We all know juggling work and family often gets in the way of being more active. The good news is, these easy-to-follow exercises will slide seamlessly into your day.
Whether you want to make everyday activities easier, or naughty night-time activities more frequent, these 2 easy do-anywhere ab-building exercises are just the ticket.
It’s called your “core” for a reason. This muscle group includes everything in your torso, and it’s central to good balance, posture and back health. From carrying heavy loads to walking to sex, your core is the foundation of all your body’s movements. The best-known muscles in your core — your abdominals — are also deemed to be among the most attractive in the human body.
Standing Bicycle Crunch
We’re not sure who named this one: There’s no bike involved, and while the movement is a bit like pedalling you’re actually standing. Regardless, these crunches can be performed anywhere you can move around a bit: in the rec room, while watching the game…
The easy 3-step method:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and place both your hands on the back of your head with your elbows pointing out.
- While activating your core (ie. tightening your stomach muscles), twist your upper body to the right and raise your right knee so that it touches your left elbow.
- Pull your leg back to the floor and return your elbow to its original position. Repeat the move 10 times, and then reverse it by twisting to the left and lifting your left leg 10 times. That’s one set. Aim for three sets, with a 15-second break in between.
This name makes a lot more sense because, well, your body forms a plank. You’ll need a bit more floor space, but it’s still ideal for living rooms.
The easy 3-step method:
- Start on all fours. Line up your shoulders directly over your hands and your hips directly over your knees. Then, extend your legs and drop down onto your forearms.
- Align your shoulders with your elbows and bring your body into one straight line. Be careful not to let to let your hips sink by activating your core.
- You are now in the plank position and hold for as long as you can. Start with five full breaths and go from there. There are no “reps” with the plank. The longer you hold it, the better the ab workout.
Both of these moves on their own will firm up your core, but cranking them off in succession will deliver a more complete workout and results faster. You’ll feel the burn, but that means it’s working!
Disclaimer: Remember to consult your physician or other qualified health professional for any changes to your physical activity. Only qualified health providers can provide health care by examining your health history, as well as your current physical, mental and emotional condition, and use their expertise and experience to advise you.
Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.