Welcome to our Urban Family series by Lauren Hogan, General Manager at F45 Training in Shanghai. She will deliver fitness tips to the Urban Family Community. Using her nutrition challenges and high-intensity interval and resistance circuit-based training, Lauren enjoys pushing the Shanghai community to achieve their health and fitness goals.
With the holiday season upon us, squeezing in a sneaky abs session will not only make you feel better about those holiday treats, but it will also fire up your core ahead of any future feasts. Set aside 15-20 minutes a day to put your abs into action. You can also make it fun – and keep yourself accountable – by challenging yourself and a friend to do it together for 30 days.
1. Warm up with jumping jacks (20 repetitions)
2. Situps (14 repetitions)
· Lie on your back to start the abdominal exercises.
· Plant your feet firmly on the ground with knees bent and pointed up.
· Place your hands behind your head, ensuring that your fingers are lighty touching, not clasped.
· Stretch out your elbows, engage your core and raise your upper body through your chest.
· Avoid pulling yourself up with your neck; keep it straight with your chin up.
3. Cross-arm crunches (14 repetitions)
· Cross your arms over your chest, touching the opposite shoulder.
· Pull your belly button in towards your spine.
· Slowly raise your shoulders up and down, engaging your core in a crunching motion.
· Ensure your lower back is flat on the ground.
4. Cross-over crunches (14 repetitions)
· Place your hands behind your head.
· Bend your legs, knees pointing up.
· Simultaneously lift your right elbow and your left knee to touch and alternate with the other side.
· To increase difficulty, fully extend the leg versus keeping it planted on the ground between repetitions.
5. Flutter kicks (30 seconds)
· Keep your arms by your side, with palms flat on the ground.
· Raise your head slightly, again imagining a tennis ball is tucked under your chin.
· Keep your back flat, and rapidly kick your feet keeping them slightly off the ground.
6. Heel touches (30 repetitions)
· Bring your feet back to a firmly planted position with knees bent.
· Keep your chin up and shoulders slightly off the ground.
· With your fingertips, alternate moving your right arms down your body to tap your right heels and left hand to left heel.
7. Russian twists (16 repetitions)
· Sit upright with your feet planted on the ground.
· Slightly lean back to form a V shape.
· Keeping your core engaged, straighten your arms in front with hands together and twist from side to side.
· To increase difficulty, lift your feet slightly off the ground and place a weight in your hands.
8. Heels to heaven (10 repetitions)
· Raise your legs straight up with your feet parallel to the roof.
· Lift your bottom off the ground so you are raising your heels to the sky.
· Gently lower back down and repeat.
9. Superman (15 repetitions)
· Turn onto your stomach.
· Fully stretch out your arms in front of you and your legs behind you.
· Simultaneously raise your arms and legs off the ground, then lower and repeat.
10. Plank (60 seconds)
· Imagine your body as straight as a board.
· Engage your glutes, core, legs and arms.
· Hold steady and try not to drop or raise your hips.
Image via Pexels
1. Cobra stretch (30 seconds)
· Lie on your stomach, with your hands under your shoulders.
· Push up, leading with your chest to stretch your abdomen.
2. Side twists (30 seconds)
· Lie on your back, with arms stretched out and palms facing the ground.
· Bring your knees towards your chest to form a 90-degree angle.
· Gently rotate your hips to lower your knees to the left, holding for 30 seconds. Then, repeat on the opposite side.
Undertake this routine for 30 days. Each day, complete one round of the exercises, or repeat for an extra burn! Every fourth day, take a rest and then keep going.
F45 Training has studios in Xuhui and Jing'an. Refer to their official WeChat account 'Functional45' for more details.
[Cover image via Pexels]