Want to strengthen those core muscles to rock your bikini body but don’t have time to hit the gym? Why not try core strengthening exercises in the comfort of your own home? I asked personal trainer Mieke Coster for her recommend core strengthening exercises and here’s what she suggests.
1. Get Crunching For Those Upper Abdominals With Abdominal Crunches
For the definition of the upper abdominals, Mieke suggests abdominal crunches. First, start off by lying flat on your back, then remaining in this position, bend your knees up towards the ceiling whilst keeping your feet flat on the ground. Next, put your hands behind your head ensuring your elbows are spread wide apart and the head remains in a neutral position. Now that you’re in the starting position, keeping your back flat, raise your shoulder blades off the ground and facing your knees progress into a crunch. Hold this position for about a second, then repeat.
2. Drop Those Legs Down Low And Raise Them Back Up With Leg Lowers
Mieke recommends for strength in the lower abdominal area you should actively do leg lowers. Begin this exercise lying flat on your back facing the ceiling with hands tucked away under your bottom. Then once in this position, raise your shoulder blades pointing towards your thighs, keeping your legs as straight as possible. Then raise your legs up about an inch parallel from the floor and remaining in a vertical, continue to raise your legs up from the ground and back down repeatedly to achieve this exercise.
3. Back Up And Reverse That Crunch With Reverse Crunches
Out of the core strengthening exercises, that once again targets the lower abdominal muscles, Mieke suggests reverse crunches. To position yourself in the starting position lay flat on your back with your hands facing downwards beside your hips. Keep your head on the ground with the rest of your body, ensuring your nose is pointing up towards the ceiling, then to carry out this exercise slowly move your bottom off the ground with your legs remaining in a vertical.
4. Get Working Those Sides With Oblique Crunches
Focusing on the side abdominal definition, Mieke says oblique crunches work wonders. To start, place your right hand behind your head with your elbow sticking out wide, then twist your left leg over your right leg. In this position, slowly raise your right elbow in the air along with your left leg’s knee, making sure they touch. Whilst your knee and leg meet, ensure that your right leg remains down flat on the floor. Out of these core strengthening exercises, this one is designed to target both sides of the stomach, so to achieve an equally trained figure, alternate sides swapping arms and legs.
5. Slide To The Side With Side Planks
Accompanying the core strengthening exercises for the side abdominals are side planks. To begin, lie on your right-hand side with your right hand resting under your right shoulder, make sure in this position you’re maintaining a straight arm, not a locked out one. Put your legs together keeping them in line with your body, moving onto the sides of your feet. Nice and slow lift your hips up from the ground, holding this position for around 45 seconds. If a break is needed, don’t be afraid to continue this exercise using your knees instead of stretching out your legs.
6. Work The Whole Core package With Plank Knee Taps
For an overall stabilising core musculature workout that also targets the flutes and shoulders, Mieke says plank knee taps are key. Lie facedown on the ground with your forearms flat on the floor too. Tuck your elbows securely under your shoulders and elevate yourself onto your toes. Making sure your back remains flat, suck your bellybutton to your spine and then bend your right knee to the ground whilst keeping your left leg straight. Once again this core strengthening exercise should be repeated on the opposite side to ensure a balanced workout, so slowly alternate sides during exercise.