Abs Challenge Info

In All, Fitness, Workouts by Jenna MaxwellLeave a Comment

I thought I would write a little blog post to hopefully give you a bit more info on why it is important to have strong abdominal muscles before you start this challenge. Beyond the aesthetic benefits of increased muscle tone in this area, strong abdominal muscles also generate strength, stability, and mobility needed to carry out everyday activities such as carrying shopping, gardening, and even climbing the stairs.

Your abs or core muscles all interact to provide support for your spine for movement. You will see as you follow through the challenge that there is a variety of exercises that target different angles and parts of your core. A balanced and focused core training program can have a positive impact on your well-being as a whole.

A few things you’ll notice as your core gets stronger: improved posture, increased protection and ‘’bracing’’ of your back, greater balance and coordination, and ever more power and speed in your other activities.

Strong abdominal muscles generate strength, stability, and the mobility needed to carry out everyday activities such as carrying shopping, gardening, and even climbing the stairs. The reason I like to encourage doing these ab exercises as a challenge is that this muscle group responds well to frequent activation. That being said, I will be providing guidelines on how to modify the exercises to help beginners.

 

Two things I want you to be aware of as you go through this challenge are:
  1. If you feel your lower back or your hips during any exercise please stop and try to reset your deep core muscles (I will explain how to do this below). If you are not able to reset your core at this time please move on to the next exercise or stop for the day.
  2. Everyone will have a different starting point and that’s totally okay. Don’t feel disappointed if you can’t complete all the exercises outlined that day. You will get stronger as the challenge goes on!

 

How the challenge works:
  1. The challenge is 30 days long. Feel free to take before and after photos of yourself! I would love to have you email me your results at the end.
  2. Every night I will be posting 5 abdominal exercises in my Instagram story for the following day. The exercises are put in an order that will be most effective so please do them in the order laid out for you.
  3. The 5 exercises will change each day for 7 days and then we will go back to the same 5 exercises you did on the first day. The challenge is set up this way to provide you with a reference point. You will be able to see yourself getting stronger as the challenge goes along!
  4. Each week try to move to a higher number of repetitions of each exercise to challenge yourself.
  5. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions! I want you to get the most you can out of this!

 

Learning how to activating your deep abdominal muscles:

Your core consists of superficial muscles and deep muscles. When you are doing your daily exercises, please be conscious of activating these deeper core muscles before you engage in movement.

The easiest way to do this on your own is to stand up straight with your back in a neutral position, with your hands forming a triangle over the front of your pelvis. Cough or laugh strongly and you will feel your deep core muscles move beneath your fingers. Next, breathe in and out. You will feel the muscle contract as you do so.  Once you have located your deep core muscles you need to focus on activating and controlling them while doing other movements.

The key is to focus on pulling your belly button towards your spine and pulling in your stomach to tighten your waistline. Your goal is to contract these muscles so they feel strong and stable, but not overly tense. This activation takes some practice but try to practice throughout your day, whether at your desk, while waiting to pay for something or while brushing your teeth. You will find it gets easier and easier to find and control this muscle as you practice. Make sure you consistently think of pulling in those muscles as you do the exercises I post each day.

I know that this is a lot of information but I wanted to make sure you guys had a strong understanding of why we are doing this challenge and how to achieve the best results!

Thank you so much for following me and joining me on my workouts. I love that you guys are part of my fitness community!

Good luck!

Xo Jenna

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