Let’s start with why the building a strong abdominal core is so important. An underdeveloped, weak core can lead to poor athletic performance and back pain. Working your tummy everyday or every other day is key to staying in shape and looking good.
Here are three of my favorite moves to try out.
Revolving Wild Thing: Start in down dog. Lift right leg as high as you can into a 3 pt. down dog. Roll to outer edge of left foot as if you are going into side plank. Continue this revolving action as you keep your right leg bent and step your right foot behind the left. Raising up to the ball of your right foot. Lift your hips and chest as you release your right arm and reach it as far as you can towards the front of your space. Reverse this pattern until you end up in down dog. Repeat all on the left side. Keep alternating side to side.
Alternating Toe Touches: Lay on back in a long body stretch. Keeping legs and arms straight, alternately lift one leg up and try to touch your toes. Slowly lower down to the long stretch and then do the same thing on the other leg.
Bicycle Crunches: Start off on your back. Lift shoulder blades off ground and bring legs to a bent 90 degree angle. Alternately crunch right elbow to left knee and then twist to crunch left elbow to right knee. Go as slow as you need to feel the contractions in the waistline and transverse abdominal muscles.
The key on all of these variations is to flex the stomach muscles while keeping your spine lengthened. And, be sure to hold the main contraction for at least a full count for a maximum abdominal contraction. Use your breath to your advantage. Exhale on the contractions to squeeze the muscles tighter.
Do 3-5 sets of max quality reps to failure every other day. You can even use these as warm up or activation drills pre-workout.