Good morning!  I love Sundays, especially Sundays that are a part of a long weekend.  Before I head out to enjoy the day, just wanted to give you all this week’s ab challenge plan and notes.  This is our last full week!

January 2013 31 Day Ab Challenge

Sunday 1/20:  Sunday Circuit

Sunday Circuit - Standing Abs

Jumping jacks:  Self explanatory.  If jumping is too much, just tap your heels side to side, one at a time.

Canoe:  Stand with your feet, knees slightly bent, and hands clasped.  Keeping your hips still, bring your hands down to your left hips as if you were “paddling” backward.  Next, raise your hands up to chest level, and then paddle them to the right hip.  More advanced – hold a dumbbell while you do this.

Canoe Exercise

Canoe Exercise
Front Leg Lift & Tap:  Stand with your feet hip width apart.  Raise your arms overhead.  Bring one leg up at the same time you bring your arms down, so you are lifting one leg and tapping your toe (or as close to your toe as you can get) with your arms.

Front Leg Lift & Tap

Front Leg Lift & Tap(dirty sock)

High Knees:  Beginners, just alternate bringing one knee up to meet the hips.  More advanced, do these fast as if you are running but bringing your knees up high in front of you.

– Dumbbell Side Bends:  Hold dumbbell (or water bottle if no weights) in one hand.  Band waist toward dumbbell until slight stretch is felt, then lift back up to center.  Repeat on opposite side once all reps are done on one side.

Dumbbell Side Bends

Dumbbell Side Bends
Knee Cross Crunch:  Stand with your shoulders in line with your hips, and extend your right arm up and your left leg to the side, toes pointed.  Next, lower your right elbow and raise your left knee, crunching them together on a diagonal line.  Return to start.

Knee Cross Crunch

Knee Cross Crunch

Monday 1/21:  Morning Ab Burner

Get yourself energized for the day and the week ahead with another Monday Morning Ab Burner!  This week I want you to repeat the 25, 50, or 100 crunches from Week 1.  Try to aim for a higher number than you did last time – if you did 100, shoot for 125!  Also, try to make them a little more challenging in some way – bring your knees over your hips, straighten your legs in the air, do them on a stability, add a weight… up to you!

Tuesday 1/22:  Plank for Time

Hold an elbow plank for as long as you can, trying to beat last week’s time!  Has anyone reached their goal yet??

Elbow Plank

Wednesday 1/23:  Leg Lifts Before Bed

Do leg lifts before zzz’s!  Lying on your back, start with your legs straight up over your hips.  Your hands can be either underneath your butt, or right by your sides.  Lower down until you feel like your lower back might come off the floor – that’s your stopping/low point.  You don’t want to be arching your back.  Do as many as you can until fatigue!  Note, to make this more challenging, lift your upper back off the ground during the leg lifts.

Leg Lifts

Leg Lifts

Thursday 1/24:  Tabata Thursday

31 day abs challenge tabata thursday week 4

-Walking Plank:  Get in a straight-arm plank position.  “Walk your arms” to the left, until you get to what 10 o’clock would be if you started at 12.  Then walk over to the right until you reach 2 o’clock.  Continue “walking” back and forth.

Walking Plank

Walking Plank
-Plank Leg Kick & Knee Tuck:  Start again in straight-arm plank position.  Kick one leg back (it’s actually OK to lift your butt a little here!), then pull the knee in toward the chest.  Alternate sides.

Plank Leg Kick & Knee Tuck

Plank Leg Kick & Knee Tuck

Friday 1/25:  Focus On Hips

31 Day Abs Challenge:  Friday Focus Hips

– Lying Hip Abduction Series:  Lie on one side with hips stacked, knees slightly bent, then straighten top leg so knee is straight, foot is flexed, and your toe is facing forward.  Raise top leg (that’s the abduction), then instead of returning to start as you lower, lower slightly in front of the other leg.  When you raise back up, make sure you raise it in the center where you started.  Do 20 reps to the front, then repeat but doing the same thing to the back.  Do on both legs.  More advanced — add an ankle weight or hold a dumbbell on your outer thigh.

Hip Abduction Series
– Lying Hip Adduction Series:  Lie on one side with one foot flat on the floor and the other leg straight out in front.  Lift and lower so you feel the movement in the inner thigh.  Try 30 on each leg.  More advanced — add an ankle weight or hold a dumbbell on your inner thigh.

Hip Adduction Series
– Squat and Kick Series:  Do a regular squat, but when you come up do a front kick on the right.  Squat again and then do a front kick on the left.  Do 40 total.

Squat and Kick
-Hip Stretches:  Finish off hips by choosing some hip stretches from this post and trying them out!

Saturday 1/26:  Rest & Read

Stay tuned for my fourth core strength tip, and rest up those abs for the last (short) week!

Have a great day and week ahead, everyone!  Don’t forget to continue to “check in” once you’ve completed each challenge!