May 11, 2017

My 5 favorite abdominal exercises you can do at home

Summer is around the corner, so let’s get those abdominals nice and flat! Many of my clients asked me to write down a routine for them to practice on their own. As a private yoga teacher and pilates instructor, I always make sure exercises are safe and accessible to my clients.

Here are my 5 favorite abdominal exercises that you can do at home, no equipment necessary. It will take you only 10 minutes, but your abs will feel much tighter after you go through this routine:

  1. Roll up. Lie down on your back, legs straight and together. Reach the arms over head and inhale, on the exhale lift your torso all the way up and reach your arms over your legs. Take an inhale and stretch further, lay your spine back down on the exhale. Repeat 8-12 times.
  2. Criss-cross. Lie down on your back, hands behind your head, legs bend at 90 degrees. Twist to the right as you kick your left leg out, aiming your left elbow to your right knee. Then switch. Perform twisting on the exhale, and take inhale as you switch. 16-20 times total, alternating sides.
  3. Reverse crunch. Lie down on your back. Bend your knees at 90 degrees. Then start bringing your knees up to your chest and lift your tailbone off of the floor. Exhale as you engage, inhale as you set your hips back down. If it is too easy, straighten your legs. Try to get your hips as high up as you can. Repeat 8-12 times.
  4. Plank pose. Start on all fours. Depending on your condition, either hold plank on hands or elbows (if wrists are weak/injured). Place your hands/elbows under your shoulders, lift your knees off the floor, tuck your toes under, place your feet together. Reach the crown of your head forward and your hills back. Gaze slightly in front of your arms, so that your head stays in line with the rest of your spine. Squeeze your abs, your inner thighs and your glutes. Breathe through your nose in and out, steady. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat it 2-3 times.
  5. Side plank. Same as in the previous exercise, you can hold it on either elbows or hands. Place one hand/elbow under the shoulder and stack one foot over the other. Your body will be facing sideways. Make sure your hand/elbow are right under your shoulder. Push down into the floor to create stability in the shoulder joint. Your body should look like a straight line from your head to your feet. If holding full side plank is too much for you, drop the bottom  knee to the floor. Don’t forget to breathe!!! I suggest you hold for 30-45 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times on each side.

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