7-Exercise Core Workout
Everyone wants to tone up their abdomen, and secretly loves that next-day pain that comes with a great workout – plus the six-pack you can attain as a result! Anthony Mayatt, fitness expert and founder of Breathe Fitness, has created a quick and simple workout consisting of seven exercises that target all areas of the core, including the abdominals, obliques (love handles) and lower back.
Depending on your fitness levels, you can do this for 30 seconds per exercise (beginner), 45 seconds (intermediate), and one minute per exercise (advanced). You can check you're doing each exercise correctly by watching the video below, where you'll be taken through the whole workout at 30 seconds per exercise. Are you ready? Let's go!
1. Crunches Arms Stretched
Lay on your back with your knees bent and arms stretched out behind your head. Curl your shoulders off the ground focusing on the upper ab muscles under the chest. Squeeze them hard and return to the starting position. Your lower back should remain flat on the ground throughout this movement and arms should remain behind you.
2. Reverse Crunches
Lay in the same position, but place your arms on the floor next to your body to support you. Curl your knees as if trying to get them behind your head and raise the hips off the floor. Pause, then return the feet to the starting position and immediately start the second repetition.
Lay on your back with your arms stretched out behind you and legs in front. Curl your body into a ball, pause and slowly return to the stretched position. If you're more advanced, then try to raise your upper body as if doing a sit-up while pulling in the legs.
4. Heel Touches
Lay on your back with knees bent and arms beside you. Come into a crunch and hold that position while you bend from side to side, aiming to touch the heels of each foot. Don't worry if you cannot touch them, that's just what you're aiming for and it will come!
5. Russian Twist
Sit upright with your knees bent and arms in front of you. Lean back to the point your abs tighten to stop you falling and raise your feet a few inches off the floor. Rotate side to side as if trying to pass an object to someone behind you and focus on keeping your posture upright throughout.
6. Back Raises
Lay on your front with your hands by your ears. Keeping your head facing the ground, curl your lower back raising your shoulders off the ground and lift your feet. Pause in this position and return to the start.
Lay on your front with your arms under your shoulders. Lift your body so you're resting on just your forearms and toes, and make sure your body is held in a straight line. Focus on your core, keeping your belly button pulled in.
Try to do this complete workout three times, resting for 120-180 seconds between sets.
Watch the Breathe core exercise video here:
Anthony Mayatt has worked in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years and runs a successful personal training business, Breathe Fitness. He trains clients from students to celebrities all over the world and regularly features in the media writing for various magazines and websites. Anthony has a degree in Sports Science as well as many other qualifications in his field and specialises in weight management.