Until recently, I’ve been guilty of “accidentally forgetting” to do abs... every day of the week. It seemed so tedious and boring that I never took them seriously. For the past month, I’ve made it a priority to dedicate a full workout to core on its own, and it’s made a world of a difference for my body. According to mayoclinic.org, core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities. In fact, most sports and other physical activities depend on stable core muscles. Not only can I hold more bags of groceries, but the definition in my tummy is coming through! Looking for some fun new moves to motivate you to activate your abs? Here they are:
1. Planks with Leg Lifts
One of my all-time favorites: get into plank position (on your hands) and alternate raising each foot for one minute straight. Try to do three sets of these and feel the burn!
2. Half-medicine Ball In-and-Outs
I love a good medicine ball exercise: more range of motion, yay! Balance on the ball and kick your legs out while simultaneously leaning your torso back. Then crunch your knees to chest. You can also do these on the floor if you don’t have a medicine ball. Try three sets of 15 repetitions!
3. Half-Medicine Ball Alternating Toe Taps
Lie down onto the medicine ball so the center is on your lower back and your butt is off the ground. Alternating legs, crunch your torso up to tap your toes and return back to starting position. Once again, this exercise may be completed on the ground if you don't have a ball! Try three sets of 15 repetitions!
4. Circle Crunches
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and hands on the ground behind you. Raise your heels off the ground and move your feet in an “O” shape while your torso leans backward. See above for the correct motion. Try three sets of 10 repetitions in each direction!
5. Plank Roll Outs
Start by standing up and lean forward, placing your hands on the ground. While only slightly bending your knees, walk your hands out in front of you until you’re in plank position. Tighten your core and hold for about two seconds before walking yourself back up to standing. Try to do three sets of 10 repetitions!
6. Reverse Crunches
Lie on the ground with your hands in a diamond shape supporting your lower back (see above). Keep your legs together in the air and kick them straight up while raising your butt off the ground. This does wonders for your lower-core! Try three sets of 15 repetitions!
All I know is after this workout, my tummy hurt for two days! Try setting a day aside for strictly core work, and I promise you’ll notice a difference. The core is the center of our entire body (hence the word core). That being said, strengthening it will create a much stronger base to build other muscles.
Comment below and let us know if you tried the workout or have any other exercise suggestions!