6 Moves for a Slim and Toned Core
Often times, while working out, some of the core muscles are being overworked or being neglected in certain ways. Just like any other part of the body, the core is made up of different muscles that require specific movements for maximum results as well as necessary recovery time. Many people believe that doing endless amounts of crunches will give them the slim and fit look that they are hoping to achieve. When in actuality, a toned core can be achieved by reducing crunches and adding in these certain movements to your workout routine.
Starting by lying on the floor, raise your upper body into an upright V position, with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Straighten your arms out in front of you with one hand on top of the other. Proceed to rotate as far to the right as you can, pause for a second, and then rotate to the left. For added difficulty, hold a medicine ball or dumbbell, with the option of lifting your feet off of the ground. It is crucial to make sure the spine is kept straight and not rounded.
Resting on your left or right side, lie with your legs extended out with one foot on top of the other. You want to be upright on your arm, with your elbow directly below the shoulder. Contract in your core, lift your hips and knees off the ground, and align your entire body. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, eventually increasing the time.
Hanging Leg Raises
Hang down from handles or a pull up bar with your arms fully extended. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart or slightly farther out for a wider grip option. Have your legs straight down and slowly raise them up until a 90-degree angle is reached with your torso. Exhale when raising the legs up and inhale while bringing them back to the starting position. Focus on supporting your weight and not swinging back and forth. For added difficulty, a dumbbell can be held between the feet.
Standing Wood Chops
This can be done while holding a medicine ball or a dumbbell. Stand with your feet shoulder-with apart holding the weight in front of your body. Inhale, rotate slightly, and bring the weight up to your right shoulder. Then exhale, bringing the weight diagonally across your body down to the left foot, rotating the opposite way, and slightly bending at the knees. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps, and then do the same movements starting with the other side.
Plank with Alternating Foot Reaches
Start in a high plank position, which is resting on your palms with arms extended rather than on the forearms (push-up position). Creating a V shape with your body, bring your hips up and reach back with the left arm to touch the right toe. Return back to plank position, and repeat alternating sides.
Lie flat on the floor with your legs extended out and arms extended straight back above your head. Exhale and bend at the waist position, bringing your legs up along with your arms, creating a V shape with the body. Make sure to bring your legs up no farther than a 45-degree angle, making your arms parallel to the legs. Inhale and return back to the starting position. To add difficulty, a weight or medicine ball can be held in your hands while performing.