A strong core goes well beyond six-pack abs or crunches that stretch on for what feels like forever. Everything from daily tasks like tying your shoelaces and cleaning, to heavy weight lifting and athletic exercises all require your core muscles. The stronger they are, the better you’ll perform.
There are several ab exercises that are safe and effective, strengthening your core more effectively than crunches. Combining these exercises will allow you to build a routine that strengthens the different layers of your core.
If you’re having trouble changing up your ab routine for the most effective results, here are a few great core moves you can use to create circuits. This will give you a good burn in all the right places. Make your workouts more interesting and challenging by choosing five exercises from this list and switching them up every week.
Requirements: A yoga mat and towel. Plank and hollow holds should be held for 10–20 reps – slow and controlled for each exercise. These should be done in 3 sets and held from 20 seconds to 1 minute.
To begin, lie on the floor and make sure your feet are touching each other as you sit in a butterfly position. Keep your feet as close together as you can. To make the exercise easier on your spine, you’ll need a towel to roll up and place under your lower back. Inhale and then exhale and lift with your abs while focusing on your abdominals and bracing your core.
A towel under your lower back supports your spine and allows your abs to do most of the work rather than your hips. At the start, this allows you to flex your abs through their full range of motion since your abdominals are in an extended position.
- Hip Lifts
Lie on your back and lift your legs, perpendicular to your torso. Lift your hips a few inches off the floor and pull your navel toward your spine. Now, lower your hips and begin the exercise again. Flex your feet toward your face while your hands are planted beside your torso. Try not letting the hips touch the ground during each rep to keep challenging yourself.
- Flutter Kicks
Raise your legs straight above your hips while lying on your back. By bracing your abs, you can fix your lower back firmly to the floor. Keep your lower back connected to the ground as you lower your legs as far as you can. You should raise your feet an inch once you have reached a challenging height. Then you should do some small kicking movements. During the repetitions, breathe in and out through your nose.
To maximise the effects of this movement and protect your lower back, keep your lower back attached to the floor. Engage your core by flexing your abs and when you feel the exercise becoming intense, continue to raise your feet a bit to maintain that pace.
- Scissor Kicks
Scissor kicks are a perfect exercise to engage and strengthen your core. Start by lying on your back and squeezing your abs as if you are dropping your belly button to the floor. Raise your legs while keeping your lower back flat. Scissor your left leg over your right leg as you scissor your right leg over your left. Continue switching until the reps are completed. Make sure you point your toes as you move.
Remember to engage your lower back with the ground once again. If necessary, lift your legs a little higher.
- Hollow Body Hold
You should lie on your back with your knees bent. Lift your knees to the level of your hip bones. Next, crunch up and lift your shoulders off the ground. Keep your chin close to your chest. With your thumbs facing the ceiling, extend your arms toward your hips. Bring your lower back toward the floor.
Draw your arms towards your ears as you straighten your legs to the ceiling. Your lower back should begin to lose contact with the ground after you lower your legs to the floor. You can find the sweet spot by lifting your legs slightly at that point. Keep this position for up to twenty seconds. Take a deep breath!
Choosing the right position can be a bit challenging. If the movement is really difficult, you can lift your shoulders off the ground while keeping your knees bent. You can straighten your legs as you get stronger in this position and get them closer to the floor. Make sure that your lower back is flat on the ground.
- Hip Dips
Hold a side plank position with your right forearm propped up on the ground. Bring your right hip down towards the ground. Lift again by engaging your abs. Make your desired number of repetitions on each side.
Be careful not to lean forward or backwards and also be sure to stack your hip bones one on top of the other. Keep your elbow directly below your shoulder when you are on the ground. The opposite arm can be straight in the air or on the hip.
Lift your forearms and toes off the ground while lying down on your stomach. Your elbows should be in line with your shoulders. Make sure your shoulders are away from your ears. Maintain a straight line between your hips, neck, and spine while squeezing your abs and glutes. Hold for between 20 and 60 seconds. Keep breathing through your nose throughout.
Don’t hike your hips up toward the ceiling. You can hold this position by lowering your knees all the way to the ground.
You want to be able to go about your day, whether you’re working, gardening or simply enjoying the outdoors, without burning out. So, now that you have the ultimate guide to strengthen your core, it’s time to work your way up. Prepare to get faster, stronger and become the most authentic version of yourself, with the best ladies gym in Dubai. Perhaps, you will come to realise that your core is much more than having a defined stomach or looking great in a swimsuit. You will learn to embrace all that you are, for you.