Your core is probably the single most important muscle group to focus on strengthening for a fit, functioning body. Of course, you shouldn’t ignore your other muscle groups, but keeping your abs fit and strong will improve your posture, maintain proper support for your spine and back muscles, and set the stage for fitness in other areas.
Here are five quick core workouts to do on a daily basis to promote strong, fit abdominal muscles.
Side Crunch: Start with your right knee and right hand on the floor, with your left hand straight up in the air. Stretch your left leg out so that it’s straight in line with your left shoulder. Bring your left knee up toward your abs, meanwhile, bring your left elbow down toward the knee. Straighten them out again, repeat 10 times and then switch to your left side.
Folding Table: Form your body into a reverse table shape, with your feet and hands flat on the floor, your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, and your chest, abs and thighs in a straight line. Bring your hips down until they hover above your hands, and then push back up to the table position.
Plank Circles: Get into a plank position, with your hands flat on the ground and your body straight to your toes. Bring a knee up to your abdominal area and circle it in the air clockwise and then counterclockwise, while keeping the rest of your body still. Repeat several times and then switch to the other knee.
Reclined Pedal: Lying flat on your back, put both hands behind your head and bring your knees up so that your legs make a 90-degree angle. Slowly ‘pedal’ your knees up toward your head while drawing your head toward them, so that your right elbow touches your left knee, and vice versa as it alternates. Do three sets of 12 reps, with about 30 seconds’ rest between each set.
Sitting Diagonal Reach: Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your knees drawn up, and then extend one leg so that it’s as straight as possible (about a 45-degree angle from the floor). Put your opposing hand behind your head, and extend the other arm out toward the stretched leg. Twist your torso toward the side with the extended leg, hold for a count, and then return to the centered position. Repeat several times before switching sides.
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