignment with your spine when doing this exercise; I noticed when watching myself in the video I didn’t do this until the last few reps (and I didn’t want to redo the video!!) —this is why it helps to workout in front of a mirror, so you can catch yourself doing mistakes!!
- On the ball crunches with arm extensions & pulses: 10 reps
- Ball exchanges: 10 reps
- Seated ball twists: 12-14 reps
P.S. We’re off to a surgical conference in Vegas next week (one of the nights we’ll be hearing Sugar Ray Leonard give a speech to all of the surgeons—I have no idea what his connection to surgery is …especially because the speech will be specifically to bariatric surgeons. However, I’m super excited to hear him talk!) I’ll see if I can bring the video camera and show you my quick hotel room workout (we’re staying at the Aria and of course the hotel has a fitness facility, but I usually don’t like wasting time at hotel gyms on vacation so I have a super fast hotel workout I do—it revolves around a towel) Will try and show you the workout (and maybe a sneak peak at Sugar Ray Leonard!) Stay tuned… =)