Try these 5 great ooberfit exercises 4-5 times per week to get the abs you've always wanted. Regulars at ooberfit bootcamps are big fans and have noticed the difference. We all have a six-pack just crying to get out, so let's release our inner-abs - what's to lose? ..... Nothing except inches!
OOBERTIP 1: When doing any kind of crunch, imagine you are balancing a tennis ball between your chin and your chest - this helps ensure you are using your abs and not your upper body to bring yourself up off the mat.
OOBERTIP 2: Push the tip of your tongue into the roof of your mouth as you bring your head and shoulders off the mat - helps to ensure your neck is not strained and automatically repositions your chin.
You can use an interval timer app on your handphone or count repitions. You'll need a mat and a towel and remember to have a water bottle close to hand.
START BY DOING ONE OR TWO CIRCUITS. AIM TO WORK TOWARDS THREE CIRCUITS.
EXERCISE 1 - SIT-UPS
(Great for the core. Suggest doing beginner/intermediate level if you have any lower back issues to allow you to build up the lower lumbar muscles first).
FORM: Lie on the mat on your back, knees bent, feet about a hip width apart, hands by your side. (BEGINNER/INTERMEDIATE LEVEL) HAND-SLIDE CRUNCH. ACTION: 1. Slide your hands 6-inches down the mat (keep them grounded), and raise your head and shoulders off the mat in a controlled movement. 2. Gently come back down to the mat using your abs to ensure you don't 'flop' back down. REPEAT 12-15 times or for 30 seconds. (ADVANCED) FULL SIT-UPS. OOBERTIP: Using a hand weight of 1.5-3kg takes the pressure off your lower back and enables you to gain mementum without undermining the positive action on your abs. ACTION: 1. Lie flat on the mat, Place your arms on the floor above your head, with the weight in your hands. Using the motion of the weight, lift the weight back over your head, bringing your body up to a full sit up. OOBERTIP - Don't stop short as this will put pressure on your lower back; follow the movement through the knees. Gradually increase reps from 30 seconds/10-15 sit-ups to 1-minute/20-30 sit-ups.
EXERCISE 2 - SUPERMAN/WOMAN (or bird-dog).
Great neutral spine position for anyone with previous back pain history or any back issues. Works all the core muscles in an isometric (static) hold. Introducing the crunch movement means the core works harder, bringing in the obliques (side muscles) to help hold the position as your centre of gravity has been altered.
FORM: In table top position i.e. all fours (this is a great starter position for anyone who has had back problems, as you are in nuetral spine). Check your knees are directly under your hips and not inclined to the centre of the mat. ACTION: 1. Raise one arm and the opposite leg. (LEVEL 1) Hold for 30 seconds. Then relax and repeat on other side. (LEVEL 2) Over a period of weeks, once you are comfortable at holding that position, change routine to hold for a count of 10 then perform a crunch action for a count of 20, bringing in the elbow and opposite knee simultaeneously, so that the elbow goes towards the inside of the knee. Then hold still again for 10 seconds. REPEAT ON OTHER LEG AND ARM.
EXERCISE 3 - SIDE PLANK
A plank with added benefits - this move will challenge your core muscles, arms and waist. Don't forget to repeat exercise on other side. Beginner exercise is also great for anyone with lower back issues who is looking to strengthen the muscles in the lumbar region.
FORM (BEGINNER or those with low back issues) - Lie on your side with your weight resting on your elbow, keeping it directly below your shoulder. Bend your legs behind you. ACTION: Lift your upper body from the knees upwards until you have a straight line from your head to your knees. Hold that position for 15-30 seconds, depending on fitness. Extend to 45-60 seconds as you improve, but in 15 second sections. (ADVANCED) - Lie on your side with your weight resting on your right elbow, keeping it directly below your shoulder. Place your left foot on top of the right - keep your feet flexed and your toes pointing forward. ACTION - Hold your body in a straight line from head to feet, making sure you keep your hips lifted throughout. Aim to hold for 30 seconds to a minute and then repeat. You can hold your hand up in the air to help with balance. OOBERTIP - Don't worry if you cannot hold for the full 30 seconds or full minute. Aim to build on your time over the coming weeks. Don't forget to repeat this exercise on the other side!
EXERCISE 4 - SCISSORS.
Great exercise for working the entire core. (WARNING - skip this exercise if you have lower back issues)
FORM: Lie on your mat with your legs flat. ACTION: Lift one leg up to right angles with the mat, then the other, so both legs are in the air. Then, alternating legs, drop one leg down to parallell with the mat, just above the ground, returning it to the upwards position BEFORE you lower the second leg. REPEAT for 30 reps (x15 each leg) or 30 seconds. Again don't worry if you cannot manage the full 30 seconds. Aim to build on your time over the coming weeks. OOBERTIP: Check to see if your lower back sits neatly on the mat when doing this exercise. If you find you have a gap between your spine and the mat you can protect the lower lumbar region when performing the scissors action by placing your hands or a rolled up towel in the gap.
EXERCISE 5 RUSSIAN TWIST (with or without dumbells/handweights).
(Beginner) Great for building strength in your lower and side abdominals. (Advanced) Dynamic rotation will test your core strength, arms and obliques (the muscles on the side of your waist). FORM (BEGINNER) - Lie on a cushioned mat, extending your arms out at shoulder-height. Keep your legs together and hold your thighs vertically, with your knees bent at 90o. ACTION: 1. Twist your legs - still together - over to the left, making sure you don't let your feet rest on the floor. 2. Keep your focus on the ceiling and shoulders flat on the floor throughout. 3. Return to the start, then twist to the other side. Aim to do 8-15 reps/30 seconds.
FORM (ADVANCED) - Sit on a mat, grasping one dumbell in both hands, arms fully extended. Engaging your abdominals, move your upper body back so it's at 45o to the floor. Your knees should be bent at a slightly shallower angle with your toes pointing upwards. ACTION: 1. Keeping your spine straight and feet together, twist your torso from right to left. 2. Your focus should remain on the dumbbell throughout and your abs should control the momentum of the move. 3. Return to the starting position to complete one rep. Aim to do 8-15 reps/30 seconds. OOBERTIP - Don't worry if you cannot complete all the reps. Aim to build on your time over the coming weeks.
REPEAT THE FIVE EXERCISES AS A CIRCUIT x2/3.
DISCLAIMER: Any exercises or advice on this website is offered as a guide to participants. Ooberfit has taken every care to ensure the above descriptions are accurate and the exercises safe, but takes no responsibility for any injuries that may occur in the process of carrying them out. Ooberfit also recommends that participants join one of its bootcamps so their form when performing these exercises can be checked and verified by a certified personal trainer.