A personal trainer has shared five of the best exercises for toning your abs while at home.
Due to the coronavirus lockdown, gyms have been closed for months.
Some of us have gained a little weight, while others have lost tone.
But, never fear, there are some simple at-home (or at-park if you prefer) toning exercises which will strengthen your core in no time.
So, prepare to feel the burn and banish your lockdown tum.
From the V sit to the high plank, try adding these exercises into your daily routine.
Jemma Thomas, PT and founder of Jemma’s Health Hub, the online fitness community for women says: “The tummy area is one of the most common areas that I get asked about in the Hub and there are loads of great exercises you can do at home to help strengthen your abs and make you feel better.
“However, I must say from the start that it’s so important not to just focus on weight and the shape of your body.
“It’s all about how exercise makes you feel – stronger both mentally and physically and while it may be hard not to focus on your weight, please don’t let it get you down as your body can fluctuate so much.
“The fact that you’re looking for some inspiration on how to strengthen your abs is a brilliant start!”
Exercise 1 – The Glutes Bridge
Make sure you have a work out mat at home to use.
Get down onto the ground with your back to the mat and your knees bent.
Thrust your hips into the sky and squeeze up and down for 45 seconds.
Complement it with hand weights by your hips to add that extra element of difficulty.
Hold it up for a few seconds and make sure you breathe in and out as you’re going.
Exercise 2 – The V Sit
Sit down on the mat with your knees bent in a v position about 20cm from the ground.
Lean back slightly and twist your body from side to side, preferably with a weight in hand.
As you lean back your core has to engage to help you stay up and balanced.
Do that for 45 seconds.
If it’s too tough, put your feet down on the ground while you’re doing it and work up to having your feet off the mat in time.
The V sit crunch is also a great move where you sit in V position and outstretch your legs out without touching the ground – a bit like a more difficult sit up!
Exercise 3 – The High Plank
Get into a high plank position where you have your legs stretched out and you’re facing the mat with your arms outstretched.
Have one arm weight underneath you that is ready for you to move from side to side.
Really suck in your belly button inside your back to create a really strong core position.
When you’re ready, hold your body weight with your left arm and move your hand weight with your right hand from side to side underneath your body. Keep going for one minute and really focus on your breathing as this is a tough move!
If you want to remove the hand weight and just focus on holding the high plank for as long a s you can this is also a fantastic core and abs work out.
If that position is too tough to start with, you can go on all fours.
The plank is an awesome move at strengthening abs and there are lots of variations that you can do – including the plank with shoulder taps where you just tap your shoulders with alternating arms while doing the plank.
There’s the side plank where you put your weight down on one of your forearms and raise one arm into the sky.
The plank twist is also great where you twist your body and raise your arm into the air and alternative for 45 seconds.
This is a really tough one and you need to make sure you’ve got the strength in your wrists to carry your weight while doing it!
Exercise 4 – Hand to toes
This is a very simple but effective move. Lie down completely on the ground – back to the mat.
Raise your right leg to the sky and touch it with your left arm without moving your back from the ground.
Alternate and repeat for 45 seconds.
This is a great move for stretching your legs and arms and strengthening your tummy.
Exercise 5 – Lying Leg Raise
Lie flat on your back with your arms lying either side of your body.
Focus on being as straight as possible and really engage your core with the ground.
Then raise your feet to the sky and then bring them back down to the ground and repeat for 45 seconds.
If you’ve recently had a baby make sure that you take it very easy to start with. And don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Remember your body has done something amazing and while it can be annoying that you haven’t reverted back to your previous body shape, don’t let it get you down.
Exercise is magical therapy so make sure you’re doing it to make you feel good – not just look good.
Membership to Jemma’s Health Hub is £29 per month for 4 online work-out sessions a week. To sign up visit www.jemmashealthhub.com