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Workouts for your core muscles

Devan McGuinness is the award-winning founder behind UnspokenGrief.comUnspoken Grief, a resource and support site for those touched by perinatal loss and grief. She’s a Toronto-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in various pu...

Get your stomach bikini ready

From SheKnows Canada
Spring weather is just about here, and before we know it, we'll be in bikini season. Get your body and abs bikini ready by adding these core muscle workouts to your routine today.
Exercise ball crunch

Exercise ball crunch

Stability balls can be an amazing addition to your workout routine. If you don't have one, run out and get one, because they do wonders for your abs. For this exercise, you'll do the familiar sit-up but with the help of the ball.

What to do: Sit on the exercise ball with your feet flat on the floor, and slowly walk your feet outward, lowering your spine onto the ball. Place your hands behind your head to support your neck, and do the motion of a regular sit-up without arching your back but engaging your abdominal muscles.

Bicycle crunch

Bicycle crunch

If you're looking for the best bang-for-your-buck exercise when it comes to core workouts, the bicycle crunch is it. It engages all areas of your core muscles in one exercise to give you that banging six-pack.

What to do: Lie on your back, and place your hands behind your ears, keeping your shoulders out. Lift both legs up while bringing your belly button inward, engaging those muscles. While moving your legs in a bicycling motion, move your right elbow to your left knee and vice versa with your left arm. Do this for 60 seconds, and you'll feel the burn all over your core.

Child pose

Child pose

Yoga does great things for your body overall and can have quite an impact in sculpting your abs and making your body long and lean. The child pose is a stretching exercise that also engages your core muscles and gets them working. This exercise is perfect to do between the others, as it stretches your core, giving it a small break.

What to do: Kneel on the floor, keeping your feet together and your knees as wide as your hips. As you exhale, lie forward while engaging your core muscles, keeping your shoulders relaxed and your arms to your side or stretched out in front of you.

Plank

Plank

You can do this either with an exercise ball or right on the floor. Using the exercise ball gives you the added benefit of trying to stabilize yourself on the ball, engaging more of your ab muscles.

What to do: Place your forearms on the ground (or exercise ball), step back so your feet are stretched out behind you, and rest on your toes while keeping your body straight. Hold the position for up to 60 seconds while squeezing both your abs and your butt.

More on exercise

5 Benefits of working out with a friend
8 Tips for training and eating like an athlete
Picking the right exercise equipment for your home

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