Alternative Abs Challenge

The deep core abs that we need to work are the 'transabdominals' which are like a corset around your body, running from the pubic bone up and going around your body to your back - hence the trans abs are the ones which need to be stronger to support your posture, back and body as a whole. For those of you who have been to my classes then you know I will always be doing the basic deep abs exercises - the bridge, single leg heel taps, prone (on front) lie drawing tummy into spine and deep breathing. So if you just do these exercises every day you don't need to do the 30 day abs challenge just progress with these 4 simple exercises, building each week. Always remember to stay in neutral spine and do not let the back move - if it does go back to more basic level until your abs can hold you better. Week 1 Bridge - 1 set 20 fast up & downs (exhale & engage all on way up) Single leg heel taps Level 1 to 3 - 1 set of 10 - 15 taps each leg (don't start next level if back moves) Prone lie - hold 5 - 10- seconds do x 4

Week 2 Bridge - 2 sets of 15 fast ups & downs straight into holding for 15 seconds Single leg Extn - 2 sets of 10 - 15 heel taps Prone lie - hold 10 seconds x 5

Week 3 Bridge - 2 sets of 15 fast up & down, hold 20 seconds, 15 up & downs fast to hold 20 seconds Single leg Extn - progress to next level if ready. 2 - 3 sets of 15 heel taps Prone lie - hold 15 seconds x 5

Week 4 Bridge - squeeze a ball between knees. 2 sets of 15 fast up & downs x3. Rest then 2 sets of squeezing ball and hold the bridge for 20 - 30 seconds Single leg Extn - 3 sets of heel taps, extend leg further or hold it away for longer - only if back not coming up. Do 20 each Prone lie / 1/2 plank - if tummy stronger and tummy doesn't fall down towards the floor, then do 1/2 plank. x4 hold 20 - 45 seconds

Techniques Bridge - lie on back, feet close to bum, push up through your hips (not over arching the back). Single leg heel taps 1. (early Post natal) - lie on back, feet close to bum. Take a breath, exhale & lower leg out and tap foot down then bring it back to starting position - all on EXHALE. Single leg heel taps 2 - as above but hold leg extended above floor longer & take another breath and Exhale again on return. Single leg heel taps 3 - carefully take both feet off floor, hug knees, breath then exhale as you lower 1 foot down, tap heel and come back - all on exhale. Single leg extension - as above though if stronger now, don't need to hug knees. Engage abs without pushing back down flat against the floor & without pushing tummy outwards, extend whole leg out - starting with foot not too far from the bottom. When stronger extend leg fully. Prone lie draw tummy off floor - lie on your front, head on hands, toes pointed. Take a breath then a long, full exhale whilst drawing tummy off the floor. Don't move your bum. Each week try and pull & hold for longer. 1/2 plank - lie on front on forearms, elbows under shoulders. lift body off floor up onto knees. Don't put bum in the air too high & avoid dipping hips downwards.