A well balanced core is an absolute key for anyone. Men and women both benefit from having the muscles of the trunk strengthened because not only does it create a nice, tight mid-section, but it also helps with preventing back injuries, lifting, and really doing anything that involves your body.
This routine will not only help you shape up your abs and midsection, but will also provide an all-points workout to your entire core to ensure that your body is strong and stable no matter what type of activity you are going to engage in.
The Hard Core Workout
This workout is done circuit style. Ideally you don’t rest between exercises but you can take a 1 minute break at the end of the circuit. Then repeat the circuit two to three times for maximum core effectiveness.
- The Ab Chop – Lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Extend your arms above your head clasped together. Perform a crunch and as you come up swing your arms down to the right side of your knees like you are chopping an axe downward. Lower slowly back down and on the next rep chop to the left side. Do 30 repetitions.
- T-Twists – Assume a push-up position with arms locked out and hands shoulder width apart. Shift your bodyweight to the right side and then twist your body to the left, reaching your left hand straight up to the ceiling. Your weight is supported by your right arm, back is flat, and your body looks like a “T”. Hold for a two count and then return to the starting position. Switch sides on the next repetition and complete 8 to 12 total.
- Side V’s – Lie on your side with your arms crossed at your chest. Now raise both legs off the ground while simultaneously raising your shoulders. The movement is very small but extremely focused on the oblique muscles. Do 10 to 12 repetitions per side.
- Plank with Arm Lift – Assume a plank position (like a push-up but with your forearms flat on the ground). Spread your feet wide for balance. Raise your left arm out and point it towards 10 o’clock (if you head was aimed at noon). Hold that position for a two count and bring the arm back. Repeat with the right hand aiming at 2 o’clock. Aim for 6 to 8 repetitions per side.
- The Cobra – Lie flat on your stomach with your arms at your sides. Contract your back and glute muscles to raise your head, chest, arms, and shoulders off the ground while also lifting your legs. Imagine trying to assume a position for sliding head-first down a slip-n-slide. Ideally only your hips are touching the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Jackknife Crunches – Lie flat on your back with arms stretched out overhead. Simultaneously raise your feet off the ground and curl your upper body up to try and touch your hands to your toes. Hold the contraction for a single count then slowly lower back down but stop before your feet and arms touch the ground. Aim for 15 to 20 repetitions.