Bobbie’s Bodacious Abs
Bobbie’s Bodacious Abs – Part 1
Remember that the abdominal muscle is one long muscle (the rectus abdominis) which goes from the sternum to the pelvis. You can only move the muscle as one unit. However, you can stress the fibres in either the lower or upper areas.
First exercise. Lie on your back with your knees bent, legs hip distance apart, toes lifted. Place your hands behind your head for support only. DO NOT PULL ON YOUR NECK. Pretend there is an orange between your chin and your chest, find a spot on the ceiling to stare at and make sure your butt is rolled slightly upwards so your back is flat. (This is the “pelvic tilt” position). Now raise up 30-35 degrees for two counts, exhaling on the way up, and down two counts. This works the upper fibres of the abs “the easiest way”. Now come to the highest position of the exercise and slightly pulse the abs. This is not a big movement, but a very gentle one. The abs are contracted the whole time. Since this acts like a short warm-up type exercise, just do one set of 8 slow counts, and one set of 8 quick pulses.
Now let’s bring in the “big guns”. Lift up for four counts, hold for four counts, (make sure you exhale while you’re holding), turn to the left for four counts (keep elbows back), turn back to center for four counts, turn to the right for four counts, turn back to center for four counts, lift a little higher and hold for four counts (don’t forget to exhale), and go back down for four counts. Do this about 8-10 times, and no speeding up!!. Repeat the whole thing changing the four counts to two counts, then again with one count. This gets both the upper and lower fibres of the abs as well as the obliques.
Lift the legs, and cross one ankle over the other (keep the back flat). Bring knees to chest for two counts, lift shoulders for two counts, move knees and shoulders together for two counts, and go back to starting position for two counts. Do this for 8-10 reps. AND DON’T SPEED UP. And make sure to keep the elbows back with the orange under your chin.
Put soles of feet together, either on the floor or on a step if you have one. Lift upper torso up for two counts, and go down for two counts. The movement is exactly the same as for a regular crunch. Exhale on the way up. This is strictly for the lower fibres of the abs. 8-10 reps of this for two sets should do it.
If you still have more strength after all of this, let me know, and we’ll go for more.
Bobbie’s Bodacious Abs – Part 2
Take any or all of these exercises, and mix or match them with Part I of Bobbie’s Bodacious Abs. Have fun
Leg Thrusts is one. Place your hands either on the floor or under your buttocks to protect your back while you are lying flat. Lift your legs into the air with your knees slightly bent. (I like to cross my ankles so I am *sure* to have maximum back support.) Contract the lower portion of your abs and gently lift your legs up using your abs to propel you. This is a very slight movement, and be sure your butt is not tight. Rely completely on your abs to lift your pelvis off the floor. As in the first work out, do this slowly at first – two counts up, two counts down. This is a useless exercise if your butt or legs get involved in the lift. It is strictly lower fibers of the the abs. After you get the feel of it, do 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps slowly. Then, go for those small pulses we did in the first workout. Count about 16-24 counts. That should get those lower fibers pretty good.
As long as we are using this position, here’s another one. Place one hand behind your head for support (no tugging on neck.) The legs are in the same position as above, elbow out, chin up. Reach for your toes with the other hand. This is done with a pulsing motion. Do as many as you want, or are comfortable with. Then, still keeping the back and hips facing front, let the working arm reach in the opposite direction. (Right arm reaches for or past left foot) Do those pesky little pulses in this position working your oblique muscles. Switch sides and begin with reaching straight up to your toes, then reaching to the side.
If you are still not fatigued (I am just *writing* all this) ;), do your standard crunches. Lying down, knees are bent at a 90 degree angle to the floor and feet are off the floor. (Elbows and chin are still in the same position as with all the other exercises. This is important. Two different exercises here. First bring knees towards chest, lifting butt slightly off the ground. Take as many reps as you want. Second, lift shoulders and chest towards knees. Then you can do both together at regular tempo as we did in the first section – except this is faster.
Another oblique exercise. Lying down, cross right ankle over left knee.. place right arm out to the side, about shoulder height. With your left hand supporting your head, come up and over. Here is the concept. Do not lead with your elbow. You should not see your elbow out of the corner of your eye. All the work is done with the obliques (waist). Two counts up, two counts down. As many reps as you want. Then come to the top of the contraction and pulse – small moves again. Reverse sides.
Oblique crunches. Start by lying down, feet on the floor, knees close together. Without lifting hips, drop your knees to the right as far as is comfortable. Place hands behind head, elbows out, and bring the rib cage toward the left hip. Do this for two counts up, two counts down. Again, don’t tug on your neck. Do this for 2-3 sets of 8 reps. Switch sides.
And remember, always exhale during the exertion, and never hold your breath.