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5 Awesome Exercises for Chiseled Abs

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Following a core-workout can be brutal on our backs if we compromise on form. Sometimes we end up engaging our back more than required, just to push through an ab workout. This can impact your flexibility, and back injuries if you keep at it!

How can we avoid the back pain? Simple. Pick ab workouts that do not engage your back as much, and try to focus on keeping your back straight during the workout. If you start feeling a pinch of pain, stop immediately!

Tighten your core without hurting your lower back with this effective 5-move workout!

1) Hollow-hold
2) Front Plank
3) Arch-hold
4) Kipping swings
5) Toes-to-bar

How to do the core circuit:

Follow each move for 20 seconds, and rest for 10. Perform each movement for 4 minutes (8 rounds per move). After this workout, your abs are guaranteed to call quits for the day! Give it a try, and repeat the workout two-three times a week for ultimate core strength!

1) Hollow-hold:

Lie down with your back against the floor, and your lower back touching the ground. Point your arms overhead, and ensure that your legs are straight with your toes pointed away from you.

Begin the movement by raising your shoulders and legs off the ground. Keep your abs tight, your glutes squeezed and your lower-back glued to the floor. Maintain the position for a full 20 seconds, and rest for 10. Repeat 8 times.

Modification: Too hard? Start with your shoulders and legs higher off the ground, almost as if you’re forming a V-shape.

2) Front Plank:

Lie down on your stomach, with your elbows by your sides and your palms facing down. Your legs should be parallel with your shoulders, and your fingers should be on the floor.

Slowly lift your thighs and torso off the floor, and watch your form! Do not sink your lower back too low towards the floor, and do not stick your butt out either! Your body should be levelled, with your head, butt and legs all at the same level. Keep your elbows on the floor, with your palms facing down the whole time. Breathe deeply and engage your core, abdominal muscles, glutes and arms. This is a wonderful total-body move to work all of your muscles! Hold this position for 20 seconds, and slowly lower yourself down.

Modification: Too hard? Keep your knees on the floor, as if you are in modified pushup position. Otherwise, try and perform the front plank for 10 seconds at a time to build up your strength.

3) Arch-hold:

This is also known as the superman. Lie down with your stomach against the floor. Point your arms overhead, and ensure that your legs are straight with your toes pointed away from you.

Begin the movement by raising your shoulders, chest, and legs off the ground. Keep your abs tight and your glutes squeezed. Maintain the position for a full 20 seconds, and rest for 10. Repeat 8 times.

4) Kipping arch/hollow:

Grab the bar overhead with your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep looking forward throughout this exercise. Slowly use your shoulders to push your torso forward and your legs back into the arch position. Keep your core tight and your feet glued together. Hold this for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 and perform the kipping hollow:

For the kipping hollow, use your shoulders to swing your torso back and your legs forward, Hold that position for 20 seconds.

5) Toes-to-bar:

Don’t leave the bar just yet! This move will engage that core and those shoulder’s like never before! Start with your hands tightly gripping the bar, shoulder-width apart. Slowly bring your legs up as straight as possible, and as high as you can. Once your legs can’t go up anymore, slowly bring them down, and repeat this for 20 seconds.

Modification: Too hard? Try knee-ups instead. When you lift-up your legs, bend your knees as you are bringing them up. Slowly build up your strength and straighten your legs when you feel ready.

After you finish this workout, go ahead and stretch out! Go into child’s pose for 30 seconds to relax that back! Then you’re all good to go! Try to not to laugh the next day – you’re bound to feel sore after this ab-boot camp! Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself!

SALMA DAWOOD

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