Game face on! Learn how to develop your core and strengthen your abs!
High Plank Glute Kickback
To mix in some glute exercises with your abs, as well as upping the difficulty, try some glute kickbacks.
- Whilst in a standard plank position, tense your glutes one at a time, raising your leg slowly and holding for 2-3 seconds at the top.
- As you’re resting on one less limb, the plank will become more difficult to hold also.
- Repeating once with each leg is one rep for this exercise.
An essential move to grow big glutes!
- Lie flat on your back with your arms at your side.
- Bend your knees and place your heels on the floor.
- Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders are all aligned. Hold for 2-3 seconds at the top.
- Slowly release back down until your hips are on the floor. This is one rep.
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.
Balance Ball Sit-up
Here is another variation that adds yet more instability by sitting on top of a balance ball. Make sure you try this exercise slowly as it takes getting use to.
- Lie on a balance ball. Have the curve of your lower back curve with the balance ball.
- Have your feet firmly placed on the floor, bent at the knee.
- Lower your upper torso backwards. It should be hanging off the ball.
- Keep your arms at the side of your head, or resting behind your head. Don’t pull on your head or neck.
- Keep your hips still and tense your abs, curling yourself upwards.
- Lower yourself backwards to your starting position. This is one rep.
One Side Leg Raises
- 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.
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.
- 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.
This is a great plank variation to work your obliques (“side abs”) more.
- 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.
- Hold for as long as you can! Try to continue to hold this for longer to improve your core strength and to bring those abs out!
- Repeat on your 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.
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.