It’s time to get your sweat on, girls, as we bring you another blitz body workout from our AYBL Athlete fam.
This time round, we caught up with Abby Mace to shine a light on her go-to core workout. Consisting of hip dips and ab rollouts, it goes without saying that this is the real deal. Not to mention, if you’ve seen her incredible gains, then you’ll know for a fact this workout is well worth your while.
Ready? We just know you are!
Your core is your centre of gravity and core exercises, such as V-hold, help to build a strong core and sculpt your abs.
A strong core not only allows for stronger functional movement during exercises and everyday life, but can also help prevent injury, reduce lower back pain and stiffness and promote more efficient workouts overall.
So, let’s get to it! Over to you, Abs…
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL WEEKLY WORKOUT SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE?
My workout schedule for the week usually consists of the following:
- Mondays: Push
- Tuesdays: Pull
- Wednesdays: Legs
- Thursdays: Push
- Fridays: Pull
- Saturdays: Legs
- Sundays: Rest
TAKE US THROUGH YOUR TYPICAL CORE WORKOUT, WHAT EXERCISES DO YOU RECOMMEND?
Plank, hip dips and ab rollouts are my go-to core exercises and I like to do 4 sets per exercise. This is the set I tend to follow and what I’d also recommend to build abs:
- Plank x 1 minute
- Ab rollouts x 12
- Hip dips x 80
Step 1: Plank
Planks primarily target the core, but also work the back, shoulders, chest, glutes and legs.
- Start in the press-up position and bend your elbows until your forearms are on the floor beneath your shoulders. Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your feet.
- Engage your core and look at the space between your hands to ensure a neutral spine position. Don’t let your head drop or stick your bum in the air.
- Hold this position for 1 minute or as long as possible and remember to breathe!
Step 2: Ab Rollouts
Also known as ab wheel rollouts, this exercise is highly effective in teaching you to activate your core stabilisers and in strengthening your abs in the correct way.
- Kneel down on a mat or pad and get an ab wheel and position it in front of you.
- Grab the handles of the ab wheel and place your full weight on it.
- From this kneeling position, cross your legs behind you and lift your feet off the mat. This will help stabilise you whilst also making the movement more challenging.
- Roll out only as far as you can keep your lower back straight.
- Pause here for a second whilst keeping your core engaged.
- Reverse the movement by squeezing your ab muscles even more and returning to the starting position.
It’s crucial to keep your elbows straight the entire time and to not change your lower back position in any way.
Step 3: Hip Dips
This exercise targets the abs, obliques and lower back while enhancing the flexibility of your spine and helping to improve balance, stability and posture.
- Start in a low plank position (see above).
- Rotate your hips to the right and dip your body almost to the floor.
- Return to the starting position and repeat on the left side.
- Keep alternating sides until the set is complete.
Make sure to keep your core engaged at all times, breathe slowly and deeply and keep your head and neck in a neutral position.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU TRAIN ABS?
Typically, I train abs once or twice a week.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TRAIN ABS?
Training core provides your extremities (limbs) a stable foundation to push and pull against. Think of your core as a protective girdle around your spine and, remember, the core doesn’t just include the abdominal muscles, it’s also the pelvic floor muscles and the erector spinae muscles in the lower back.
Training all your muscles to work together and stabilise your spine will help to prevent injuries and allow you to generate more force in your lifts.
IS THERE A CERTAIN ELEMENT OF CORE WORKOUTS THAT YOU LIKE?
I particularly enjoy core stability exercises, as this type of exercise is made to stabilise the spine during movements.
Core stability exercises include:
- Hip bridge;
- Side plank.
HOW DOES YOUR DIET HELP YOU TO ACHIEVE MORE DEFINED ABS? ARE THERE ANY FOODS THAT YOU RECOMMEND?
Your diet can reduce body fat which can help your abdominal muscles become more visible. Everyone has them, but sometimes they can be hidden underneath excess subcutaneous fat.
I recommend eating whole foods, such as fruit, veg, whole grains, certain meats and fish, and limiting your intake of processed foods, sugar, gluten and dairy.
HOW DO YOU KEEP MOTIVATED TO WORKOUT?
The truth is I’m not always motivated, but I made a commitment to myself meaning I show up no matter what. Dedication is more important than motivation.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE OUR FEMALE COMMUNITY TO HELP THEM ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS?
My most trusted mentor one told me ‘procrastination is the thief of health’, just keep showing up, be consistent and remember, everyone has to start somewhere.
We think Abs (or should we say Abs of steel?) has done an excellent job of inspiring our next abs session, are we right?
But don’t forget, girls, in order to ‘get abs’, you need to maintain a healthy diet, which as Abs said means eating plenty of whole foods and limiting your consumption of processed foods.
That being said, we never want to tell you what you can and can’t eat, instead, do what makes you happy! Besides, fitness is all about working towards goals that are attainable for you.
Psst… If you loved Abs’ core workout, then you’ll love our full body HIIT session with Katie Becknell. Check it out here.