19Aug
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5 great abdominal workouts you can do at home

Everyone would love great abs – six pack maybe? Standard crunches are great for working out your abdominals, but they’re boring right? We over five great abdominal workouts you can do at home on your way to a rock hard six-pack.

Even if you’re not wanting a six-pack, working the core or abdominals is a great way to increase strength, balance and steadiness.

 

Plank

Yep, everyone hates the Plank, sometimes called the prone or prone brace, but it’s one of the better exercises for a toned, strong core as it’s working your entire core at once.

For those not familiar with the Plank, find a spot on the carpet or another soft surface and lie down facing the floor. Raise yourself onto your toes and elbows and keep your back straight. You’ll now be in a ‘plank’ position.

Hold this position for as long as you can, and repeat 3 or 4 times.

To up the difficulty on this one, there are a few extra things you can do;

  • Starting with your left arm take it from holding you up and extend it to your left touching the ground, then extend your arm in front of you, touching the ground again and finally bring it back to the starting point using it to hold you up again. Now do this with the right arm. Rinse and repeat.
  • Similar to the arm movement above, this time with the legs. Lift your left leg up off the ground and bring your knee forward towards your left elbow (like a crawling action, while keeping the leg off the ground). Return to the plank position, and repeat with the right leg.

 

Abdominal Hold

You’ll need a sturdy chair for this one; a dining chair should do the trick.

Sit on the edge of the chair in an upright, tall position. Place your hands on the front edge of the chair.

Using your hands, push yourself slowly up until your bum lifts off the chair. Hold for as long as you can. 10-15 seconds if possible. Lower yourself down and rinse and repeat for a few sets.

 

Bicycle Crunch

Find yourself a soft spot on the carpet (if you’ve got a yoga mat or similar, use that to lie on). Lie down on your back like the position you’d use for regular crunches. Put your hands behind your head, raise your legs so they’re bent at 90 degrees. Extend one leg out (the other leg should stay close) and alternate, like riding a bike. While your legs are alternating, bring your opposite elbow to meet the closest knee (e.g. if your right leg is in the 90 degree position, you’ll want to be trying to touch it with your left elbow).

Do this for 30-60 seconds. Focus on a slower more concentrated movement, rather than a fast movement. This one is all about control and getting the movement right.

 

Reverse Crunch

Reverse crunches are a great way to mix it up. Start by lying down on the floor on your back with palms facing down.

Bring your legs up to a 90 degree position. Slowly lower your legs until your feet nearly touch the ground then raise your hips up in a crunch like motion. Lower your legs again until they’re nearly at the floor and bring them up again. Rinse and repeats for 15 reps and up to 3 sets.

The key to this exercise is not being your knees all the way to your chin – that won’t get you anywhere except the emergency room. Ideally, when you bring up your hips, your knees should stop somewhere around your chest or nipple line. Like any crunch, focus on the crunch and working the abdominal, core area.

 

Arm & Leg Raise

Start by getting on all fours (knees and hands). Your knees should be under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Raise your right arm to shoulder height and left leg to hip height. Your right arm and left leg should now be level straight with your back. Hold for 2-3 seconds and return your leg and arm to the starting position. Repeat the motion with the opposite hand and leg.

Continue to do this exercise for 15-30 repetitions.