The AB Exercises you should be doing

The AB Exercises you should be doing

Having a slim figure is nice and all but trust us … what you want is a strong core. Working out your abdominal muscles improves your posture and balance. A strong core also protects your internal organs and supports you while engaging in other physical activity. We spoke to some of our PTs and the consensus is that these 5 core exercises are the must haves in any ab workout. Do them together for a quick abs blast or work them into a full body routine.

1. Front Plank

What it’s working: All abdominal muscles

How you do it: Stand tall with your body relaxed. Hinge at the hips and walk your hands down on the ground, keeping your body aligned and hands tucked under your shoulders. Lower your hands, so you are distributing the weight onto your forearms, Make sure your elbows are under your shoulders and the weight feels evenly distributed. Keep your pelvis tucked in and try to make sure your body is parallel to the ground. If this is too hard, you can regress up onto your hands, keeping the arm and hands tucked directly underneath your shoulders and hold there. This is called a ‘High Plank’. Try to hold this initially for a minimum of 30 seconds, and work your way up from there.

2. Side Plank Rotations

What it’s working: Obliques

How you do it: Start in a side plank on your forearm with your elbow positioned under your shoulder. Your feet should be stacked and inline with your shoulders. The body should be elongated and the core engaged to hold your body up. For the movement, stretch out the upper arm and rotate your torso, leading with the arm tucking it between the ground and the chest.

3. Reverse Crunches

What it’s working: Upper Abs, Lower Abs, Obliques

How you do it: Lay flat on your back, pushing your lower back into the mat/floor, with your hands relaxed at your side. Keep your legs straight, starting flat on the floor. Lift your legs, keeping the lower back pressed on the floor, and your shoulders/upper body flat. When they reach your hips, lift your hips off the floor, keeping your upper body and shoulders flat. Keep your legs straight and lift directly up, almost as if your legs are being pulled up with a piece of string from above. Lower the hips back down, relaxing the lower body, and lower the legs back to the floor. This will work your upper abdominal muscles.

4. Leg Raises/Scissor Kicks

What it’s working: Lower Abs

How you do it: Lay flat on your back with your hands at your side. Start with your legs straight, and flat on the floor, while keeping your upper body flat, and back pressed into the mat. With your legs straight and clasped together, slowly raise them until they reach your hips, then lower back to the floor. Make sure to try and keep your back pressed into the mat at all times, this movement should not affect your lower back so try to keep this as still as possible and pressed into the mat.

5. V-Sits

What it’s working: Upper Abs, Lower Abs, Obliques

How you do it: Lay on your back with your legs flat on the floor, keeping your legs and feet together, stretch the arms out above your head. Keeping the legs straight raise the body into a V shape, resting on your tailbone while bringing the hands towards the feet. Pause here and then bring yourself back down to the starting position.

These ab exercises are a good place to start if you’re just getting back into fitness or are a complete beginner. Pair these with some glute exercises for your next workout.

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