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5 Crunch-Free Moves for Bikini-Ready Abs

Today is officially the first day of the most belly-baring season: summer! While we may be tempted to chill out by the pool with a tasty drink, it's not the time to slack off on staying fit and strong (but when is?). We asked Jill Miller, trainer and creator of the new Coregeous workout DVD, to share five of her favorite, unique moves that tone the midsection.

Add them to your routine this week and hit the beach with confidence all summer long!

Magician’s Assistant on a Ledge

  1. Place your right hip on a brick and right elbow on the ground.
  2. Engage your side-waist muscles to raise your legs to hover four to six inches above the ground. (Make sure that your shoulders, pelvis and ankles line up with each other, and that the two legs remain glued together.)
  3. Sustain the position while breathing deeply for one full minute, then switch sides and repeat.

WHY? "This exercise targets the internal and external oblique layers and a deep low back muscle," Miller explains. "You will feel this one tomorrow!"

 

Coreso Leg Lifts

  1. Lie on a yoga mat with a block or phone book under your pelvis.
  2. Reach the arms overhead and externally rotate them so that the hands hold on to the sides of the yoga mat and attempt to pull the mat edges apart.
  3. Stretch the right leg towards the ceiling (if hamstrings are tight, bend the knee), and lower the left leg towards the ground without touching the floor. Do not allow the spine to lose it’s stability or natural curves.
  4. Breathe for one full minute on each side while remaining stable.

WHY? "This pose targets the critical relationship between our breath and our posture while toning the innermost abdominal muscles. You will feel a tremendous stretch while lengthening and strengthening," Miller says.

Forward Ocho

  1. Prep your body for a plank pose, then twist the plank so that the right and switch the placement of your feet (both pointing towards the right).
  2. Bend the left knee and lace it around the right leg so that the whole body pivots and the feet land pointing to the left.
  3. Then the right knee bends towards the chest and twirls around the left. The movement resembles a tango dancer's "figure 8-like" dance steps.

WHY? "This pose leaves no abdominal muscle unserviced! Your core is challenged from all angles, and as a bonus, the inner thighs and outer butt muscles are strengthened due to the fresh positioning of the feet," Miller claims.

Rotated Plank on Stability Ball

  1. Get in plank position with shins on top of a stability ball. Point toes to the left with ankles stacked. Engage core muscles from the shoulders to the outside of the rich hip to prevent slouching or dropping.
  2. Hold for up to one full minute, then pivot the legs and point the feet towards the right.

WHY? "This pose integrates all core and back muscles within a 'twist' while attempting to stabilize on the stability ball while also building balance and power," Miller says.

Rib Rock Massage

  1. Place two grippy Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls (can sub tennis balls) along the side of the spine in the upper back region.
  2. Breathe slowly into the ribs and rock from side-to side and allow the balls to massage in towards the rib joints. Roll for one to two minutes on left side of spine, then switch sides and repeat. Then move the balls into the lower back and ribs and repeat.

WHY? "The rolling motion uncorks tension along the upper back and spine so that the spinal bones regain fluidity and mobility," Miller says.

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