• Deanne Pandey

The ultimate ab workout you need to try out!

Ab and core workouts have been at the centre of almost every fitness regime. Be it strength training, CrossFit, Pilates, Yoga, or Aerobics, core strengthening and abdomen toning is included in every form of exercise. From walking to running to weightlifting, stable core muscles can make a world of difference in how you feel during exercise and everyday life. Strengthening and defining your core, particularly your abs, can be done many ways, but will require some dedicated time and effort.Yet, most of us struggle to lose fat or get defined abs. This is why we prefer to focus on our abs during our workouts and dedicate specific days. Core work can be incorporated into your workout routine several times per week. In fact, many of the “standard” strength training exercises that you may already do, like squats and deadlifts, also target your core. However focused ab workouts or conventional workouts can be pretty monotonous. You don’t always want to do crunches or planks or even use gym equipment to work your abs. Luckily, you don’t have to. If you’ve never thought about working your core while standing, you should. It may even be more effective because your core muscles aren’t just the ones you see in the mirror. They wrap all the way around your body, from your “six-pack” abs to your obliques to the muscles that stabilize and support your spine.

Here’s a great standing ab workout for every time you want to spice up your workouts and define your abs-

  1. March and twist- Stand with feet hip-width apart, shoulders down, arms overhead, and core braced. Bring right elbow to left knee as you twist through your waist, then return to starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Focus on using your core, not quads, to lift knee and squeeze obliques throughout. Continue to alternate sides for 1 minute.

  2. Reverse Chop- Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a medicine ball with both hands at chest height. Lower the ball to the outside of your right foot, allowing knees to naturally bend and feet to pivot. Bring the ball across your torso and overhead to the left, feeling your core engage. Increasing your speed will create more of a challenge. Do 10 reps, then switch sides.

  3. Standing side crunch- Stand with feet a few inches wider than hip-width apart. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and put your arms in goalpost position. Engage your core and bring left elbow to left thigh by bending at your waist and performing a side crunch.Rather than move elbow down, try to keep arms and shoulders in the same place throughout so you’re forced to use your obliques to perform the move. Do left side only for 1 minute, then right side only for 1 minute. Alternate sides for 1 minute.

  4. Crossover toe touch- Stand with feet wider than hip width and extend arms to a T. Engage your core, rotate torso to the left, and tap right hand to outside of left foot. Do left side only for 1 minute, then right side only for 1 minute. Alternate sides for 1 minute.

  5. Chair pose twist- Stand with feet hip-width apart, engage your core, send hips back, bend knees, and place hands behind head. Rotate upper body to the right, hooking left elbow to outside of right knee. Don’t allow hips to twist to the right — instead think about bringing left rib cage to right hip bone. Rotate to the other side to complete 1 rep. Do 20 reps.

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