March is the beginning of Spring in most of the country, but here in Florida it feels more like the start of summer, when we spend long hours lounging by the pool, or at the beach. This of course means getting into a bathing suit, and for many of us the thought of getting into one can be intimidating.
While it is true that you can’t spot reduce, it is possible to target and tone specific areas such as your abdominal muscles. It’s not too late to begin a regiment that will have you looking bathing suit ready within the next month.
Follow these simple exercises that will strengthen your core and give you great looking abs in just 10 minutes a day.
This is probably the most basic but effective abdominal exercises, when done correctly. Lie on your back with knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Place both hands behind head your head with elbows pointing out to the side. Contract your abdominal muscles and as you lift slightly rounded shoulders off the mat. Return slowly inhaling as you return. Repeat 10 times.
Cross left ankle over right knee, place right hand behind your head, and extend left arm straight out to the side. Contract abs, lift the right shoulder up and rotate, bringing right elbow towards left knee. Do 10 times, then repeat on the other side.
Lie on your back with legs to the ceiling lower back pressed into the floor, lift your torso and reach with your hands to the opposite toe. Alternate from side to side. Repeat 20 times.
Begin lying on the floor with your forearms flat on the floor, making sure that your elbows are aligned directly under your shoulders. Engage your core and raise your body up off the floor, keeping your forearms on the floor and your body in a straight line from head to feet. Keep your abs engaged and try not to let your hips rise or drop.
Lay flat on your back then lift your upper body off so that you’re supported on your elbow. Extend legs straight out, remembering to keep lower back pressed into the mat. Alternate crosses at the ankle. Repeat 20 times.
Lie on your back in the same position as for ankle crosses, flex feet so your toes are pointed up to the ceiling. Contract abs and lift legs up and down in an alternating pattern. Repeat 20 times.
Oris Martin is the Fitness Director at Edgewater at Boca Pointe, an Acts Retirement-Life Community in Boca Raton, Florida. This column appeared in the March 2018 edition of the Viewpointe at Boca Pointe.