Awesome Ab Routine

January 18, 2009 Updated: March 30, 2009

Non-surgical tummy tuck (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)
Non-surgical tummy tuck (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)
How to develop well-toned abdominal muscles is no mystery once you have discovered them. If you slow down and focus on initiating your movements from the center of your body, you'll definitely feel the burn and if you "feel the burn" on a regular basis, say every other day, you will see major changes take place.

I discovered my abdominal muscles years ago and know full well how to develop them. However, as a busy writer, trainer, mother, and wife, sometimes I just get too busy to settle down and do the work. Upon reflection, it really doesn't take hours of commitment to develop abs. Actually, a few quality minutes every other day should really help tremendously.

Disciplining yourself to initiate your movements from your abdominal center will train you to coordinate your movements that way throughout the day. Using a physio ball is one of the best ways to help find the correct muscles and avoid cheating, because it creates an unstable surface and helps you to maximally extend your abdominal muscles.

Here is the series to follow this week:

The Non-Surgical Tummy Tuck

Lean forward onto the physio ball. Roll out, walking on your hands until your lower legs are supported by the ball. The further out you roll, the less support you’ll have, thus making the exercise harder. Take a moment to stabilize yourself. On an exhale, use your abdominal muscles to role the ball in. Press the top of your feet into the ball, and pull your knees as close to your chest as possible.

Return to the starting position.



Pike (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)
Pike (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)

Work on your stabilizers by performing this gymnastic-like move: the Pike.

Start the exercise the same as above. Roll out, to a plank position with hands on the floor and feet on the ball.  As you exhale slowly, pull your navel in toward your spine and, keeping your legs straight, lift your hips up into a pike position. 





Waist-Slimming Side Bends

Waist-slimming side bend (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)
Waist-slimming side bend (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)

Lean your side on a ball.  Extend both legs, keeping the top leg on the floor in front of the bottom leg.  The further apart your legs, the more stability you will have (making the exercise easier).

Place your hands behind your head. Imagine extending through the crown of your head. This will help you make your back muscles active. Pull your shoulders down and keep your navel pulled in toward your spine. Keeping your upper back strong will help prevent your shoulders from rounding forward. Lift your upper body off the ball in three counts. Hold for two counts and then slowly lower back to the starting position.

2 to 3 sets 10 to 20 reps (depending on how much you can do)

The Basic Crunch on a Ball

Basic crunch on a ball (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)
Basic crunch on a ball (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)
Sit on the ball.  Tuck your pelvis under and walk forward until upper body is supported by the ball and hips are suspended in the air.  The further apart your feet are, the easier this exercise becomes.  Keep your gluteus tight and hips even.  Inhale into your belly.  As you slowly exhale, pull your navel down toward you spine, while engaging your abdominal muscles.  Knit your ribcage together and use your contracted abs to initiate a crunch movement.  

Repeat this exercise 6 to 12 times.  Remember, quality is the key over quantity here. You really want to make sure to be moving from your center and to be pulling your navel down. When you can no longer find the strength to properly execute this movement stop and rest 1 minute before repeating the set.