A strong core is key to progressing in any workout.
Having a strong core is the foundation to performing in whatever activity you want to perform in, from running to building muscle to carry home your groceries. So it’s important to include some ab work into your routine each week.
Now, there’s more to working your core than doing sit ups. And while there’s nothing wrong with sit ups, but let’s be honest: they can be a bit boring. And nobody wants to do a boring workout. So why not try this instead.
When it comes to ab workouts, it’s about quality over quantity. Don’t rush. Ripping through the motions isn’t going to strengthen that core; but it is likely to cause you some pain. Slow it down and focus on each rep. The slower you go, the harder you have to work. With slow, concentrated effort, you’ll be building up sets of quality moves.
Rest for 15 seconds between each exercise.
Spiderman Plank Crunch
Start in a half plank position, with forearms on the ground and body perfectly straight. Be sure to not let your butt point towards the sky. Bring your right knee forward towards your right elbow, then return to plank position. Repeat on the left side. That’s one rep. Do 12 complete reps.
The plank is a brilliant exercise for working your entire core. You’re working the front and back of the trunk area without using any equipment. It’s simple and effective and easy to modify to up the intensity.
Lie on your back with arms and legs outstretched into an X shape. Keeping your arms and legs straight, bring your right hand towards your left foot, then your left hand towards your right foot, lifting your head, neck and shoulders off the ground. That’s one rep. Aim for 10.
Stand side-ways on holding a cable with both hands out in front of you, just under shoulder-height. Keeping your arms locked straight and your abs engaged, rotate your upper body away from the cable machine, pause, then return to start position. That’s one rep. Do 10 complete reps on both side. Select a weight that is challenging but not impossible.
This move really targets your obliques and is great for people playing sports that involve twisting – think tennis, golf, kickboxing etc.
Lie on the floor, with your hands under the small of your spine for support or either side of you. Keeping your legs straight, and back flat on the ground, lift your legs up to a 90º angle. Pause at the top and lower, stopping an inch from the ground. Be sure not to bend your knees or let your legs hit the ground. Do 50 reps.
This is a great exercise for hitting those lower abs, and with your back supported on the ground you are safe.
Get into a full plank position, with your shoulders above your wrists. Make sure you keep your body straight and you engage your core. Jump your feet out to the side, like you’re doing a jumping jack, keeping your body still. Return feet to start position. Do 25 reps.
This is a great move that works your abs, obliques, adductors, abductors and glutes. It’s also going to strengthen your wrists and shoulders, and challenge your cardiovascular system.
Rest for 90 seconds. Do three-five rounds.