The Ultimate Pre-Wedding Abs Workout

Follow this core workout, designed by Lara McKenzie, a personal trainer at Timberline Fitness Studio in Austin, Texas, guaranteed to give you rock-hard abs for your wedding.
by The Knot

Begin with exercise 1; without stopping continue on to 2, 3, 4 and 5. Finish off the pyramid by doing the moves in reverse order: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Complete the routine with a stomach stretch. Do the routine at least three times a week, along with 20 to 30 minutes of cardio three to five times a week.

1. Basic Crunch

Lie face up on the floor with your legs hip-width apart and knees bent about 45 degrees. Place your hands behind your head, but do not lace your fingers. Lift up toward the ceiling until your shoulders leave the ground. Exhale on the way up and concentrate on pulling your belly button down toward your spine. Lower to starting position and repeat. Keep your chin lifted and make sure you're not pulling on your neck.

Number of reps:

10-15

2a. Modified Bicycle Crunch

Begin in the same starting position as the basic crunch. Bring your right elbow and left knee toward one another. Lower. Bring your left elbow and right knee toward one another. Lower. Your feet should return to the floor between reps. Throughout the move, concentrate on keeping your chin lifted and holding your abs in tight. Make sure you're squeezing up as far as you can without pulling on the neck. Your elbow doesn't necessarily have to touch your knee.

Number of reps:

10-15 on each side

2b. Bicycle Crunch

This is the same move as the modified bicycle crunch except instead of lowering your feet to the floor between reps, keep them in the air. Try to get a good twist and almost touch your elbows to your knees. Be sure to twist from the abdominals, not the neck.

Number of reps:

10-15 on each side

3. Suitcase Crunch

Lie face up on the floor with both knees together and at a 90-degree angle with your hands behind your head. Lift your feet up as if your lower legs were resting on an imaginary bench.

Beginner version:

Lift your shoulders off the ground as you bring your knees toward your chest (knees to nose, nose to knees). Lower to the starting position.

Advanced version:

Instead of returning to the starting position between each rep, touch your feet all the way to the floor without resting (act like you're testing water with your feet and then come right back up). Keep the abs contracted the whole time.

Number of reps:

10-15

4. Lateral Reach

Begin in the same starting position as the basic crunch, then bring your feet as close to your buttocks as possible. With your hands at your sides, lift your shoulders as high off the floor as possible (keeping your head in line with your spine). Keeping your shoulders lifted, reach your right hand toward your right toes and then your left hand toward your left toes so that you're skimming the floor with your shoulders. Keep your shoulders elevated the whole time instead of resting in the middle of the set.

Number of reps:

10-15

5. Isolated Oblique Crunch

Lie on your right side as if you were going to do a leg lift, with your right arm outstretched under your head and your right leg outstretched (from finger to toe forms a straight line). Your left knee should be bent 90 degrees and rest on the floor.

Beginner version:

Lift your right arm off the floor. Lower.

Advanced version:

As you lift your arm off the floor, simultaneously lift your right leg. Lower.

Number of reps

10-15 on each side

Abdominal Stretch

Lie on your stomach. Come up on your elbows (think of pulling your elbows toward your rib cage) and lift your chest and chin toward the ceiling. This will give your abs a good stretch , help lengthen the muscles, and minimize any soreness.



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