Straight from the North Cascade Mountains, we bring you our short but effective 6 minute Abs & Obliques Workout.
This fun core workout is over and done before you know it – you won’t have the chance to get bored, but you will definitely feel those core muscles burning by the time you are through.
Enjoy the mountain peaks behind me, and be glad that unlike me you are not working against the incline of the slope and will not likely be slipping down the mountainside while you are trying to do your crunches.
Essential Routine Info
- 5 Bodyweight Exercises (no equipment necessary)
- 50 Second Active Intervals
- 10 Seconds Rest/Transition
- 6 Minutes Total
Ab workouts are not huge calorie burners and you can’t “get abs” without burning off the fat that they are hiding under, so make sure that you combine this one with either a total body strength training routine, and upper or lower strength routine, or a cardio workout. We estimate that this one burns 3-5 calories a minute, or 18-30 calories total.
About the core exercises in this routine
Toe Touch Crunches – Simple, basic, effective. Kick your legs straight up above those hip joints and reach for your toes. You can make this one easier by bending your knees so that your legs are folded instead of straight up.
Bird Dogs – Get on all fours with your weight in knees and hands. Extend one arm straight out above your head while lifting the leg of the opposite side of the body straight out behind you. Alternate lifting opposite sides of the body in a smooth, slow manner. This one is not only a great core exercise, it’s also good for improving your balance and overall control over your body.
Reclined Oblique Twists – Lie flat on your mat with your upper body propped up on your forearms. Lift one straight leg up in the air and reach for it with the opposite hand. Repeat a full 50 second interval on one side before switching to the other; by the time you are done your obliques and thighs will be feeling it. If you want to make this easier, do the reaching without the leg in the air, if you want to make it harder lift both legs up in the air for each reach.
Crisscross Crunches – Lie flat on your back with your hands behind your head, elbows out to the sides. Pull one elbow in towards the opposite side of the body while pulling in the opposite knee to meet the elbow in the middle. Move back and forth between pulling opposite elbows and knees together.
Russian Twists – Sit on your rear and lean back; keep your feet planted to make this exercise easier, and lift them off of the ground to make it harder. Twist from left to right, keeping your back flat and your chest tilted slightly upwards towards the ceiling (or the sky in this case).
Ab workouts are an important element in core strength and having a toned stomach, but remember that it takes a lot more than just situps.
Here are some dietary quick tips for getting or keeping a flat(ter) belly.
Eat fresh – Ditch the processed foods and eat clean and fresh as often as possible; fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins with proper car/protein/fat ratios makes for a sound flat belly diet. Anything that comes in a bag or box – including, if not especially, pseudo “health” foods - needs to be seriously scrutinized, and most likely completely eliminated.
Eat often – Don’t let your body go into starvation mode; keep your energy levels high, your blood sugar stabilized and metabolism stoked by eating small meals 4-6 times a day.
Drink lots of water – Lots of it! Dehydration leads to false hunger signals, less efficient immune and overall bodily function, decreased vitamin absorption, and a load of other things you want to avoid.
Eat fat to lose fat – Too many people choose low fat food options in an effort to lose weight – worse yet, they choose foods that have been altered to be low fat. For fat loss and good health, fat is friend, not foe. Nuts, avocados, flax seed oil, olive oil, and other minimally processed fat sources are best.