6 Essential Workouts for a Stronger Core & Flatter Belly

Hero Shot 3 _ photo by Jesse Deyoung

The holiday season is in full gear and all of those small indulgences and missed workouts can really start to add up. If you’re feeling a little softness in your belly, here are six essential workouts to get your core feeling strong and lean again. Strengthening your abs doesn’t just give you a slimmer waist, it helps improve your posture, prevent back pain and levels up your overall fitness performance. Here’s to helping you kick butt this holiday season.

For the best results, do all five exercises once and then repeat one to two more times.

Workout 1: Star Crunches

Star Crunches 1_photo cred Jesse Deyoung Star Crunches 2_photo cred Jesse Deyoung

Lacey is wearing the Double Dare Colorburst Bra and Sonar Tight Magnetic.

Lay face up on the ground with your legs and arms a little wider than shoulder width apart. Concentrate on contracting the abs; don’t pull up with your neck. For help, you can use your grounded hand to help push up. Lift your right leg off the ground while you use your right arm to prop yourself up. Then, reach your left arm to your right leg. Be sure to maintain good posture, and don’t force your hand to your leg. Alternate from the right side to the left side.

Do this exercise for 20 reps, 10 on each side.

Make It Harder: Keep your feet off the ground for the entire set.

Workout 2: Box Lemon Squeezes

Lemon Squeeze 1_ photo by Jesse Deyoung Lemon Squeeze 2_ photo by Jesse Deyoung

Sit on the very edge of a box, bench or table. Lean back and straighten the legs with the toes pointing up. Pull the knees into your chest in a smooth motion. Be sure to keep space between your chin and chest.

Do this exercise for 20 reps.

Make It Harder: Do not hold onto the bench; use your core to maintain balance.

Workout 3: Rotation Mountain Climber

Rotational Mountain Climber 3_Photo by Jesse Deyoung Rotational Moutain Climber 1_photo by Jesse Deyoung

Begin in the “up” part of a push-up with hands outside shoulders, feet shoulder width apart, and your core engaged. Bring your left knee forward toward your right elbow so your left hip points toward the floor. Return to the previous position, then repeat on opposite side.

Do this exercise for 20 reps, 10 on each side.

Make It Harder: Try to do 40 reps, 20 on each side.

Workout 4: Dumbbell V-Sit

Dumbbell V-Up 1_ Photo by Jesse Deyoung Dumbbell V-Up 2_ photo cred Jesse Deyoung

Grab your weight and hold it with both hands with the small of your back and your arms resting on the floor. Your knees should be slightly bent with only your heels touching the ground. Come up to the V-Sit position, making sure you don’t use momentum. Get up slowly, lifting your body off the ground and bringing your arms up over your head in a V-Sit position. Maintain the sit before you slowly come back to the ground. You’ll be amazed at how hard your core has to work to keep you balanced and stable.

Do this exercise for 20 reps. Start out with a 5, 8 or 10 lb dumbbell depending on your fitness level.

Make It Harder: Choose a heavier weight that will challenge you without compromising your form.

Workout 5: Side Plank

Side Plank Hip Raise 1 Option 2_ photo cred Jesse Deyoung Side Plank Hip Raise 2_photo cred Jesse Deyoung

Sit on your left side with your legs slightly bent and your feet staggered. Place your left hand about 12 inches from your pelvis. Push your hand into the ground and straighten your legs as you lift your pelvis off the ground. Once in start position, pop your hips up just a little while engaging your core. Hold the pop position for a two count before you return to start position.

Do this exercise for 20 reps on each side.

Make It Harder: Hold a 5,10, 15 lb dumbbell in the arm that is above your head.

Workout 6: Lunge Rotation

lunge

Grab a 5 to 15 pound dumbbell with both hands. Stand with your feet in a lunge position. Bend your knees and lower your body until both of your legs form 90-degree angles. Make sure your knee doesn’t come over the tip of your toe on the leg that is lunging forward. On the back leg, make sure to lift your heel off the ground. Holding the dumbbell with both hands, bend your arms so that the dumbbell is resting just below your chin. Bracing your abs, twist your torso to the same side that your leg is lunging forward. Twist back to center and repeat.

Do this exercise for 20 reps on each side

Make It Harder: Try using a heavier weight.

Shop Lacey’s Power Player Look

Hero 6_Jesse Deyoung

Lacey is wearing the Double Dare Colorburst Bra, Space Dye Strength Hoodie 2, and Sonar Tight Magnetic.

Photos by: Jesse Deyoung

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1 Comment
margie

December 07, 2015 at 7:09 pm

I think I will give this a try. well see ❤

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