21-Day Abs Challenge: Day 4
21 days of lockdown awaits us all! We may as well just embrace it and come out stronger runners! Day four is here, get moving…
By now you probably know that runners need strong cores to maintain efficient running form and posture. But you might not realise that those muscles around your middle are one of the first parts to fire up when you start running.
“Your core is your power centre, the home base of your body,” says Lindsey Clayton, RRCA run coach and instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp in New York City. “Having a strong core stabilises your body as you run, and adds power to your arms and legs to drive your body forward.”
To give you some extra motivation for building your core, we put together this 21-day ab challenge with the goal of boosting your overall strength so you can head into winter training with more speed and efficiency than before.
But before you start, Clayton has some words of advice: You don’t have to power through each move or do them as fast as humanly possible. Instead, take your time and breathe through them, fully inhaling and exhaling through each rep. Performing each move with control will help you reap the most rewards.
How to do this challenge:
Each workout listed below is its own circuit. Do Workout 1 on day one, Workout 2 on day two, Workout 3 on day three, so on and so forth. Once you finish Workout 6 on day six, start back at the beginning. Cycle through Workouts 1 through 6 every day for 21 days straight.
Clayton recommends performing each exercise for 50 seconds with a 10-second rest in between each round. For the first 15 days, aim to complete 2 to 3 rounds, and work up to completing 3 to 4 rounds for the last 15 days. As always, check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program and stop at any point if something feels off.
Start in a high plank position, with your arms straight, your wrists over shoulders, and your body forming a straight line from your head to your ankles. Bend your right elbow to your lower right forearm to the floor. Lower your left forearm to the floor. Extend your right arm, then your left arm back to starting position. Continue to repeat, alternating which arm you start with each time, for a total of 50 seconds.
Lie on the ground faceup, legs straight, and hands under your glutes for support. Lift your legs up towards the ceiling, keeping your legs straight and your back flat against the ground. Slowly lower your legs back down until they’re about an inch off the ground. Repeat lifting and lowering your legs for a total time of 50 seconds.
Hollow Hold to V-Sit
Start lying faceup on the ground. Lift your head, shoulder blades, and feet off floor as you extend your arms straight out. Your neck should be relaxed, not strained. This is your hollow hold. Next, engage your abs to lift your chest towards your legs as you bend knees so that body forms a V shape and your shins are parallel to the floor. Slowly lower back down to a hollow hold position and repeat for a total of 50 seconds.
Bicycle Crunch With Extension
Lie on the ground faceup with both hands behind your head, elbows wide, and legs in tabletop position with knees over hips. Peel your right shoulder off the ground to bring your right elbow toward your left knee, as you extend your right leg straight out. At the same time that you extend your right leg straight out, kick your left leg straight up in the air. Reverse to draw left elbow to right knee as you extend left leg straight and right leg up. Continue alternating for a total time of 50 seconds.
Lie facedown with your legs extended and your hands placed on the ground next to you on each side of your head. Lift your arms, chest, and legs off the floor, extending your arms out in front of you. Contract your glutes and thighs and relax your shoulders and neck. Lower back down and repeat for a total time of 50 seconds.