It's almost bikini season, so get a head start on tightening those abs. Keep your core strong and defined with these four simple exercises.
The abdominal bicycle
This move targets your entire ab muscle group: the upper, middle and lower portions of your abdominal muscle. It helps create the "six pack."
- Lie flat on your back on the floor or a mat.
- Bring your knees to your chest while lifting your shoulder blades off the floor.
- Twist your body. Bring your right elbow to your left knee while stretching out your right leg, without touching the ground.
- Then alternate. Touch your left elbow to your right knee while straightening your left leg as it's held off of the ground.
- Continue to alternate sides for three sets of twelve reps.
This exercise helps build endurance and strength in the abs as well as back muscles.
- Lie face down with your arms bent at the elbow and palms and forearms flat against the floor by your head.
- Push straight up from the floor, rising up on your toes while keeping your forearms and elbows flat on the ground and your back straight.
- Tilt your pelvis as you contract your stomach muscles. This will help keep your straight line.
- Hold this plank pose for 30 seconds, then slowly lower your body to the ground.
- Repeat for five more reps.
The arm crunch
This crunch manoeuvre develops the upper portion of your abs.
- Lie flat on your back on the floor or a mat. Bend your knees.
- Hold both of your arms straight behind your head and clasp your hands.
- Lift your shoulders and head off the floor while tightening your abs.
- Hold for three seconds, then lower your body.
- Pause and repeat. Do three sets of ten reps.
Work your abs, back and shoulders all with this one exercise.
- Sit on the floor or a mat with your knees bent at a 45 degree angle.
- Lean back slightly and place your hands, palms down, on the ground directly below your shoulders.
- Tighten your abs, tuck in your butt and use your core muscles and arms to lift your body up to a bridge position. Your feet will be balanced on your heels while your hands remain flat. Your torso should be level with your shoulders and knees. Hold this position for a count of five, then lower your body. Repeat ten times.
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