Ab Exercises 10-12
10.) The Hip Up
Your core muscles are what stabilize your spine and allow you to do things like…raking leaves, shoveling snow, walking up stairs, picking your kids up…you know…the motions you do every day. That’s one reason why the best ab exercises don’t flex your spine. They keep your spine straight, and build strength around it. The hip-up does this while also sculpting your obliques and increasing your rotational control and stability…and making your butt look great!
- Lie on your back with your arms at your sides with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
- Lift your hips toward the ceiling. Hold for 1 count, and then lower back down.
- Repeat the lifts for 60 seconds, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings at the top of the range of motion. Be careful not to overarch your spine.
- To make this exercise more difficult, extend one leg at the top of the lift. Keep your thighs parallel and hold the lifted position for about 5 seconds.
- Keeping your hips up, place your foot back on the floor and then lower your hips.
- Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds; switch sides and do the move for another 30 seconds on the other leg.
Related: How To Strengthen Your Core
11.) The Bear Crunch
Don’t let your abs hibernate. Wake them up with the bear crunch. The real ab burn comes when you bring your knee to your elbow with each rep. The small amount of flexion targets your six-pack muscles, leaving them fried.
- Start on all fours, and raise your knees and inch or two off the ground.
- Keeping your right hand and your left foot on the ground, rotate your right knee to the left while at the same time touching your left elbow to that knee.
- Return the the starting position.
- Now do the same action in the opposite direction. (Left hand and right foot on the ground, rotate left knee, and touch right elbow to it.)
- Do 10 reps.
12.) The Break Dancer
Stability moves like the plank are a great way to strengthen a weak core and prevent lower back pain. But if you want to kick things up a notch, then start dancing. When you perform the breakdancer, you’ll quickly move your feet from side to side and across your body. However, you must maintain the same rigid, straight torso that you would when performing a plank.
You’ll not only have a chiseled torso, but you’ll also have an impressive move to show off on the dance floor this weekend.
- Get into a “push up” position…body perfectly flat (don’t raise your hips or let them sag).
- Keeping your body flat, lift your right foot an inch or two and swing it out to the right. Then return it to the starting position.
- Now lift your left foot an inch or two and swing it to the left…the back.
- Repeat this back and forth, alternating feet.
- As you get better, you can increase the speed. Just remember to keep good form.