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This is a great power variation of the squat. You still lower yourself down slowly, but explode upwards from the bottom of the squat. As you land, try to slow your momentum so you’re working your muscles on the way down as well.
Balance Ball Crunches
This variation on the crunch adds difficulty with a balance ball by removing some of your stability.
- Get into a normal crunch position, but place your lower legs on top of a balance ball. Remember not to pull on your neck or head.
- Keeping your lower back on the floor, tense your abs to lift your torso up, whilst tensing your glutes to pull the balance ball in towards you. Hold for 2-3 seconds. This is one rep.
The hover lunge is a killer modification of the lunge. This bodyweight exercise is very challenging, but great for anyone looking to develop their stability or to really push their leg strength and size without weights.
- Stand on one leg, bending your opposite knee and having that foot out behind your body.
- Squeeze your core and your quads. Extend your arms forward as you bend your straight leg. At the same time, extend your opposite leg behind you, keeping your knee bent.
- Lower down until your knee is an inch or two off the ground.
- Slowly straighten the leg you’re standing on, bringing your arms and other leg in at the same time for stability. This is one rep. Take your time, this is a difficult move and stability is difficult!
- Repeat on the other leg.
Squat Dumbbell Oblique raises
This is a great dynamic movement to hit your whole body whilst working to tone your arms.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of you. Place your feet shoulder width apart and squat down. This is your starting position.
- Tense your glutes to explode up, using some of that momentum to raise the two dumbbells over your head in front of you. As you do this, twist to the side by tensing your obliques (side abs).
- Slowly reverse the motion, bringing your hands back down and squatting into the start position ready to do the same on the opposite side. This is one rep.
- From a high plank position, tense your core and jump your legs apart as shown.
- Repeat the reverse of this motion bringing your feet back together again, tensing your core. This is one rep.
- Start in a high plank / push up position.
- Tense your core, shifting your weight over one of your arms. Lift the other arm, rotating it around until it is pointing up in the air. Hold for 2-3 seconds.
- Slowly reverse this motion, keeping your core tense until it is under you securely again. This is one rep.
Jackknife From Lying Flat
The jackknife is another great exercise for hitting the full length of your ab muscles.
- Lie flat on your back with your hands stretched out above your head.
- Engage your ab muscles, raising your torso and keeping your arms beside your head until the top of your crunch.
- At the same time, use your abs to raise your legs towards you whilst keeping them straight.
- When you’re at the top of your crunch, continue to move your arms around to the side of your legs, tensing your abs in this position.
- Slowly reverse this movement, lowering your legs and torso until you’re lying flat again. This is one rep.
The crunch is a great base ab exercise.
- Lie flat on your back.
- Place your hands at the side of your head or flat beside you. Don’t pull on your head or neck.
- Tense your abs to bring your torso off the floor, whilst at the same time using your abs to raise your legs into the air to complete the crunch.
- Hold for 2-3 seconds before returning to a flat initial position. One crunch is one rep.
DB Squat and Press
This is another great combo for adding some endurance into your workout.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, or slightly wider, with your toes slightly pointing outwards. Make sure your spine is in a straight, neutral position. Make sure your weight is through your heels. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, cleaned up to shoulder height.
- Squeeze your leg and core muscles as you lower your body downwards. Lower yourself until your butt is an inch or two off the ground. Hold for 1-2 seconds.
- Explode upwards, squeezing your leg and core muscles as you raise yourself up. Push that momentum up through your arms to press the dumbbells above your head. This is one rep.
Plank Cross Overs
- Start in a high plank position. Tense your core.
- At the same time, jump yourself up in the air slightly, placing your hands in a crossed over position and separating your feet further apart. Make sure to tighten your core as you do this.
- Reverse the movement, bringing your feet closer together and un-crossing your hands. This is one rep.