Summer’s here and the heat is on to tighten up your tummy for the pool or beach. If you want your belly to be bikini-ready fast you need exercises that engage all your abdominal muscles. This killer tummy-cinching routine works magic on muffin tops and that soft belly pooch and will leave your tummy tight and toned in two weeks!
The routine is simple – perform each of the following exercises for one minute each moving directly to the next exercise. Repeat the full-circuit 3 times to start off, then try to add additional circuits as your tummy gets stronger. Perform this routine 3 to 5 days a week and combined with a healthy diet you’ll be flashing some navel in no time!
1. Reverse Crunch
The reverse crunch works the transverse abdominal which is the deepest muscles in our stomach, making it a great tummy toner.
- Relax all the way down on your back and bring your knees up. Place your arms at your sides with your palms facing down. Bend your hips 90 degrees and hold your feet together.
- Raise your hips off the floor and crunch them inward bringing your knees towards your chest. Imagine that you’re trying to empty a bowl of water that is resting on your pelvis. Remember that your hips and lower back should raise up off the floor.
- Pause for a second and then lower your hips and lower back to touch the floor. Do this for 60 seconds before moving to the next exercise.
2. Scissor Crunch
Scissor kicks are great for your lower abdominal muscles and work the transverse abdominal and obliques while also strengthening your hip flexors.
- Lay flat on your back and place both your arms at your sides with your palms facing down.
- Bring one leg up 90 degrees while holding the other leg slightly off the ground. Make sure you don’t allow the leg that isn’t raised to rest on the ground as this will reduce the abdominal activation.
- Alternate raising and lowering each leg simultaneously and focus on engaging your abdominal muscles. If you find your abs aren’t strong enough to do this exercise simply place your hands underneath your butt instead of at your sides, this will give you give you a little bit of extra help.
- Do scissor crunches for 60 seconds.
3. Elbow to Knee Crunch
- Start off by making sure your back is flat on the floor place your hands behind your head like you’re holding a ball. Rest your left ankle so that is locked on top of your right knee.
- Lift both knees toward your chest while raising your shoulder blades off the floor and touching your right elbow to your left knee. Make sure you don’t pull on your neck as this reduces the abdominal muscles activation.
- Perform the exercise for 30 seconds on your left side and 30 seconds on your right side then move on to the next exercise.
4. Diagonal Plank
- Keep your body in a straight line and lift your right arm and left leg off the ground supporting yourself with your left arm and right leg.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds and then swap arms and legs, remember to keep your core engaged and keep your body straight from head to toe.
5. Russian Twists
- Start by sitting on the floor and clasping your hands together.
- Bend your knees and position your feet so that there is a 90 degree angle with your feet and hips. Keep your feet together and raise your legs so that they are straight. This is the initial position.
- Without rounding your back, twist your torso over your left side then return to the initial position and twist your torso over your right side.
- Repeat this movement alternating each side for 60 seconds.
6. Mountain Climber
- The initial position is to start in a push-up or plank position with your chest over your hands. Keep your shoulder blades down, your glutes engaged and focus on keeping your naval in towards your spine.
- Keeping your spine straight and core engaged bring your right knee in towards your left arm just between your elbow and wrist. Return to the initial position and then do the same movement with your left knee to your right arm.
- Start out slow and then increase the speed of the ‘climbs’, continue this for 60 seconds.