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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 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.
Side Crunch Kicks
- Start in a high plank position. Lift one arm off the ground and rotate your body onto your side placing that arm on your hip, supported by your other arm. Place your feet together. This is your starting posititon.
- Kick your lower leg out in front of you, focusing on your lower abs to bring your leg out. Keep your leg an inch or two above the ground as you do this. Hold for 1-2 seconds.
- Return your leg to it’s initial position below you. This is one rep. Repeat on the other side.
Touch Ground Star Jump
Add some variety to your workout with these combined movements.
- Start with your feet together, standing up straight, hands by your side.
- Jump your feet outwards, squatting down to touch the ground with one arm.
- Squeeze your glutes and push through your heels to explode upwards into a star jump with your legs and arms splayed outwards.
- Land with soft knees to avoid injury. This is one rep.
- Repeat this touching the ground with your other hand.
- 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.
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.
Plank Reach Through
- Get into a push up position, with your hands on the floor below your shoulders, and your feet spaced slightly apart. Keep your spine in a neutral position.
- Reach one arm out in front of you, tensing your core for stability.
- Slowly tense your core and reach your arm under you, raising your hips at the same time as you tense your core.
- Touch your opposite knee with your hand.
- 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.
- 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.