One way to develop a strong mid-section and back region is to incorporate abdominal exercises that work all areas. These exercises develop and tighten your core, and are designed as a stand-alone workout or to add to your training workouts. I also love to do these exercises with yoga or a gentle walk on my active rest days.
The first exercise is a Jack Knife Sit-up/V-up. Lay on your back. Hands and feet meet in the center. Slowly extend arms and legs away from center of body. Don’t touch floor with arms or feet. Hold and bring back to center. Do these for 1 minute. Try to do 25-30 reps. If you are a beginner, bend the knees and bring them up to midline and back down.
Laying flat on your back use something just above your head to hold onto for the Leg Lift exercise. Think sturdy table leg, heavy kettlebell or the like. Holding onto this item, raise your straight legs up and towards your head. Your lower back will raise off the ground and then proceed to lower your legs back down in a controlled manner. Tap your heels down and lift right away to repeat again. You can bend your knees to decrease the difficulty of this movement. Perform the leg lifts for 1 minute. If you are a beginner, stop when you need to rest and then continue to complete as many reps as you can in 1 minute.
The next exercise is great for your whole core, the Classic Plank. Get onto all fours, placing your hands under shoulders, lift lower body in straight line, flat back and hold for 1 minute.
The Hollow Hold is a difficult and effective holding exercise. Laying flat on your back, extend your arms overhead beside your ears and bring your shoulders off the ground. Bring your legs and feet off the ground and press your lower back into the ground. Hold. If your lower back comes off the ground try bending your knees to modify. Hold for 1 minute on and off.
Complete all exercises, each one for 1 minute on with 1 minute rest between exercises. When you are done with all exercises, you will have completed one circuit. Rest after each circuit for 2-4 minutes. Repeat circuit 2 – 5 times and complete it a few times each week. If you are looking for more core workout ideas, don’t forget to watch the Facebook Live on the Move Eat Play business page (https://www.facebook.com/coachmoveeatplay/) from this week. Oh and don’t forget there is more to a strong and flat tummy then exercise because diet, genetics, overall body fat, and surrounding muscle strength matter a TON!