1 month to killer abs: Core challenge week 4

It’s crunch time.  This week marks the final installment of our month-long core challenge.  If you took a vacation from your fitness routine this summer, our four week strength-training program should have helped you solve the curious case of finding your Benjamin belly button.  If you missed the first 3 circuits, check out Philly.com’s Core Challenge 1, Core Challenge 2 and Core Challenge 3.  Let’s get to work and finish September strong.

Windshield Wipers

10 repetitions per side
Windshield wipers are a great tool for blasting belly bulge to reveal washboard abs.  This rotational exercise requires core strength and stability.

Step 1: Lie on your back and extend your legs 90 degrees
Step 2: With your palms facing down, place the arms out to the sides for stability
Step 3: Slowly lower your legs to one side, stopping about 2 ft. from the floor
Step 4: Repeat the same movement to the other side

Plank Arm Extension

12-15 repetitions per side
While the plank packs a powerful punch to the abs, they can be downright boring if you don’t implement variations.  Perfect your plank by maintaining a neutral neck, aligning the shoulders over the wrists and keeping the glutes and gut tight throughout the duration of the exercise.

Step 1: Start on the forearms with the feet shoulder-width apart
Step 2: Without shifting at the hips, extend one arm slightly above the top of your head
Step 3: Hold for 2-3 counts, then switch arms

Side Plank Toe Touch

10-12 repetitions per side
When it comes to building a strong fitness foundation, simple moves like the side plank produce large gains for balance and strength training.  This exercise also encourages muscle support around the spine which can alleviate lower back strain and discomfort.

Step 1:  Resting on your forearm, engage your abs to lift the knees and hips up from the floor
Step 2: Without compromising your form, extend the top arm in front of the body
Step 3: Slowly swing the top leg forward toward the hand, holding for 1-2 counts
Step 4: Continue swinging the leg back and forth for 10-12 repetitions, then alternate to the opposite side

{Repeat 3-5 times}

Congratulations on completing your core challenge!  Don’t let the fire in your belly burn out.  Use your toning tools to exercise power over your health.

Earn it.

To learn more about the types of classes Ashley offers, visit ashleyblakefitness.com.

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.

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