A 5-minute ab-blasting workout

5 Minute Ab-Blasting Workout
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A 5-minute ab-blasting workout
1. Full sit-up with arms overhead
2. Bicycle crunches
3. Reverse crunches (See image)
4. Bicycle pulse one side 3,2,1 switch sides alternating 
5. Hold a forearm plank for 30 seconds
6. Hand plank, reach knee to same side elbow, alternating knees
7. Hold a plank and bend and straighten knees 
8. Hand plank with mountain climbers
9. Hold a side plank (See image)
10. Side bends: while standing, left hand on head and reach opposite hand down past knee
11. Switch sides and complete side bends 
12. Switch sides, hold opposite side plank
13. Full sit up, punch across left, punch across right, back down
14. Legs to ceiling reach your fingers to your toes
15. Pull knees to chest, full sit up into stand up; option to hop
I receive a lot of great questions about health and fitness, and one of the most oft asked is, "How do I get rid of my baby pouch?" Let's be honest: our bodies go through so much during pregnancy, and our muscles and skin in the abdominal area definitely take the brunt of the whole experience. And while that little bundle of joy is so worth it, getting rid of that tummy can be so frustrating.

There are two ways to get rid of that baby pouch once and for all: good nutrition and exercise. That's right, there's no magic potion, no contraption, no quick fix. You can have the most ripped six-pack around, but if there's a layer of unnecessary fat on top, that six-pack will be invisible. Likewise, you can follow a great nutrition plan, but without cardio and strength training (especially in your ab area), you won't get the results you're looking for.

On the nutrition side, make sure you're eating lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables, and drinking at least ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water every single day (130 pounds = 65 ounces of water per day, for example). Chris and I follow the "10 gulp rule." When taking a drink of water, try and swallow ten gulps, and you'll reach your daily water goal pretty quickly!

On the exercise side, do some sort of cardio and strength training on most days of the week. My Best Ab Workout, which is part of my Total Body Workout, is a great place to start, and it only takes five minutes. A couple of cautions: Don't do these exercises on consecutive days, and if you've recently given birth, make sure your ab muscles aren't separated or that any separation has healed before beginning these exercises. For some bonus strengthening and toning, contract your abs during your daily activities (exercising, sitting, walking, standing, playing with the kids). This will also help prevent lower back pain and posture problems that can be a by-product of pregnancy.

When you combine good nutrition and exercise, you'll be strengthening those all-so-important ab muscles and getting rid of that unwanted layer of fat on top. Pretty soon your six pack will shine through and you'll be able to say bye-bye to that baby pouch for good.

More from Elizabeth Street:
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