Whether you want washboard abs or a more toned tummy, there are plenty of abdominal exercises you can do to help achieve it. Along with eating a healthy diet and maintaining a regular exercise routine, these 5 core exercises target the different parts of your stomach to make sure you tone up.
The Queen of abdominal exercises. We all love to hate the plank because let’s face it, it hurts, but it does also do the job! Working your internal core muscles, the plank is a necessary exercise to strengthen your core, help with posture and also reduce lower back pain.
Lie down on your front and bring yourself up onto your forearms and balls of your feet. Your body should be in a straight line parallel to the floor. Now hold your core tight, avoiding your lower back sinking or your bum coming too high. Try practising the plank for as long as you can each day, building up a few seconds as you go along.
It’s fair to say that the ‘lower belly’ is an area most women want to tone up and leg raises are one way you can tighten the tum in this area. Lie on your back and place your hands comfortably under your bum; then use the strength of your lower core to lift your legs off the ground, keeping them straight until you are at a 90-degree angle. Then slowly lower them back down without touching the floor.
You want to ensure your lower back stays touching the floor. If you can’t make it as far as 90-degrees, go as far as you can while keeping your legs straight and you back firm to the ground. You want to feel the pull on your lower abs, not on your back.
This is one of my favourite variations of the plank. Get in your forearm plank position and twist your hips from side to side (also known as hip-dip), using the balls of your feet as an aid to the rotation. You should feel this working your oblique muscles (sides of your core).
Another of our favourite abdominal exercises for the oblique muscles is the cycle crunch. Lie on your back and place your hands behind your head. Bring both knees up to a 90 degree angle and extend the left leg out whilst twisting your body and bringing your left elbow over to your right knee. Then do the same on the other side and repeat. Keep going as fast as you can, making sure you extend the leg fully and twist your body to get the full range of movement.
Used in Pilates, the 100 is a great move to target the upper abdominals, especially if you’re sick of doing countless sit ups. Lie on your back and lift your legs up in the air and bend the knees to a 90 degree angle. Then lift your head and shoulders off the floor and place your arms straight by the side of your body, off the ground; Now Pulse your arms up and down in a short, fast movement 100 hundred times, it seems easy for the first 20 but just wait until you get to 50….
To help your abs recover after your gruelling tummy toning workout, keep your protein intake up with IdealFit Protein.
Here are some of our most popular flavours to help you build up those core muscles.