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Ab Exercise That Are Perfect No Matter Where You Are

Core exercises are incredibly important if you’re looking for full-body results. But most people don’t target their core as well as they should. A few push-ups, sit-ups, and a plank hold aren’t going to tone your core and it’s definitely not going to give you abs. In order to see results, you have to put in the work and actually focus on your core the same way you focus on your legs, arms, and back.

Hollow Body Hold

This ab exercise is amazing because it really forces your body to work your entire abdominal area. No wonder it’s a go-to move for gymnasts. Holding this body hold for at least 30 seconds a day will increase your ab strength and your ability to do other exercises like wall sits, squats, handstands, etc. The goal is to add more time to your hold so that eventually you can stay in this position for minutes at a time.

How to do this move:

Lie flat on your back with your legs and arms placed straight out from your body. Focus on your abs to make sure you’re working them. Pull your belly button to the floor and slightly lift your legs and arms up. Your shoulders and head should be raised as well, but make sure your lower back remains on the floor so you’re spine is protected. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Hint: When holding this position, make sure you’re squeezing your body and make sure your legs and arms aren’t lifted up too high. The lower your limbs are, the more you’ll feel from this hold.

Double Crunch-Leg Raised

This exercise takes the typical crunch up to the next level. The only problem with this crunch is that you have to be careful you’re doing it correctly. If your tailbone and shoulders are on the floor you’ll run the risk of overworking your neck. You want to be sure your core is doing all the work and that you’re not moving your feet at all.

How to do this move:

Lie flat on your back and fully extend your legs up towards the ceiling. You can either put your arms under your head, in typical crunch position or leave them flat by your side. Then crunch up. If you decided to leave your arms flat by your side you’re going to want to lift them in front of you as if you’re reaching for your feet. As you curl up to crunch, raise your shoulder blades further off the floor so your chest moves closer to the ceiling. 15 reps of this will get nice and sweaty!

Double Leg Lift

This move is a favorite for pilates instructors because it does such a great job at working the lower abs. And although this move doesn’t look too difficult, it’s quite the workout. Just make sure you’re lifting from your pelvis so you’re actually working your stomach and not overworking your legs.

How to do this move:

Lie on your back and extend both your legs up towards the ceiling. Place your hands under your glutes while keeping your shoulders, back, and head on the floor. Activate your core and slowly lower your legs down to the ground and then lower them back up to the ceiling. Repeat this for at least 15 eps.

Bird-Dog

What exactly is the bird-dog? It’s a move that stabilizes your core without you even realizing it. This move relies completely on balance and to stay balanced, your core has to be activated or you’ll fall. The more you move in and out of the bird-dog, the harder your core will be worked.

How to do this move:

Come to all fours with your knees and palms on the ground. Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders, your back is flat, and your core is activated. Then, simultaneously extend your right arm in front of you while also extending your left leg back behind you. For this move, it’s crucial that you pay attention to how your body is positioned in order to make sure your posture remains strong. And don’t forget to switch your legs back and forth for at least 15 reps.

Scissors

This issue with crunches and some of the more well-known ab exercises is that they don’t target your lower abs – which is really the only way you can see change. This move specifically targets that area, so the more you do it the more toned your abs will noticeably look.

How to do this move:

Lie flat on your back with your legs up towards the ceiling and your arms down on your side. Make sure you really press your lower back onto the floor and slowly lower your left long down until it’s a couple inches above the floor. Then, lower your leg slowly back up at the same time as you lower your right leg down as well. You’ll notice your legs will mimic scissors (hence, the name).