Who loves abs? WE DO!
Tight abs are not only mega attractive, they serve a HUGE purpose in your day to day life. Abs and your core go hand in hand, and training your core helps with everything from posture to alleviating lower back pain.
You know what else a strong core does? HELPS YOU BREATHE BETTER. Seriously. A strong core translates to neutral hips, which means that your body will ‘stack’ better, ensuring that your organs and diaphragm sit in the proper position, making it easier to breathe!
So, since no one really likes crunches, we’re giving you 6 other moves to help you get that 6-pack you dream of, while working on your core strength!
Before we get started, here are a few tricks to help you get MORE for these core exercises:
- Move from your waist. Whenever you twist, make sure the movement happens from your bottom rib up. Keep hips still.
- Tighten up. Throughout each move, your abs and core should be fully engaged.
- Exhale deeply. To help strengthen your abs and protect your lower back, be sure to exhale thoroughly with every breath.
Alright, here we go ...
6 Moves for a 6-Pack
Spiderman Plank CrunchThe plank is one of the only exercises where you are targeting your entire core. You’re working the front and back of your abdominal muscles, while also working your rectus abdominis, your obliques, and your lower back. Here’s what you do:
- Start in a traditional plank position with your forearms on the ground, shoulders over wrists, and your body perfectly straight.
- Bring your right knee forward towards your right elbow, then return to the plank position.
- Repeat by bringing your left knee toward your left elbow.
- That’s one rep. Alternate sides for a total of 10 complete reps!
The CobraInto yoga? This will sound familiar! If you’ve done back to back crunch sets, this will feel like a relief. It helps to lengthen your core, and stretch out those abs. This is what you do:
- Lie facedown on the floor with your palms near your chest.
- Lift your head, shoulders, and chest off the floor, pulling your shoulder blades down and together.
- Hold for 2 counts and then lower back down. Repeat 8 to 10 times.
- For a more difficult exercise, try lifting your thighs and hips off the floor.
Abdominal HoldOk, you’re gonna look a little weird doing this, but hear us out. It’s just SO GREAT for your abs and core! And, holding your own weight will work those arms too ;). Here’s how to do it:
- Sit tall on the edge of a sturdy chair (or step with four risers) and place your hands on the edge with your fingers pointing toward your knees.
- Tighten your abs and bring your toes 2 to 4 inches off the floor. Lift your butt off the chair.
- Hold this position for as long as you can — aim for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Lower yourself down and repeat.
- Continue this exercise for 1 minute.
Windshield WiperYou know that muffin-top? This is going to BLAST it! The key here is keeping your upper body - back and shoulders - pressed into the mat. Only your lower body should be moving! Here’s how to do it:
- Lie on your back with knees bent to 90-degree angles.
- Straighten your arms by your sides, and lengthen your fingertips.
- Press the backs of your shoulders against a mat, and slide them down away from your ears.
- Focusing on the deep waist muscles, inhale and slowly move your knees to the right, then exhale and return to starting position.
- Repeat on the left; that’s 1 rep. Do 5–8 reps.
Side Incline With a TwistThis is a bit of a doozy in that it works several muscle groups - triceps, biceps, core, and waist. Balance is key in this bad boy, so make sure to breathe it out and focus. Here’s how to do it:
- Lie on your right side with forearm directly under shoulder, hand perpendicular to your body, and legs stacked.
- Engage your abs and the right side of your waist, lifting your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to feet.
- Extend your left arm toward the sky. Keep your core engaged!
- Scoop your left arm in front of your body and reach under the space between your chest and the ground, twisting only from the waist up.
- Come back up; repeat 4 times, then lower body to the ground. Repeat on the opposite side.
Swiss-Ball Roll OutThis is the only one that requires equipment - a Swiss ball - but it’s SO WORTH IT. Have you ever used an ab wheel? This is a similar movement, but safer. This one targets your lower abs and lower back. Here’s how to do it:
- Kneel on a mat with your forearms on a Swiss stability ball.
- Keeping your back straight and your abs engaged, roll the ball as far away from you can, then slowly roll back to starting position.
- Aim for two sets of 10 rollouts.
* It should be noted that the language used implies that you have a basic understanding of these exercise terms and what they refer to. Please don’t try these at home if you aren’t sure about correct form!