Guest Fitness Writer Rich Fitter: THE ABDOMINAL CHALLENGE: ARE YOU READY?

RichFitter

Based in the East Coast, and focused on fitness since the age of 12, and a friend of mine for over 28 years, Rich Fitter has been a highly respected Natural Bodybuilding Professional, fitness writer, trainer and coach for almost 3 decades.  He is also the co-founder of DFAC (Drug-Free Athletes Coalition), and is currently training for another competition later this year.

A couple of years ago, Rich sent me this great abdominal workout, and I loved it!  So he’s been kind enough to let me share it here…

THE ABDOMINAL CHALLENGE: ARE YOU READY?  

By Rich Fitter

Remember the flagpole scene from the holiday classic A Christmas Story? After accepting a “triple-dog dare,” one of the neighborhood kids, Flick, found his tongue frozen to a flagpole. This is part of the nature of the male species: A man loves a challenge. Whether it is climbing a mountain or getting a date with someone “out of his league,” guys like to push the envelope. For those of you that fit this description, here is an ab routine just for you. There is no rest for the weary and trust me, you will be weary after this routine. This program is designed to perform each exercise with no rest between sets. It will hit all the midsection muscles and will keep your heart rate elevated, giving you a mini-aerobic workout. Too often, a workout becomes a social engagement. Training sessions become a gathering for gym buddies to catch up on current events or plan weekend gettogethers. Looking your best is serious business and you need to approach your workouts with an all-business attitude. The routine is only nine exercises long and should only take 10 minutes at most. You need to stay focused the entire time to run this gauntlet of midsection mayhem. Each exercise must be performed in a controlled manner; so do not rush through the movements. You will not dilly-dally between exercises and you will only perform one set of each. This routine should be performed three times per week with the order of exercises rotated each time. For example, whichever exercise you start with for one workout, do it last the next time. The second exercise performed in the first workout is performed first in the second sequence. The next workout, you would start with the third exercise from the first workout and so on. This is to prevent your body from getting used to the routine and to allow equal stimulation of all the different abdominal muscles. Set up an area to work in before you start. Make sure you have the proper equipment around you to complete the routine. This will save you time and help keep you focused on your abdominal training, so you can look your best. As always, looking your best has a lot to do with the time not spent in the gym. You need to maintain a balanced diet, low in sugar and fat. Keeping an adequate supply of lean protein will help repair and build muscle, while complex carbs from grains provide adequate energy. Fruits and vegetables provide nutrients and fiber, and should not be excluded from your diet. Water is the catalyst for all metabolic functions in your body. Try to drink half your bodyweight in ounces per day. For example, a 200-lb. man should drink 100 oz. of water daily. Following these guidelines and hitting the cardio machines four times per week for 30 minutes should help control bodyfat. To sculpt your muscles, take the abdominal challenge – I triple-dog dare you!

MEDICINE BALL RUSSIAN TWISTS Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your upper body tilted back 20-30 degrees. With your upper arms at your sides and your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle, hold a medicine ball in front of you with both hands. Rotate your torso with the ball slowly from side to side. Perform one set of 30 repetitions with each right/left rotation counting as one rep.

MEDICINE BALL LOWER BODY ROTATIONS Lie on your back with your legs in the air and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold a medicine ball between your knees and rotate your lower body slowly, from side to side. Perform one set of 20 rotations with each left/right rotation counting as one rep.

MEDICINE BALL CRUNCHES WITH ARM EXTENSIONS Lie on your back with your knees bent. Hold a medicine ball on your chest and crunch up by contracting your abdominals. As you crunch, extend your arms and push the medicine ball toward the ceiling. As you return to the starting position, bring the ball back to your chest. Perform one set of 30 repetitions.

FLAT LEG RAISES Lie on a flat surface with your legs bent at your hips and knees. Stabilize your upper body by holding a solid object on the ground, beside your head. From this starting position, pull your legs up so that your lower back curls off the floor. Hold momentarily at the top to contract your abdominals and return to the starting position; repeat. Perform one set of 20 repetitions.

SIT-UPS Lie on the floor with dumbbells over your ankles to hold them in place. Extend your arms over your head on the floor behind you. From this position, sit up and touch your hands to your toes, then return to the starting position and repeat. Perform one set of 30 repetitions.

ABDOMINAL BRACING This exercise is also known as a plank. Resting on your forearms and toes in a modified push-up position, stabilize your body using the strength of your abdominals. Try to remain motionless and keep your body as parallel to the ground as possible. Hold this position for up to one minute.

VACUUM Kneel down on all fours, relax your midsection and let gravity pull your stomach toward the floor. Exhale deliberately and draw the abdominals inwards. Focus on trying to suck in your stomach as if you are pulling your navel toward your spine. Perform one set of 30 repetitions.

CROSSOVER CRUNCHES Lying on your back with your knees bent, place your hands on either side of your head. Squeezing your abdominals, lift your head and shoulders off the ground by flexing your midsection. Concentrate on shortening the distance between your bottom rib and the top of your hip. Bring your right elbow to your left knee as you crunch. Lower slowly and repeat with the opposite elbow and knee. Perform one set of 30 repetitions, with each left/right combination counting as one rep. SIDE BENDS WITH ELASTIC TUBING Hold elastic tubing under your left foot so the handle is at arm’s length in your left hand. Holding the handle, laterally flex your trunk to the right side using the strength of your obliques. Return slowly and repeat for the required repetitions, then perform the movement on the other side. Perform one set of 30 reps per side.

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