Washboard abs may be out of the question…but getting a stronger, leaner and more powerful core is essential. It’s hard to get people to think of flat abs, without thinking of thousands of sit-ups… but actually, a sit-up is one of the least effective ways to get to a flatter, stronger midsection that looks amazing and wards off aging. Exercises for a powerful core don’t come from running or cardio either!
When you look down at your stomach, is it “sitting on your lap?” Or, are you always mindful of sitting up straight and pulling in your belly? I didn’t think so.
Now more than ever, we are spending time sitting on laptops, binge-watching shows, and eating out of stress.
All of these things contribute to untucked shirts, wearing stretchy pants, and telling ourselves we need to go on another calorie-cutting diet.
I’m sure you’ve heard the line “abs are made in the kitchen.” Sure, eating certain foods while staying away from others is a big part of a flat belly. But don’t be fooled and simply cut calories.
A powerful core comes from working the entire pelvic region during all forms of exercise and doing specific exercises that target the internal and external muscles – including the obliques and pelvic floor.
A lean and flat belly comes from staying away from junk food and sugar and eating a nutrient-dense diet. One that is loaded with lean proteins, healthy fats, and fiber from produce – so that you can eliminate instead of store, what your body doesn’t need.
Here are 3 great Exercises for a Powerful Core:
Plank with Knees to elbows:
From a plank position on hands, alternate pulling the right knee in towards the left elbow, then back to start, then the left knee towards the right elbow, and back to start – all while keeping the glutes low and tight.
Keep your glutes engaged and hips low to create a stronger, firmer midsection.
Repeat this 10- 20 times, for 3 sets.
Lay on the floor on your back, with your arms reached up overhead and knees bent with shins parallel to the floor.
Press your lower back into the floor while contracting and engaging the front of your abdominal wall.
Don’t let your back arch and be sure to pull your pubic bone towards your navel during the execution of this entire sequence.
Slowly lower your right arm behind you towards the floor while your left leg is stretching out in a slow and controlled movement while maintaining perfect form.
Now alternate while stretching the opposite arm and leg out as you keep the back flat on the ground by pulling the belly inward and the pelvic bone inward.
Come back to the starting position with slow and controlled movements while pulling the abdominal region in tight through the entire movement.
Repeat this “scissoring slow-motion movement” for 10-20 reps. Do this in sets of 3 and mix into any workout!
Stability Ball Plank with Knee Tuck (advanced move)
Start by laying on top of a stability ball with hands reaching in front of you and feet planted firmly on the ground with legs slightly spread for balance.
Push slightly forward as you walk your hands out onto the floor into a plank position.
In this position, your glutes and core are tight, and your hands are directly under your shoulders with the stability ball at your ankles.
Be sure to be solid and stable while holding for 5 seconds.
If you are comfortable and able to hold that position, you are ready to move to the advanced exercise.
From this position, bend knees and pull them towards your chest, while slightly lifting your glutes, but maintaining control.
When your knees get to your chest, slowly and with control, go back to the starting position.
Do this for 8-20 reps.
*Get off of the stability ball by pushing hands back to the starting position, and getting off mindfully.
These moves will engage your entire pelvic floor, strengthen the entire core including the lower back and stabilizer muscles in the front and sides of your midsection.
Of course, eating a diet loaded with produce, low in sugar and one that has lean proteins, healthy fats, and carbs when you need them is key…but creating a strong core NOW is the best investment you’ll ever make for life!
p.s. If you’d like to reshape your entire body with moves you can do at home, CLICK HERE TO SEE ME IN A BIKINI AT 60, AND GET IN ON MY SECRET.