Defined abs may be a fitness goal that many of us have, but it’s important to remember that working out is about so much more than just how we look. That’s why our abs workouts should also include strengthening the rest of our core. Yep, abs and core are not the same thing. While abs are a part of it, the core also includes muscles in the lower back, hips, and pelvis. All motion comes from our core, and a strong core is important for balance and stability, posture, and getting us through the day injury-free. Read: there’s a reason every workout class ever tells us to engage it.
So we tapped Bridget O’Carroll, founder of Studio Qila, the first Indigenous-owned online fitness studio, to share a bodyweight workout that strengthens the entire core. In addition to being just five minutes long, it requires no equipment and no standing up. (NGL, that last one is a major workout selling point for us.) Keep reading and watch the video to get the full workout.
Elevated Supine Toe Taps
Elevated Supine Leg Extensions
Supine Bird Dog Variations
Hollow Body Hold
The Move: Elevated Supine Toe Taps
How to: Sit down on your mat and lean back onto your elbows. Lift both legs up to a 90-degree angle, with your knees stacked on top of your hips. Maintain that angle while you slowly drop your legs until your toes tap your mat. As you move, elongate your spine and actively squeeze your core. If you feel anything at all in your low back, try tapping one toe at a time.
The Move: Elevated Supine Leg Extensions
How to: Start in the same elbow-supported position. Knees start at 90 degrees on top of your hips, then slowly extend your legs away from you. If that’s too much, try doing one leg at a time.
The Move: Boat Pose
How to: Sit up all the way, with your palms down behind you, fingertips facing you. Extend your legs out long as you lean back, bend your elbows, and engage your core. For a heavier option, remove the support of your arms and extend them in front of you, palms facing down. For a more supported option, keep your feet and hands on your mat.
The Move: Supine Bird Dog Variations
How to: Lie all the way down on your mat. Lift your legs to a 90-degree angle; knees should be right on top of your hips. Keep your head, neck and shoulders grounded on your mat, then place your palms on your thighs and push as hard as you can, without letting your legs move. The harder you push, the deeper the activation you’ll feel in your center and lower abs. Start to extend your left arm and leg while your right palm continues to push on your right leg. Switch sides. After a few reps, start extending both arms and both legs at the same time.
The Move: Hollow Body Hold
How to: Float your legs away from you and extend your arms overhead. Squeeze your core and hold for 30 seconds to finish.
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