Despite the approaching beach season and all of the undue pressure that can come with it, our idea of a beach body simply means feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin. For some, that means harnessing the mentally and physically transformative power of exercise to boost endorphins, improve mood, and even lengthen your lifespan. But if you have a more specific fitness goal in mind, like strengthening your core, than look no further than the following three ab exercises, as originally outlined by My Body+Soul. According to the health and wellness site, these three simple moves "target every aspect of your core" while "boosting your fitness levels" overall. Here's exactly how to do them, whether at the gym or at home:
"This exercise targets the obliques—an area that is under-worked in the average sit-up," writes My Body+Soul. They recommend using a medicine ball or a torsion bar with this exercise.
- Sit on the floor with your knees up and grip the bar in your hands
- Raise your heels off the ground and "row" the bar to the left and then to the right. Remember to keep your back straight and your core engaged.
- Make sure that your eyes follow the bar so you get a good rotation.
Torsion Bar Sit-Up
"This exercise is similar to an average sit-up but uses a weight to add in that extra abdominal challenge," the site explains. This can also be performed with a dumbbell.
- Lie on your back with your knees up and grip the bar with both hands at shoulder width.
- Lift the bar above you in a “bench press” position.
- Lift your upper body up into a sit-up, maintaining straight arms. The aim is to press your arms so you’re lifting the bar into the sky as much as possible.
Keep in mind that "abdominal V-Ups are a total core movement, working on both the upper and lower abdominal muscles, as well as your back muscles," My Body+Soul explains. As a more advanced move, stretch a bit beforehand.
- Lie down on your back and extend your arms overhead with your palms facing the ceiling. Keep your legs straight with your feet together.
- Simultaneously lift your upper body and your legs until you are in a "V" shape with your body. Reach your hands toward your toes.
- Slowly lower yourself back down. For a greater challenge, try not to touch the floor when you lower.
Head over to My Body+Soul for visual demonstrations of each exercise!