Let’s face it: Standard abs exercises like sit-ups and crunches are a little archaic and extremely mundane. To help keep you motivated and ready to show off your mid-section this summer, I created a series of unique core exercises that challenge you without the use of any equipment. Ideal for your hectic summer schedule, these exercises can be performed anywhere and each takes as little as 30 seconds to complete—so no excuse for summer slacking!
How it works: Do each exercise for 30 seconds, resting 30 seconds between moves. You can add these exercises to your current fitness program or perform as one complete core routine.
1. Press and resists: Lie faceup with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Contract core and draw knees in toward navel, forming a 90-degree angle with knees so shins are parallel with the floor. Place palms slightly above knees on thighs. Press palms into thighs, simultaneously resisting the pressure with knees. Maintain equal balance with pressure from palms and thighs so that you keep the 90-degree angle of the knees. Hold.
Coach’s tip: Drive lower back into floor, simultaneously pushing abdominal wall toward the ceiling. This will create greater stability and activation within muscles around core.
2. Helicopters (clockwise): Lie faceup with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, arms extended out to sides, palms down. Contract core, take a deep breath in, and draw knees into chest.
Exhale, pressing lower back into floor as you extend feet toward the ceiling. (Upper torso and lower body will form a 90-degree angle with feet pressed together.) Keep core contracted, flex toes toward the floor, and begin circling legs clockwise, keeping legs fully extended and hips resting firmly on the floor.
Coach’s tip. Create more of a challenge by flipping palms up to face the ceiling. This will decrease stability while increasing core activity.