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Day 21: Fab Abs Challenge

posted on Friday, 19th September 2014 | find under Fitness
Sweaty Betty ambassador Maria shows how to get fab abs in today's Sweat Challenge.

This exercise works the deepest layer of abs, our transverse abdominals. The transverse abdominals are great for posture and set the groundwork for the other abdominal muscles.

  1. Lie with your back flat on the floor. Relax your head and shoulders and keep a neutral spine so you have a small pocket of air under the back.
  2. Bring your legs into a table top position so your knees are over your hips with toes pointed. Extend your legs out fully, drawing your navel to your spine and breathe out. Then take a breath in and bring the legs back to position, making sure to replace the knees back over the hips and not into the chest. Repeat for one minute.
Up the ante
To increase the difficulty of this position and make it more challenging, you can lift your head and shoulders off the floor and lift the arms at the same time (with your palms facing the ceiling). Another challenge would be to squeeze a towel between your inner thighs at the same time.
Modify the move
To modify this position, keep the head and shoulders on the floor at all times and don’t fully extend the legs.
This is a great position to get those abs shaking. The lower your legs and the slower your movement, the more challenging it becomes.
Other options for this position are:
  1. Lower your toes to the floor from the table top position. Pull through the abs and repeat.
  2. Extend your legs fully and make scissor kicks, keeping your hands behind your head.
  3. Extend your legs up above your hips making sure to keep them together. Lower the legs slowly down, keeping them straight and making sure the back doesn’t engage. Draw your navel in towards your spine, and when you get to the point that your abs start to quiver, draw your legs back up to the start point.
Time to move onto day 22.
Neutral V Imprint .... Head On Floor V Head Lifted
By siobhan - 22nd September 2014
hi maria ive taught pilates since 2000 and have my own studio surbitonpilates.com i teach Joe Pilates original work, I'm loving the SB challenges ! i question only keeping neutral and lifting legs up and down like this ... id always say this was harder than having the head lifted because the spine back extensors have to fire and be strong whereas with the head lifted you immediately add flexion..rectus muscle and a small imprint so weight of legs is better supported in the low back...
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