Do you struggle to get to the gym as often as you would like to? If you have a spare 10-20 minutes in the morning or evening why not get your gym mat out and have a core home exercise routine? Finding the motivation to train at home can be difficult at first. But as soon as you get into a routine it becomes second nature so here’s 5 great ab exercises that you can do at home to get you started:
The plank is a fantastic exercise which requires all core muscles to work in order to hold and stabilise the body in position. This exercise typically requires your arms to be straight with your hands shoulder width apart with just your toes and hands in contact with the floor. You should raise your hips off the ground so that you form a nice straight line from your shoulder to your heels. Be sure not to let your back dip or remain too high to ensure your back remains protected throughout the exercise. Variations of this exercise include the table top plank which requires your forearms to be in contact with the ground and a regressive option of having your knees in contact with the ground.
Crunches are a great exercise which have so many variations to keep you engaged and motivated. If crunches are done correctly, they work the lower area of the core. Whilst lying on your back with your knees bent and your hands behind your head or on your ears, lift your chest off the ground and towards your knees. However, to optimise the tension in the core try to keep your chest off the ground all of the way through the set with just small movements (try not to come up too high otherwise this targets the higher areas of the core and becomes more like a sit up). Variations include sitting on a stability ball and working the obliques by twisting your shoulders to the opposite side as opposed to lifting straight up and down.
Heel taps are a great oblique exercise. In the same position as the crunches, instead of lifting your chest up and down, you twist your core to the side so that you can touch your heel with your hands. If this strains your neck then support your head with your opposite hand. Be sure to switch sides with the same reps and sets.
Flutter kicks are a lovely lower core workout. Whilst lying on your back with your feet out straight and close together, lift your feet off the ground and as one leg raises, the other leg descends (kind of like if your swimming and pushing on a float) and try to keep your feet as close to the floor as possible without coming into contact with the floor. If this strains your lower back then keep one leg vertical whilst the other leg ascends and descends.
Russian twists work the obliques which can be achieved with your body weight or whilst holding a weight (even a heavy water bottle could do the job). Whilst in a seated position with just your feet and bum in contact with the floor, twist your hands from the outside of one hip to the other. If you want to increase the intensity, raise your feet off the floor. Be sure to keep your back straight throughout the movement and try to hold the weight at the hip for a second rather than at the centre of the movement to keep the core under constant tension for optimal results.
We hope these core exercises help keep you active whilst at home! Stay tuned for more home exercise routines 😊