Sculpt your abs in time for summer with these toning exercises!
*Modify exercises and repetitions to suit your level; the following repetitions are standard.
To do it: Lie on your back (on a mat or soft surface) with both knees bent into your chest and hands behind your head, lightly supporting it with your fingers.
Lift your upper body off the floor without pulling on the neck, and rotate towards your left knee as you straighten the other leg (Fig.1).
Switch sides, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee as you straighten out the left leg. Continue alternating legs in a ‘pedaling’ motion for 20 sets on each side.
Extend your legs out over the mat as low as you can without arching your lower back (if you feel this happening, don’t extend your legs as low).
To do it: Lie on your back with your arms straight behind you and legs extended and together (toes pointed).
Hold your abs in tight and sit up while lifting your legs off the ground and extending your arms towards your toes; your body should now be creating the letter ‘V’ (Fig. 2).
Hold for 1 second and then go back down to the floor slowly. Repeat 20 times. Try not to ‘swing’ your way up due to momentum, and if you need to, bend your knees to make the exercise easier.
To do it: Lie on your back with your arms straight by your side.
Bring your knees in towards your chest until they are bent at a 90 degrees angle, with your feet crossed over each other (Fig. 3).
Contract your abs to lift your hips off the floor, reaching your legs towards the ceiling.
Lower your legs slowly. As with the V-Ups, try using your abs to lift your legs up rather than momentum. Repeat 20 times.
One-Arm, One-Leg Elbow Planks
To do it: Start by lying on the floor face-down and lift yourself into a plank position with your forearms on the floor, elbows tucked directly under your shoulders and feet hip-width apart (Fig. 4).
Hold your abs in tight to form a straight line from head to toe, making sure you don’t collapse in your lower back. After you’ve found your balance, reach your right arm out and off the floor, and extend your left leg out and off the floor.
Hold the position for 2 seconds and return to starting position. Repeat 20 times in total, alternating legs and arms each time. Make sure to do this exercise in a slow and controlled manner.
Beginners may keep their knees on the floor, and don’t have to extend their arms and legs.
Yours in Health,