Core stability exercises
Don’t wait to work on your core, start now and you’ll have a strong midsection by the summer
Forgive us for harping on about this, but endless crunches won’t tone your tum. You need to do moves that involve multiple muscle groups, including the transversus abdominis (the deep muscles of your midsection on the sides of your waist). You also need to hit your abs from all angles. These moves do just that!
1. Ball Crunches
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle and your legs resting on top of a bench or gym ball. Place your hands on each side of your head, then push the small of your back into the floor and curl your shoulders towards your pelvis. Raise your shoulders approximately four inches off the floor while keeping your lower back on the mat. Hold for a second, then inhale as you slowly lower back to the floor.
2. Ab Jackknife
Lie on your back on the floor. Hold a medicine ball overhead, with your arms and legs straight. Brace your core, and then simultaneously raise your torso and right leg, as you bring the ball towards your right foot. Lower your body back to the starting position and repeat on the opposite leg.
3. Plank Pike-Up
Rest your shins on a gym ball with your palms on the floor beneath your shoulders, so you are in a press-up position. Pulling your abdominals up and in, roll the ball towards your hands, lifting your hips up and keeping your head between your arms. Once your body forms an inverted ‘V’ shape, stop, pause, then roll back to the start.
4. Overhead side bends
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended overhead and hands together. Keeping your belly button drawn in, slowly lean to left and hold for one count. Return to the start, and then repeat on the right side.