I, like so many others out there, have made the mistake of not working my core enough in the past.
While it’s true that a low body fat percentage is what reveals your abs, did you know that developing and maintaining a strong core is what prevents injury in the long term?
Sometimes it’s easiest and most convenient to simply add a few ab exercises to the end of a workout than it is dedicating an entire session to them. To do just that, here’s a short yet effective ab workout that will strengthen your core and help to create that washboard midsection we all want.
Perform each exercise for 4 sets of 15 reps
What you need:
A Swiss (stability) ball and a mat
- Swiss ball sit ups: Position yourself with you lower back comfortably on the Swiss ball and your neck and shoulders raised slightly off it. Perform a sit up. Make sure you fully stretch your core and crunch back up each time to ensure full engagement.
- Swiss ball roll outs: Kneel down facing a Swiss ball. Place the forearms of your bent arms on the ball, then roll forward as far as possible, ending on your elbows. This is a lot easier than the more common barbell roll out.
- Stir the pot (both directions): Perform this exercise similar to the roll out, but this time roll your elbows in a full circle while you engage your core to keep your upper torso static in the extended position. Aim for 15 reps in each direction.
- Oblique crunches: Positioned on the ball in the same manner as the sit up, lean slightly to the side as you bring your elbow and knee together in an oblique crunch. Repeat on the other side in an alternating fashion.
By Isilda Da Costa
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Co-Publisher at Maverick Media and until recently, Fitness Magazine editor. Tanja now manages multiple digital platforms, consults and create exciting campaigns and opportunities in the fitness industry. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.