Working on flattening your stomach and creating the fabled six pack requires diet and determination. But taking an approach that incorporates variety is a great way to really work out those middle core muscles and step up your ab work out. Introducing the Ab Mash-up!
1. Scissor Legs and Chest Pass with a Friend -- lie flat on a mat, extend legs about 6 inches off the mat, raise your shoulders. Begin to move your legs in a scissor like motion. Your gym friend is above you passing a ball toward your chest area. Catch the ball, touch your chest with it, with straight arms pass it back to your partner. Start with 5 minutes and build up, and be sure to encourage your friend to do the floor portion as well.
2. Grocery Bag Carry -- Use one arm to carry a dumbbell or kettle bell as you walk across the length of the gym. Carry the weight like a sack of groceries, but engage the abs and keep your chest up and back straight in a good posture as you walk. Start with a 25 or 30 lb weight to make sure you are engaging your ab muscles. Switch to the other side and repeat the walk. Two to three sets is good.
3. Planking -- The plank is a great way to engage a variety of muscles around the core. Adding some movement to the plank will make those muscles work to an even greater degree. Get in the plank position. Hold it for a few minutes, then walk yourself forward about 6 steps. Do 5 push-ups, walk yourself back 6 steps and hold the plank position. Change it up by doing side planks and add some leg lifts and arm lifts to the mix.
4. Do the Twist -- Grab a fitness ball and lay flat on it. Move yourself until your head is on the ball and your knees are out in front at 45 degrees. Now holding a dumbbell or medicine ball over your chest, tighten your ab muscles. Now keep your hips stationary and with arms straight out, rotate from one shoulder (side) to the other. Maintain straight arms and focus on the ball. Stop when ball is parallel to floor, return to middle and go to the opposite side. Start with 5 to 10 reps and increase with strength.
Now mash it up and see the results. Be sure to keep the diet in check as well. Lots of protein, low fat, avoid sugars in all their forms and most important as well will be portion control. Here's to a ever flattening stomach!