Get the abs you want with these 4 quick and simple exercises!
For most people, toning their tummy is top of the hit list when they are losing weight, and getting fitter. Unfortunately for most people the tummy is the last place to trim down. You can help it on it’s way and tone the muscles to improve your core strength, but also to pull in the paunch and feel slimmer.
Toning your tummy doesn’t mean doing endless sit ups, in fact far from it. To tone your tummy properly you need to work all parts of your tummy, from the top to the bottom, especially that troublesome little pouch at the bottom of your abs.
This workout should take no more than 10 minutes – so quick that you could do it as soon as you get out of bed, or just before you get back in it again at night – four quick exercises that will pull in your tummy and cinch in your waist.
I swear by this workout to pull my tummy in and make me feel taller and slimmer and I can always feel it when I’ve done it. I need to hold my arms round my tummy when I laugh, cough or sneeze the following day! I love that feeling, it means I’m making progress!
Start with 20 reps of each exercise and build up.
Crunches work the top part of your abs, just under your rib cage.
- Lie on your back and put your feet flat on the floor
- Engage all your tummy muscles, so that all of your back makes contact with the floor
- Place your hands on your thighs or at the side of your head (not round the back of your neck or head) and raise your shoulders up off the floor gently. You don’t need to sit all the way up just lift your shoulders as far as you can
- Lower your shoulders back down again
Russian twists work your obliques, the muscles down your sides and into your waist. Working your obliques will pull your waist in.
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Hold your hands together in front of you and twist your shoulders as far round to one side as you can, then to the other. One rep, is a twist to each side.
- To advance this exercise, cross your ankles, raise your feet off the floor and balance on your bottom, then add the twisting motion.
- Once you have mastered that, you can add a weight, and increase the weight as you get stronger.
Leg raises work your lower abs, pulling in that persistent pouch that we often carry in this area. This exercise will make you feel slimmer and more toned. Make sure you follow all the instructions, to prevent injury to your back.
- Lie flat on the floor hands, palm side down under your bottom, to help keep your back flat against the floor.
- Engage all your tummy muscles, back flat, and with legs outstretched, raise your feet up into the air.
- Keep your back flat against the floor at all times.
- When your legs are at 90 degrees, stop and lower them back to just 1 inch over the floor. Keep that back flat and your tummy engaged throughout.
- One rep is complete when your feet have reached just above the floor.
- Don’t let your feet touch the floor and keep all your tummy muscles engaged to keep that back flat throughout.
- Once you have mastered this, and are performing up to 30 reps comfortably, you can include a little hip thrust. When your feet reach 90 degrees, lift your hips off the ground thrusting your feet up towards the ceiling, and then lower again, in a controlled movement
Planking works your entire core. It isn’t an exercise you do in reps, you just hold it for as long as you can. Good form is essential to protect your back from injury. Start with just a few seconds and build up over time.
- Get down on the floor, onto all fours
- Bend your arms, so your forearms are flat on the floor and your upper arms are at a 90 degree angle to your forearms
- Keep your shoulder stacked over your arms. All your weight should be through your shoulders and forearms
- Stretch out with your legs and take your weight up onto your toes
- Check your position, you should be in a straight line from your shoulders down to your heels, your bottom should not be stuck in the air.
- Now hold it.
- Once you have mastered the forearm plank, you can go up onto your hands. make sure your shoulders and therefore all your weight is directly over your hands.
Each time you do the exercise just try a few seconds longer. You will be surprised at how quickly you advance with this.
To burn some extra calories why not try one of our HIIT sessions too – available here for all our members!