All About the Abs

Lululemon Tank | Similar VS Sports Bra | Rokfit Shorts | Nike Juvenate Shoes (also love this color)
(note: I do not recommend these shoes for working out as they are not super supportive, but they are great for walking or casual wear!
My favorite Crossfit/HIIT shoes are Nike Metcons)
When you think of someone who is "fit," do you picture someone with defined abs? Because I do! When I started working out and eating healthy, having abs + feeling confident enough to work out with my shirt off were always my #1 goals. Throughout my fitness journey of different eating habits, diets and fitness regimens, my abs and come and gone a few times. However, regardless of the approach, a few things always remain the same when it comes to getting a six pack and I thought I'd share them with you today. It is bikini season, after all! My abs are currently not at their absolute best, but I know from past experiences that it's my own fault for not following my #2 and #3 tips as strictly as I should!

1. One huge misconception is that doing ab exercises is the best way to get abs. Yes, ab exercises work your core, but you have to combine that with a whole lotta cardio in order to trim down any fat around your midsection and really reveal the abs that are underneath it. Burn it off first, then tone it up.

2. Abs are most certainly made in the kitchen. You can workout every single day but if you aren't eating right, your abs won't be nearly as lean or defined as the have the potential to be. This is definitely my biggest struggle.....I mean, have you tasted donuts?

3. Sugar is the devil! Your body digests sugar as a carb, meaning it uses it for quick energy and stores the leftovers as fat. There is added sugar in nearly every item in the grocery store, so even when you're eating crackers or granola, you're eating sugar, too. Even some "healthy" foods like fruits or organic honey are full of sugar and your body digests it just like it would a bag of Sour Patch Kids. I *try* to track my food intake and keep my sugar below 50g a day as a rough guideline.

As I mentioned above, it's so important to pair your ab exercises with other movements to really get your blood pumping and burn some calories and fat. If you're a crossfitter like me, the below exercises are going to be old news, but they are staples in my routine and great basics for a beginner.

"Annie" has been one of my go-to workouts in our garage gym because I can do it easily with a torn labrum in my shoulder and I don't have to scale anything (!!). Also, it's relatively quick and easy to do by myself/without competition. I try to do it every weekend! I normally start out with a warm up and some heavy squats and then move into the WOD.

Annie: 50-40-30-20-10, Double Unders and Sit Ups. 

So that's 50 double unders, 50 sit ups, then 40 double unders, 40 sit ups, etc. If you can't do double unders, do double the amount of singles (100-80-60-40-20). Make sure to touch your toes on the sit ups!

Whenever there is extra time after a crossfit class, we often do "Tabata Abs." I like to do this as a finisher when I workout at home, too, because its quick but it brings the pain! Tabata is a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) type workout where you work hard for twenty seconds and then rest for ten seconds. It typically lasts for four minutes, but you can go as long as you please!

Tabata Abs: Choose an ab movement (example: flutter kicks) and complete as many reps as possible for twenty seconds, then rest for ten seconds. Switch movements every round, or as needed. Some options are: flutter kicks, plank, russian twists, sit-ups, crunches, bicycle, v-ups, boat hold, mountain climbers, leg hold or leg raise, etc.! 

I hope that gave you some insight and ideas for summertime ab workouts. If you have any questions on movements or standards, shoot me an email or leave a comment below. If you have any killer ab movements I should try, please send 'em my way! Remember, your diet affects your body more than anything.

I am not a personal trainer or dietician, I just really love working out and staying fit! These tips are solely based on things I've learned from my own personal experiences. I recommend MyoBrain for nutrition and training!

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