Workout 1 (Monday, Thursday): This activity needs to be repeated on a consistent basis (from 2 to 4 times weekly), and sustained for at least 15 to 20 minutes each time. By combining your aerobic exercise — whether it be jogging, walking or riding a stationary bike — with your ab routine, you can extend the length of time you actually spend in the target heart rate zone and consequently burn more fat in the process.
Go through your usual aerobic workout for 15 minutes, then immediately perform two sets of each of the following exercises, resting 30 seconds between each set, thereby extending the time spent in the target heart rate zone.
Lie on your back on a mat or padded carpet with the lower back pressed into the floor. Put your hands behind your head (but don’t pull on the head). Bring your knees up to about a 45-degree angle and slowly go through the bicycle pedal motion. Touch your right elbow to your left knee and then left elbow to right knee. Continue to breathe naturally. Alternate opposite elbow to opposite knee in a slow and controlled manner. Do a set of 20. Rest 30 seconds. Do another set of 20. Rest 30 seconds. Move on to the crunch.
Lie on your back on a mat or padded carpet with your knees partially bent, feet flat on the floor, arms folded across your chest (as shown). Exhale as you press the lower back into the floor and raise your head, shoulders and chest off the floor, concentrating on bringing the ribs towards the hips. Pause briefly as you feel your abs tighten. Inhale as you slowly curl back down, trying not to let your head touch the floor, maintaining tension in the abdominals. Do a set of 20. Rest 30 seconds. Do another set of 20. Rest 30 seconds.
Workout 2 (Tuesday, Friday): This workout will not only tone, and build muscle, but will indirectly burn more fat due to increased lean muscle mass. It should take about 10 minutes. Perform two sets of the following exercises. Work to muscle fatigue on each set and rest approximately one minute, or until your heart and breathing rate return to normal, or near normal before repeating. It’s a good idea to warm up before (five minute walk or stationary bike), as well as cool down, and stretch out after every workout.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding your hands (or dumbbells) at your sides. Head is straight, natural arch maintained in your back. Inhale, swing the arms slightly forward for balance, bending at the knees and hips to a sitting position, thighs parallel to the floor. Your buttock doesn’t drop below the level of your knees and knees do not extend beyond toes. Exhale, slowly rising to a standing position with knees and hips straight, allow hands to drop back to your sides. Repeat 20 times. Rest one minute. Repeat 20 times. Rest one minute and move on to push-up.
Lie face down on the floor or mat, hands on the floor, palms down, slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and toes curled under on the floor. Your back and legs are straight. Exhale as you slowly push your body away from the floor. Inhale, lowering yourself back down to the point where your chest barely touches or comes within a few inches of the floor. Repeat 20 times. Rest one minute. Repeat 20