How to Achieve Tighter Abs in Just Ten Minutes
Everyone wants to be leaner and more toned, but when you’re battling a busy schedule it can be tough fitting it all in. How can you achieve a toned body in a shorter space of time, as well as fitting in cardio, weights and stretching into your routine? Fitness trainer Angie Miller shares her secrets for a sculpted stomach that even the busiest woman can fit into her schedule.
Side-lying oblique crunch with clam-shell legs
This exercise works the oblique muscles, glutes, inner thighs and the deep abdominal muscles known as transverse abdominis. You begin by laying on your side on a mat with your knees bent and placed slightly in front of your body. Keep your torso long and extended, bending your bottom arm for support and your elbow directly below your shoulder to avoid injury. Separate your knees into a clamshell position and place the inner soles of your feet together. Bend your top arm at the elbow and rest your fingertips just behind your ear, before engaging your abs and lower back muscles. With your first movement, inhale first then as you exhale you should lift your hips and bring your upper knee to your elbow. Essentially you want to be performing a side crunch movement. Keep your torso strong and stable to avoid putting too much strain on your upper body. You need to perform one set of 16 repetitions, single counts, then perform one set of eight repetitions with pulses (up and pulse for three, lower down on four). After you’ve done this, switch sides and repeat. If you find the move too challenging, keep your knees together instead of separating them.
Seated clam-shell crunch
This movement works the six pack muscles, inner thighs and the lower back. Begin in the seated position on your mat facing front, with your knees bent and your hands on the floor behind your hips to support your weight. Sit up tall so that your torso is extended and your chest is open. Keep the soles of your feet together and separate your knees, lifting your feet a few inches off the floor. Inhale, then as you exhale bring your legs off the floor and your knees towards your chest – this should mean that you’re performing an abdominal crunch from your starting position. Keep your core strong and try not to hike up your shoulders. You need to perform one set of single repetitions of single counts and hen one set of eight repetitions with pulses – up and pulse for three, then lower down on four. You need to keep this movement controlled and stable so as to really strengthen your core and lower back.
Side plank with arm extension
The side plank works the obliques, transverse abdominis, gluteus medius and the inner thighs. Begin on your side with your torso long and your legs straight, stacked on top of each other. Bend your bottom elbow and place it directly beneath your shoulder for support. Keep your abs and lower back engaged as you lift your hips and knees off the floor, extending yout upper arm above your head. Your bottom foot needs to stay in contact with the floor as your lift, and you need to keep your head in line with your spine. Pause at the top for a few seconds then gently lower yourself back down, keeping your core strong at all times. This is a fantastic exercise for toning the abdominal muscles and for strengthening the lower back.
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