via Fit Sugar by Lizzie Fuhr
Dedicate a handful of minutes a day to getting stronger and more defined abs. Perform each of the following exercises for one minute each. If you have 10 or 15 to spare for your future six-pack, then repeat this sequence two or three times.
Number 1: Mountain Climbers
- Start in a traditional push-up starting position — shoulders over hands and weight on just your toes.
- Bring your right foot forward, bending the knee and putting weight on the ball of your foot.
- Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward while moving the right leg back. It feels a little like running in place in a plank position.
- For an advanced variation to work your abs more, keep the ball of your foot off the floor as you bring the knee in toward your chest.
- Quickly move through this exercise for as long as possible without taking a break — at least 30 seconds! Take a quick breather if need be, but pick up again until one minute is up.
Number 2: Plank With Side Step
- Start on the floor, resting on your forearms and knees, and come up into a plank position. Contract your abs to prevent your booty from sticking up or sinking. Your spine should be parallel to the floor, your abs pulling toward the ceiling, and your feet should be close to hip-distance apart.
- Once you’re in a strong elbow plank, step your left foot outward (about eight to 10 inches), keeping your core engaged and strong. Step your left foot back to the starting position. Now, step your right foot outward before coming back to center. This counts as one rep.
- Complete as many reps as possible for one minute.
Number 3: Bicycle Crunches
- Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground (pull your abs down to also target your deep abs). Put your hands behind your head.
- Bring your knees in toward your chest, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground, but be sure not to pull on your neck.
- Straighten your left leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your left elbow toward the right knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
- Now switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep (and to create the “pedaling” motion).
- Perform exercise for one minute.
Number 4: Elbow Plank With Twist
- Come into a side plank on your right side, with your feet stacked one on top of the other and your weight on your right elbow with your fingers reaching away from your body.
- Place your left arm behind your head, and inhale to prepare.
- Exhale and pull your navel to your spine to engage your deep abs, and rotate your left rib cage toward the floor. Stay there for a second, and deepen your abdominal connection, pulling your navel in toward your spine even more.
- Return to starting position, repeat for 30 seconds, and then switch sides. Repeat series again until a minute is up.
Number 5: Tabletop Lift
- Start in a tabletop position. Your hands should be directly underneath your shoulders and your ankles underneath your knees.
- On an exhale, lower your hips and straighten your legs so your hips are hovering above the floor. As you lower your hips and straighten your legs, your heels will rest on the ground. Flex your toes up towards the ceiling in order to engage your legs.
- Hold for a complete breath, then inhale and push yourself back into first tabletop position. This counts as one rep.
- Perform as many reps as possible, pivoting on your hands and heels, until one minute is up.