Varying your core workouts is key to tightening your tummy and creating strong, defined muscles. If your abs have ever been so sore that it hurts to laugh, you know how hard it is to avoid using your core muscles for everyday movements. Actions you wouldn’t think twice about like getting out of bed or picking something up off the floor require core strength. A strong core not only gives you a tight waistline, it also supports your entire body. You need to do more than just crunches to target all of your core muscles in your workout. Here are 6 non-crunch exercises guaranteed to tighten every part of your tummy.
Big Corkscrew– Lie on your back with your legs straight and hands palm down by your sides. Keep your chest open as you squeeze your legs together and use your abs to bring your legs up and over your head. Stop once your legs are parallel to the ground. This is where your corkscrew will start. Slowly and with control, roll down the right side of your spine as you circle your legs clockwise. Lower your legs as low as you can without disengaging your abs and arching your back. Bring your legs down and around, ending back where you started with your legs over your head. Reverse the circle as you roll down the left side of your spine. Do 5 in each direction.
Bum Lifts– Target your lower abs with this exercise. Lie on your back with your hands by your sides. Lift your legs straight up in the air and cross your ankles. Keep a soft bend in your knees. Contract your abs to lift your hips slightly off the ground and back down with control. For maximum effectiveness, try to keep your legs from coming towards your face as you do the bum lift. Lift them as straight up to the sky as possible. Do ten and then cross the other ankle over and do 10 more. For your second set, try bringing your arms over your head to make it more challenging. This way you must focus on using only your abs to lift your hips.
Scissor Kicks– Lie on your back with your legs at a tabletop position. Place your hands behind your head as you engage your abs and curl your head, neck and shoulders off the ground. Straighten your legs out only as low as you can hold them without letting your lower back lift off the ground. Alternate kicking your legs up and down at a fast pace while keeping your torso stable. Do this for 20 seconds and then turn your legs out and alternate scissoring them in and out horizontally for another 20 seconds.
Forearm Plank Rock– Get into a plank position on your forearms with your shoulders directly above your elbows. Pull your navel into your spine and lift up and out of your shoulder blades to prevent any sinking in your upper back. Without changing the shape of your body, rock forward until your shoulders are several inches in front of your elbows and then rock back to your start position. Do not let your hips drop while doing this. Do two sets of 10.
Rainbow Plank– Stay in your forearm plank position. Squeeze your legs together and lower your right hip towards the ground as far as you can go. Make a rainbow shape with your hips as you reverse the movement to the left side to complete one rep. Do 2 sets of 10.
Thread the Needle– Get into a side forearm plank position on your left arm. Stack your legs on top of one another and make sure your supporting elbow is directly below your supporting shoulder. Bring your right arm up to the sky. Exhale as you twist your torso, wrapping your right arm underneath your body. Activate your left oblique even more by pulling your left hip up towards the sky without changing the position of your feet. Unwrap your arm and untwist your torso to return to your start position. Do 10 on each side.
Do three sets total with a 5 minute rest in between each set.
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