This four-week workout and diet program was created by Jaclyn Sklaver, sports nutritionist and head coach for the bikini competition team FitmissNYC. “It’s important to target different abdominal muscles so you can create symmetry, while giving your body stability and the ability to perform functional movements in and out of the gym,” says Sklaver. Do your regular full-body or split routine four days a week, adding one exercise each from the abdominis- and oblique-focused groupings. Do steady-state cardio or intervals for 30 minutes, three to five days a week. Try the Bikini Abs Workout Program and the The Bikini Abs Diet Plan to tone your core for summer.
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1. Ball Pike
Works: Rectus abdominis, obliques
Begin in a pushup position with your legs extended and your toes on top of a stability ball. Lift your hips toward the ceiling into an inverted V, with arms fully extended. Slowly lower your hips, rolling the ball back to full pushup position.
(To make it easier, pull the knees in toward the chest rather then piking your hips up.)
Do three sets of 20 reps.
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2. Hollow Rocks
Works: Transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques
Lie face-up on floor with legs fully extended and toes pointed. Bring both arms overhead. Draw your navel in toward your spine, hollowing out your abdominals so your lower back touches the floor. Keeping this hollow position, lift your legs and hands about 6″ off the floor. Begin rocking back and forth with your entire body. Keep arms and legs extended, using them for momentum as you rock while still maintaining a solid core.
Do three sets of 15 rocks.
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3. Long Lever Balance Ball Situp
Works: Rectus abdominis
Lie face-up on a stability ball with your upper back resting on the ball. Keep your feet flat on the floor about hip-distance apart. Hold a light dumbbell or medicine ball in both hands, and extend arms over your chest. Reach up as far as you can, bringing your upper back off the ball; slowly descend back to start and repeat. Focus on contracting your abdominals rather than pulling from your hips.
Begin in a forearm plank position with elbows underneath your shoulders. Rock forward and backward about 6″ in each direction, moving just your torso. To increase the challenge, you can place sliders or gliding plates below your toes; from plank position, slide forward and backward, moving your torso while keeping hips engaged and core tight. (This move can also be done with the top of your feet in a TRX toe cage, rocking 6-12″ back and forth.)
Lie face-up on floor. Raise weight up while with knees bent and feet on floor. Hold a light dumbbell in right hand with arm extended above chest. Raise hips off the floor into a glute bridge, and extend left leg above hips.
Keeping hips lifted, lower weight behind head while also lowering left foot to about 3″ off the floor. Raise weight up while lifting left leg above hip, bringing arm and leg toward each other. Stay in bridge position.
Do a full set of 15 reps on one side, then switch sides and repeat. Do three sets total per side.
Begin in a side plank, right elbow on floor directly below right shoulder and forearm perpendicular to body. Hold a light dumbbell in your left hand in front of body. Stack legs and place feet on round side of a Bosu. Lift hips off the floor, bringing dumbbell below body. Rotate torso a few degrees to the left. Extend left hand toward ceiling, bringing the rest of your body parallel to the floor. Rotate torso back toward floor, bringing weight underneath you, and repeat.
Do three sets of 15–20 reps per side.
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7. Mini Getup
Works: Internal and external obliques, serratus anterior
Lie face-up on the floor with right leg crossed over left thigh, right foot on the floor, left palm on floor, right arm extended over shoulder. Lift upper body off the floor, leading the movement from your right shoulder; keep right arm extended. Continue pulling yourself forward until you’re sitting upright, using your abs to drive yourself upward. You can use your left hand to help lightly push yourself off the floor. Slowly reverse back to start. Complete all reps in the set; switch sides and repeat.
Do three sets of 15 reps per side.
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8. Landmine 180s
Works: Shoulders, internal and external obliques, erector spinae, glutes
Position a barbell on the floor propped up in a corner or use a landmine base. Hold the free end of the barbell with both hands, and stand with feet shoulder-distance apart. Pivot slightly to the right, bringing the end of the barbell outside your right hip. This is your starting position. Rotate trunk and hips to swing barbell in an arc toward outside of left hip. Keep arms extended and your spine neutral, making sure to rotate at the waist, not the torso. Reverse the movement, rotating from left side to right. To increase the challenge, add weight to the barbell.