Ab-solutley fabulous!

It’s finally arrived!

After taking a little longer than I planned I am proud to present the Ab-solutely fabulous Challenge of 2010! Each friday I plan on including a new post with helpful tips, tricks and hints. The challenge will last six weeks, which is perfect because it is just in time for spring break and summer vacation. Yahoo! 🙂 But most importantly it is about being healthy, and happy with yourself.

   (source)

Why Abs?

Strong abs also help maintain an erect posture. And even if you carry little to no fat on your abs, you still won’t have a six-pack if they aren’t developed enough, just flat abs. Strong and defined abs are one of the most diffucult areas of the body to achieve, and doing so requires a lot of work. But all of the work comes with numerous benefits…

  • You will achieve better looking posture.
  • You will benefit from good digestion. The digestive tract tends to compress if the abdominal muscles are overly layered. The food and the waste at the same time can’t navigate through the digestive tract in the nick of time. The stomach exercise therefore boosts the proper functioning of the digestive system so that leads to a healthier you.
  • You will breathe better.
  • Your fitness levels will overall improve. Training your core by doing a combination of strength training and cardio works your whole body, which in result tones you from head to toe.

The abdominal muscles are a group of 6 muscles that extend from various places on the ribs to various places on the pelvis.

  • Transversus abdominus – the deepest muscle layer. It’s main roles are to stabilise the trunk and maintain internal abdominal pressure.
  • Rectus abdominus – slung between the ribs and the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis. This muscle has the characteristic bumps or bulges, when contracting, that are commonly called ‘the six pack’. The main function of the rectus abdominus is to move the body between the ribcage and the pelvis.
  • External oblique muscles – these are on each side of the rectus abdominus. The external oblique muscles allow the trunk to twist, but to the opposite side of whichever external oblique is contracting. For example, the right external oblique contracts to turn the body to the left.
  • Internal oblique muscles – these flank the rectus abdominus and are located just inside the hip bones. They operate in the opposite way to the external oblique muscles. For example, twisting the trunk to the left requires the left side internal oblique and the right side external oblique to contract together.

Excercise

It is very important when you are working towards a more toned stomach area that you have a balance of daily cardio and strength training.

Training your core three alternating days a week (monday, wednesday, friday etc.) using combination of any of these moves – Do 3 sets of 25 reps of each move.

Do cardio everyday. Aiming for at least 30 minutes of cardio six days a week will help you lose overall body fat, which is essential when wanting to define your mid section. What is most important is that you break a sweat.

  • Walking, running, jogging, cycling, dancing, elliptical

Make sure you actively rest one day a week, doing relaxing activities such as yoga or pilates. It is important to make sure that you let your body rest one day a week to ensure that it gets a chance to rest and replenish itself.

 

(source)

Food

One of the most important things to consider when you are starting any type of program is what your eating. What you put into your body nourishes you and gives you the energy you need in order to function. When you put good stuff in your body, you will get good stuff out of your body too.

  1. Eat six smaller meals a day, spaced out every three to four hours. Research shows that having a steady supply of calories provides your bodies metabolism with the energy it needs to continually burn body fat.
  2. Eat a diet consisting of whole foods – ie. cooked or raw soaked and sprouted legumes or grains, and tons of fruits and veggies.
  3. Make smoothies a staple in your diet.
  4. Limit your consumption of refined sugars and fried foods.
  5. Limit consumption of salt.

Foods to include

Healthy Fats

  • Extra virgin olive oil, avocados, unsalted nuts and seeds

Whole Grains

  • Quinoa, brown rice, whole grain breads, oats, cracked wheat.

Plant-based Sources of Protein

  • Beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, seitan, walnuts, brazil nuts

Fruits.

  • preferably raw, or canned in its own juices or dried with no sugar.

Veggies

  • All veggies raw or steamed.

The challenge will last for six weeks, and I will be posting an update each friday with my progress and new tips and suggestions. I would love it if you would take part in this challenge with me. You also may want to take a before and after picture of your tummy – you don’t have to post them! – for your own refrence.

My giveaway ends tomorrow night – don’t forget to enter if you havent already!

Oh and ive now got a formspring – im jumping on the bandwagon. Ask away!

Michal ♥

Questions of the day – Are you up for the challenge? 😉

Heather is having a giveaway!

Advertisements

29 thoughts on “Ab-solutley fabulous!

  1. Wow! This post came at a REALLY good timing! (surprise surprise, someone’s been having digestion problems, and I really REALLY need all the help I can get, so this REALLY helps!!!)

    Hmm….6 weeks…(that’s half-way into tennis season…wow) I will adjust some of the things on here, but hey! I’ll take on the 6-week challenge! 😀 (and totally will make a post about this!) Hope it works out for me!! (and not fail like the other challenge…)

    I’m with you on this one, girl! Keep up the good post and keep working on your abs! 😀

  2. Michal, awesome post about abs! And I agree abs are not just about looking good; they are about posture, digestion, being injury-free with our backs, etc…just love all the links, too!

    This is a great reference post for anyone!! love it girl!

  3. I am totally doing this challenge! I will try to do it 3 times a week, but sometimes it may be more. I do fitness classes at my gym and some of them are core-centered. I also don’t necessarily do “cardio” every day. I do some sort of exercise every day. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are usually classes ranging from BodyJam (like Zumba) to CoreConnect or Pilates. I may also add in about 30 minutes of biking, ellipitical on some of those workout days (like the pilates, CoreConnect, etc). I am ready to get rockin’ abs with you, Michal! I will def. be taking pictures to see the results!

  4. Thanks for the great information on abs, Michal! I’ve always had some stomach problems, so lately I’ve been trying to focus more on my abs and I’m actually seeing a lot of improvements 🙂 And the food you listed is basically what my diet consists of, so I guess I can take part in your challenge 🙂 Can’t wait for some more informative posts.

  5. Im with everyone else.. this post is great.. very informative!!

    Im not lookin to “shape” my abs and they are fairly decent but I certainly intend to keep on eating all those fabulous foods you have listed!! 🙂

  6. I totally love your challenge 🙂 Keeping my abs strong is important to me because I know that everything I do involves using my core. I do yoga 6-7 days a week, so I guess that’s my way of doing the challenge. I’m always up for some yummy food though and that list seems right up my ally.
    Thanks for the support on my challenge, too. And don’t worry, I’m not giving up soy yogurt either :D.
    Have a lovely day!
    xox

  7. Great schedule. I am in! I’ll link this post today and probably modify some to adapt my lifestyle! 🙂 What before/after pic should I take? body overall? or just midsection? do you measure it as well?

  8. Hey, thanks for the comment 😀
    And dude, this is fucking ironic. Last week I started working on my abs. Mainly for my upcoming Dance recitle (Tight ass shirts, skimpy outfits, short as fuck shorts XD) and for the beach this summer!
    My metabolism has been completly shot because of my past E.D. and because I stopped running.
    Between school and such, I’ve had NO TIME TO WORK ON WORKING OUT. It’s rediculous.
    I worked on homework for 12 HOURS YESTERDAY.
    And I have dance. And I stretch for 30 minutes everyday (have to be able to do the splitz).
    Ugh, I want abs. Hahahaha.
    I really need to work on cardio, plus I have cross country coming up soon.

    Woah, I just spiraled into a rant and I simply came to say thank you.
    Love the blog, by the way XD

  9. I agree with with your conclusion. I am going to do some research and post it here for clarity. Stay tuned and I’ll be back with the info. I made sure to bookmark the site so I’ll be able to find my way back. LOL Also, if any of you women need ab exercises for home don’t hesitate to come on over.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s