Add this killer ab workout to your weekly training routine 2-3 times a week.
Building a strong core is more than cranking out crunches. My core workouts focus on functional training — engaging ALL the muscles that criss-cross around the trunk of your body (aka your core muscles).
TRAINER TIP: generally speaking, you can make ab exercises easier by bending your knees or reducing the range of motion. To make an ab exercise more intense, perform the movement from your toes (for moves like planks) or fully extend your legs; the farther your legs are away from your body, the harder the ab exercise will be.
If you consider yourself a beginner, or you’re postpartum, you can start with one of my beginner ab workouts:
Lying on your back, press your lower back into the mat to ensure your deep core is engaged. Place your hands behind your head.
Engage your upper abs to lift your neck and shoulders off the ground. Focus on pressing your head into your hands rather than pulling on your neck. And imagine there’s a tennis ball tucked underneath your chin — this creates space between your chin and your chest and avoids extra neck strain. If you feel neck strain, leave your head on the floor.
From here, alternate kicking out each foot, extending one leg out while the other bends towards your chest; mimicking a ‘bicycle’ pattern. To modify, reduce range of motion, extending your legs out only as far as you comfortably can before your lower back starts to come off the mat.
Clamshell exercises can help balance the muscular effort between your inner and outer thighs and your pelvic floor. A great exercises for pregnancy and postpartum. And great alternative exercise to Russian twists to target the obliques.
How to do Advanced Clamshell:
Lie on one side, with legs stacked and knees bent at a 45-degree angle, soles of the feet to touch.
Rest on the forearm of the lower arm, shoulder stacked over elbow.
Exhale to contract your abs and stabilize your spine and pelvic floor.
Keeping your feet touching, use your outer glutes and hips to lift your rest hip off the floor. Simultaneously as you lift your hips off the ground open your legs; raising your upper knee as high as you can without shifting your hips or pelvis (mimicking a clamshell opening).
Pause, and hold at the top of the movement for a moment. Then return to the starting position.
Perform the first set on the right leg and second set on the left leg.
Targets: Transverse abdominis, lower abs, upper abs, and entire core.
How to do High Plank Walk Outs:
Start in a table top position with shoulders stacked over wrists (soft bend in the elbows) and hips over knees.
Then extend legs long, balance on balls of the feet. From here your body should form a straight line from shoulders to heels. Pull up on your kneecaps and push back on your heels to keep your core engaged.
Keeping your core engaged, slowly walk your hands forward; away from your body. Your goal is to walk your hands as far away from your body as you can without letting your hips drop (putting pressure on your low back).
When you’ve reached your furthest point, hold for a moment, then return to starting position and repeat.
Lead with your right hand on the first set and left hand on the second set.