Ab workouts can be challenging, but the results are too rewarding to pass up. A strong core can help reduce back pain and improve balance and posture all while sculpting your figure. With summer around the corner, we wanted to update your ab-focused exercises with today’s new routine. Learn and watch the four moves below.
Around the World Toe Touches
Dumbbell Elevated 90-Degree Sit-Ups
Mermaid Crunch and Roll
The Move: Standing Twist
How to: This horizontal woodchopper is a great move to activate your obliques and your deep core muscles, your transverse abdominis. Start with a dumbbell at chest level and swing the dumbbell to the right side. Swing back to the middle and back to the right side, then rotate to swing all the way to the opposite side. Continue rotating for 1.5 reps per side before switching to the other side for the best oblique and transverse plane ab movement.
The Move: Around the World Toe Touches
How to: This exercise challenges your stabilizers and your rectus abdominis. Start seated with your heels on the ground and a dumbbell at your chest. Lean back and rotate the dumbbell around your head without curving your spine. When your dumbbell returns back to the front, lift your legs and crunch your dumbbell up toward your toes. Return to start and take the dumbbell the opposite direction for your next rotation.
The Move: Dumbbell Elevated 90-Degree Sit-Ups
How to: Lie flat on your back and bend your knees so that your legs are at 90 degrees. Take a dumbbell in your hand and sit up, placing the dumbbell on top of your ankles, and leave it there as you lie back down. Sit up again to go back up to your ankles and grab that dumbbell. Holding your shins parallel while a weight is on your ankle engages your lower abs, and performing the sit-up engages your core muscles overall.
The Move: Mermaid Crunch and Roll
How to: This exercise is a combination of different planes of motion for your core. Place a dumbbell or another object at the end of the mat where your feet are and roll onto your right hip. Lock your ankles together as you stabilize your body with your right forearm on the ground. Crunch your knees into your chest and straighten your legs back out again, keeping a good flex throughout your lower body. Roll your body over to the opposite hip and forearm as you lift your legs up and over the dumbbell at the end of your mat and complete the full crunch on this side of your body. To modify this movement, keep one leg on the ground during your crunch and step your feet over the dumbbell one at a time.