Who doesn’t dream about having nice flat abs? Especially with summer being just around the corner. Here are five little exercises that will strengthen your ab muscles and make you look good in your bikinis and swim shorts. All you need is a mat or a rug and a tiny little bit of motivation.
Old but gold! Let’s do some crunches!
We will start with the classic ab exercise: crunches. Lie down on your back and lift up your legs at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands next to your ears and lift your upper body up by firmly pulling in your abs. Your shoulder blades need to get off the floor. Make sure you exhale when you lift your torso up and inhale when you get back down. Repeat the exercise 30 times. Relax for 30 seconds and then start over again. If you want to do a proper workout, you should at least complete three cycles.
Crunch it, twist it, crunch it, twist it!
Stay on your back and bend your knees while keeping your feet on the ground. Place your hands next to your head as for the normal crunches and lift your left shoulder towards your right knee by using your ab muscles. The right side of your torso has to stay on the ground.
To intensify the exercise and to strengthen your lower ab muscles as well, lift your left leg off the ground at the same time. Release and do the same movement with the opposite shoulder and leg (right shoulder goes towards left knee). Alternate 30 times before taking 30 seconds break.
Then start the second round. Repeat the entire exercise three times. Remember to exhale on your way up and inhale on your way down.
Down to your knees and into that plank!
This static exercise will not only strengthen your stomach but it will tone your entire body. Get down on your knees, put your elbows and forearms on the ground and push up into a plank position by lifting your entire body up. Your forearms and toes are the only parts of your body that are allowed to touch the ground.
Make sure that your elbows are right underneath your shoulders, your back straight and your head in line with your back. Pull your belly button in firmly and hold that position for 30 seconds. Release and relax for 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise three times.
A plank, again?! Yes, but not the same!
Only training your abs is not enough to get a flat belly. This exercise will strengthen your waist and oblique muscles for an all round toned belly.
Lie down on the floor on your right side. Your legs are extended and your feet and hips rest on the floor on top of each other. Put your left hand on your hip so that it won’t disturb you. Then, place your right elbow directly under your shoulder and contract your core muscles to lift your hips and knees off the floor.
Make sure your head is aligned with your body. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Release, relax for 30 seconds and start again. Repeat the exercise twice before changing to your left side. Repeat the same procedure.
Last but not least! Drop those legs!
Don’t give up now, you’re almost there! This dynamic last exercise will really work your lower ab muscles. Stay on the floor and lie on your back with your body in a straight line from the tip of your head down to your feet. Your arms are stretched out along your sides, your palms lie flat on the ground.
Keep your legs stretched out and raise them up to the sky until they are at a 90-degree angle with your hips. Then lower your legs back towards the ground until they are only a few inches away from it and lift them up again.
During the entire exercise, try to keep your legs as straight as possible and make sure that your lower back doesn’t come off the ground. As soon as you feel your lower back lifting, stop lowering your legs towards the floor and begin to raise them back up again.
Be strong and repeat the exercise 20 times before you release to take a short break. Then repeat another 20 times.
Good news for you. That’s the end of your workout! Well done! Now, relax, drink some water and enjoy your shower!
Featured image taken from here.