This killer ab workout will flatten your belly – You’ll get a tight stomach in just six weeks without doing a single crunch!
Do these workout moves three nonconsecutive days a week. Start with the Basic Workout (moves 1-4) to prime your muscles. After three weeks, you’ll be ready to graduate to the Advanced Workout (moves 5-8). For maximum fat burning, perform the exercises as a circuit: Do one set of each move in the order shown, resting for 30 seconds between exercises. Then rest for a minute and repeat the circuit from the beginning.
Follow this training program with cardio workouts for 20 to 30 minutes per session. Choose whichever form of cardio you prefer, from walking to sprinting to swimming to biking. The important thing to remember is that cardio should be enjoyable. If you dread performing cardio, you are more likely to miss sessions. It doesn’t really matter what you are doing because you are burning calories. For this interval workout, remember to include an easy 3- to 5-minute warmup and cooldown. You can run, bike, or use the cardio machine of your choice.
Move 1: Plank
Starting at the top of a pushup position, bend your elbows and lower yourself down until you can shift your weight from your hands to your forearms. Your body should form a straight line. Brace your abs (imagine someone is about to punch you in the gut) and hold for 60 seconds. If you can’t make it to 60 seconds, hold for 5 to 10 seconds and rest for 5 seconds, continuing for 1 minute. Focus on form: Don’t drop your hips or raise your butt.
Move 2: Side Plank
Lie on your right side with your legs straight. Prop yourself up with your right forearm so your body forms a diagonal line. Rest your left hand on your hip. Brace your abs and hold for 60 seconds. If you can’t make it to 60 seconds, hold for 5 to 10 seconds and rest for 5; continue for 1 minute. Be sure your hips and knees stay off the floor.
Move 3: Glute Bridge March
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms on the floor, palms up, at shoulder level. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees (A). Brace your abs and lift your right knee toward your chest (B). Hold for 2 counts, then lower your right foot. Repeat with the other leg. That’s 1 rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps.
Move 4: Lunge with Rotation
Grab a 5- to 15-pound dumbbell with both hands. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms straight out (A). Take a big step forward with your left foot and, bracing your abs, twist your torso to the left as you bend your knees and lower your body until both of your legs form 90-degree angles (B). Twist back to center, push off your left foot, and stand back up. Repeat on the other leg. That’s 1 rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps. Keep your elbows straight but not locked.
Move 5: Plank with Arm Lift
Get into the plank position (toes and forearms on the floor, body lifted). Your body should form a straight line (A). Brace your abs and carefully shift your weight to your right forearm. Extend your left arm in front of you (B) and hold for 3 to 10 seconds. Slowly bring your arm back in. Repeat with the right arm. That’s 1 rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps, resting for 1 minute between sets.
Move 6: Side Plank with Rotation
In a right-side plank position (A), brace your abs and reach your left hand toward the ceiling (B). Slowly tuck your left arm under your body and twist forward until your torso is almost parallel to the floor (C). Return to the side plank. That’s 1 rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps on each side, resting for 1 minute between sets.
Move 7: Hip-Thigh Raise
Lie on your back with your right knee bent and your left leg extended. Rest your arms on the floor, palms up, at shoulder level with your hips about 2 inches off the floor (A). Raise your hips to form a straight line from your shoulders to your left foot (B). Hold for 2 counts, then return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 15 reps on each side. To make it harder, cross your arms over your chest.
Move 8: Reverse Lunge with Single-Arm Press
Grab a 5- to 15-pound dumbbell in your left hand and hold it up next to your left shoulder, palm facing in (A). Step backward with your left foot and lower your body until your knees are bent 90 degrees (your left knee should nearly touch the floor) while pressing the dumbbell directly over your shoulder without bending or leaning at the waist (B). Lower the weight back to the starting position as you push quickly back to standing. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 15, then switch sides.
Maximizing Your Diet Plan
Simply eating less food isn’t good enough. To look fit and healthy you also need to make sure you are eating the right types of food, and not undereating. Many women undereat protein and healthy fats, and tend to end up skinny but still flabby after a period of dieting.
Here are some tips that can help you maximize your diet plan, so you can look your best:
Calories – If you’re looking to lose fat, start by eating around 1800 calories per day. Your goal is to lose about 1.5 to 2 pounds of fat per week. If you lose weight more quickly than this, you also tend to lose muscle mass. The result is a skinny, but flabby body. So don’t lose weight too quickly!
If you’re not losing weight at this calorie level, drop your calorie intake down to 1650 for a period of no less than 2 weeks and reassess your progress.
Protein – Make sure you’re eating at least 100 grams of protein per day. Protein helps you retain, repair and build muscle tissue. Many women underestimate how much protein that take in per day, so it’s good to monitor this vital macronutrient.
If you have a hard time reaching a minimum of 100 grams of protein per day, consider supplementing with a protein supplement.
Helpful dieting tips – There is more to a healthy diet than just calories and protein. Follow these tips to maximize your eating plan:
Healthy Fats – Make sure at least 20% of your calories come from healthy fats. Healthy fats are essential for proper hormone function, brain function, fat loss and much more.
Carbohydrates – Try to avoid the white poisons – white sugar and white flour. Instead, choose nutritious carbohydrate sources such as oatmeal, rice, quinoa, fruits and veggies.
- Unless you are watching your weight for another reason, ignore the reading on the scale. You may be decreasing your body fat but your weight may stay the same (or even increase) as you build muscle. Muscle tissue is denser than fat so it will be heavier than the same volume of fat. Water weight can also vary your readings by a surprisingly large amount.
- Try swimming. It is one of the most effective ways of exercising your whole body, especially your abs.
- Make sure to warm up before exercising.
- If you feel you need to, ease into the changes in your lifestyle. Start eating breakfast. If you have difficulty with this, start with a couple glasses of water or a large cup of coffee right when you wake up. It’ll go down easy and prepare your stomach to get back to work. Cut the amount of dinners little by little. For the exercises, start slow and increase pace and/or repetitions as you are comfortable. Attempting lifestyle changes in a drastic, sudden manner can backfire. Do what you can but don’t sell yourself short.
- Avoid drinking excessive alcohol as it can slow your metabolism.