Tone your Core with These 5 Ab Exercises

Welcome to Miami, where seasons don't exist and a swimsuit is a staple piece of clothing, on that note your body must be on point year round. Diet and exercise are huge components to get that "dream bod." You want to rock those brand new Lulu's with a flat tummy, right? Fire up your core by trying these 5 ab exercises.

 

Follow the set up and movements below for 30-60 seconds, or combine for an intense workout. Keep in mind all these exercises require a flat back!

 

Russian Twists with Towel

Attack your obliques with a towel and no mercy. Remember to do it for the two-piece!

Set up: Sit down, life your (bent or straight) legs, lean back and let your abs stabilize you from falling back. Each hand grabs an end of the towel. Lift the towel to 70 degrees. Keep your eyes on it to help you concentrate and use your core to twist from your left to right side.

Movements: Take it full range from left to right, then fire up the obliques some more by doing tiny one-inch pulses on one side for a few reps then the other side.

 

High Pike with Towel

This move is the moneymaker! Seriously, you've done it a bunch of times in Pilates. The best part is that this move is effective in hitting your entire core. All you need is a towel and controlled movement. 

Set up: High plank position--Hands go underneath your shoulders and your hips are parallel to the floor--and a towel is placed under your feet.

Movements: Hold a high plank to warm up the core. Once you're ready engage your core and slide your feet close to your chest. The final move should look like an inverted "V." Your entire core should be on fire, but before giving up think about how much stronger and leaner you'll be by staying in the position instead of dropping out. 

 

Plank with Knee Taps

This move is killer at strengthening your lower abs. The key is small and controlled movements to feel the burn.

Set up: Forearm plank--Hands and forearms are flat on the ground, while the elbows are underneath your shoulders. You can switch from a high plank to a forearm plank, if a high plank is too much.

Movements: Tap both knees to the ground or alternate, "jog out the knees." If you want to intensify this exercise then hover your knee over the ground.

 

Back and Forth Shifts

This move is so simple that it's easy to over think and overdo. It should never feel too easy. It’ll only take a couple of seconds until you feel it working your core.

Set up: Forearm plank

Movements: Shift your weight back and forth slowly and controlled in order to get the intended burning sensation. Lead with the heels of your feet to shift your weight. Doing this for 30-60 seconds straight is dull, so challenge yourself by alternating holding in the center and shifting.

Mountain Climbers

Set up: High plank. You're in a high plank position the entire time, which makes it both a core and total body burn. It also is a great cardio move.

Movements: Bring in each knee towards the space between your hands. You can vary the speed. You have to remember to keep a flat back while bringing in your knees.

 

Have your goals in mind and stay motivated on your quest for the “dream bod.” Remember to eat healthy, work hard, stretch and stay hydrated. 

 

Health is Happiness!