It is summer time in the lovely Auckland… except today. Today it is pretty dreary. But otherwise, summer has mostly begun showing it’s bright face and the summer spirit is definitely alive and well. For us Kiwis, we are very lucky to have Christmas in the Summer months and a Kiwi Christmas to me mostly brings thoughts of lots of sunbathing, reading, jumping off the boat and swimming around the beautiful Marlborough Sounds (and trying not to freak out about Stingrays!). The flip side to the lovely summer fun and long holiday is that bikini season here coincides with silly season… which for most involves at least some degree over over eating! Thus, my copious amounts of baking, and my desire for a six pack this summer are at odds, but alas I have come up with a (sort of) solution!
I thought I’d share with you my favourite abs workout which is easy to do outside be it in the backyard, on the beach or wherever takes your fancy as no fancy equipment is required (unless you want an extra challenge!). It is also my favourite because they’re all exercises I enjoy doing so when coupled with sunshine I don’t mind doing it often to help keep up my fitness amongst all the eating!
If you don’t understand any of the exercises, I’ve put a bit of a description below and will put videos up on Instagram as soon as I get a willing
cameraman camera person!
NOTE: I am a Group Fitness Instructor, not a doctor, physio or personal trainer, so if you have any injuries, are pregnant or have any other health concerns please always check with your healthcare practitioner to ensure that any exercise programme or set is safe for you. Regardless of your condition please always remember to keep hydrated at all times (especially if exercising in the sun!) and stop if you feel dizzy, light headed or otherwise ill!
-50 star jumps (Also known as jumping jacks): remember to have good posture and check out correct technique here.
-20 bicycle crunches: The slower the better, focus on good form rather than speed! Like this but with legs lifted and alternately pedalling out (like you’re on a bicycle!)
-20 crunches: Check out correct technique here.
-20 Lying toe taps: Lie on your back with your spine flat (very important not to arch it!). Have your legs bent up in a table top position, and slowly lower one bent leg to the floor and back up. Make sure you are using your core to keep your back pressed flat to the ground, and then switch legs.
-20 Donkey Dog Dancer Kicks: My personal trainer named this combo the Donkey Dog Dancer, when you do it you’ll see why. Come to a table top position on your knees with your back parallel to the ground. For the Donkey: Using your core to keep you steady, kick one leg up to the sky, keeping it bent. Replace the leg to the ground for the Dog: Again, keeping your core on to stay steady lift the same leg, bent, to the side (like a dog peeing!), replace. For the dancer, extend your leg straight out behind you with toes pointed like a dancer. Replace and repeat on the other leg! 20 reps means ten combos of Donkey + Dog + Dancer on each leg!
-Finally, the 2 minute plank. Make sure you always are mindful not to let your back sag in a plank- it is very important to keep it straight and not exert extra pressure on the lower back. If you can’t hold it for two minutes do what you can, or come onto your knees.
Now that’s one circuit done- go do some more! Keep going until you can’t do any more. Your last reps of each exercise should be DIFFICULT but if you can’t do the exercise with correct form, know that this is your limit. It is much better to do less exercises safely than it is to put yourself at risk of an injury! However, if you are a seasoned pro and find this too easy, feel free to add some weight if you are at the gym or have dumbbells or ankle weights at home. Get those donkey kicks going with an ankle weight for some awesome glutes!
Take care of your body and I hope you enjoy this workout!