Summer is synonymous with trips to the beach and lounging by the pool. However, for many women wearing a bikini, the season of exposed skin and rising temperatures can be daunting and sometimes uncomfortable. While we can agree confidence comes from within, there is nothing wrong with wanting to tone your body for summer. With swimsuits and some seasonal clothing being about flaunting your midriff, ab workouts are in order. All it takes is a few simple moves to start seeing some results; here are some of our favourites. Say goodbye to boring crunches and get yourself in shape with these exercises now.
If you’re hoping to target a pesky muffin top or simply tone out your lower abdomen, leg raises are an easy way to do so. Start by laying flat down on the ground. Engage your core and slowly lift both legs so your body is at a 90 degree angle. Slowly lower your legs and repeat. Do this for about 30 seconds to a minute.
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Think of this as an advanced V-sit. Instead of fluid movement, you are using your core to hold a V-shaped position. Start by sitting down with your knees bent, feet on the floor and hands underneath knees for support. With your shoulders and chest remaining lifted, start by raising your legs off the ground with your core engaged and knees still bent. If accessible and comfortable, straighten your legs so that they are parallel with the ground. Hold this for 5-10 breaths and release. You can repeat this for up to five times.
Side Plank Dips
Side plank dips are great for when you’re not totally loving those often despised ‘love-handles’. This particular move challenges your oblique muscles and helps you achieve that toned waistline. Start by laying on one side, using the corresponding elbow and forearm to prop you up. Keep your body straight, hips lifted and feet stacked. Slowly lower down until your hip barely touches the ground then lift up. Do 10-15 reps then switch to the other side.
Boring old crunches can make it hard to be motivated to work on your core. However, reverse crunches put a twist on toning your lower abs. Start by laying down on your back, arms at your side with palms facing down. Lift your legs, knees slightly bent, and extend them in the air above your hips. Engage your core and push your feet upward towards the ceiling, lifting your hips at the same time. Try doing this 15 times for about 3 sets.
While squats are usually meant to build your glutes, they’re also effective at strengthening your core. In a squat, your abs end up being engaged because they act as a stabilizer as you lower into a sitting position. Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart. Lower your body down, sending your hips back as if you’re going to sit on a chair. Hold then use your heels to push back up to the starting position. Try doing 3 sets of 8-10 reps.