If you have been working on core stability (planks, deadbugs, bridges, etc.) and mobility (sit ups, oblique curls, back hyper-extensions) for at least a couple months, try kicking it up a notch by adding resistance. You can use a dumbbell, medicine ball, or weight plate for these exercises below.
Start with a lighter weight, focus on your form, and change up the tempo of the exercises. You can go faster, if you are always in control of the movement with good form.
Standing Chop and Lift
- Keep your abs engaged, chest open, and your arms straight.
- The motion comes from the center of you body, not your shoulders.
See Chop & Lift in action here:
Now onto some floor exercises.
- Lie supine with the dumbbell in your right hand, elbow bent at 90 degrees.
- “Hammer” the weight down as you lift your chest and crunch.
- Stop the momentum with your abdominals, and return to starting position.
Crunch with Knee Extension
- Start supine with your feet off the floor (knees up).
- Actively press your hands together into the dumbbell with your elbows in and shoulders down away from your ears.
- Crunch and kick one leg out, then return to starting position.
Crunch Ups with Dumbbell Transfer (WATCH YOUR HEAD!)
- Start supine with both legs up (a bend in the knees is OK or feet on the floor).
- Arms are straight up with weight in the right hand.
- Crunch up, reaching towards your toes.
- Lower down and CAREFULLY transfer weight to left hand, repeat.
Crunch & Reach
- Press your hands together into the dumbbell throughout the entire exercise.
- Extend one leg out with your knees adjacent to each other.
- Crunch and reach towards your toe, pulling your abs in (sucking in 2 inches below your belly button).
- Keep your extended leg as still as possible throughout the entire movement.
Here’s your challenge: Do 15-25 reps of each exercise with no breaks and repeat as many times as you can for 10 minutes. This means going from one exercise to another as fast as possible (with control).