2 Simple Moves to Tighten Up Your Abs

2 Simple Moves to Tighten Up Your Abs

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.

Your Core

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.

1. 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…

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The easy 3-step method:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and place both your hands on the back of your head with your elbows pointing out.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

2. The Plank

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.

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The easy 3-step method:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Exercise of the Week: Bicycle Crunch

Exercise of the Week: Bicycle Crunch

The bicycle crunch is a variation of the crunch we looked at in a previous blog post. The bicycle crunch primarily works the top of your abs and is a great exercise for your core.

Regularly working your abs will help build your core strength which improves your balance and posture, which is great to combat back, aches and pains. 

Instructions: 

  1. Lie down with your back pressed onto the floor and put your hands behind the bottom of the back of your head.
  2. Have your legs bent at a 45 degree angle.
  3. Bring one knee as close to your chest as you can while straightening the other. At the same time, rotate the top of your body so that your opposite elbow touches the knee of your bent leg.
  4. Alternate each side in a pedalling motion (this is where we get the name ‘bicycle crunch’ from).

EOW - Bicycle Crunch

Make sure to focus on your form as you work. You should feel tightness in your abs and not your legs or back.

If you feel any pain, especially in your back or hips, stop the exercise immediately.

Start of with 3 sets of as many reps as you can do a couple times a week. Build towards achieving 3 sets of 15 -20 reps on each side, three to four times a week.

Exercise of the Week: The Crunch

Exercise of the Week: The Crunch

Tested and true, crunches are a great exercise to build core strength. Easy to do wherever you are, with no equipment required, there’s no excuse not to sneak in a few minutes of these in a day. Start with 1 set of 10 reps, and build up to 3 sets of 10 reps per day. For an extra challenge raise your feet off the floor and keep them suspended in the air during the crunch. Exercise - Crunch   Instructions: Lie on your back Bend your knees to 90 degrees Place hands behind neck but don’t press on your neck Contract your abs bringing your midsection to your knees Hold for a second Ease back down slowly

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