Cooler temps and staying inside more? Yes. Heavier layers and less skin showing? Yes. Yes. A reason to work less on those abdominal muscles? Heck no. Here are 3 specific things I’m starting now and continuing to do during the winter months to work on my abs.
1. NUTRITION + A RESTFUL BREAK
I didn’t want this list to be the typical fitness blogger: eat well, workout and drink lemon water type of post but with that said, I will state the obvious. In order for me to improve my midsection this winter, I am going to privatize eating nutrient-dense foods and portioned meals. Got it. Check. All I’m saying about that (if you need more help on how I do that, see the guidelines in the Eat Your Way Lean Meal Plan).
Now, what I am doing differently is focusing on my restful breaks aka when I’m not eating. If there is one thing that has changed for me in the past year, it’s been snacking and grazing. Snacking is one of my top 5 pet peeves. When I snack (even when it’s “healthy snacks”) I just feel crummy. I can’t even describe why other than I don’t feel like myself.
My goal this winter is to focus more not just on Guidelines #1 in the Meal Plan (timing) but also to give my body a break between meals. I eat 5 meals per day. I get in enough calories to support my goals and my lifestyle. For me, snacking isn’t out of hunger, it’s out of boredom.
When you study the digestive system and especially how it relates to fat loss, there’s a great benefit in downtime from eating. I really think this is going to help my results this winter.
2. FOCUSING ON CORE EXERCISES (NOT JUST DIRECT AB WORK)
After having my baby, Leo, I embarked on the journey that is going from a loose tummy and little strength back to tight and strong. It’s not just a mom struggle. The midsection is a common problem area and what I did to get back in shape during my post-natal phase is something that I know will translate beneficially to anyone and everyone… even me this winter!
Let’s backtrack quick…. direct ab work consists of exercises that primarily target the rectus abdominus: the muscles that make up the “six pack” or front of the tummy. In contrast, core work contains movements that work the entire core: front, sides and back of the midsection.
My ab training consisted of a lot of direct ab work: crunches, sit ups, etc. After implementing more core work when I had my baby, I felt “sucked in” and “tighter.” I want to continue with that.
5 Core Exercises I LOVE:
2. Lying Toe Taps (from today’s ab workout video!)
3. Plank Walk Outs
4. Heavy Deadlifts
5. Back & Front Squats w/ a Barbell
^#4 & #5 may be surprising ones to make the list but those are unbelievable core workouts. in fact, when I focused on heavy lifting with those 2 exercises, I wasn’t doing any other ab/core work yet was seeing the most abdominal progress
3. LIQUID GAME, BABY!
We all know we should *drink more water* but lately, I’ve been wanting to go deeper into that. Not only do I want to stay hydrated, but I want to stay hydrated throughout the day and incorporate beneficial liquids.
MORNING HYDRATION: one goal of mine this winter is to hydrate first thing in the morning. Think about not having a sip of water for the next 8 hours. Thinking about that makes me want to pour a glass of water lol. That is exactly what happens when we go to sleep. So, my goal is to wake up and have a big glass of water and wait about 20-30 mins before breakfast.
BONE BROTH: I feel like I should do an entire post on bone broth so I’ll save all the benefits for another day and just say here that I’ll be drinking bone broth regularly this winter.
LEMON GINGER WATER: lemon and ginger is the ultimate anti-inflammatory combination, which I am hopeful will support my ab goals this winter.