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SOUL WELLNESS

Sam Y.'s 7-Minute Abs Workout

apping it back is great for the abs, but a little extra core-sculpting in the summer never hurts. Instructor SAM Y. shares the 7-minute abs workout he swears by before or after riding at SOUL...

I created this seven-minute ab routine six years ago while playing hockey in Toronto, and I still do it every morning. My entire hockey team quickly adopted the workout, and we were often seen collectively doing it and singing in airports around the world. (It was a great team-building exercise!)

Just like riding at SoulCycle, playing hockey requires incredible core strength and stability and this routine helped improve my game on and off the ice. It can be done before breakfast to activate mind/body/breathing awareness and it elevates the heart rate before eating, causing the metabolism to burn more calories.

The routine can also be completed during a lunch break. Knock it out before you eat and it will help you re-energize the soul and help you push through the second half of your day. When you clip in at SOUL, use these seven minutes as the ultimate warm-up to prepare your muscles and mind.

Completing this routine will make you feel stronger, more accomplished and more confident. Stick with it every day and you will feel and see the results. After all, it’s only seven exercises, seven minutes, seven days a week.

Minute 1: LEFT SIDE PLANK
Lie on your left side, supported by the forearm, and raise your hips straight up, activating the left obliques. Squeeze and hold for one minute. For an advanced modification, raise your top leg.

Minute 2: RIGHT SIDE PLANK
From the left plank position, roll to the right forearm without putting your knees down. Squeeze and hold the right obliques for one minute. Squeeze and hold the right obliques for one minute. Use the same advanced modification on this side if you did it in your left side plank.

Minute 3: FRONT PLANK
From right plank position, keep knees in the air, rotate your left forearm to the floor so your front body is facing the ground. Resting on the tips of the toes and both forearms, squeeze your abdominals in tight with a slight upward arch in the spine and hold for one minute. For an advanced modification, raise left leg and right arm up, then alternate halfway through.

Minute 4: SIX INCHES
Roll onto your back, slide both hands slightly under the lower glute muscles and raise both legs. straightened and together, six inches off the ground, activating and squeezing the lower abdominals for one minute. For an advanced modification, slide your hands out and repetitively move legs wider, then back to touching.

Minute 5: 90 DEGREES
Lie on your back and, using your core, elevate the legs and torso upward to find a 90-degree angle between them. It's OK to bend your knees if needed, but be sure to keep a flat back. Hold for one minute. If you start to feel pressure in your lower back, you can relieve it by pulling up on your hamstrings with your hands for five second increments. For the advanced modification, straighten your legs, point your toes, and place your hands in prayer position.
Sam Y abs
Minute 6: SCISSOR KICKS
This setup is exactly same as SIX INCHES except this time, you will alternate each leg toward the ceiling using your core, forming a flutter kick motion. Keep legs straight and toes flexed in a pointing motion. Don't be afraid to kick high, and do so for one minute. For advanced modification, bring your hands over head. The kicking foot and opposite hand touch at the zenith of each side.

Minute 7: HAMMERS
Begin in the same starting position as 90 DEGREES. Clasp your hands together in front of your stomach. Keeping the core tight, alternate and touch the ground left and right with the hands while twisting with the abdominals for one minute. This final minute works the entire core and is the ultimate ab shredder.

For an advanced modification, straighten your legs, point your toes and keep them six inches above the ground while alternating straight arms from side to side.

Catch classes with Sam Y. at Soul 19th Street, Soul East 83rd Street and Soul Greenwich. Questions or comments? Email SOULlife@soul-cycle.com!

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