If you want to really focus on improving your ab tone, then try this 1000 rep workout. To make up the 1000 reps, you do 2 sets of 50 reps of 10 different exercises. It’s an intermediate/advanced level workout – 50 reps is quite a lot to do in one set. If you don’t currently work your abs regularly, then you should try some of the other abs workouts first. This crunches challenge is a good place to start.
1000 rep workout – the exercises
Please read these general exercise guidelines before you start. As mentioned above, 50 reps is a long set, so if you find that you are tiring and no longer able to do an exercise in a smooth, controlled way, then you should take a couple of seconds rest before completing the set. The exercises focus mainly on the “6 pack” muscles, with a bit of work for the deeper core stabilising muscles. For a workout that focuses more on the deeper muscles, see Best Core Exercises.
- Start by lying on the floor with your legs vertical.
- From here, lower your right leg to the floor, making sure you don’t let your low back arch.
- Stop just before your leg touches the floor and lift it back up to vertical, still being careful not to arch your low back.
- Repeat with your left leg and continue to alternate right and left.
#2 Straight leg crunch
- Start by lying on the floor with legs vertical.
- Curl your head and shoulders off the floor as you reach your hands towards your feet.
#3 Side reach
- Lie on the floor with knees bent and feet about hip distance apart.
- Lift your head and shoulders slightly off the floor, with your right hand supporting your head.
- Reach your left arm towards your left foot. Complete 25 reps on this side and then lower your head to the floor and repeat to the other side.
#4 Bicycle crunch
- Lie on your back with your knees and hips bent at right angles and your hands behind your head
- Bring your right knee towards your upper body and, at the same time, lift your left shoulder off the floor and reach your left elbow towards your right knee.
- Return to the start position and repeat on the other side.
#5 Double leg stretch
- Lie on your back with your knees and hips bent at right angles and your hands behind your head.
- Curl your head and shoulders off the floor as you straighten your legs.
- Return to the start position and repeat.
#6 Reverse crunch
- Lie on your back and extend your legs so that they are vertical.
- Engage your lower abs as you curl your lower spine off the mat. It should be a smooth curling movement.
- When your lower back has left the floor, start to reverse the movement – curl your spine back down under control.
#7 Rolling like a ball
- Sit on the floor. Balancing on your hip bones, bring your knees towards your chest and put your hands on your lower legs. Point your toes.
- Keeping a curve in your spine and your chin tucked in, engage your core muscles and roll backwards.
- When your upper back is on the floor, contract your core and buttock muscles strongly to start to roll back to the starting position.
- This should be a SMOOTH, CONTROLLED movement. The spine gradually makes and releases contact with the floor, one vertebra at a time.
- The ball shape you make should stay the same throughout the movement
- Don’t roll onto your neck – start to reverse the movement once your upper back is on the floor
#8 Standard crunch
- Lie on the floor, knees bent, feet about hip distance apart.
- Put your hands behind your head to support it. Keep your elbows relaxed out to the side.
- Engage your abdominal muscles and curl your spine smoothly away from the floor. It shouldn’t be a jerky movement.
- Stop when your shoulder blades have left the floor and start to reverse the movement. Again, it should be a smooth, curling movement on the way down.
#9 Oblique crunch
- Lie on the floor and take both legs into the air as shown.
- Take your hands behind your head and rotate your left elbow towards your right knee. It doesn’t matter if you can’t lift your shoulder high enough for your elbow to touch your knee, just get it as close as you can. Your left shoulder blade should lift up, but the right stays on the floor.
- Now lower your left shoulder blade back to the floor and lift your right elbow towards your left knee.
#10 V sit
- Lay on the floor and lift both legs to a 45o angle with the floor.
- Lift your upper body and reach your hands towards your feet.
- Lower back down to the floor and repeat.
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