Whether you are a little overweight around the midsection, or looking to get back in shape after pregnancy and the birth of a child, your abdominals and back, referred to in the fitness industry as your core, can be left weak and susceptible to injury. A heavy overweight, or pregnant belly can cause arching and strain on the lower back.
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By strengthening your core and focusing on proper posture you can avoid injuries and transform the shape of your body. Using this "Sexy Abs By May" workout you will feel the results immediately. As a beginner give yourself a goal of completing 5 repetitions each side and work your way up to doing 3 sets of 12 repetitions of each exercise. Whether you do 1 or all of the moves, congratulate yourself on becoming a healthier you!
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For those ladies who have just given birth, or men/women who fill they could stand to to trim their waist, and are looking to get back in shape always consult a physician before beginning any new exercise program. For new mothers, your 6 week postpartum check up must be passed before starting this program. If you feel pain or experience spotting at any time during this workout stop immediately and consult your physician.
Please see recommended exercises and descriptions, and suggested exercise videos below:
These amazing crunches can be done with or without an exercise ball. Oblique crunches are great for shaping the waist. Position the small of your back on the ball and bend your knees slightly greater than a 90 degree angle. Lead the crunch with your abs, not you neck. Flex your abs drawing your navel towards your spine and slowly lift your left shoulder across towards your right knee. Hold for a count of two and return to start position. Switch sides and always focus on a slow controlled movement. While performing these exercises remember to always exhale on the execution and to continue breathing.
The movement of bicycle crunches helps to tighten the abs while working your whole core region and hips. Begin with your legs into your chest and using your abs lift your shoulders and neck a few inches off the ground. Drop your right leg slowly and bring it back to the starting position. Switch sides. Hold the crunch through the repetitions and you will feel the excellent workout for your abs. Pause and be proud of what you have already accomplished.
Oblique side raises
Roll over onto your side and get ready for a new favorite. Begin with your elbow directly under your shoulder at a 90 degree angle. Knees should be at a 45 degree angle. While exhaling, use your abs and lift your hips off the ground. Your spine and hip should be in a straight line with your legs. Do not over lift as this could jeopardize your back. Hold for a count of two and release. Repeat and switch sides.
Prepare yourself for the ultimate core strengthener and full body isometric move. Begin as if you were to do a push up. On your exhalation, lift your body and with your abs, move into a straight position to hold for a count of 10, release. Remember to continue breathing and preserve that straight back by holding your abs in strongly. For a modification, instead of a straight arm, rest on your elbows at a 90 degree angle.
This one is great for strengthening a weak postpartum back. Begin on your hands and knees. Hands under your shoulders knees under your hips. On your exhalation, lift your right hand and left leg simultaneously until they are parallel to your spine. Focus on maintaining a straight back. Hold for a count of two and return to the start position. Switch sides. A bonus feature of this move will be the awesome workout it gives your gluts at the same time.
It is very important to start and finish every workout with a good stretch because flexibility will also help you avoid injury. Begin on your hands and knees. Your spine should be in straight and neutral position. On your exhalation, slowly draw up your spine, suck in your belly and relax your head down. Inhale and return back to neutral, eyes relaxed and looking forward. Repeat motion in a slow controlled manor.
Allow yourself a couple of extra minutes to perform more stretches and focus on your breathing. This will help you to relax and get ready for the physical exertion of being a mother.
Don't forget your lower abdominal wall! Training these muscles is extremely important to having a strong core.
"Sexy Abs By May" Tip: For best results, maintain a well balanced diet thats low in calories. You need to eat a well balanced diet in order to lose weight, and get all the nutrients your body needs.
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This article is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is not to be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional medical advice or any doctors recommendation. Prior to beginning any weight loss program, individuals must consult a physician for proper diagnosis and/or treatment.