Can you believe it is already May and summer is just around the corner? I bet all of you are rushing to the gym, trying to get a jump-start on that bikini bod, am I right? But what about those who want those abs but don’t have the time to dedicate towards working on them? Don’t you worry, I completely understand because I am in the same boat. Plus, if you are anything like me, abs are not my favorite go to exercise. But I realized over time that I didn’t have to spend a whole lot of dedication towards working on my abs in order to see results. Everyone has 8 minutes to spare during their busy day right? By doing these 8 exercises everyday I not only started to notice a difference in my core but in my overall strength as well. Just for reference, I am not in any way a professional but I incorporate these exercises into my daily gym routine and they work for me. Keep in mind these are for beginner and intermidete level exercises.
Each exercise is done for 30 seconds and is repeated twice to total up to 8 minutes
Alternating Heel Touches - 30 seconds (x2)
For this exercise you should be laying flat on your back with your knees bent. Use your obliques to reach towards the side of your shoe and repeat the same process. In order to avoid a strain neck, try looking up towards the ceiling.
Bicycle Crunches - 30 seconds (x2)
For this exercise you should be on your back with your one knee bent towards you while the other one is out straight. Use the opposite elbow to crunch towards your knee and repeat the process for both sides. One leg should always be bent towards you and the other one out straight. To avoid neck strain, keep your chin tucked towards your chest.
Reach Throughs - 30 seconds (x2)
This is the point where I start to feel the burn in my belly. You will be in the same position as the alternating heel touches. Put your hand on top of each other like you are making a triangle with your arms. Use your lower abdominal to reach as far as you can through your legs and crunch when you come back to the start position. It is important to breath through this and to tuck your head into your chest.
Wide Toe Touches - 30 seconds (x2)
This exercise is a bit different than the others because you will raise both your legs up into the air with your hands holding your head. Then using your lower abdominals again, you will try to reach your toes by reaching up towards them. If you can’t reach your toes, just try to reach up as high as you can. Over time you will be able to get further until you can. When you come down remember to crunch and return to start position with your hands holding your head.
Starfish Crunches - 30 seconds (x2)
By this point my abs are always burning! For this exercise, lay flat on your back with your arms up like you are about to do the Y in the YMCA, and your legs making a V shape. Bring one arm straight up and diagonally across as you lift the opposing straight leg. Finish crunch by lightly touching shin or just come as close as your flexibility allows to your toe. Alternate back and forth each rep.
Windshield Wipers - 30 seconds (x2)
I always look forward to these at the end because they aren’t as challenging as the others. To begin, lay on your back with your legs bent at a 90 degree angle with your arms out to the side for support. Engaging your obligues, tilt both your legs as far to the floor as you can go. Bring your legs back up and repeat the process back and forth like a windshield wiper. Try not to use anything but your oblique muscles.
Plank & Side Planks - 1 minute & 30 seconds each (x1)
These have grown to be my absolute favorite at the gym because they not only work your abs but your arms as well. Start by getting into a press up position. Bend your elbows and rest your weight ono your forearms and not on your hands. You may cuff your hands together while doing this exercise. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles. If your butt is in the air then you need to straighten out. Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine. Hold this position and feel the burn.
For side planks, you will repeat the same process except on your side. Prop yourself up on your side using whichever forearm. Your body should form a diaganol line. I like to cross my legs to have them both be on the floor because I find this to be more comfortable. There are different ways to make this exercise more challenging. For those who want to keep it at beginners level, leave your hand on your hip. If you want more of a challenge raise your hand up towards the ceiling with an option to add a weight as well. Hold this position and alternate the process.
I hope you all enjoy these exercises as much as I do. Be sure to follow and keep a look out for a blog update coming soon! But until then, let me know how these exercises work out for you!