Strengthen your core, work out your obliques and start on your fitness resolutions earlier with this routine.
While most of us are trying to strike a healthy balance between indulging in decadent Christmas lunches and wearing a swimsuit with aplomb at this time of year, Tess Earl, the head trainer at F45 Double Bay has a solution: an at-home ab workout.
“This combination of exercises is about targeting the obliques and lower abdominal muscles. It’s also aimed to increase muscle definition and ‘flatten out’ from the naval to lower abs.
“Control is the most imperative aspect of ab work outs as speed or more so a lack of speed increases the difficulty dramatically. This work out is best completed in the morning before having breakfast, and it should take a maximum of 25 minutes.
“Remember – the slower your movement in the lowering phase, the more intense the muscle contraction has to be in order to complete exercise resulting in fast-tracked results! That’s what we want, so don’t rush your ab work outs concentrate, breathe and actively think about each muscle you are involving in each movement,” says Earl.
The rest? It’s up to you…
1. Windscreen wipers
Lay flat on your back with your legs together and imprint your spine into the ground so it is flat, hands by your side with your palms are facing the ground, with your hands flat. Keeping your feet together move your legs from left to right in a half circle lightly touching the ground each side of your body, while keeping your hips as flat as possible. Try not to apply too much downward pressure with your hands as this alleviates tension from your abs.
Do for 20 reps.
2. Heel touch extensions
Balance on your lumbar spine just above your coccyx bone, lean back as far as you can extend with your feet together out in front with your hands by your side, so your body is linear. Crunch forward to bring your knees into your chest, and as you do so wrap your hands around to the side of your ankles. Lean back, stretch out and repeat.
Do for 20 reps.
3. Elevated side bends (both sides)
With one arm stacked underneath your shoulder joint and your body aligned long ways with one foot on top of the other, raise your hand into air keeping your arm straight. From here you need to drop your hip to the ground in a controlled and repetitive manner. Repeat each side for 10 reps.
If you wish to make this a little more challenging, after your hip touches, lower your hand and scoop it down underneath your elevated body, and back up to the straight-arm starting position without letting your hips turn.
Now that move will test your control!
Starting in the plank position, this movement requires full engagement and tension with your entire body from your toes to your neck. Stabilise here looking at the floor with your hips remaining tight, extend your arm in a forward motion and straight line. Simultaneously, extend your opposite leg back and off the ground. Alternate each side for 10 reps. This one will require concentration so remember to breathe!
5. Russian twists
Balance on your butt and lean back at 45 degrees. Make sure all your abdominals are engaged and firing and then put your hands together and twist side to side touching the ground with both hands each rep. You need to imagine your abs being pulled in two different directions, and this is what you should be feeling in order to activate your obliques. Your feet must remain off the ground the entire set – and no shaking!
Repeat for 20 reps.
December 13, 20162:14pm