Join me today for this awesome Upper Body and Abs Shred workout, where we’ll do some of my favorite arm-sculpting and core-strengthening moves!
Speaking of strengthening your core, I get a lot of questions about how to lose the body fat that hides your ab muscles.
I know it might seem like doing ab workouts every day could be the fast track to getting those muscles to pop, but just doing workouts that target areas where you’re carrying extra body fat will not magically melt the fat off.
The way we lose fat from our abs is the same way we’d lose fat on our thighs, hips, arms or anywhere it’s being stubborn about leaving: fat comes off our body in an order it came on, which is largely controlled by our DNA.
You CAN get – and keep – extra fat off by consistently following 4 simple steps:
1. Include Resistance Training (like today’s workout!) in Your Exercise Plan
Resistance (or strength) training helps to sculpt lean muscle, which makes you a more efficient fat burner and will change your body composition and shape.
As you add lean muscle, your body burns more calories at rest – so you’ll be burning extra fat while adding the muscle that gives you a sleek physique.
For today’s workout, you’ll want a few pieces of simple equipment handy so you can get the most out of the moves: dumbbells or water bottles to use for resistance, a bench/box/step for elevation, and set yourself near a wall or door to lean against for the Wall Sits.
If some/all of these things aren’t easily accessible to you, no worries – as always, I’ll show you variations to make it work.
2. Do Explosive Cardio
Adding fast, intense bouts of energy like High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) style workouts maximize overall fat loss.
A couple great ways to incorporate this type of workout are to:
- Use one of the awesome HIIT workouts here on my blog!
- Mix in cardio or plyometric moves into your weight training circuits. Here are a few ways I do that:
- Super-set power resistance/strength moves with explosive cardio intervals – things like jump rope, jump squats, high knees, jumping jacks, etc.
- Add finishing circuits to a weightlifting workout (pick a short HIIT workout and do it after this one)
- Follow a plan like Home Workout Domination that pairs explosive cardio with resistance training to maximize your strength, tone and shred!
3. Train Your Core 360 degrees around: Front, Back, and Sides
The body is super smart and if you only focus on building muscle on one side of your body (like only doing crunches or leg lifts or sit-ups) you will actually only go so far in the amount of muscle you’re able to develop. Not to mention, you can create imbalances in your posture that can lead to pain and injury.
This is your body’s natural way of protecting you, since too much muscle on one side will put undue stress on your underlying bones and pull you out of alignment.
Read “Building a Balanced Physique and Protecting Your Joints”
So choose from the multitude of targeted ab workouts from this blog to focus on training your ENTIRE core to see real ab definition.
4. Nutrition Matters
One of the MOST important parts to uncovering your abdominal muscle (and really any area of your body you want to sculpt) is eating a balance of nutrients.
I know we have this tendency to make ourselves stick to our exercise plan more consistently than we stick to our eating – but there is no exercise plan in the world that can out-train poor nutrition.
For so many reasons, it is essential that you take your eating just as (if not more so) seriously as you take your workouts.
Do yourself a huge favor and get a whole food based eating plan to follow so you can easily include the whole food nutrients your body needs, and get them in your system in a variety of tasty ways.
80% of sculpting your body is a Direct Result of what’s at the end of your fork.
Each and every time you eat, you’re creating the foundation and tissue that make up the actual shape and structure of your body – and every time you exercise, you’re simply putting the finishing touches on the physique you’ve created with what you put into your mouth.
We give a lot of focus to the macronutrients (carbs, protein and healthy fats) we need to survive and thrive, but remember you also need the MICROnutrients from greens and plants to create essential body, brain, and hormone functions, too.
So many people walk around with nutrient deficiencies masquerading as CRAVINGS, that could be resolved by eating real foods and rotating their greens.
Taking a multivitamin isn’t a magic bullet to giving your body everything it needs. Supplements aren’t always absorbed as easily as the nutrients in whole foods, and unless you’ve had blood testing done with a specific vitamin or mineral prescribed to you, you may be dosing yourself with too much of one, and too little of another.
Try as we might, we cannot “spot reduce” fat – and I would caution you from supplements, programs, or cleanses that promise to do so; more often than not, those type of short-term strategies can cause far-reaching damage to your body. Slow, steady, and consistent is ALWAYS a better bet for sustainable results that last!
Upper Body and Ab ShredClick to expand and see all workout move descriptions.
Format: 2-3 rounds, for the prescribed time. Rest as needed.
Move 1: Squat to Press (0:30)
- Grab your weighted objects, put them up on your shoulders. Feet are hip distance apart, chest up, core engaged.
- Drop your hips back into squat position making sure your knees are tracking in line with your toes, as you come up press the weight overhead, arms parallel and palms facing each other.
- Mod: Use your box, chair, or ottoman to tap your butt down onto to really be sure you are activating the right muscles.
Move 2: Wall Sit to Curl (0:30)
- Grab your weighted objects, set yourself up against the wall, come into a seated position.
- Back is nice and flat against the wall, pull your shoulder blades back so you feel them touching the wall.
- Hold yourself in this seated position and raise and lower the weights, bringing the palms to face your shoulders as you lift.
Move 3: Weighted Leg Lifts (0:30)
- Come to your elevated surface, as an option you can use a weight if you want to add more resistance.
- Position your butt on the side of your elevated surface, if you are using a weight place between your feet and lean your body back so you are in a diagonal position.
- Lift your feet up and down.
- Mod: Take the weight out and drive your knees up to your chest.
Move 4: Alternating Reverse Lunge to Flye (0:30)
- Stand with your core engaged, chest up.
- Step your right foot back into a reverse lunge. Be sure the left knee stays lined up with the left toes, and you maintain your upper body form.
- As you step back into lunge position engage between your shoulder blades and smoothly lift your weights toward the ceiling to shoulder height, turning your pinkies up slightly. Return to start and repeat with opposite leg.
Move 5: Renegade Rotating Plank (0:30)
- Come into tall plank, arms below your shoulders back flat, belly button hugging in and up and legs straight. Holding your weighted objects.
- Stabilize your body and row your left elbow up, keeping it in close to your body. Place your hand or weight back in the starting position and rotate to your right lifting your weight up. stacking your right hand below your right shoulder. You can scissor or stack your feet.
- With control, rotate back to tall plank. Repeat on the left side.
Move 6: Sit Up to Cross Punch (0:30)
- Holding your weighted objects, lay on your back with your knees bent. Bend your arms, placing soft fists on either side of your chin. Hook your feet under the couch or anything handy to hold your feet down, or if you’re more advanced do this without any support.
- Use your upper abdominals to sit yourself up, driving across your body with 2 punches.
- Lower down with control, making contact with your lower back on the mat and unrolling fully at the top so your head touches down.
Amazing job, Rockstar! Thanks for being part of the global #stopdropandbettyrock FitFam – let me know where you’re working out from today and remember, we’re #strongertogether!
⭐ Remember, you can’t out-train a poor diet! ⭐
The Body Fuel System is a meal plan and guide that not only sets you up with how to eat daily, but also puts essential information into your hands, like how to eat with joy, get – and keep – an amazing physique, know how to eat in any situation, and really UNDERSTAND what your body is saying. Check it out!