My ab workout the last couple of years has mostly been whatever side benefits those muscles got from gardening, dancing, swimming, or maintaining posture. I don’t think running or biking do much to specifically engage those muscles. I know I do some intense waist exercises while dancing, but that is only 1 – 2 times a month. My gardening activities can be similar to some yoga poses, but are concentrated in the warmer months. Swimming requires engaging my core, however I am supported by the water, so my core is not working as hard as during a plank or crunch.
Three weeks before our most recent trip to the beach, I was belatedly inspired to pay more attention to my abs. My first reaction to myself was that I was too late, but then I figured, why not go ahead and start right away, even if it seemed to late for the beach? I would get some benefit short term and I would probably feel better.
My two youngest daughters had been asking if I would do their ab workout with them. It looked kind of scary to me. Still, at this juncture, I told them if they could accept my modifications to my routine, I would join them and they could coach me some. They were all smiles and enthusiasm.
First, I did their basic routine in the order they listed, at my own speed, while they encouraged me and critiqued my form in ways that it is hard to do yourself. Then, I re-ordered the exercises in a way that would hopefully lead to more success on all of them. I also started making notes on times and repetitions that were reasonably challenging, but no overwhelming.
Push-ups were included with the goal of both helping my swimming and preparing me to avoid injury from spring gardening. I went with the modified, knee-to-ground position so that I could do more than one. With the modified position I can do 2 sets of 8, which is still work, but less stressful and seems to give more potential for building strength.
The goal was to go through the routine 3 times a week. I also quickly concluded that it was better NOT to try to do the exercises right after swimming or other vigorous activity.
I have made a chart of my routine below. There will also be a link to one of the original videos that my girls got many of the exercises from, as well as a short video slideshow of how I manage the movements. Here is a printable pdf of the chart below: THAT FUN FITNESS AFTER 50 AB WORKOUT
[ultimatetables 1 /]
Short video slideshow of me demonstrating the exercises:
The original, hard core video my girls got many of the exercises from: P90X – Ab Ripper X
I enjoyed the benefits of this workout while dancing at the beach resort. One of those songs with dance-instruction lyrics came on. The words said, “get down to the ground, how low can you go?” so I twisted down low, with knees bent, Then, I impulsively moved into a crab walk position for a few seconds, followed by twisting around to do a barely managed, full-front push-up. Fortunately, the lyrics gave further instructions and I could get up, pretending like it was all part of the plan. While doing all of this, I didn’t feel particularly graceful or flexible, but hey, I was having fun! And that is one of the reasons I keep doing my best to stay fit. It lets me have more fun in many activities that come up!