MAKE YOUR AB MUSCLES POP WITH THESE CORE EXERCISES. STANDARD CRUNCHES WON’T CUT IT.
Do the following exercises in a slow, controlled manner for 2 minutes each. Aim for as many good reps as possible. Repeat the entire set. For best results, do these core exercises thrice a week, after a high-intensity interval training workout. Rest time 30 seconds between each exercise, 60 seconds between sets
1 V SIT-UPS
TARGETS FRONT CORE
Start in seated position with knees bent and feet off ground. Keep chest open and lifted, and extend arms in front of you [A]. This is similar to boat pose in yoga. Slowly lower torso and legs towards ground without touching it. As you lower, extend arms overhead and straighten legs till they hover at about 15cm above ground [B]. Head and shoulders should be off the ground. In a continuous motion, engage core to return to starting position. Continue for 2 minutes.
2 BICYCLE CRUNCHES
Lie down with lower back pressed to the ground. Put hands behind head, then bring left knee in towards chest and lift shoulder blades off ground. Bring right elbow to left knee by turning upper body to the left [A]. Repeat move on other side to complete one rep [B]. Avoid pulling neck or swinging elbows. Continue for 2 minutes.
3 TWISTING SIDE PLANK
Get into side plank: Place left palm on ground, straighten legs and lift hips off ground. Body should be in a straight line, and palm slightly beyond left shoulder. Extend right arm towards ceiling to start [A]. Engage core and draw belly towards spine as you twist torso towards ground [B]. Keep body aligned as you return to starting position. Continue for 1 minute, then switch sides.
4 OPPOSITE ARM & LEG EXTENSION
TARGETS FRONT CORE AND LOWER BACK
Get into tabletop position: Hands are directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips. Engaging core, lift right arm and left leg off ground, extending them in opposite directions. Return to tabletop position. Repeat move on other side. Continue alternating sides for 2 minutes.
5 WALKING PLANK
TRAINS BALANCE AND WORKS CORE STABILISERS
Start in high plank: Hands are directly under shoulders as you squeeze glutes and tuck tailbone in [A]. Lower left elbow to ground, followed by right elbow, as if doing forearm plank [B]. Then, place left hand on ground, followed by right hand, to push yourself back up into high plank. Avoid shifting hips. Continue for 2 minutes, alternating sides.
6 SIDE CRUNCHES
Lie down and rotate body to the left. Using left arm to support, lift legs off ground and straighten them to start [A]. In a smooth motion, lift torso off ground, bend knees, and bring chest towards knees while facing the same direction [B]. Lower torso and legs until they almost touch the ground, then lift again for another rep. Continue for 1 minute, then switch sides.
7 LEG PRESS-UPS
TARGETS LOWER ABS
Lie facing up, arms straightened beside you. Raise and straighten legs at 90-degree angle to start [A]. Contracting abs, lift legs, hips and torso towards ceiling in a swift motion [B]. Slowly lower torso and hips, without letting legs touch ground [C]. Continue for 2 minutes.
Lying face-down, lift upper body and legs slightly off ground to start [A]. Squeeze glutes as you lift arms and legs at the same time, as high as possible [B]. Lower to ground and repeat for 2 minutes. Look down and keep neck in neutral position throughout.