Crunches and Leg Lowers
This challenge has been adapted from my AprilAbs Exercise Challenge, this challenge has two exercises each day, one to target the upper abdominals and one to target the lower abdominals. All you need is a few minutes each day and a little motivation, we will get you into the habit of doing a little exercise every day. The challenge is progressive and really very simple, just going up by one rep each day. The two exercises will only take a little time to complete. Our challenges are designed to keep you active and working, NOT to provide ridiculously hard workouts, participation is what’s important.
Each exercise has progressive variations to suit your fitness and ability level.
This exercise challenge will work your abdominal muscles every day, building strength and stamina and improving your core stability. The abdominals have an essential role in everyday life should not be understated; they help support your trunk, protect your lower back and enable you to go about your day. A sound core will ensure you can perform at your best, prevent injury and will allow you to do manual tasks without fatigue.
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Test your progress
To test how we get on throughout the month and how well you’ve progressed, it’s a good idea to perform a simple sit-up test. It would be helpful to recruit a friend or loved one to help you time your effort and keep count. All you need to do is set a timer to one minute and perform as many repetitions of a full sit-up exercise as you can within the minute.
Warning: If you feel pain during the test or are unable to continue, stop and record the number you achieved.
Repeat the test at the end of the month to check how much progress you have made.
Scoring the Challenge
The challenge is split into 3 levels for which you can score your progress, you don’t need to keep to one level, You can mix & match and go up or down a level. Each level has a score associated with it, use the free-scoring sheet available for download below to track your progress and tally your total score for the month
You get either one, two or three points for the target level and either one, two or three points for the exercise variation. A maximum of ‘6’ per day and a minimum of ‘2’, unless you skip a day in which case it would be ‘0’.
e.g, if you choose the LEVEL 2 target Guide and Level 2 Exercise Level of Bent Knee Crunch with Hands Behind Head and Bent Knee Leg Lower you will get two points for the targets achieved and two points for the exercise variation for a grand total of four points for the day, simple.
NOTE: You can choose level 1 target with level 3 exercise level or any other combination, use the scoring sheet to track each day.
The April Abs challenge has been put together as a simple ascending pyramid design programme with reps going up at a steady rate of one per day for both Crunches & Leg Lowers, don’t be fooled by its simplicity. The goal of these challenges is to get you moving and doing a little something every day.
The willpower required to get yourself doing these exercise will often be greater than the effort required to do them.
Your Daily Target Guide
To start, lie on your back in the supine position with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart.
- Choose arm the position for chosen intensity.
- From this position contract, your abdominal muscles lifting your head shoulders and mid-back off the floor,
- Hold this position for a second or two at the top and slowly resist as you lower yourself back to the floor.
- Remember not to thrust your upper body up off the floor.
Easy – Bent Knee Crunch with Hands Cross Chest
Bent Knee Crunch with Hand Cross Chest
Intermediate – Bent Knee Crunch with Hands Behind Head
Bent Knee Crunch with Hands Behind Head
Hard – Bent Knee Crunch with Hands Overhead
Bent Knee Crunch with Hands Overhead
To start, lie on your back in the supine position with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. You will now raise one or both legs up off the floor and maintain a 90-degree angle or straighten fully depending on the level of intensity you require.
- Focus on lowering towards the floor slowly & under control
- Maintain abdominal tension
- Remember to breath