Start 2018 feeling positive and powerful with simple strength training exercises designed to show results. The three core exercises below require minimal equipment and are achievable no matter your starting point. That’s a win for your abs, and for your New Year’s resolutions!
So ready, set… get strong!
Forearm plank leg march | Works: abdominals, glutes
Combining a traditional plank with lower body movement will make your abs and glutes burn. The plank position strengthens the transverse abdominals, the deep muscles of your core that stabilise the spine.
1. Begin in a forearm plank position with your elbows below your shoulders. Align your hips with your heels and shoulders, and engage your core and glutes. Distribute your weight between your toes and forearms.
2. Use your core and glutes to lift your right leg a few inches off the floor. Then return your leg to the starting position. That is one rep.
3. Repeat the movement with your left leg. That is another rep. Alternate lifting each leg for the number of reps you’d like to complete.
Fast mountain climber | Works: abdominals
Boost your heart rate and metabolism while toning your core with this dynamic exercise. It primarily works the abs, which stabilize your shifting position. The faster you move, the more calories you will burn.
1. Begin in a high plank position, with your shoulders above your hands and your toes hip-width apart. Distribute your weight evenly between your toes and hands.
2. Quickly pull your right knee towards your chest while keeping your upper body stable and your shoulders above your wrists.
3. Quickly switch your legs, pulling your left knee to your chest and returning your right foot to the floor. Alternate raising each leg, maintaining a rapid pace for the course of the exercise.
Medicine ball Russian twist | Works: abdominals
Adding a medicine ball to this core exercise increases resistance and quickly makes you stronger. The twisting movement targets your obliques, and the suspended leg position improves lower-body stabilisation.
1. Sit on the floor and hold a medicine ball at your chest with both hands. Bend your knees and raise your feet until your shins are parallel to the floor. Lean back and engage your core to stay upright.
2. Exhale and draw your navel towards your spine. Use your core to rotate your upper body, bringing the medicine ball to your left side.
3. Inhale and return to the centre, then exhale and rotate to your right. Inhale and return to the centre again. That is one rep. Alternate rotating to each side for the number of reps you’d like to complete, without letting your feet or back fall.
For more core exercises for women, as well as exercises for abs and other strength training workouts and bodyweight exercises, pick up Get Strong For Women.