Ab Attack Challenge

Ab Attack Challenge

Week 3 of the At Home Fitness 6 Weeks of Summer brings forward a very real Ab Attack Challenge. Originally introduced by At Home Fitness founder Jamie Johnston, this challenge has been a stable in training our own Personal Trainers. Practice what you preach and all.

Having a strong core is an essential part of health and fitness. Not only will it aid in a shirtless summer, the core is responsible for all multi-functional body movement. Research has proven that having a strong core actually improves running time, as well as improving performance in all forms of sport.

It is important to point out that when we say ‘core’, we aren’t exclusively talking about the glory abdominal muscles (6 pack abs). Core muscles are the combination of muscles throughout the whole of a person’s midriff, including pelvic floor, transverse abdominis, multifidus, obliques, rectus abdominis and the erector spinae. Don’t get confused by the strange names, to simplify we are talking about stomach, sides and mid and lower back.

So now we now a bit more about the importance of having a strong core, let us take a look at what Chris McDermott, our Personal Trainer Solihull has in store for week 3.

Week 3 is going to be broken up across 6 days (giving us all a rest day… thank you Chris!). Every day brings us a different exercise (2 options depending on fitness level), culminating in a gruelling final day bringing all moves together in what promises to justify the title Ab Attack Challenge.

MONDAY – Raised Leg Crunches / Accordion Crunches

crunch

accordionaccordion 1

Complete 10-15 reps, 3 sets, with a 30 break in-between each set. For the raised leg crunches, keep legs bent at 90 degrees. Hands by temple. Without moving legs, crunch abs tight, raising shoulders off the floor.

For accordion crunches, tuck up tight and slowly extend arms and legs outwards at full reach, then bring back into tucked position.

TUESDAY – Bicycles

bike 2bike

Complete 20-50 reps, 3 sets, 30 second recovery. 1 rep is when both legs have been kicked out. Twist shoulders and extend legs fully for maximum workout (Unfortunately there is no easy option here so the only thing separating the beginner from the expert is the number of reps).

WEDNESDAY – Reverse Curls / Double Leg Raises

reverse curl 1

double leg raise 1double leg raise 2

Complete 10-15 reps, 3 sets, 30 second recovery. The key with this exercise is keeping lower back flat to the floor (no arch). If you can fit more than a flat hand between your back and the floor, then you have ‘lost your core’ and need to focus on tightening stomach muscles. Legs bent at 90 degrees or legs straight.

 THURSDAY – Side Plank Dips

side plank dipside plank dip 2

Complete 10 reps each side, 2 sets with 30 seconds recovery (after both sides have been completed). Feet position can vary depending on individuals comfort. You will notice (despite his dog Zeus trying to cover it up) that Darran prefers feet on top, but others might go with both feet on the floor. Dip hips all the way to the floor for maximum effort. These picture show the 2 options. The easier option is balancing on elbow and forearm. The more difficult option is standing on hand.

 FRIDAY – Leg Scissors / Leg Scissor Windmills

leg scissorwindmill

Complete 10 reps, 3 sets, 30 second recovery. As with bicycles, 1 leg scissor rep is when both legs have gone up and down (alternating and switching midair). For leg scissor windmills, complete the scissor movement and then rotate legs around as wide as you can. This is 1 rep. It may seem confusing to begin with, but stick with it.

SATURDAY

Rest day

SUNDAY – Ab Attack Challenge.

This is where we get really interesting and join all these exercises together!

We are going to do 7 reps for each exercise and by the end will have completed 5 sets for every exercise.

Start with Monday’s exercise for your first set. Take a 10 second recovery. Next, we complete Monday’s again and add Tuesday’s exercise. Take a 15 second recovery. Continue adding the next day’s exercise until you have all 5 on top of each other. Every time the recovery increases by 5 seconds. Once you have reached the proverbial top of the mountain, you start taking the first exercise off each time. Unfortunately, the recovery now gets reduced each time by 5 seconds.

AB ATTACK CHALLENGE

7x Raised Leg Crunches / Accordion Crunches

[10 second recovery]

7x Raised Leg Crunches / Accordion Crunches + 7x Bicycles

[15 second recovery]

7x Raised Leg Crunches / Accordion Crunches + 7x Bicycles + 7x Reverse Curls / Double Leg Raises

[20 second recovery]

7x Raised Leg Crunches / Accordion Crunches + 7x Bicycles + 7x Reverse Curls / Double Leg Raises + 7x Side Plank Dips

[25 second recovery]

7x Raised Leg Crunches / Accordion Crunches + 7x Bicycles + 7x Reverse Curls / Double Leg Raises + 7x Side Plank Dips + 7x Leg Scissors / Leg Scissor Windmills

[25 second recovery]

7x Bicycles + 7x Reverse Curls / Double Leg Raises + 7x Side Plank Dips + 7x Leg Scissors / Leg Scissor Windmills

[20 second recovery]

7x Reverse Curls / Double Leg Raises + 7x Side Plank Dips + 7x Leg Scissors / Leg Scissor Windmills

[15 second recovery]

7x Side Plank Dips + 7x Leg Scissors / Leg Scissor Windmills

[10 second recovery]

7x Leg Scissors / Leg Scissor Windmills

 

Good luck, ‘like’ us on facebook, and let us know how you get on!

Author: Darran Law

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