A strong core is the cornerstone of safe and easy movement. This effective 10 minute strength training workout will build your abs so you can run faster, lift heavier and prevent injury when being active.
Fact: your core is the very reason you’re able to go about your day-to-day activities. You may not realise it, but ab muscles engage even during the simplest movements, such as rolling out of bed, walking to the shops or picking clothes up off the floor.
Build your ab muscles with these three effective exercises so you can run your next 5K challenge faster, rearrange heavy furniture to refresh your interiors and tackle the rest of your daily tasks with ease.
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Strength training: 5 plank variations to strengthen your entire core
- Lie with your back flat against the ground and legs together.
- Place your hands under the top of your glutes to protect your lower back.
- Keeping the legs as straight as possible, raise them toward the ceiling.
- Slowly lower your legs back down, but do not let the feet touch the floor (float the legs one-inch above the ground).
- Your bum should come off the ground when your legs are in the air, but your back should remain flat against the floor throughout the entire move.
Do 15 reps
High Plank with Kettlebell Drag
- Starting in table-top position with your hands underneath your shoulders and knees under hips, go into a high plank position. You want to keep your hips down and your neck long – there should be a straight line from your head to your back and shoulders.
- Use your right hand to drag your kettlebell (or 1L bottle of water) from the left side of your body, over to the right side of your body.
- Then, without rocking the hips, use the left arm to drag the kettlebell (or heavy object) over to the opposite side.
Do 20 reps
Deadbug with resistance bands
- Lie with your back flat against the floor and place the resistance band around your wrists.
- Bend your knees to bring your legs up into a 90-degree angle.
- With the resistance band around your wrists, hold both arms straight above your head, pointing toward the ceiling.
- Slowly straighten one leg and lower towards the floor, keeping a one-inch gap between your foot and the ground.
- Slowly return that same leg back to a 90-degree, bent knee position and straighten the opposite leg.
- Keep the core engaged throughout the entire move – your entire body should stay still apart from the one moving leg.
Do 20 reps. Complete 3 rounds of entire set.
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Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).