1. Double Lunges
Find a step or bench and start by standing in front of it with your feet together. Step your right leg backwards into a lunge, then pick that same leg up again, step onto your bench and push up into a standing position, driving your left knee up towards your chest as you do so. Step back down, placing your left foot on the ground, before stepping that right leg backwards again into that lunge and repeating. Finish all your reps on one leg before switching to the other side.
2. Standard or Curtsy Squat Press
To perform a standard squat press, begin with feet hip-width apart, resting a set of dumbbells just in front of your shoulders. Lower yourself down into a squat position by imagining you’re sitting down on a chair behind you. As you stand up out of your squat, press those dumbbells above your head, using power from your legs to drive the weight upwards. Return to the start position and repeat. For a curtsy squat, start in the same position but instead of simply squatting down, take your right leg and cross it behind your left leg, lowering yourself until your knee almost touches the ground, in a mock curtsy. Push yourself back to a standing position, driving off your front leg and as you do, perform a press with the dumbbells before repeating on the other side.
3. Bodyweight Pull-ups
First, find a bar or fence at about hip-height. Now sit underneath the bar and grip it with your hands (you can switch it up between underhand and overhand grip at each workout to target different muscles). Position your body so your chest is directly underneath the bar, and then pull yourself up until you’re just a few centimetres from it. Slowly lower yourself back down and repeat.
4. Push-up Reaches
Start in a standard push-up position, with or without a step, up on your toes and with your shoulders directly over your hands. Lower your body towards the ground into a push-up and then, as you press back up to your start position, reach your right hand out in front of you before placing back down to complete another push-up and then repeat on the left side. If you’re more advanced, try lifting your right arm at the same time as your right leg. These moves target the abs better than a crunch ever could.
UNVEIL THOSE ABS
Libby Babet, female fitness expert, Bottoms Up! Fitness
The best workouts for a lean belly are those that attack the fat that’s covering up those abs of steel, so think big – multiple muscle movements in your resistance workouts, high intensity interval training for your cardio, then wind down with some remedial yoga, dance, or meditation sessions. Mix it up and keep it fun!
Quick Resistance Workout
Set these four multi-muscle moves up in a circuit and complete 12 to 15 of each before moving on. Once you’ve finished all four, rest for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat. Aim for a total of 4 to 6 sets.
BONUS AB EXERCISE!
Grab a large Fit/Swiss ball and kneel down with the ball directly in front of you. Place your forearms on the ball and clasp your hands together. From here, lean forward so your body is in a plank position and your abs are engaged. Now slowly roll the ball away from you, as far as you can before you feel your abs really switch on. Roll the ball back towards you and repeat. This is one of the best exercises you can do to activate your core. If you want to progress it, start from your toes rather than from your knees.
Now add: Interval Cardio
A simple way to perform intervals is to pick whichever form of cardio you like best (run, swim, cycle?) and go as hard as you can for 45 seconds before dropping back to a super easy/recovery pace for 1 to 2 minutes (even a walk is fine). Repeat 6 to 10 times, depending on your fitness level.
Got an oval nearby? Try one of these workouts for something different:
• Warm up and stretching
• 3 x 1320m (try to do these in 6 to 7 minutes and rest for 3 minutes between each)
• Warm-up and stretching
• 1 x 800m (try to complete in 3 to 4 minutes and rest for the same)
• 6 x 200m (rest for 1.5 to 2 minutes between each)
• Warm-up and stretching
• 2 x 400m (try to complete in around 90 to 95 seconds and rest for 3 minutes)
• 2 x 200m (try to complete in 38 to 42 seconds and rest for 2 minutes between each)
• 6 x 100m (try to complete in 17 to 19 seconds and rest for 50 seconds between each)
With Tim Altman, Naturopath (timaltman.com.au)
1. Eat 3 meals and 2 to 3 snacks per day
2. Lean protein in each meal and snack
3. Carbohydrates should come from low GI, fibre rich, nutrient rich sources: (In order of priority)
• Fruit (low GI fruit)
• Nuts and seeds
• A small amount of 100% whole grain
4. Eliminate or limit intake of sugar and this includes its many guises: sugar, honey, added sugars (in soft drinks, juices, cordials, yoghurt, processed foods etc.), refined carbohydrates (especially anything white) and alcohol (remember 1 beer/wine = 1 doughnut)
5. Reduce intake of saturated fats: fried and processed foods and dairy
6. Increase intake of good fats: fatty fish, avocado, nuts and seeds, soy/tofu and chia seeds
7. Drink water and plenty of it. If you want to flavour it, use lemons and limes
8. Remember ‘nothing tastes as good as feeling good feels’
Check out our Ultimate ab workout or browse more workout plans. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for more fitness tips.