Alright, here’s the deal ladies. While our fitness journeys may look different across the board, we can all agree on one thing. Strong is sexy. And now that summer is in full swing, we’ve decided to kick our routines up a notch to match that burning heat. To get started, we enlisted our favorite trainer, Dr. Hunter Vincent, to help us feel our best and work towards those strong and sexy abs we’ve always wanted. Dr. Hunter said that when it comes to abs or core exercises, there are a million different ways to slice the same apple. There are so many different methods for working your abdominal muscles, and below we are going to give you just a handful of our favorite exercises from our previous workouts with Dr. Hunter to focus on your “side abs,” also known by their anatomical name, the oblique muscles. But before we get to that, here are a couple of things we want you to always remember…
1. Every body is different.
And there’s no one body or stomach that is sexier than any other. You don’t have to have the flattest stomach or even a six pack. We think that strong is the new sexy! Now, it’s totally normal to want to work on some of your “trouble” areas, but never forget that exercise and core work is about making you strong physically, to keep you strong mentally and emotionally, and keep you strong for anything life throws at you!
2. Abs are made in the kitchen.
But they are built on the floor. By far, the biggest key to having a flatter stomach is eating clean and putting high quality nutrients in your body, consistently. And this means for more than a week. You must be willing to put the work in not only with exercises, but also by monitoring your nutrition.
3. Not every core exercise is the best exercise for every person.
Some people may have medical conditions such as arthritis that might make some exercises better than others. Some exercises just may not feel right, and that’s totally fine too. Ultimately, t’s important to always listen to what your body is telling you. Although we love to bring on some good pain during a workout, it’s important to avoid core exercises that give you bad pain (and potentially cause injury). This also means making sure that you keep good technique to minimize any added risk of injury.
Now that we’ve given you a few quick reminders, let’s get to creating those strong and sexy side abs…
Time to work those obliques! Lay on your back and stretch your arms straight out from your shoulders. Raise your legs so that they point up towards the ceiling. Trying to keep your legs straight, lower your legs directly to the side, just above the ground. Then raise your legs back towards the middle and lower them to the other side. Focus on keeping your arms flat on the ground, and rotating slowly from side to side.
2. Side Plank Variations
Side Plank Holds with Knee Drive:
Start by getting into a side plank position with your hand on a bench seat and your arm straight. To make things just a little more difficult, bring your bottom leg into a knee drive, so that your leg is at 90 degrees. Now point your other arm toward the sky, take some deep breaths, and hold firm for 45 seconds. Don’t forget to switch sides to stay balanced!
Modified Side Plank:
Keeping your bottom knee on the ground, and resting on your forearm, open your chest and point your other arm towards the sky. Now take your top leg and keep it straight, making it level with your body. Expert Tip: Keep your core activated and your glutes tightened to provide the strongest foundation.
Side Plank with Reach:
This ab exercise promotes contraction of all layers of the abdominal muscles, as well as excellent support for the smaller stabilizing muscles of the spine. You don’t always have to make things complicated to get the most benefit—doing this exercise correctly can get great results. Expert Tip: Make sure you are engaging your obliques by pushing your hips up as much as you can.
3. Get Ups
Here’s a great core exercise that incorporates the entire body… But, it can take a little getting used to because each limb is doing something different. Start on your back, with your right leg bent to 90 degrees (foot on the ground), and your left leg straight. Now, your left arm extends straight out from your shoulder, with your palm face down. Your right arm is straight overhead. Now, go ahead and crunch up, reaching your right hand toward your left foot, keeping your left arm straight. Keeping your arm straight is the most crucial part! Most people have a tendency to bend the elbow and push themselves up to the top. By keeping your arm straight, you use your arm like a kickstand to help you balance and it requires a greater contraction through your core.
4. Breakdance Push Ups
Find a bench, a handrail, or some sort of elevated wall. Or, if you’re feeling really strong, do these on the ground. Start by doing a standard push up. But on the way up, you’re going to kick one leg across your body to the opposite side, finishing in a sort of “breakdance” plank. Then you’re going to return to standard push up position. After you complete the next pushup, kick the other leg to the opposite side.
5. Couch Rotary Twists
Start in sit up position with your feet tucked under the bottom of the couch (place a pillow above your feet if the gap between the couch and the floor is too wide). Engage your core by drawing you belly button to the small of your back. Lean back, dropping your body towards the floor, like you are going to do a sit up, stopping when you are at the halfway point. Once you are here you should feel your abs firing! Put your hands on top of your head or straight out in front of you and twist your upper body side to side. Expert Tip: Keep your core tight and your chest up tall for proper technique.
By incorporating these workouts into your weekly routine, you’ll be feeling the burn and seeing strong and sexy side abs in no time. A huge thank you to Dr. Hunter for always helping us feel and look our best!
Will you be trying these killer ab workouts with us?
Let us know if you will in the comments!
XO Team LC
Each one of the ab workouts above came from some of our very favorite workouts available on LaurenConrad.com! If you’re up for the challenge, take a peek at them below:
Shape Up: The Adventure Run Workout
Shape Up: 6 Ways to Crunch
Shape Up: The Hotel Room Workout
Shape Up: The Park Bench Workout
Shape Up: The Stay Fit Pregnancy Workout
Get Fit: The Total Body Workout That Will Get You Ready for Anything In Life