Weekly Wellness

Weekly Wellness

by Laura Dillavou

Simpson students, the time has come. As spring break passes, we all realize that soon, even here in Iowa, the sun will be shining and it will be time to bare all.

One of the main body parts that people forever want to change is their abdominal muscles. Images of perfectly toned torsos are all around us as we gear up for the swimsuit season.

This doesn’t just apply to women, though. Men are also conscious and concerned about that spare tire around their mid section. No one wants it, and everyone tries desperately to get rid of it.

I have compiled a list of five of the best ab workouts one can do. These concentrate on strengthening the core of your body. Always remember that proper technique will save on muscle strain and injury.

The Classic Crunch

A tried and true favorite, this exercise will work the core of your ab muscles to provide a good base for other exercises. A few things to keep in mind when doing this: by raising yourself up only a few inches, you will work the muscles more; keep hands laced behind neck in order to avoid straining it and always remember to keep your feet flat on the floor.

The Plank

Noted as one of the best ab workouts, this one is proven to show results in the shortest amount of time. To do it, position yourself as if you were going to do a push-up, toes on the ground, body level in the air and hold yourself on your forearms. Hold for 1 minute. As you work more, increase the time you hold each time. This works your entire abdominal area.

The Lift

To work the lower ab muscles, there are many possible exercises. Any that make you move your legs and require major stomach muscle usage are the best.

For this one, lay on your back and hold your legs out straight in front of you. Raise and lower them in about a 12-inch range. Try to do 25 slowly working up to more.

Partner twists

With a partner, stand back to back. Twist your torso from side to side, using a medicine ball. Be sure to keep your feet planted, as you want to work only your side muscles and not your legs or hips.

The heavier the ball, the more resistance you will feel. Try to do at least 20 of these.

Love Handle Buster

I don’t know who named them love handles…I surely don’t know of anyone who thinks of these handles in a loving way.

One exercise that will work the muscle underneath that adipose tissue is one that requires use of a dumbbell. To start, try using 15 pounds. Standing with feet shoulder width apart and with the dumbbell in your right hand at your hip, slowly lean down until the dumbbell reaches your knee. Come back up in the same slow motion. Do 20 reps on each side.

Gradually increase the weight as you progress in your workout routine. As with any type of workout regime, to see results you need to stick to a daily routine. A cardiovascular workout, such as running or elliptical training, will also help improve abdominal strength. Eating right, low fat foods and foods low in carbohydrates, will also speed up the process of getting those fabulous summer abdominal muscles.