Looking for some easy-to-do exercises that really up your core strength and help build ab muscles? We’ve got just the ticket.
Speaking on our Instagram Live as part of our Wellness Wednesday series, fitness guru Carly Rowena shared her top five core movements that take just minutes and don’t require any equipment (although a mat is recommended for comfort).
“These are my top five core movements for postpartum women to help with diastasis recti, otherwise known as ‘coning’, which is when the linea alba – the line through the middle [of your abdomen] – loses elasticity and struggles to hold your ab muscles together,” explains Carly. “This happens to postpartum women but also women who have never had children”. So, these are great workouts for anyone looking for ab exercises in general.
For videos of Carly demonstrating the exercises, head to our Wellness Wednesday highlights on Instagram. Do 16 reps of each exercise.
Ab glute roll
- These look a lot like a glute bridge, except these are a much smaller motion and your back stays glued to the mat.
- Keep your back on the mat, trying to flatten that natural ‘curve’ most of us have when lying on our backs, so our lower back is as straight against the floor as possible.
- Tilt your hips slightly upwards and back down, performing a small raise from your lower abs and your glute upwards.
- Again keeping your back glued to your mat, raise your legs off the floor and bend them so that they’re at a 90 degree angle.
- Push your legs slightly away from your body so you feel a little tension in your stomach.
- Simply tap the floor very slowly with your foot, alternating legs.
- Remember to keep your back glued to your mat and make sure you’re breathing.
- In the same position, keeping your back glued to the mat, but this time your feet are on the floor and legs bent.
- Simply extend one leg out so it’s straight and bring it back in, alternating legs.
- If this feels too easy, your legs can come up with your knees bent so that they’re at a 90 degree angle with the floor, before extending one leg out and bringing it back in.
- You can choose to do either the easier or harder exercise depending on what feels right for you.
- Back glued to the mat, bring your legs up and bend your knees, so that your legs are at a 90 degree with the floor.
- Lift your head up so your shoulders are off the floor and extend your arms out straight above your head, so that now you look a bug on its back!
- The easier option is to extend one leg out straight, and extend the opposite arm back, alternating between opposite arm to opposite leg.
- The harder option is to tap the floor with your feet, alternating legs. This is much harder as your shoulders are off the floor.
Reverse plank lift
- This is also a great exercise for your triceps. On your elbows, tilt your hips under as if you’re trying to reach your mat.
- Point your toes and bring yourself up into a reverse plank position.
- Hold for a minimum 10 seconds for 3 reps or keep bringing yourself up and lowering yourself back down for 16 reps.