Even on those days that you don’t feel like hitting your workout routine hard, it’s still important to try to squeeze some kind of exercise in. You’ll feel better and see results much faster. Here are a few easy ab workouts to cruise through on your off days:
T-Bends: T-bends are great for working your oblique muscles, the muscles on the right and left sides of your abdominals. You’ll need light weights, preferably three to five pound ones. Standing up, with your feet hip-distance apart, hold your arms out to either side, with a weight in each hand. You will form a T shape, hence the name of the ab exercise. Keeping your knees and back straight, hinge slightly from side to side with a continuous, controlled motion. Make sure your hips stay straight and facing forward as you do. Start with 20 reps on either side and work up from there.
Butterfly Leg Raise: Start lying on your back, with the soles of your feet touching and your knees spread out to either side (a butterfly position). Place your arms next to you on the ground or under your behind for added support. Keeping your knees wide and your feet together, raise your legs, forming a 90-degree angle at your waist. Do 15 to 25 of these and gradually add on more each time you do them.
Backward Sit-Ups: The motion of backward sit-ups is similar to that of a regular one, except that you begin at the top, instead of at the bottom, on the ground. Begin by sitting up with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Cross your arms in front of your chest and lower your body about half way to the ground before coming back up. Strive for more of a rolling action than a leaning one and go for three sets of 15… very slowly.
Side Crunches: Help bust that belly fat and the annoying bulges that sit on your hips with one of the most beneficial and easy ab workouts around: the side crunch. Begin lying on your back, in the regular sit-up position, with your hands behind your head and your feet on the ground. Drop your knees to the right side, still bent. Begin tilting up toward the ceiling, careful to keep your elbows stretched wide and your torso aimed up, instead of tracking over your knees. Do 25 before switching to the left side. Repeat the same again on the right and left.
The Plank: If you’re familiar with Ab Workouts for Women, you know that we’re big fans of planks. Planks are great because they work every muscle in your core, along with your shoulders and legs. Begin at the top of a push-up position, spreading your fingers wide. Flex your stomach muscles to support your back and hold. Start with 30 seconds at a time and work your way up from there. For more plank ideas and tips, check out Coach Ang’s Plank Workout Roundup of 10 awesome plank workouts.
Need more exercise ideas? This book is so rad and I use mine all the time: The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises. Seriously. This book has so many routines and great exercise ideas and workouts.
-“Get Flatter Abs Fast” Family Circle
-“15 Minute Abs Workout” Women’s Health
-Photo courtesy of photostock/freedigitalphotos.net