Unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere perennially warm, your sweaters, scarves, and jackets are probably seeing plenty of action right now. Crop tops? Not so much. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore your abs. A strong core serves as the foundation for the rest of your body, says celebrity trainer, Astrid Swan, NASM. A weak core can affect your posture, your balance, and your lower back—which is why the New Year is the perfect time to start focusing on strengthening it.
It’s important to note that abs are tricky muscles: You can target them with exercise all you want, but they’re also heavily affected by what you eat. (Don’t we know it.) “You can work out for an hour and burn somewhere up to 1000 calories, and right after consume an unhealthy meal that could have 1500 calories in under 10 minutes,” explains Swan. “Eating the correct nutrients and calories will keep your metabolism level high, which will burn more fat during and after the workout.”
To make sure we’re providing you a holistic approach to your ab workouts, we recommend eating Healthy Choice Power Bowls afterwards to refuel your body with the nutrients it needs, thanks to the bowls' whole grains, leafy greens and lean proteins. Start your stretching—your four new favorite ab moves are ahead.
Work those obliques with every twist of the hips.
Step 1: Come to the ground in a forearm plank position, elbows bent 90 degrees, stacked directly under shoulders, forearms flat on the floor, legs extended out behind you. Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe.
Step 2: Bracing your core, slowly dip your hips down to the right and then down to the left.
Step 3: That’s one rep. Do 30 reps total.
Step 4: Refuel with Healthy Choice Power Bowls in Adobo Chicken..
Feel the burn in the lower abs with this exercise.
Step 1: Lie on your back, and extend your legs up toward ceiling.
Step 2: Place your right heel over your left foot. Bracing your core, slowly lower both legs toward the floor (without touching the floor); then raise them back up.
Step 3: Do 15 reps; then switch legs.
Step 4: Refuel with Healthy Choice Power Bowls in Cuban-Inspired Pork.
Keeping your core engaged will force your abs to work with each rep.
Step 1: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Lift onto left heel as you drive right knee forward and up toward your chest. Lower it back down without touching the floor.
Step 2: Repeat quickly for 20 reps; then switch legs.
Trainer Tip: Go fast, and drive your hips up each time. Exhale each time your throw the knee.
Step 3: Refuel with Healthy Choice Power Bowls in Chicken Sausage and Barley.
Sculpt your upper and lower abs with this move.
Step 1: Lie on your back, bend knees, and lift your legs into tabletop position. Place your hands behind your head, elbows out to the side.
Step 2: Crunch up and twist your body to left, bringing your right elbow and left knee to touch while your right leg extends out forward. Then twist and crunch the opposite way, bringing your left elbow and right knee to touch while your left leg extends out forward.
Step 3: Continue repeating 25 reps on each side for 50 total reps.
Step 4: Refuel with Healthy Choice Power Bowls in Korean-Inspired Beef.
Want more? Stay tuned for our next episode of Healthy Moves that’ll work out your arms.