My Morning Routine
I have gotten into the habit of having rice cakes for first breakfast. I toast 2 of them, then put on a bit of jelly and peanut or almond butter. They are crunchier when you toast them but you have to watch out, some of them have a glaze on them that will start to smoke in the toaster oven. I then take them into my office and eat them while I start my day. Speaking of office, we recently had a slew of visitors to our humble abode for Thanksgiving weekend. My office was used as a bedroom so I thought I would try out moving my napkin drawing studio into the dining room so I could draw early in the morning while our guests were still asleep. It worked out pretty well so I think I might keep it like that for a while.
Exercises #3 and #4 – Abdominal Crunches and Oblique Crunches
Exercise #4 – Oblique Crunches
In the sequence, #4 actually comes twice, once on the left side once on the right, so I do one side first, then do #3, then do the other side of #4.
In the original photo I saw on how to do oblique crunches the guy was laying on the large flat side of his glute, a 1/4 of the way towards being on his back, and raising his torso up to get the crunch as in version #1. The legs stayed on the ground. But when I started doing them I laid directly on my side and found my legs came off the ground as did my torso. I like the #2 version better because it seemed to work the lower oblique region as much as the high region. But I notice that #1 tends to work the lower side back more than #2 so I do both on and off.
One of the coolest things about doing these is where the lower arm (on the floor) ends up going. It is folded in front of you with your hand actually on your obliques. What that means is you can feel the muscles working, contracting and releasing, as you do the exercise. Over the months I have started to feel all the definition throughout the oblique and ab areas. It’s very cool.
Exercise #3 – Abdominal Crunches
These are pretty straightforward. They are the beginning of a sit up, but you don’t go above about 25 – 30 degrees from the floor, then you go back down. That is enough to get the abs working. The drawing is a bit off actually because you really shouldn’t be bending your head forward at the angle I have it. Keep it as straight as you can.
Do 10 to start and repeat each time you come around to it in your circuit.
Finish up by doing the oblique crunches on the other side and you are done.
To Repeat or Not Repeat
As usual, you can do these two ways, one is a set amount done in a circuit with the other exercise. Most of the time a circuit of 3-4 is good. Or you can do each exercise to the fail point, with no repeats. It’s sort of like the two different versions of Solitaire you can play, once around drawing every card and you are done, win or not, or every 3 cards until you can’t do anything more or you win.
Either way, you’ll get a good work out.
Obviously your abdominal muscle and the oblique abdominals are the main beneficiary. Did you know that the ab muscles are actually just one big sheet muscle? The ‘six packs’ aren’t different muscles, they are parts of same muscle that just happen to build up. Each of us has a different landscape when it comes to our one big ab muscles. The oblique are separate however.
By the way the pink bumps on her tummy are not her intestines popping out don’t worry, they are her six pack of abs (of which you can only see 3)
Speaking of…If you are hoping to have that six-pack by just doing exercises, it’s not going to happen. Well, it can happen, but it will be under a layer of fat and you won’t be able to see it. To see your abs you really will have to change eating habits so you not only lose fat but build your muscle as well.
And that’s it. These 4 exercises should take you about 10-15 minutes, max. That’s about the length of time a pot of coffee takes to brew. It’s not sophisticated or complicated or hard to figure out. It’s easy and it’s doable today, right now. Start somewhere, and repeat. That’s the key. You can do it.
Exercise #3 and #4 – Abdominal Crunches and Oblique Crunches