Ab workouts aren’t limited to athletes and the under-30 crowd!
As a matter of fact, older adults rank as one of the top groups who should be regularly doing core strengthening exercises. The main reason? Around the age of 30, we start to lose our muscle mass if we don’t do anything to actively replace it. Sculpting and strengthening your midsection is key to staying healthy and active.
These seven exercises target and tone your midsection and love handles, and will definitely have you feeling the burn. (Which is a good thing!)
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When moving through these exercises, here are a few instructions to keep in mind:
Complete 3 rounds of all 7 exercises, with a one-minute rest between each round.
Try to incorporate this workout at least three times a week for the best results.
Remember to keep water handy and stretch when you’re done!
1. Full-Body Roll-Up: 12 Reps
How to perform a full-body roll-up:
Start lying on the mat with your arms extended overhead, legs long, and feet flexed.
Inhale as you lift your arms up and begin curling your chin and chest forward. Exhale as you roll the entire torso up and over legs, keeping your abs engaged while reaching for the toes.
Begin rolling your spine back down one vertebra at a time, and exhale as the upper portion of the back lowers and arms reach overhead.
Repeat, moving slowly and using your abs (not momentum) to lift and lower.
2. Russian Twist: 12 Full Rotations (24 Twists)
How to perform Russian twists:
Start seated with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, holding both hands in front of the chest (a dumbbell is optional).
Keeping the spine long and the abdominals tight, lean back slightly and lift the feet a few inches off the floor. (To modify, keep the feet on the floor.)
Slowly twist the torso to the left and bring the hands beside the left hip. Return to center, and then slowly twist to the right and bring the hands beside the right hip to complete one rotation.
3. Side Plank Lift and Lower: 12 Reps Per Side
How to perform a side plank lift and lower:
Come into a side forearm plank by lying in one long line on one side, stacking your elbow under your shoulder, and keeping your forearm on the mat perpendicular to your body.
Stack your feet and stay in one long line as you engage your core and lift your hips up, forming a side forearm plank.
Dip your hips down towards the mat and lift back up using your obliques and core muscles.
4. Swimmers: 30 Seconds
How to perform swimmers:
Lie on your stomach with your legs and arms extended. Keep your abs tight.
Lift your arms and legs off the floor and keep your nose in a hover above the mat. Flutter your arms and legs like you’re swimming, moving from the hips and shoulders (not the knees and elbows).
Remember to breathe as you flutter.
5. Oblique Crunch: 12 Reps Per Side
How to perform oblique crunches:
Start lying on your side in one long line with your shoulder stacked over your elbow, leaning on your forearm.
Swing your legs forward and lean back on your glutes slightly (like you’re sitting on the back pocket of your blue jeans), and lift your legs diagonally off the mat, knees slightly bent, while extending your top arm behind your head.
Contract your core as you reach your knees up to your elbow. Then lower your legs and lift your arm to return to start. Remember to repeat on the other side.
6. Bicycle Crunches: 30 Seconds
How to perform a bicycle crunch:
Start lying on your back with your feet off the floor and legs in a tabletop position. Hands are behind your head, and your head, neck, and shoulders are flexed off the mat.
Bring one knee in and reach it toward the opposite elbow. Repeat on the other side in a crisscross motion working the obliques.
7. Bend-Extend Ab Tuck: 12 Reps
How to perform a bend-extend ab tuck:
Start seated on the mat with arms behind you, hands on the mat, and fingers facing your backside. Sit back on your hands and lift your feet off the mat, keeping the knees bent.
Keep your abs tight, press your legs out long, and lower your back down slightly (you should feel your lower abdominals working).
Push yourself back up and pull your knees in to return to your starting position. That’s one rep.
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