Activate Your Abs
BEFORE AND DURING YOUR WALK
In order to get the most out of your walk and turn it into an ab-toning workout, it’s important to focus on engaging the muscles in your core both before and during your walk.
In the 6-Week LeanWalk Program, turning on your abs is easy. In the walking workouts, I coach you along the way with proper techniques. Get the most out your workout! … Learn more about LeanWalk!
When your core muscles aren’t activated before your walk, your form suffers and you not only increase your risk of injuries during the workout, but you also won’t get the most benefit out of your routine.
During a walk, you’re typically targeting your glutes, quads, and thighs. When you simultaneously engage the core, you stabilize your spine, which allows you to pick up your pace.
Keep in mind that “the core” is more than just your abdominals.
Your core is what keeps your body stable during any movement or exercise, and it includes dozens of muscles in both the front and back of your abdominal area, around your hips, pelvis and lower back.
Engaging your core means you’ve tightened the muscles in the midsection. Imagine somebody trying to lightly push you… if your core is activated, your body would barely move and would remain upright. If it’s not, you would tilt or fall to the side.
How do you get the core firing?
Before you walk, try these two exercises…
Plus, don’t miss the LeanWalk Program with 6 weeks of audio workouts to turn your walk into a fat-burning routine! … Learn more about LeanWalk!
WHAT IT DOES:
This move is a plank with a twist, a core stabilizing exercise that recruits your obliques for rotation.
Start in plank position, but this time, rest on your elbows instead of your hands. Be sure to keep the shoulders depressed back and down and the neck nice and long throughout the movement.
Keeping your abs engaged, slowly swivel the hips underneath you to the right. Feel your obliques driving this motion as you swivel to the other side with a slow, controlled motion.
You can modify this movement by resting on your knees instead of full plank position.
Keep your feet stacked and move your toes as you rotate. So as you swivel the hips to the side, you’ll rest your weight primarily on the bottom toe, with the top foot resting on top of it
What it does:
- This move is sometimes called the ˙banana,” because of the slightly-curved line your body forms at the start of the exercise. But no matter what you call it, this full-body core-strengthener is a surefire way to fire up the entire abdominal wall.
How to do it:
- Start lying on your back, with your arms reaching out overhead, legs lifted slightly off the floor, and toes pointed. Even here, at the start of the move, you’re activating core muscles by stretching them out. Keep pressing the lower back into the mat or floor to ensure the back doesn’t arch. If this feels like too much tension on the back, try lifting the legs a little further away from the floor.
- Imagine that, as you’re stretching the fingers and toes away from each other, the core is a strong magnet working to pull them back in. Using the force of that imaginary magnet, bring the knees in toward the chest. At the same time, reach your arms toward the legs.
- Start by doing this move just one leg at a time. Resting your left leg on the floor, perform the move as described above using only the right leg. Do 10 repetitions and repeat on the left side.
- At the top of the move, when you’re in ˙cannonball” position, wrap your arms around the shins. The objective is to find your balance point. To do that, you need to strongly engage your core muscles when you hit the top of the movement. Coordinating the arms and legs to hit that balance point is the challenge.
STEP 2: EVERY 10 MINUTES DURING A WALK, CONCENTRATE ON THE NEUTRAL SPINE POSITION
When you engage your core during a walk, you’re using your transverse abdominis. That’s the core stabilizer, and it runs horizontally across the abdomen. It’s essential to recruit these muscles for good posture…and a sleek physique! Think of your transverse muscles as your built-in Spanx. The transverse muscles stabilize your pelvis and help you balance and move your legs during your walk. Engaging your transverse will also allow you to further increase your speed, pump up your power and burn more calories.
Every 10 minutes during a walk, engage your transverse abdominis with a “TA Isometric Neutral Spine” for 30 seconds by pulling your belly button towards your back while maintaining a neutral spine, which means you’re not arching or rounding your back.