Summer Beach Bod Preparation: Exercises to Tone Abs

If you’re hoping to show off some abs this summer, this article is for you! Keep reading for some easy exercises you can do in the comfort of your home.

Bicycle Crunches 

Bicycle crunches are great because they work the upper and lower abs. To do this exercise, lie down on a mat or flat surface. Put your hands behind your head gently to support your neck while slightly lifting it from the ground. Then, bring one knee to your chest and rotate your body to meet that knee with your opposite elbow (your other leg should be straightened). Once you have the motion down, switch legs. Straighten your bent knee and twist your body in the other direction, bringing opposite elbow to opposite knee.

Note: Be careful not to strain the muscles in and around your neck. Learn how to do proper bicycle crunches here.

Standard Planks 

To start a standard plank, lie face down on a mat or flat surface. Then, post yourself up on your forearms and assume a planking position. Be sure to keep your elbows aligned directly under your shoulders. Balling your hands up into a fist will help with balancing. Start at 20 seconds so that you don’t overwork your muscles, then try to hold a bit longer each day.

Note: Planks have to be done right to produce results. That means squeezing all the muscles in your body, including your glutes, core, back, and quads. Don’t tense up too much, though. You’ll want to make sure you’re flexing and breathing at the same time. Learn how to do a proper plank here.

Mountain Climbers 

A mix of core building and cardio, mountain climbers will tone, lean, and prep your abs. To begin, assume a plank position. Start slow, bringing one knee toward your chest. Quickly return to plank position and bring your other knee toward your chest. Do this motion of left knee-right knee repeatedly for 30-60 seconds.

Note: You won’t be as close to the ground as a traditional plank exercise: Your hands will be holding you up for support, not your forearms. Learn how to do proper mountain climbers here.

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