Everyone wants a tighter tummy—especially after too much holiday eggnog. But it always seems like you need expensive equipment or a gym membership to get that six-pack that will make you look and feel sexy in a skimpy pair of lingerie. So how can we work it out without working up our budget?
I swear by these five basic core-tightening moves to strengthen, tone, and lean out your stomach—and all you need’s some “balls”! 🙂
What You’ll Need:
- Medicine ball
- Stability ball
The first move to get your core quickly warmed up is the “dreaded” plank. Although it may seem scary at first, it’s the best way to tone your upper and lower abdomen and your obliques (your “side abs”).
In the plank pose, make sure you are not putting all of your weight on your forearms or on your heels. You should feel it burn—almost immediately—in your abdomen. If the sides of your stomach hurt, it’s working!
I like to start out with thirty seconds, rest for fifteen, and then go for a full minute. You’ll definitely be feeling the burn after a minute-long plank! And you don’t even need any equipment for this except a smooth place, like a yoga mat, or you can just do it at home on your comfy carpet.
For the Russian twist, you’ll need a medicine ball (dumbbell works too or something heavy at home, like books). You can use any weight, but I prefer something in the 5-10kg range so you can go longer with more reps. This exercise will also work your entire abdomen and obliques as well as your back and glutes—giving you an overall toned look and amazing posture!
This workout is called a Russian Twist because it originated in Russia to keep fat deposits away during the cold winter months—so you know it works!
Take out your stability ball and hold it under your ankles with your arms resting on a bench or a chair, or you can just hold as a pushup position. Curl your legs inwards towards your chest for an “ab tuck” that elongates your spine, giving the immediate appearance of a thinner and tighter tummy.
It also makes you more energized to finish the rest of your workout because it gets your blood moving from your legs up to your brain!
Add a kettlebell to your squats for added resistance and strength in your legs and core! Alternatively you can use weight plates. As you can tell by the name of this blog, I swear by squats!
When you add extra weight with a kettlebell, your body has to work harder to stabilize. This means that your squat is not only working your legs and glutes but also engaging your core and back. A kettlebell also works out your upper arms as you have to hold it between your legs.
Thus, the minor addition of a kettlebell turns a squat from a lower-body move to a total-body move!
The stability ball comes out again for your final cool-down move—which is anything but a traditional cool down. A ball bridge stretches out your muscles as you lean against the ball, while also reengaging your core, glutes, and thighs when you lift your body into a backwards plank towards the ceiling.
This is a great way to slow down your heart rate while still toning and lengthening. A ball bridge has the benefits of a traditional floor-crunch but enables your muscles to elongate further due to the added height of the stability ball.
I love ending this move by rolling my back on the ball and resting there for a few moments. It helps the body readjust to the strength I’ve gained during the workout!
Just by adding a medicine ball, kettlebell, and exercise ball into your typical workout routine, you’ll instantly add strength and length to your core—and you’ll be able to wear a bikini in no time! What I love about these core-focused moves is that they are not just for your tummy—they work everything! A strong core means a strong body.
10 mins run on treadmill
3 x 1 min plank
3 x 10 Russian twists
3 x 10 Ab tucks
3 x 10 Kettle-bell Squats
3 x 10 Ball bridges
Ab and legs Stretches
Sneakers from Nike
Bra and legging from Lululemon