Workout 31: Chest & Abs


Chest Exercises

1. Stop-and-Release Push Up
  1. Starting out in a regular push-up position, hands slightly more than shoulder-width. 
  2. Engage your core and lower the body all the way to the ground in a slow, controlled movement.
  3. With your chest on the ground, lift your hands off the ground, squeezing shoulders together.
  4. Place your palms back onto the ground and complete the push up. This is one rep.
2. Push Up
  1. Lie on the ground face down and place your hands shoulder width apart. Push your body off the ground through your hands while keeping your back as straight as possible. 
  2. Lower yourself back down until your chest nearly touches the ground as you inhale. 
  3. Exhale and press your upper body back up to the starting position while squeezing your chest, arms, and abdominal muscles.

*Note: This can be done on the knees instead of toes. 

3. Cross-Over-Box Push Up
  1. Using a sturdy box or other object, get into push up position with one hand on the box and the other hand on the floor. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower yourself down as you would a typical push up, focusing on putting more of a bend in the elbow of the arm on the box than your floor-arm. The goal is to keep your chest as close to parallel with the ground as you can.
  3. Push yourself back up, place the floor-hand on the box and move the box-hand onto the floor. Once both arms have performed the push up, you’ve completed one rep. 

4. Decline Push Up
  1. Begin on hands and knees, hands on the ground at shoulder-width or slightly wider (you won’t want to go wider than this or your range of motion will be severely limited).
  2. Lift one leg and position it atop a sturdy piece of furniture (bench, ottoman, etc.). Do this for the other leg. Ensure that your body is in a straight line before continuing. Pay attention to hips and buttocks and ensure that they aren’t caving or arching. Double check hand placement and ensure that arms are extended.
  3. Bend at the elbow and allow your chest to lower. You’ll find yourself looking upward slightly. This is normal, just ensure that you don’t try to compensate the movement with your back or buttocks.
  4. Push yourself back to the starting position, being careful not to lock your elbows. This is one rep.

Abs Exercises

1. Leg Lift

 

  1. Lie with your back flat on the floor (or on a bench) with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Place your hands to your sides with your palms facing down. To keep your hands down for support, you can place them under your glutes.
  3. Keep your legs fully extended and as straight as possible (it’s okay if your knees slightly bend). Hold the contraction at the top for a second.
  4. Slowly lower your legs back down to the starting position. 

2. Bicycle Crunch
  1. Lie flat with your lower back pressed to the ground. Place your hands behind your head slightly above your neck. Lift your shoulders into a crunch position.
  2. Raise yours legs so that your thighs are perpendicular to the ground and your shins parallel to the ground.
  3. Simultaneously, slowly go through a cycle pedal motion kicking forward with the right leg while pulling in the knee of the left leg. 
  4. Bring your right elbow close to your left knee by crunching to the side. Then crunch to the opposite side as you cycle your legs and bring your left elbow closer to your right knee.
  5. Alternate sides. 

3. Russian Twist

  1. Lie down on the floor placing your feet either under something that will not move or by having a partner hold them. Your legs should be bent at the knees.
  2. Elevate your upper body so that it creates an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you perpendicular to your torso and with the hands clasped. This is the starting position.
  3. Twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor while breathing out.
  4. Hold the contraction for a second and move back to the starting position while breathing out. Now move to the opposite side performing the same techniques you applied to the right side.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

4. Plank

 

  1. Place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned beneath your shoulders. Keep your arms parallel to your body at about shoulder-width distance. (You should be in a push up position, only on your forearms rather than your hands).
  2. Ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. Be careful to not to lock or hyperextend your knees.
  3. Neutralize your neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot in front of your hands. Your head should be in line with your back. Contract your abdominals to keep yourself up and prevent your booty from sticking up.
  4. Keep your back flat and hold the position for as long as possible without compromising form.