5-Minute Abs (No Equipment Needed!)

Even the busiest woman has time for this super-effective ab routine. Perform each of the following exercises for one minute. If you have a few extra minutes to spare, repeat the full sequence one or two more times.

  • Start in a straight-arm plank position.
  • Bring right foot forward, bending knee.
  • Switch legs, bringing left knee forward while moving right leg back (as shown). It feels a little like running in place in a plank position.
  • Quickly move through this exercise for as long as possible without taking a break (aim for at least 30 seconds)! Take a quick breather if need be, but pick up again until one minute is up.

Plank With Side Step

  • Start in forearm plank. Spine should be parallel to floor, abs pulling toward ceiling and feet should be close to hip-distance apart.
  • Once you’re in a strong elbow plank, step left foot outward, about 8 to 10 inches (as shown), keeping core engaged and stable. Step left foot back to starting position. Now, repeat with right foot. That’s 1 rep.
  • Complete as many reps as possible in one minute.

Bicycle Crunches

  • Lie flat on floor with lower back pressed against mat and hands resting behind head.
  • Bring knees in toward chest, and lift shoulder blades off mat. Be sure not to pull on neck.
  • Straighten right leg while turning upper body to left, bringing right elbow toward left knee. Make sure torso is twisting, not just elbows.
  • Continue to alternate sides to create a fluid “pedaling” motion.
  • Perform exercise for one minute.

Side Plank With Twist

  • Come into side plank on right elbow. Feet should be stacked and hips driving up toward sky.
  • Place left arm behind head. Inhale.
  • Exhale and rotate left rib cage toward floor. Pause and imagine pulling navel in toward spine.
  • Return to starting position, repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Reverse Tabletop Lift

  • Start in a reverse tabletop position with hands directly under shoulders and ankles under knees (as shown).
  • On an exhale, lower hips and straighten legs so hips are hovering above floor. Heels will rest on ground, and toes should be flexed.
  • Hold for a complete breath, then inhale and push yourself back into reverse tabletop. That’s 1 rep.
  • Perform as many reps as possible until one minute is up.

 [Original Article]

 

Take the Plank Challenge to Carve Your Core

[Original Article]

We’re here to help you challenge your core (you’re welcome) with this plank series. It’s part of our January Jump-Start fitness plan, helping you move every day for two weeks. This challenge uses all sorts of planks to give your arms, abs, back, and butt a great workout. Click here for a printable PDF of this challenge.

Directions:

Warmup: Do 3 minutes of light cardio followed by 2 minutes of active stretching for your upper body with: shoulder and arm circles, both forward and backward; scarecrow (here’s how to do the exercise to warm up your shoulders and hips); and wrist circles.
Round 1: Hold each plank for 30 seconds.

  1. Plank
  2. Elbow plank
  3. Side plank right
  4. Side plank left
  5. Reverse plank

Round 2: Hold each plank from previous round for 45 seconds. If you’re a beginner, modify this workout by skipping this round.

Round 3: Perform each plank for 45 seconds, resting for up to 15 seconds between moves if needed.

  1. Elbow plank with side tap
  2. Plank with shoulder tap
  3. Side elbow plank with twist on right
  4. Side elbow plank with twist on left
  5. Spiderman plank (aka creepy crawler)

Cooldown: Stretch your back, chest, and shoulders.

Keep reading to review all these plank variations.

Continue reading “Take the Plank Challenge to Carve Your Core”

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