Circuit Training: 5 At-Home Ab Exercises
posted on June 13, 2013 | by Amanda Holstein
After a long day of work, blogging (for many of you out there), seeing friends, and fitting a meal in there, finding time to workout can often feel impossible. But there are so many workouts you can do at home, without any weights or exercise equipment, that are just as effective as going to the gym. One of my favorite ways to accomplish a tough workout with limited resources is circuit training. Choose 5 exercises to do in a cycle and repeat the cycle 3-4 times. Abs are an easy muscle to focus on without having any exercise equipment and you don’t need much space to work them out either. Here are 5 of my favorite at home ab workouts perfect for toning up for summer. After you go through one cycle of the following, repeat 3-4 times and you’re done.
First, you of course want to make sure you’re wearing some workout gear that gets you excited to exercise. My bright tank and comfy pants are both from Old Navy, and let me tell you, they were SO affordable it’s ridiculous. I went ahead and stocked up on some more gear, including the same tank in white, a fitted long-sleeve pullover, plus these adorable shorts. Now that you look good, it’s time to get started.
Start in a straight arm plank position, making sure to keep your body aligned throughout the exercise. Take your left knee and cross it over as close to your right arm as possible, then put it back in place. Lift your left arm and cross it over to touch your right shoulder. Do the same on your right side. Keep repeating this for 1 minute. Make sure to keep your butt down!
This one is tough but is great for getting rid of those love handles. Start in a side blank with one arm straight up. Lower your hips and gently touch the floor, then raise them back up. Continue with this motion, keeping your tummy tight and your body aligned, for 40 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
If you played sports growing up, you may know this one as “the suitcase”. Start with your knees bent and your legs parallel to the floor. Allow your abs to hold yourself up. Slowly lean back while at the same time straightening your legs. Don’t go all the way down to the floor, just enough so you’re body makes a V shape. Lift back up and continue for 1 minute. This one burns!
Here’s one I’ve done in a few Pilates classes and I love it. Start flat on your back with your arms at a 90 degree angle. Keep your arms at this angle throughout the entire exercise. Slowly, very slowly, use your abs to lift yourself up, one vertebrae at a time, until you’re touching your toes. Slowly lower back down and continue for 1 minute.
Another great one for the sides of your core, this exercise starts with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your arms out on both sides. Lift your right arm and cross it over to touch your outer left thigh/knee. Do the same with your left arm, crossing it over to the right side. Continue this motion for 1 minute, being sure to engage your core.
Now repeat this circuit a couple more times and your abs will be ready for summer :). Have fun! And make sure to check out this hilarious video for Old Navy Active Wear!