Everyone is talking about Shakira’s abs.
We already know that JLo has abs of steel thanks to the preparation she did for her movie Hustlers, but Shakira surprised us.
If their half-time performance at the Super Bowl this week doesn’t motivate you to work on your abs, nothing will.
According to her trainer, Anna Kaiser, it’s about hitting that mid-section from 360 degrees. Simple crunches aren’t going to cut it.
“You need multiple types of muscular contractions and angles, as well as tempos,” she told Women’s Health.
“If you do the same motions over and over, you’re not going to get the full benefit.
By targeting the entire midsection, you’ll create the kind of definition you always dreamed about. That means working the transverse abdominis, which is the deepest muscle layer, as well as the rectus abdominis, the middle layer we think of as our abs, plus the internal and external oblique muscles.
Each of the muscles respond to different exercises.
To effectively work your transverse abdominis, isometric exercises such as planks, which contract the muscles for an extended length of time, are ideal.
For obliques, otherwise known as side abs or the muscles that shape your waist, you want to rotate the torso with exercises such as bicycle sit-ups.
Kaiser shared a few of Shakira’s workout moves on Instagram. Follow this ab workout three times a week, doing two sets of 10-15 reps for each move – and each side if necessary – to see why Shakira looks as good as she does.
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1. Single-arm rollout
Shakira demonstrated what she calls “cleaning the floors” on her Instagram account. Start on your hands and knees in an assisted push-up position, with a towel under your right hand. Take one count to slide the towel out until your back is flat and core engages. Use another count to get your abs to return you to the starting positing.
Kaiser approves of Shakira’s technique. “Hahahahah!! This was our 10pm workout AFTER her rehearsals…and she crushed it! Those floors were sparkling clean,” she wrote on Shakira’s post featuring the move.
2. Twisted jack knife
Start in a plank position with your hands on the floor and your quads or shins on the ball.
Press down into your shins on the ball as you lift your hips to the ceiling and pull your knees slightly toward your left elbow.
Return to plank and repeat on the other side.
3. Oblique teaser
Start seated, knees bent, balancing on your left glute with your left hand on the floor behind you and your right arm straight out to the side.
Bend the left arm to lower onto your forearm, slightly extend your legs forward and raise your right arm up straight next to your right ear.
Return to starting position.
4. The bicyclist
Start in a seated position on the floor in a C curve (you can use a Pilates ball nestled in your lower back for additional support).
With arms straight by your sides, actively press down into the tops of a set of weights to activate the entire core. From there, alternate pulling your knees into your chest and extending the opposite leg either on the floor or keeping it extended off the floor.
Continue for 30-second intervals, then rest and repeat three to five times.