Ab toning exercises you can do without switching off Netflix. What's not to love?
Ab toning exercises are in fashion now that summer is approaching. But where to start?
Want to get your midriff in shape but can’t be bothered to venture outside? Luckily for the exercise-phobic among you, we’ve discovered the best ab toning exercises that can be done in the comfort of your own bedroom.
Ab toning exercises at home
Try doing two or three sets of these ab toning exercises every morning before breakfast. With all ab exercises, be sure that you are focusing on using your core muscles and not straining the muscles in your neck and/or shoulders. Build up your ab strength by gradually adding multiple reps to your routine, or hold exercises for a longer time as they begin to feel easier.
We’re using the spectacular abs of fitness guru Kayla Itsines as inspiration…
Ab toning exercises for beginners
Lying on your back, place the soles of your feet together. Raise your legs high up off the bed to create a ‘butterfly’ shape. Crunch up towards your legs. Repeat 10 times.
Lying flat on the bed, stretch your legs straight and your arms straight above your head. Very slowly, lift yourself up to a sitting position, reaching your arms down as if to touch your toes. Very slowly, as you count to five, lower yourself back down on the bed, back into a flat position. Repeat 10 times.
While in regular plank stance (aka holding your body in a straight line while balancing on the balls of your toes and elbows), lift your hips up high and bend your body to create an arch. Hold for two seconds and then lower your hips back down. Repeat 10 times.
Quick ab toning exercises
Lying on your back, stretch your legs straight and your arms straight above your head. Slowly raise your legs and arms up, bending at the waist. Reach your hands toward your feet creating a ‘V’ shape with your body. Repeat 10 times.
Lying on your back, bend your knees and place your hands behind your head, elbows bent. Raise your legs up into the air and one at a time, pull one knee forward while raising up to crunch the opposite elbow towards that knee. Continue ‘pedalling’, crunching the left elbow towards the right knee and the right elbow toward the left knee. Crunch 25 times on both sides.
Stack two pillows at the foot of your bed. Lie flat on the bed with your feet elevated and cross your arms over your chest. Breathe in deeply as you pull your stomach in towards your back. Breathe out as you lift your upper body towards your feet. Breathe in as you lie down again. Relax your muscles then repeat 5 times.
Similar to the regular plank, lying on your stomach, lift up on your elbows. Spread your legs wide and then lift up on your toes, holding body as straight as possible in this position. Hold for at least 15 seconds and then release. Repeat three times.
Sit and twist
Lying on your back with your hands behind your head, elbows bent, do a sit up. Once you reach sitting position, twist, pointing your right elbow down towards your left knee and then twist to your right, pointing your left elbow down toward your left knee, come back to center an then lower back down to the bed. Repeat sit-up and twist move 10 times.
Lying on your back, place your hands down flat on the bed, palms down. Keeping your legs straight, lift your right leg off the bed and rotate it in the widest circle you possibly can; bringing your foot down, almost to where it touches the bed, then around to the side and back to center. While you are rotating your foot, keep your ab muscles tight in order to control the rotation of your foot in a slow and controlled manner. Circle your right leg 10 times then repeat on the other side.
Lying on your back, bend your knees and place the heel of your left foot on your right knee. Lift your feet off the bed and pull your knees up toward you while you also lift your shoulders off the bed crunching down towards your knees. Repeat 25 times.
While in regular plank stance, roll your hips to the side, propping yourself up on the side of your right foot. Hold your body straight, propped up on your right foot and right elbow for 15 seconds and then release. Switch to the left side and repeat.
Lie flat on the bed and stretch out your arms to your side in line with your shoulders. Keep your arms and shoulders flat on the bed while you roll your head to the right. At the same time lift your right knee to your chest. Breathe in while you tighten up your stomach muscles, then breathe out as you roll your right knee and hip to the floor on your left side. Slowly roll back to your original position and repeat on the other side. Do this exercise on both sides, five times.
Ab toning exercises with weights
Want an extra challenge? Grab a can of beans from the kitchen cupboard to use as a makeshift weight for this one:
Sitting on your back, pull yourself gently upwards so your feet and torso are raised. Then holding a weight with both hands, twist your torso to the right side so your arms are parallel with the floor, the move back into the centre and repeat on the left. Do this ten times.