I am forever attempting to keep my stomach bikini ready and hoping to look in the mirror one day and see defined abs. (Maybe I need a new mirror?) I know we all have our stories of struggle and what makes our stomachs feel a little flatter or what makes them look like we stuffed a loaf of bread under our shirts (it actually probably was that loaf of bread I ate to create such an illusion). As I am getting older though, I am learning I don't just want the outward appearance of strong abs, I actually want inner strength in my core.
That inner core is what connects our entire body and allows us to maintain an overall balance. If you have ever tried to do a workout move involving just your arms or just your legs, if you focus on your abs you will realize they are always engaged. That core is keeping our bodies stabilized. Using our core to stand up straighter and take a few extra deep breaths is essential in literally holding all of us together.
So on the days when you just don't feel like moving or don't have the time for an hour long sweat session, take 15 minutes to go through these ab exercises below once, twice, or even three times if you're feeling ambitious. Usually if we are strong and feeling empowered on the inside, it will resonate to what is exposed on the outside. So check out these ab moves I have almost come to love and have found to be exercises to challenge and strengthen our inner and outer cores.
My leggings are designed by Me2roo who has an incredibly talented artist and designer who created a brand that is woman friendly for all sizes while still maintaining an awesome style and the most comfortable fit. These leggings are available across the country in many health and fitness centers or can be purchased online at www.me2roo.com. You will feel SO good when you put these leggings on, you will not want to take them off! The yoga mat I am using is a Jade yoga mat and is awesome. It's sweat proof and provides great support. They can be found online or locally at Balance Yoga Studio.
Perform each exercise for 15 reps and repeat this routine 2 to 3 times through.
Start in a seated position with your legs making a v-shape and your abs engaged, shoulders back. As you lean back also straighten your legs. You should feel this in your entire core.
Stay in the v-sit position and twist from side to side. Hold on to weights for an extra burn.
Leg raise and crunch
Lay back flat with arms behind your ahead. Lift your legs up at a slight angle. Straighten your legs, toes pointing towards the sky and crunch up.
Side plank and dip
Get into a side plank position and then lower your side towards the mat. Repeat on other side.
Plank with Tummy Tuck
Start in a plank position. Bring your knee towards to the same side elbow. Alternate sides for a goal of 15-20 reps.