30 day challenge – how to improve your abs

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Strengthen up your core muscles with this 30 day ab challenge.  The 3 exercises focus on the muscles which pull the abdominal area in flat and support the spine.  The program follows the usual fitness challenge format – that is, it gets  a bit harder each day. By day 30 you will be doing a total of 60 reps to each side.   This sounds like a lot, but doesn’t seem so bad when you work up to it gradually.  Unlike most abs workouts, the routine is done standing. Benefits of doing standing abs work include:

  • Challenging the core stabilising muscles, which stabilise the pelvis, support the spine and pull the abdominal area flat
  • Improving spine flexibility, leading to reduced risk of back pain/injury

How to do the 30 day ab challenge

The exercise instructions and the challenge chart are here in the post.  You can also get a free printable PDF of the challenge (see below).  The chart tells you how many reps to do of each exercise every day.  Whatever number is given, this is the number of repetitions to each side.  So, for example on day 1 you should rotate to one side 5 times, then rotate to the other side 5 times.  For best results, use some resistance.  A 1 or 2kg kettle bell or hand weight is ideal.  Alternatively, use a full sports water bottle.  Grip the weight in both hands for the rotations and wood chop.  For the side bends, hold the weight in the hand that reaches down.

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Safety notes

With all 3 exercises, focus on keeping the movement in your upper body.  Your pelvis should stay stable – your core stabilising muscles will need to engage in order to achieve this.  Make sure all movements are smooth and controlled, don’t try to rush through the routine.  In particular, ease gently into the first couple of reps of each exercise, to allow your joints and muscles to adjust.  Please also read these general guidelines.

Exercise instructions

Torso rotations

30 day ab challenge torso rotations

  • Stand with your feet about hip distance apart and lift your arms up in front of you.  Clasp your hands together, with your arms slightly bent.
  • Keeping your arms at shoulder height and your hips facing forwards, rotate your arms and upper body to the right.
  • Repeat for the given number of reps, then repeat to the left.

Side bends

30 day ab challenge side bends

  • Stand with feet hip distance apart, then reach your right hand down towards your right foot.
  • Make sure you don’t lean your body forwards or backwards, try to imagine you are in a narrow gap between 2 walls.
  • Repeat for the given number of reps, then repeat to the left.

Wood chop

30 day ab challenge wood chop

  • Stand with your feet a bit wider than hip distance.
  • Keep your hips facing forwards as you bend your knees and rotate your upper body towards the right.  Reach your arms down towards your right knee.
  • Then straighten up and swing your arms across your body to reach high to the left.  Your right heel should lift as you reach to the left.
  • Do the given number of reps, then repeat to the other side.

The challenge schedule

30 day ab challenge schedule

 

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Strengthen up your core muscles with this 30 day ab challenge.  The 3 exercises focus on the muscles which pull the abdominal area in flat and support the spine.  The program follows the usual fitness challenge format - that is, it gets  a bit harder each day. By day 30 you will be doing a total of 60 reps to each side.   This sounds like a lot, but doesn’t seem so bad when you work up to it gradually. With free fitness printable. #fitnesschallenge #freeprintable #absworkout

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