Want a Strong Core? This Week-Long Ab Challenge From Tone It Up’s Stef Corgel Is For You

Fitness

You’re not going to magically get a six-pack in a week’s time — but you can kick-start your journey toward building a stronger core. Strengthening your abdominals is something NASM-certified personal trainer Stef Corgel, CSCS, from Tone It Up wants to help you with, which is why she created a seven-day ab challenge just for POPSUGAR.

7-Day Ab Challenge

Equipment needed: one dumbbell (Corgel suggested eight pounds maximum for beginners, up to 12 pounds for people who are at an intermediate level, and 10 pounds minimum for those who are advanced).

Directions: Start each day’s workout with a dynamic warmup. For the workout itself, perform all six weighted exercises listed below three times through for the designated amount of reps. Rest for 30 to 45 seconds between rounds. With each round, you’ll decrease by two total reps for each move, and each new day will begin with two more reps than the previous day.

Here’s a brief breakdown: Day one starts with 10 reps of each exercise, then eight, and six. On day two, you’ll do 12 reps for round one, 10 reps for round two, and eight reps for round three. On day three you’ll start with 14 reps. Corgel told POPSUGAR that she structured the challenge this way “to focus on good form while the abs reach fatigue.” This also gives people an option to increase their weight if they want since they’ll be doing fewer reps with each passing round.

For the unilateral exercises, the rep count applies to each side (10 reps of dumbbell side planks with oblique twists on the right and 10 on the left, for example). Cool down after your workout.

  1. Dumbbell plank pass through
  2. Dumbbell roll-up
  3. Dumbbell toe touch
  4. Dumbbell rock the boat
  5. Dumbbell side plank with oblique twist
  6. Dumbbell side plank with hip dip

Day Round 1 Reps Round 2 Reps Round 3 Reps
Day 1 10 reps 8 reps 6 reps
Day 2 12 reps 10 reps 8 reps
Day 3 14 reps 12 reps 10 reps
Day 4 16 reps 14 reps 12 reps
Day 5 18 reps 16 reps 14 reps
Day 6 20 reps 18 reps 16 reps
Day 7 22 reps 20 reps 18 reps

If you need to modify this schedule, you can do the challenge with rest days in between each day, but Corgel recommended trying to complete the first four days consecutively and doing the remainder with rest days every other day due to the increased reps. Additionally, if the weight seems to be too much, you can try some of the moves as bodyweight exercises, she suggested.

“With this daily progression of six exercises, you’ll feel the burn in your obliques, rectus abdominis, and transverse abdominis,” Corgel said. “By slowly increasing reps every session, the abdominal muscles learn to withstand the time under tension.”

Love trying new workouts? Want a community to share your fitness goals with? Come join our Facebook group POPSUGAR Workout Club. There, you can find advice on making the best out of every sweat session and everything else you need to help you on your road to healthy living.

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