When working out, it can be hard sometimes to figure out what to do. It’s important to get variety in our workouts, but from my experience, gym routine ideas can run out quickly. Here are some of my favorite ab-isolate exercises for you to incorporate into your workouts — and if you already do these, well, great minds think alike! Stay motivated this winter and find that perfect balance between all the holiday goodies and healthy habits!
- Ab Rows
Ab rows are a great ab exercise and require you to completely engage your core. Like all of the moves on this list, as well as all workouts in general, they get easier as you do them more often. To start, sit on the ground with both your back and legs off the floor, and with your knees slightly bent. This requires balancing on your butt and finding that medium point where you won’t fall backwards. Then, while keeping this balance, lean backwards and extend your legs forward, with arms outstretched. After this, return to the initial position by bringing both your legs and arms in and sitting back up. This exercise as a whole resembles the “rowing” movement, hence the name.
- Flutter Kicks
Flutter kicks is one of those exercises I feel like I have a love-hate relationship with. They really challenge me and are sometimes hard to get through, especially when I do them towards the end of my ab routine. However, after they’re done I feel so accomplished! Gosh do they BURN though — not just the abs, but also the quads! This one really gives you a 2-for-1 workout! Simply lie flat on your back with your arms flat on both sides. A modification that helps is putting your hands palm-down under your butt, as it takes a bit of the stress off of your abs. Then, while keeping your legs straight in front of you, lift them up and kick them back and forth in small movements as close to the ground as you can. It’s important to try and keep your knees straight through this!
- Hip Dips
To start a hip dip, go on your stomach and push yourself up onto your forearms as if you were going to do a plank. Next, while keeping your forearms on the ground, drop your left hip to the side, touching it to the floor. Then, do the same thing on the right side. Keep alternating with your left and right hips until the time is up and/or you finish your reps, whichever you prefer! This one is GREAT for your obliques.
- Frog Kicks
Frog kicks are a super easy exercise to do during your next ab workout! Start by lying on your back with your arms next to you and your legs in front. Then, lift up your legs while keeping your back flat and bring your knees toward your head. When you extend your legs again, push your heels forward until your legs are straight again and then repeat. Like flutter kicks, you can put your hands under your butt to make it a little easier, but keep them at your sides for a challenge!
And last but certainly not least, V-UPS!! These are my favorite ab exercise by far. They’re painful, but oh-so-satisfying once you finish your reps! Lie on your back with your legs flat in front and your arms over your head, also flat against the ground. Then, lift your legs up toward the ceiling while keeping your knees as straight as you can. At the same time, lift your arms and back off the ground and move as if you are sitting up; keep your arms straight above your head the whole time. Then, return to the floor, but keep your heels off the floor. As the name suggests, this exercise should look like a “V” at the peak!
These five exercises are some of my favorites and great ones to work into your workout! As with any new exercise, start with low reps and allow yourself to build up to more overtime. I also normally like to do my whole ab workout with no breaks to UP that intensity! When it comes down to it, though, there’s really no right or wrong way to do a workout as long as you are using proper techniques to prevent injury. Personally, I think the variety and creativity of working out is one of the best parts! Happy crunching!