Workouts

Core workout

Go straight to your core with these six simple core exercises.

Core workout

Target your core
Okay, maybe getting a six-pack isn’t one of your lifelong goals, but targeting your core is still important. Your body’s core muscles play an important role in stabilising and supporting your spine, abdomen and pelvic region, and strong abdominal and back muscles are essential for doing everyday tasks, like lifting a toddler, putting away groceries and maintaining good posture at your desk. So use these exercises to help strengthen your abdominal muscles, obliques and the muscles of your back.

Before you start:

Warm up
It’s important to warm-up before you get into your exercises. Get your blood pumping with some vigorous housework or a brisk walk before you start.

Reps
Start out easy with 8-10 repetitions of each exercise, and gradually increase to 12 as they get easier. Or create a circuit of all six exercises by doing them one after another in single sets for up to one minute a set. Repeat the circuit up to three times and do it two to four times a week for best results.

 

Get started:


1. Seated tummy tuck

Works: Core muscles.
Equipment: A chair or gym ball.
How-to: Sit upright with your hands resting on your thighs and look straight ahead. Exhale and pull your belly button in towards your spine. Keep breathing and hold the contraction for up to one minute.

Seated tummy tuck


2. Half crunch

Works: Upper abs.
Equipment: A mat or towel.
How-to: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Support the back of your head with your hands and look over your knees. Exhale and lift your shoulder blades off the floor to a 45-degree angle. Inhale as you lower your shoulderblades back down again.

Half crunch


3. Lying twists

Works: Oblique muscles.
Equipment: A mat or towel.
How-to: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the mat about hip-width apart. Support the back of your head with your hands. Exhale as you raise your shoulder blades off the mat and twist slightly to the side, aiming your shoulder to the opposite knee. Inhale as you lower you head back to the mat. Repeat on the opposite side.

Lying twists


4. Reverse curls

Works: Lower abs.
Equipment: A mat or towel.
How-to: Lie on your back with your legs raised, knees bent and hands resting on your stomach, below your navel. Lift and lower your bottom, lifting your heels towards the ceiling. This is only a small movement from the hips, don’t lift your back off the floor – just slightly raise your bottom a few centimetres off the ground to feel your ab muscles engage. Breathe in on the way down and breathe out on the way up.

Reverse curls


5. Side plank

Works: Core and oblique muscles.
Equipment: A mat or towel.
How-to: Lie on your side with your forearm, hip and leg on that side in contact with the floor. Keep your legs and feet together. Exhale as you contract your abs and lift your hips up off the floor. Your top shoulder, hip and ankle of your top leg should all be in a straight diagonal line. Keep breathing and try to build up to holding this position continuously for one minute.

Side plank


6. Static plank

Works: Deep core muscles.
Equipment: A mat or towel.
How-to: Lie face-down with your forearms and toes on the floor. Lift your chest and thighs off the ground and lower your bottom to keep your back straight. Exhale and imagine you’re trying to bring your belly button to your spine. Keep breathing and try to build up to holding this position continuously for one minute.

Static plank