Spring has arrived, bringing with it the promise of warm weather to come.

You know what happens when the weather warms up?

People put on bathing suits.

Are you ready to bare it all on the beach? If not, no worries, there is still time. Follow these 12 steps to get your abs beach ready:

Step One: Do Some Burpees. Can burpees really help flatten your abs? You bet. Incorporate a few minutes of burpees into your workouts to burn extra calories, jack up your metabolism through the roof, and tighten your core.

Here’s how to do a burpee: 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 (One at a time to make it easier) . 4) Return to squat position. 5) Jump up with arms overhead.

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Step Two: Reduce Sodium. Did you know that refined table salt causes water retention? Puffy skin is not going to make your abs look great in a bathing suit!

Take the time to pay attention to the sodium content of your food. Limit salt intake by just using organic sea salt and not eating packaged foods and by putting down the salt shaker. Your six pack will thank you.

Step Three: Pick Up A Medicine Ball and Slam it!   Challenging the muscles of your core with resistance is a proven way to create a tighter midsection. The medicine ball is a wonderful tool to provide such resistance.

Medicine ball slams:  start with taking a semi-bouncing to no bounce medicine ball, raise it above your head and with a 100% effort throw that ball to the ground with everything you’ve got. Pick up that ball, and hey, repeat that action for 15 to 20 more times. This is fun and gratifying!

Step Four: Load Up On Fiber. Wonder how fiber could help you shed pounds and look great on the beach? It’s actually quite simple.

High fiber foods are nutrient dense and low in calories. This means that you’ll feel full from fewer calories, encouraging weight loss. Try these high fiber favorites: leafy greens, raspberries, pear (with skin), artichoke, peas, apples (with skin), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and carrots. Check out the high-fiber recipe for pasta salad below.

Step Five: Crank Out Some Side-Planks. One of the most problematic areas for women, when it comes to bearing it all in a bathing suit, are the sides of your waist, or obliques. This is partly because the sides of your abs are not challenged with traditional crunches and sit-ups (which we don’t recommend anyway!)

Enter the Side plank:. Target that problematic, muffin-top area with this effective exercise. 1) Lie on your side with legs straight (or knees bent at 90 to make it easier) and support your upper body weight on the same side elbow.

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Squeeze your butt muscles (glutes) which will raise and bring your hips forward. From here your torso will be elevated off of the floor, and you will be supporting your weight simultaneously on your elbow and your feet (harder version) or knees (easier version) Hold each side for 20-30 seconds to start.  To challenge your side plank further, extend your arm fully and stiffen all your core and shoulder muscles.

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Step Six: Eat Lots Of Lean Protein. Don’t be afraid to eat when you are on the get-great-abs-quickly plan. It is really important that you are nourishing your body with quality, lean protein in order to develop tors when it come to washboard abs. Good sources of protein include: chicken breast, extra-lean red meat, ground turkey, egg whites, and grilled fish. Be sure to consume your proteins portions on your plate first before you dig into your carbs.

Step Seven: Do Some Lying Leg Lifts. Now it’s time to target your lower abs, which are also a problem area for most. plank holds tend to neglect or miss the lower part of your abs, so a focused effort is required.

Lying Leg Raises are one of the most effective ways to strengthen your lower abdominals. 1) Lie on the floor with your knees bent to 90 degrees. Easiest to hardest variations: Perform a “pelvic-tilt” so that your lower back is flat against the floor. Then lift your bent leg up to hip height until it engages your lower back. Maintain your lower back on the ground as you lower your foot back down to the floor. Repeat on other side. To make it more challenging, straighten out your leg 2 inches at a time and until your leg is straight. Be sure to never let your lower back come off the floor as your leg is being lifted.

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Step Eight: Stop Eating Sugar. If you only did this step, and skipped all the rest, your abs would look significantly flatter by summer. I can’t emphasize enough how quickly sugar will cover your hard earned stomach muscles with a soft layer of fat.

Yes, sugar tastes good, but indulging in it causes your body to store layers of fat. If you have some inches and pounds to lose, keep fresh fruit to one or two pieces per day, rather than refined sugar. Once you stop eating sugar your body will no longer crave it, so don’t give in to the initial cravings.

Step Nine: Do Some Mountain Climbers. Here’s an exercise that is intensely cardiovascular while also working your core. Add these to your routine to really whittle down your waistline.

Here’s how to do a Mountain Climber: 1) Get into push-up position. 2) Exhale as you alternately drive your knees in toward your chest, keeping your back flat. MountainClimbers

Step Ten: Time your grains. Sure, whole grains are being touted as essential to a healthy diet, but the truth is if you abuse or consume over 40% of your daily calories with grains, you’re likely not liking how your clothes are fitting, are you? Even the heartiest wholegrain bread will encourage fat storage, if you don’t consume it strategically.

Grains are full of insulin-spiking carbohydrates – the perfect combination for fattening you up. Learn to love grains only after you’ve performed intense exercise. This way, the grains will be stored as muscle fuel, and not fat. Your regular meals should center around lean meats and vegetables.

Step Eleven: Do Some Sprints. High intensity bursts of cardio are a proven way to burn away layers of fat, so incorporate sprints into your exercise routine. If you haven’t run for a while, take it easy as you start, and gradually increase the intensity of your sprints.

Run 15-20 second sprints in between resistance training sets to really kick your fat burning mechanism into high gear.

Step Twelve: Start A Professional Fitness Program. You wouldn’t try to file corporate tax returns without the assistance of your CPA, so why would you attempt to transform your body without the help of a professional? I’m here to get you into your ideal, fit body in the shortest amount of time possible. It’s what I do, and I’m good at it.

Contact me about my tummy flattening programs that will get you those washboard abs that you’re wishing for. Call or email today to get started.

Yours in health and fitness,
Jean

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