A strong core will support everything else you do, but when most people think of core they only think of abs. Head trainer Alexa Towersey and Jenna Douros show us how to build up your core.
The core includes all of the abs (deep and superficial) in addition to the muscles of the hips and lower back. These four exercises are designed to target as much of the core as possible. When combined with the flexion, extension and rotation exercises in the DB Complex and HIIT workout, you have a very comprehensive workout plan. Where possible, think of squeezing the inner thighs together and drawing the pelvic floor in and up (think holding your pee mid-flow) – this is the most surefire way to activate the midline and the ‘lazier’ lower and deep transverse abdominals. We don’t just want a washboard stomach on the outside, we want a corset on the inside. You can do the exercises in any order but I like to start with the lower abs (reverse crunches) and finish with a neutral spine (reinforcing correct posture for the day).
Reps: 20 of each
Week 1: 1 set | Week 2: 2 sets
Week 3: 3 sets | Week 4: 4 sets
Reverse Crunch x 20
Lying on your back, lift your legs in the air with your knees slightly bent. Place your hands on the floor beside you. Without momentum, use your lower abs to slowly curl the hips off the floor as if you want to touch your toes to the ceiling. Slowly lower them back to the starting position. This is one rep.
Knee Hugs x 20
Sit down on the mat with your knees bent, your hands hugging your knees and lift your feet off the floor. Open your arms, extend your legs as long and as low as possible without arching your back. Lift your torso, bend your knees, and return to the starting position.
Window Wipers x 12
Lie on your back and raise your legs 90 degrees. Spread your arms straight out to your sides for support. Rotate your legs to one side, stopping short of touching the floor. Rotate to the other side. Try and reach the top hip on the rotation while keeping the opposite shoulder on the ground to make sure you’re not only working the abs but getting a great stretch through the upper (thoracic spine). As you improve, bring your arms closer in to your body so they offer less stability.
Plank-Ups x 12
The goal is to maintain a solid plank position throughout the whole exercise and to not let your hips sway. Start on your elbows and toes. Keep your hips as still as possible, push up with one hand, then the other, until you are propped up in a push-up position. Lower back down to your elbows one arm at a time. Halfway through, change your leading arm so you strengthen the other shoulder as you press up to your hands. Note: hand placement should be where your elbows were – don’t cheat the movement by just trying to straighten your arm.
Models/Trainers: Alexa Towersey (@actionalexa) &
Jenna Douros (@jennalouise_jl)
Photographer: Jason Lee // @jasonminilee
Wearing: Douros – P.E. Nation // Towersey – Heroine Sport
(shoes by Athletic Propulsion Labs) via Stylerunner