Whether you're in the best shape of your life, or just starting your fitness journey, everything comes back to a strong core. And that's why this month we are sharing a simple and effective ab-focused workout that you can do from the comfort of your home.
Why is a strong core so important? It can help to prevent injuries, alleviate back pain and improves posture. For runners, a strong core can lead to stronger runs and improved endurance.
As important as a strong core is, it's not complicated to strengthen. Our November workout routine can be done at home or at the gym, with or without weights.
Here's how to do each move:
- Plank Walkout with Push-Up: Stand with feet hip width apart. Hinge at the waist and bring your hands down to the ground, then walk your hands out in front of you until you are in a straight arm plank with wrists directly aligned under your shoulders. Hold the plank for a count, then begin your push-ups (quantity based on where you are in the workout). After you complete the push-ups, hold the plank for another count, then walk your hands back towards your feet, raising your hips as you go. Once your hands are by your feet, slowly roll your body up to your starting position.
- Bicycle Crunches: Lay flat on your back with your hands behind your head, elbows out wide. Bring your legs into table top position. Straighten your right leg and at the same time, bring your right elbow towards your left knee which is still bent. Switch sides, alternating until you hit a total count of 60 (30 on each side).
- Toe Touches: Lay flat on your back with your legs straight up in the air, feet over your hips. Lift your shoulder blades off the ground and reach your finger tips towards your feet. That is one rep. To make this harder, hold one weight in both hands and reach the weight up towards your feet.
- Russian Twists: Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels about a foot away from your butt (on the ground for more support, slightly lifted off the ground for more of a challenge). Slowly lean backwards until you feel your abs begin to engage. Bring your hands out in front of you and clasp them together with a slight bend in your elbows. Slowly twist to the right, then through center and over to the left. To add a challenge, hold one weight in both hands.
- Single Leg V-Up: Lay completely flat on the ground with your arms extended out behind your head and your legs flat on the ground. Bring your left leg up while at the same time lifting your upper body (with straight arms) to meet your leg in the middle, fingers reaching to your toes. Lay back down to your starting position (flat on the ground), then do the same with your right leg lifted. To add a challenge, hold one weight in both hands. The slower you move, the better. Bending your knees is a modification to make this a bit easier.
- Plank Hold: Get into a push -up position with either straight arms or leaning on your forearms. Keep legs straight but do not hyperextend or lock out your knees. Keep your neck neutral by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot ahead of where your hands are planted. Keep your core engaged.
*For more of a challenge, add a weight to toe touches, Russian twists and single leg v-ups.