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Collective Improvement

At the start of the semester, my roommates and I decided to start doing five to ten minute ab workouts every night together to improve our health! It’s not much but we have all noticed improvements in our core strength and overall mental health and energy.  So far it has been going really great. We hardly ever miss or skip a night now because we all know it will pay off in the long run! 

Madeline, Sam, and I got super lucky this year, we were random roommates who ended up becoming the best of friends. I think that if it weren’t for them being by my side, I wouldn’t have made such a commitment to make this small but beneficial improvement in my life. When one of us doesn’t feel like doing them, the other two will convince us to get up and do it! It’s so much more fun doing the workout together because each of us has a different taste in music and we can also share the different ab exercises we are doing. Here are a few of the ones we do regularly: 

*Disclaimer: I am not in any way trained in fitness or personal training, these are just the exercises I do that work well for me and my roommates. The instructions are the way that works best for me and can be altered to what works best for you! 

  • Crunches (duh!) – The most common workout to improve your core strength, simple crunches are done by lying on your back, with your legs bent up and back pressed to the floor, then with your hands either placed lightly behind your head or bent beside your ears. Using your core muscles, gently lift your head and shoulders off of the ground and squeeze your core! Go back to the starting position and repeat. The best thing about crunches is that you can choose however many you do: as little as 15 to start until you work your core to be able to do hundreds! There are also many variations of crunches that you can learn to do to target different core muscles! We usually do about two variations a night, regular crunches and crunches where the legs are slightly bent up in the air. 
  • Planks – Another common and simple core exercise, planks are done by lying on the floor in a push-up position, but with your elbows on the ground as well.  I usually keep my hands clasped in front of me in a wide V. The key to planks is to not let your butt sink and to keep the core squeezed tight. When we first started, we would do two for 30 seconds each between our other exercises. Now, I can hold my planks for a little over a minute. 
  • Russian twists – I do these with my legs bent slightly in the air, with my feet gently crossed to keep my legs together. Keep the back straight, don’t let it curve, and clasp your hands together with your arms in a diamond shape in front of you. Then, squeeze your core and twist from side to side. 1 rep is a twist to the right and left. I usually do 25-50 reps of these! These can also be done with a small weight or medicine ball in your hands instead of clasped together.

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