Getting six-pack abs is probably on your list of to-dos (hasn’t it always been?), but not all of us can spend an hour at the gym every day in pursuit of a shredded core. Toning your abs requires dedication and exercise all-week long, but there are many ab-sculpting moes you can do while chilling at home and enjoying your favorite show on Netflix. Next time you get home from work, turn on the TV or switch on some music and practice any of these six exercises, all from the comfort of your own home.
Go into the standard plank position with a yoga mat beneath you and ensure that your shoulders are directly above your firmly-planted palms. Hold this position as long as you can. Make sure your back is straight and that you aren’t leaning too far forward. Consider lifting your alternate arms and legs to work your core and strengthen your abdomen.
Kneeling Side Crunch
A lot more difficult than it appears, the side crunch works your core muscles while testing your balance at the same time. Line up a comfortable mat like this one from Aviva Yoga and kneel on the floor, leaning all the way over to your right side and placing your right palm firmly on the mat. Then slowly extend your left leg, with your left hand behind your head. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat six to eight times on either side.
Also done with a yoga mat on the floor, lay down flat on your back, lifting your head and legs off the mat to create a ‘V’ shape with your legs at a 45 degree angle. With your chin to your chest, lift both arms several inches off the ground and pump your hands up and down 100 times. Keep your back and legs straight for maximum toning.
An exercise that doesn’t require anything except for a chair, make sure you do this one with steady hands. Sit tall on the edge of the chair, tighten your abs, place your hands beside you and lift your butt off the chair, holding this position for as long as you can. To avoid slipping, you may want to wear a pair of extra-grip workout gloves like these ones by The Gripper Glove.
If you’re a yogi, then you’re surely familiar with the cobra position. Lying with your stomach flat on the mat, have your hands planted beneath your shoulders and curl your upper body off the mat with your face looking towards the ceiling. Pull your shoulder blades back down your body and hold for two counts. Do eight to 10 reps to strengthen your core.
Another yoga-mat abdominal exercise, lie flat on your back with your legs bent at your chest. With your head and shoulder lifted, curl your chin into your chest, and inhale as your draw your left knee in, with your right leg extended out and lifted a few inches off the ground. Hold this position for 10 seconds, and switch. Continue with five to 10 reps on each side.
If these ab exercises don’t earn you a rock hard core when practiced consistently, we don’t know what will (except for pairing it with a healthy diet and other exercise, of course). Since you can do these exercises anytime you’re hanging out at home, you might just see “Get a six-pack” disappear from your to-do list sooner rather than later.
Need more inspiration? Check out our Move It Monday series for totally dynamic routines from the best of the best.
Photos: yurok / Shutterstock, Luna Vandoorne / Shutterstock, Undrey / Shutterstock, Luna Vandoorne / Shutterstock