There’s still some time to tone up that beach bod this summer! If you perform the following routine at least three times a week—and eat pretty cleanly—we’re confident you’ll see results.
1. Exercise Ball Pike Rollout
This one’s a fantastic way to start off a total-ab workout. The exercise ball pike rollout is all about improving your core muscles through balancing on the ball. The rolling motion in this one is best seen rather than described, so check out the video below:
2. Medicine Ball Seated Russian Twist
Time for some trunk rotation! The Medicine Ball Russian Twist will activate both the obliques and the upper abs. Grab your medicine ball with both hands and place it at your waist. Keep your toes off the floor and knees gently bent, and then rotate your trunk side to side, carrying the medicine ball with you.
For a more challenging workout, extend your legs straight out in front of you and keep them elevated roughly one inch off the ground. Aim for three sets of approximately 15 repetitions.
3. Side Crunch
Hey, we get it—you probably already feel like you are all “crunched out.” Everyone talks about crunches. But those are regular crunches. It’s likely you are neglecting your oblique muscles, and side crunches can help with that. Peep the video below and aim for about 10 reps per set (two sets total).
You’re going to “love” this one—lie flat on your back with your arms overhead. Keeping your legs completely straight, engage your abs and lift both your legs and yourself up off the floor. Bring your hands up and forward with you, and attempt to touch your toes or legs. Once you do—or you come as close as you can—return to your starting position, except do not let your feet touch. Keep them approximately an inch off the floor. Repeat the movement as many times as you can within 30 seconds, taking care to keep your feet off the ground at all times.
The v-up is a toughie if you’re a beginner, so try not to get frustrated! If necessary, you can rest your legs/feet on the floor between reps. Simply do as many as you can and you’ll eventually see improvement.
We can’t have an ab exercise article without including the venerable plank. This one’s an isometric hold (look at us with our fancy phrases)—basically, it activates the mid abdominal muscles and obliques, really improving your core’s strength.
The plank is great because it’s a time-based exercise, meaning anyone can do them to a certain degree, whether you hold the plank for 5 seconds or two minutes. Also, there are plenty of variations—consider lifting up an arm or leg during your plank to increase the difficulty further!