Red and green decorations are out, nostalgic tunes fill the airways and the kids are hard at work on their letters for Santa.
I know what’s on your list this year and it isn’t found at the shop.
You’re wishing for washboard abs—so I’ve put together “The Twelve Days of Christmas –Washboard Abs Edition” just for you. On the First Day…Give yourself the gift of Burpees.
Created in the 1930’s by psychologist Royal H. Burpee, the burpee is an intense full body exercise that helps burn fat and tone muscles. A burpee is done in the following 5 steps: 1) Stand with feet shoulder width apart. 2) Drop to a squat with your hands on the ground. 3) Kick feet back while lowering into a push-up. 4) Return to squat position. 5) Jump up with arms overhead. On the Second Day…Give yourself the gift of Fiber.
Stocking up on fiber will do wonders for your abs. High fiber foods are nutrient dense and low in calories. Try these high fiber favorites: raspberries, pear (with skin), artichoke, peas, apples (with skin), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and carrots. On the Third Day…Give yourself the gift of a Medicine Ball.
The first medicine balls were created in Persia over 3,000 years ago, made with sand filled bladders and used by wrestlers as part of their conditioning. Today you can get the same rippling abs by incorporating medicine balls into your exercise routine. Do a sit-up holding a medicine ball at your chest then throw it to a partner as you raise your chest toward your knees; or hold a medicine ball with arms straight up in the air as you do crunches. On the Fourth Day…Give yourself the gift of Reduced Salt.
Too much salt leads to water retention—and that spells disaster for your six pack. Pay attention to the sodium content of your food. Limit salt intake by not eating packaged foods. On the Fifth Day…Give yourself the gift of Oblique V-Sits.
Who really wants a muffin top? You don’t, so incorporate Oblique V-Sits into your routine in 3 simple steps.
1) Lie on your side with legs straight and hands behind your head.
2) Raise your arms and legs simultaneously, while exhaling and squeezing your obliques.
3) Repeat on the other side. On the Sixth Day…Give yourself the gift of Lean Protein
. Along with fiber, your meals should be packed with lean protein. This will help support muscle growth while controlling blood sugar – all important factors when it come to washboard abs. On the Seventh Day…Give yourself the gift of Sprints
. The days of long slow cardio sessions are long gone. We now know that short intense bursts of cardio is the ideal way to melt fat. Run 60-90 second sprints in between resistance training sets to really kick your fat burning mechanism into high gear. On the Eighth Day…Give yourself the gift of No Sugar.
Sure, sugar tastes good, but indulging in it causes your body to store layers of fat. Enjoy fresh fruit, rather than refined sugar. If you really want washboard abs, then say no to sugar. On the Ninth Day…Give yourself the gift of Hanging Leg Raises
. This is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your abdominals. 1) Hang from pull-up bar with legs fully extended.
2) Exhale and drive your knees up toward your chest.
3) Inhale as you slowly lower your legs back down. On the Tenth Day…Give yourself the gift of No Grain.
If you’re serious about that six pack then put down the bread basket. Grains are full of insulin-spiking carbohydrates—the perfect combination for fattening you up. Learn to love grain-free meals that center around lean meats and vegetables. On the Eleventh Day…Give yourself the gift of Mountain Climbers.
Here’s another intense exercise that really targets your abs while also burning fat.
1) Get into push-up position.
2) Exhale as you alternately drive your knees in toward your chest, keeping your back flat. On the Twelfth Day…Give yourself the gift of Washboard Abs.
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