Summer is coming; Summer bodies are made in the winter months! Let’s talk Abs!

The abdominal muscles are so important a single conversation does not do them justice. In addition to giving us that washboard look the abs are important for good posture, getting off the sofa with ease, bending down to tie our shoes, turn our torso side-to-side, and also effective breathing during physical activity. We can then assume that having a strong core is essential to good quality of life!

A core workout should be incorporated into every exercise program (I like to perform it at the end, having utilized the muscles during any compound, multi-joint exercise). And here is a sample routine that is perfect for the beginner, utilizing all the abdominal muscles.

Obliques – Plate Twist:The obliques help to turn our torso from side to side and stand up straight. This simple weighted exercise can be performed as a timed exercise or utilizing reps.

Upper Abs – Reverse Crunch: The upper abs help to flex the torso and bring the legs into the body. The Reverse crunch is a take on the classic sit-up that I find to be very effective.

Lower Abs – Plank: The Plank is quickly becoming a favorite of trainers and athletes. It looks easier than it is. The trick with this one is to keep your back and hips level, so it may be helpful to have a friend judge your form. We will gauge the plank based on time and hope to increase by at least five second with each exercise.

These three exercises are just a few of many that will help you to strengthen your core and improve posture, as well. Remember, however, that exercise alone will not give you that six-pack look; diet is an important factor here. A low body fat % will give you that cut look, but if your muscle isn’t strengthened first, you may not have anything to show off. Good luck with those summer abs!

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