Want to kick-up your ab game and strengthen your core?
By building your abdominal muscles, you are stabilizing and supporting the spine and pelvis, thus improving overall core strength and posture. Add these three ABSolutely awesome exercises to your routine during your next workout.
Sliding Disk Plank
This exercise will target all areas of your core. You will need a set of sliding disks or two small dishtowels and a hard, smooth surface (like a hardwood floor).
- Begin in plank position, with sliding disks (or small towels) under the ball of each foot.
- Keep your legs together in plank position.
- Keeping your core tight, slide your right foot up towards the left side of your chest. With control, slide your right leg back in to a full plank position.
- Alternate to your left leg, sliding it towards the right side of your chest. Extend your left leg back. Keep squeezing your abs!
- Draw both knees towards your chest, pause, and then extend both legs back into a plank.
- Continue for 10-15 reps of all three movements.
Reverse Press-up Pulse
This exercise targets the lower abdominals and does not require any equipment.
- Lie flat on your back, keeping both arms next to you with your palms lying flat on the ground.
- Extend both of your legs into the air directly above your hips. Keep your knees slightly bent and flex your feet.
- Push your heels up towards the ceiling, lifting your hips off of the floor.
- Lower slowly, then push back up in a pulsing motion.
- Continue for 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- You can use your hands at your side to help support you, but don’t let them do all the work!
- The up-down motion does not have to be a big one – focus more on pushing your heels above you without using the momentum from the previous movement.
- Ensure you are not straining or applying pressure to your neck.
This exercise targets your lower abdominals and does not require any equipment.
- Begin in a seated position, with your knees bent in front of you.
- Lean back slightly, bringing your torso to a 45-degree angle to the floor.
- Straighten your legs in front of you, engaging your core as you do so. Your legs should be hovering a few inches off of the ground, running parallel to the floor.
- While extending your legs, simultaneously bring your arms out to your sides – almost as if you’re going in for a hug.
- Bring your arms and legs back in to your chest, hugging your legs towards you.
- Continue performing the in-and-out motion for 20-30 seconds.
- To make this exercise easier, lower your feet to the ground every one or two repetitions, pause, and then lift them back up.
- Alternatively, add ankle weights to create more challenge!