PHOTOS BY: DAVE LAUS
WORKOUT BY: NICHELLE LAUS
MODEL: CLAIRE MADDISON

Abdominal muscles support and help provide movement to your core area. Firming up your abs is a sure way to shrink your waist and improve your posture.

This is a great ab circuit to be performed twice a week for four weeks. There are six exercises in this circuit. Perform each exercise until failure for a maximum of 20 reps, then continue on to the next exercise, resting as little as possible between exercises.

Once the entire circuit is complete, rest 60 seconds, and repeat one or two more times, depending on your fitness level and the time you have.

These exercises not only strengthen your entire abdominal wall, they also target your core muscles, help increase your stamina, and improve your balance and agility.

PLANK WITH KNEE TO ELBOW

START in the normal push-up plank position.

While keeping your abs tight, bring one knee to the outside of the same arm, pausing for a moment before straightening the leg back behind you.

REPEAT the movement on the other side.

Alternate until desired amount of repetitions are completed.

SIDE PLANK DIPS

START in a side elbow plank on one side with straight legs and your feet stacked.

Lower your pelvis to the floor, so your hip hovers just off the floor.

Pause, then press up through your waist to lift your pelvis to return to starting plank position.

REPEAT for the desired amount of repetitions, then switch sides.

BENT-KNEE CRUNCH

START by lying on your back with your knees up in tabletop position.

Curl up using the rib cage, squeezing in through the belly.

Reach your elbows out to the side and try to keep space between your chin and chest.

Return to the starting position.

REPEAT until the desired amount of repetitions are completed.

BICYCLE CRUNCH

START by lying face up with your hips and knees bent 90 degrees so your lower legs are parallel to the floor.

Place your hands on the sides of your forehead.

Lift your shoulders off the floor and twist your upper body to the right as you pull your right knee in as fast as  you can until it touches your left elbow. Simultaneously, straighten your left leg.

REPEAT on the other side.

Return to the starting position and alternate until desired amount of repetitions are completed.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

START by assuming a push-up position with your arms straight and your body in a straight line. This is your starting position.

Raise your right knee toward your chest.

Return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg.

REPEAT until desired amount of repetitions are completed.

REVERSE CRUNCH

START by lying on your back. Bend your legs at the knee and tighten your abs to raise your legs so your knees are directly over your hips.

Contract your abs to curl your hips and knees toward your chest, raising your hips off the floor as you curl your legs up.

Return to the starting position.

REPEAT until desired amount of repetitions are completed.

SOAK UP THE SUN!

The best thing about outdoor workouts is the fresh air, sweat and sunshine! Did you know you could soak up the “Sunshine Vitamin” by doing your workout outside?

Vitamin D, the “Sunshine Vitamin,” is produced by your skin’s response to sunlight. It has many health benefits including regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in your body, and facilitating normal immune system function.

Vitamin D can also help fight many diseases, reduce depression and promote healthy weight loss. Along with getting your daily dose of vitamin D during your outdoor workout, you can also absorb it through the foods you eat and nutritional
supplements.

While soaking up all the benefits of your daily dose of vitamin D, don’t forget to wear your sunscreen!

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