Working the core is so important. We are all looking for ways to exercise our core not only to help build abdominal strength but also to improve the overall look of our tummy! Building abdominal strength and density allows your abs to more easily shine through, when you shed the layer of body fat over top. Unfortunately, you cannot spot reduce, but working your abs a few times a week and following a clean eating plan will surely help you get the abs you have always dreamed of!
Most people are so eager to have a flat belly that they work abs almost every workout. The truth is, in almost every exercise you are engaging your midsection and indirectly working your abs. I suggest focusing on abdominal work two to three times a week max. Check out my killer core circuit workout that is sure to burn your belly. This workout can be done anywhere and with NO equipment and can easily be worked into your routine, so there are no excuses. This circuit also hits all abdominal muscles, rectus abdominis (mid abs), lower abs and obliques (side abs) so you are not leaving any part of your abs out. Check it out, feel the burn, and let me know what you think!
20 Regular Floor Crunches
Lie on the ground with your knees bent and hands lightly placed behind your neck. Use your core to lift your head up off the ground, exhaling as you come up. When you get to the top of a crunch position, hold for two seconds and slowly release back down toward the ground. Repeat the movement until you have completed 20 reps.
G-Tip: Butterfly your elbows out and be sure your hands are being used to guide your neck but not to pull you up to the top of the crunch position. Pull from your core, not your neck.
30 Bicycle Crunches
Lie on the ground with your knees bent and hands lightly placed behind your neck. Extend one leg directly out and lift the opposite knee up so your foot is lifted off the ground. Start the exercise by bringing your opposite elbow to touch your opposite knee, then switch to the other side so your other elbow touches the other knee and other leg is extended out. Move back in forth in this “bicycle movement” until you have completed 30 reps. Each elbow to knee is one rep.
G-Tip: This exercise is done at a bit faster pace. Don’t forget to breathe with each pedaling movement.
15 Abdominal Kick-ups
Start lying on the ground with your legs straight up overhead, perpendicular to the ground, and arms straight along your sides. Lift your glutes off the ground up toward the sky, exhaling as you come up. Slowly release back toward the ground, repeat the movement.
G-Tip: This is a very small movement from ground up toward the sky. The goal is to go slow and steady, focusing on controlling the movement both on the up and as you lower back toward the ground.
10 Lying Leg Lifts
Start lying on the ground with your legs out in front of you and hands under your glutes. Slowly bring your feet up toward the sky until they are perpendicular to the ground. Slowly lower your legs back toward the ground in a slow and controlled movement.
G-Tip: Try to not allow your feet to meet the ground at the bottom of the rep. Keep your core engaged as you lift your legs AND as you lower back down to the ground.
30-second Plank Hold
Start in a plank position, up on your toes and forearms on the ground. Keeping your entire body strong and engaged in one single line, breathe and hold this position for 30 seconds.
G-Tip: Don’t allow your hips to dip toward the ground at any time throughout your plank. Don’t forget to breathe, taking nice inhales and exhales throughout the entire 30 seconds.
Move through the exercises back to back with very little to no rest. Once you have completed all five exercises, rest for two to three minutes and repeat the circuit one more time. Have fun and dig deep!