Baring your midsection to hundreds of strangers isn’t easy when you aren’t completely confident about the way you look. Never fear, there is still time to beautify your abs for bikini season.
Keep in mind that while ripped hard abs look great, there is more to having a healthy core. The core section of the body is the anchor that keeps everything else working at its best. A strong core, prevents lower backs, improves posture, boosts athletic performance and it actually underscores everything you do every day:
- Bending to tie your shoes.
- Work that involves twisting, lifting and standing.
- Promotes a healthy back that can handle life.
- Housework, fix-it work, and gardening that often involves bending, lifting, twisting, carrying, hammering, and reaching are all improved by a strong core.
- Balance and stability is also boosted by core strength because it stabilizes the body and allows it to move in any direction, so core strength decreases risk of falls.
Of course, you are already doing all you can in the diet department, that is eating lots of greens, staying away from processed foods, and portioning well-balanced meals. Without a healthy diet, you can’t really see any progress from any of these exercises, even if you did them until you were blue in the face. So eat right and do these workouts 3 times per week.
There are three main sections to the abdominal muscles and they all need to be worked in order to have a perfect stomach.
The exercises are broken down by each section with two moves for each section. You can choose to perform all these exercises in one day or spread them out throughout the week. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t complete all rounds or all reps, just keep at it, and work your way up to the recommended amount. Have fun!
1. Scissor Kicks With Pull-Ins – These are done sitting on the floor with your elbows propped behind you sitting back. Using your elbows for support, lift your legs off the floor about a foot and hold them up using your lower abdominal muscles for strength. Scissor your legs slowly and methodically for 30 seconds, rest for 15 seconds. Repeat three times.
2. Pike Plank – This workout is done in elbow plank position. Start in a strong straight line from head to toe then bend at the waist and stick your butt in the air keeping your knees and spine straight. Bring your butt back down slowly and realign your body from head to toe using your abdominal muscles to hold yourself from going all the way down. It’s harder than it sounds. Do 15 reps three times.
1. Weighted Crunch – Everyone knows how to do a crunch but make it powerful by adding weights! Hold a three to five pound weight in each hand close to your chest while you lie on the ground. Crunch your chest up and jab your right arm across your body. Lower yourself back down and then repeat, this time jabbing with your left arm. Do 30 repetitions alternating arms.
2. Toe Touches – Lie down on your back with your arms and legs extended. Bring your arms and legs up towards the ceiling not bending your elbows or your knees. Bring your fingers as close to your touching your toes as you can. Straighten back out down to the floor. Repeat 30 times.
1. Bicycle – This is a classic. It works all the muscles of the abs but it is really good for the sides or obliques. Get your body in a v-sit up position. Alternate bringing your left elbow to your right knee then your right elbow to your left knee, never touching the ground with your shoulders or your feet. Keep this up at a moderate pace for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
2. Side Plank Bends – Lie on your left side on the floor and prop your upper body up on your left elbow. Using your obliques lift the rest of your body off the ground in a straight line. Hold your body up for 10 seconds then pulse your hips down halfway to the ground 8 times. Lift back up again and hold for 10 more. Repeat 8 more pulses halfway down with your hips and hold up again for 10 more seconds. Repeat this exact same thing on the right side. Man, you really feel those afterwards!
These six moves will get your core ready to bare in a bikini this summer and also strengthen the entire mid-section of your body.
Remember to hydrate well before and after the workouts and eat a healthy diet to ensure the most well-rounded and optimal results for your core and your overall fitness.