Bikini season is just a few weeks away, and if you’re anything like me, you want to tone your tummy a bit before your first beach day. Aside from cutting back on the calories and getting some good cardio four days a week (for 20 minutes), you need to start adding three or four days of ab work, too! Not sure what exercises to add to your work-out to tone your abs? No worries! Here’s my list of the seven best ab exercises…
1. Decline bench leg raises
You might be wondering how doing leg raises is going to work you abs, but trust me, after even one set of 12 of these, you’ll see. Sit on a decline bench with your hands behind you, gripping the bench, for support. Bend your knees, then using your hips as a pivot point, raise your knees up to your chest, then lower them in a controlled movement. Remember, use your HIPS as the pivot, or you might put undue strain on your back!
2. BOSU ball planks
Place the BOSU ball with the flat side on the ground. Lay in a straight “plank” position with your toes pointed and resting at the top of the BOSU ball, your shoulders and abs tight, and your body weight resting on your elbows. Hold that position as long as you can, but aim for at least 90 seconds. The difficulty will be in maintaining your balance and plank position… how long can you hold it?
3. Decline bench oblique crunches
Lie flat on your back on a decline bench with your ankles at the top, your head at the bottom, and your shoulders flat on the bench. Place your fingertips at your temples, then crunch your abs as you rise up, and point your left elbow at your right side, then lower yourself back down. As soon as your shoulders touch the bench, crunch your abs, rise up, and point your right elbow at your left side. You do NOT need to come up very far, only to a half-sitting position. If you go any further up, you might strain your back, and you won’t be getting any better of an ab work-out.