Let’s Get Down to the Core of It

Craving a dose of “fitspiration?”

No problemo!

The following ab exercises are my personal go-to’s for a simple, speedy, and straightforward workout program that you can easily knock out in less than 20 minutes, while carving out a killer core in the process. Just try these next time you catch yourself  moaning “I can’t.” Because I guarantee…you CAN!


Crunch:

  • What it works:
  1. rectus abdominis – muscle that runs vertically down the entire length of the abdomen
  2. obliques – muscles that are located on both the sides and front of the abdomen
  • How it’s done:
  1. Lie face-up on a flat surface with your knees bent and feet grounded.
  2. Lace your fingers securely behind the base of your skull with elbows bent.
  3. Lift your head and shoulders so that your upper back is slightly elevated.
  4. Be careful not to strain your neck and keep the mid and lower back grounded.
  5. Hold this position for approximately 3-5 seconds then lower to the floor.
  6. Repeat 50x (beginners), 100x (intermediate), and 150x (advanced).
  7. Make sure to rest for 3-5 seconds between each repetition.

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Plank:

  • What it works:
  1. rectus abdominis – see above description
  2. transversus abdominis – muscle that wraps around the lower torso from ribs to pelvis
  • How it’s done:
  1. Position your body into a push-up stance with the spine flat and stomach tucked in.
  2. Bend your elbows and lower them to the floor so that they support your weight.
  3. Hold for 30 sec. (beginners), 1 min. (intermediate), and 1 min. 30 sec. (advanced).

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Bridge:

  • What it works:
  1. rectus abdominis – see above description
  2. transversus abdominis – see above description
  • How it’s done:
  1. Lie face-up on a flat surface with your knees bent and feet planted 8-10″ from the glutes.
  2. Tighten your abs and lift the hips until you form a straight line from the shoulders to knees.
  3. Be careful not to arch your back excessively while performing this movement.
  4. Hold this position for approximately 3-5 seconds then lower to the floor.
  5. Repeat 50x (beginners), 100x (intermediate), and 150x (advanced).
  6. Make sure to rest for 3-5 seconds between each repetition.

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Leg Lift:

  • What it works:
  1. rectus abdominis – see above description
  2. transversus abdominis – see above description
  • How it’s done:
  1. Lie face-up on a flat surface with your entire body straightened out vertically.
  2. Press your legs tightly together and raise them until they are perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Hold this position for 5 seconds then slowly lower your legs until they are 6″ above the floor.
  4. Hold this position for 10 seconds then lower your legs completely to the floor.
  5. Repeat 2x (beginners), 4x (intermediate), and 6x (advanced).
  6. Make sure to rest for 3-5 seconds between each repetition.

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Russian Twist:

  • What it works:
  1. obliques – see above description
  • How it’s done:
  1. Sit on a flat surface and lean backward approximately 30 degrees.
  2. Raise your legs until they are parallel to the floor and bend at the knees,
  3. Lace your fingers together in front of your body and bend the elbows.
  4. Twist your locked arms and upper body alternately from side to side.
  5. Repeat 30x (beginners), 40x (intermediate), and 50x (advanced).

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Jack Knife:    

  • What it works:
  1. rectus abdominis – see above description
  2. obliques – see above description
  • How it’s done:
  1. Lie face-up on a flat surface with your entire body straightened out vertically.
  2. Extend your arms above the head while still remaining firmly pressed into the floor.
  3. In 1 fluid motion, lift your arms toward the legs while pulling your legs into the chest.
  4. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds then lower to the floor.
  5. Repeat 10x (beginners), 15x (intermediate), and 20x (advanced).
  6. Make sure to rest for 3-5 seconds between each repetition.

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