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Jogging or running is a popular form of physical activity. About one in five Australians try running (or jogging) at some stage in their life. Running is an appealing exercise because it doesn’t cost a lot to take part and you can run at any time that suits you.
The ab bike is a great movement to hit all of your ab muscles with one exercise.
- Lay flat on your back, with your feet extended in front of you.
- Bend your elbows, placing your hands at the side of your head (you can rest them behind your head, never pull on your neck)!
- Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle with your hips.
- Cycle between bringing your opposite elbow and knee to each other, whilst extending your other leg outwards as shown. Your legs should circle around like they would if you were riding a bike.
- Make sure to twist your torso, tensing your abs as you make a cycling movement.
- Each time you’ve completed a cycle of each side, that is one rep.
Flutter kicks are a simple way to give your hip flexors, lower abs and quads a workout.
- Lie flat on your back on the floor or on a bench.
- Lift both feet an inch or two in the air.
- Tense your lower abs to raise one leg.
- Alternate between raising each leg, lowering them to 1-2 inches above the ground. A flutter kick with both legs counts as one rep.
- Start with your feet hip width apart, place your hands on your hips. Keep your back straight and your shoulder blades pulled together.
- Send one leg out to your side, squatting down on it whilst providing support with your stationary leg and hands. Hold for 2-3 seconds.
- Push back off your bent leg, returning to a standing position. This is one rep.
- Repeat on the other side.
Side Plank Crunches
You can spread the work across more of your ab muscles by adding a crunch to your side plank.
- Lie on your side and place your lower forearm on the ground. Make sure your elbow is below your shoulder.
- Either; stack your feet on top of each other, scissor them so both feet are on the ground, or place your lower knee on the ground (to make it easier).
- Lift your hips up to get into the side plank position and brace your core muscles. Keep your spine and neck in a neutral position.
- From the side plank position, tighten your abs, circling your raised elbow towards the forearm you’re supporting yourself with.
- Return your arm to its initial position. This is one rep.
- Repeat on the other side.
Swimmers are a great way to work your whole body whilst giving your lower back a workout.
- Lie on your stomach and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can, raising both legs off the ground.
- Reach forwards with your arms, keeping your palms facing downwards a few inches above the ground.
- Lift your alternate arm and leg up into the air, squeezing all of the muscles from your shoulders down to your glutes. This is one rep.
- Repeat with the other arm rapidly.
High Plank Walk
This one can be a killer! This slowly cranks up the stress on your abs and is more difficult to hold than a standard plank.
- Get into a high plank position.
- Slowly walk your hands forward, one at a time.
- Get your hands as far forward as you can without losing your neutral back position.
- Hold for 2-3 seconds before walking you hands slowly back to the high plank position. This is one rep.
Side Dumbbell Raise
Side raises are great at working the middle section of your shoulders.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand by your side.
- Tense your core and slowly raise one arm up so it is straight out to your side, with your palm facing the floor. Hold for 2-3 seconds. You should be tensing your shoulder as you do this.
- Slowly lower the dumbbell back to your side.
- Repeat with the other arm. This is one rep.
On Side Leg Crossovers
- Lie on your side with your hands in front of you and your legs extended on the floor.
- Keeping your core tensed, raised your legs off the floor.
- Keep your legs extended and elevated and move them up and down, crossing them over as shown. Each crossover is one rep.
- Start on your hands and knees and place your forearms on the floor, with your elbows directly under your shoulders.
- Raise your torso off the ground, having that balls of your feet touching the ground as shown.
- Brace your core and squeeze your glutes, whilst keeping your back in a neutral position without any curvature. Your hips should be level with your shoulders.
- Hold for as long as you can! Try to extend this time to improve your core strength.