The plank is pretty much one of the only exercises where you’re giving your entire core a workout. You’re working the front and back of your abdominal area at the same time without any equipment. You’re also working out your lower back. It’s so simple and effective that you can do it anywhere.
- Start in a traditional plank position with your forearms on the ground and your body perfectly straight.
- Bring your right knee forward towards your right elbow, then return to the plank position.
- Repeat by bringing your left knee toward your left elbow.
- That’s one rep. Alternate sides for a total of 10 complete reps.
This exercise does well to target your oblique muscles and is sports-specific, so it’s great for golfers, tennis players and people who do racquet sports. Make your exercise as close to the movement that you’re going to do in your sport and you’ll get the biggest gain.
- Stand holding a cable with both hands out in front of you at just under shoulder height.
- Keeping your arms fixed and straight and your abs engaged, rotate your upper body to the left, then back to centre, and then to the right, and then back to centre.
- That’s one rep. Alternate sides for one set of 10 complete reps.
With this exercise, you’re targeting all three key abdominal areas at the same time. It combines a regular crunch, the side-to-side motion that targets the oblique muscles, and the reverse crunch that exercises the lower abs.
- Lie on your back with your hands behind your head, and your legs raised and bent at 90 degrees.
- Alternate sides by bringing your right elbow towards your left knee then your left elbow towards your right knee, building up to 60 seconds.
- Try and hold the crunch for a two-count on each side to force a slower, concentrated movement.
This one is a simple exercise, and you’re safe and supported on the ground. With your legs coming off the floor, you’re exercising your lower abs. And because you’re coming at an angle, you’re also targeting your oblique muscles.
- Lie on your back with arms and legs diagonally out so that your body forms an “X.”
- Keeping arms and legs straight, bring your right hand towards your left foot, then your left hand towards your right foot, lifting your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground.
- That’s one rep. Aim for one complete set of 10 reps.
This move is like the ab wheel, but it’s much safer and easier on the lower back. It targets all of your abdominal area because you’re staying in one plane. If you want to add another element, rolling out at a 45-degree angle to the left and right challenges the oblique muscles.
- Kneel on a mat with your hands on a Swiss stability ball.
- Keeping your back straight and your abs engaged, roll the ball as far away from you can, then slowly roll back to the starting position.
- Aim for two sets of 10 rollouts.