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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.
- 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.
Bulgarian Split Squat
The split squat is a great exercise that you’ll feel all day.
- Place the ball of one foot on a stable, elevated platform behind you. Put your weight mainly on your front leg that is in front of the platform. When you perform the squat your knee should be directly over your foot at your lowest point. This determines for far in front of the platform your foot should be.
- Bend the knee of your front leg and lower yourself down into a single leg squat. Keep your core tight. Lower yourself until your knee is directly above your foot and your other knee is an inch or two above the floor. Hold for 2-3 seconds.
- Squeeze your glutes, raising yourself back up to the starting position. This is one rep.
- Repeat for the other leg.
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.
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.
High Donkey Kicks
Try this variation of the donkey kick to increase the difficulty, add resistance for your glutes and work your shoulders.
- Start on your hands and the balls of your feet, with your legs stretched out behind you and your back slightly rounded. Have your hands directly below your shoulders.
- Squeeze your glute, kicking one leg backwards towards the sky with your leg straight, squeezing at the top for 2-3 seconds.
- At the same time, push with your hands to push your body back with your leg.
- Slowly return the leg until you’re on the balls of both feet, and pull your arms until your shoulders are over your hands again. This is one rep.
- Repeat for the other leg.
Weighted Bent Leg Jackknife
This variation on the jackknife adds resistance with a dumbbell.
- Starting in the position for a standard jackknife whilst gripping a dumbbell between your two hands.
- 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, bending them so that you can move your hands into their final position in front of you.
- Slowly reverse this movement, lowering your legs and torso until you’re lying flat again. This is one rep.
Leg extensions are a great way to hit your lower ab muscles.
- Sit on the floor or on a bench with your legs extended in front of you.
- Place your hands out in front of you and slowly lean backwards. Find the balance point where it’s hard to hold your legs out and you’re not falling over.
- Tense your abs as you pull your legs in towards you. You can hold your knees a little for stability if you need.
- Push your legs back out again to complete 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 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.