Do you want a 6-pack? A flat tummy? Or even just better balance?

Strengthening your core is such an important decision that we should take on a daily basis. 

A strong core can help you make improvements in your body that aren’t just summer body related. 

Many of us, when trying to lose weight, decide to go for cardio options that are easier like walking, jogging or running. Or even dancing!

While all of this is fine, and sometimes amusingly fun, we often don’t do the hard work of abdominal exercises. 

Since cardio can reduce fat all over your body, we forget that building muscle is necessary too. Especially if you want a toned belly.

A strong core can help with your balance, improve your breathing, improve digestion, give you a better posture, and so on.

But where to start?

As a beginner in fitness, you should experiment with easier exercises and work your way up to harder ones.

Even if you have a hectic week, this can be done in just 5 minutes before you leave off to work.

I’ve comprised a series of exercises to help you with this. How this workout works is: 40 seconds of exercise and 20 seconds of rest. Easy!

 

  1. Crunches

I know no one enjoys crunches but they are necessary. Just 40 seconds of this can help improve your upper abdominals.

Lie flat on the ground with knees bent and hands behind your head. Push your lower back into the ground and elevate your upper back off the floor and slightly forward. Then go back to starting position and repeat.

 

  1. Crisscross

This is a common Pilates move. I do rather enjoy it because it is not that difficult and it works on your lower abdominals and obliques.

Lie on your back with your hands behind your head. Lift your head slightly off the ground and elevate your legs up and inward until your knees are tucked in your chest. Inhale slowly and twist your torso to the left until your right elbow reaches your left knee. At the same time, straighten your right leg forward. Exhale and do the exact same on the opposite side.

 

  1. Russian Twist with a Medicine Ball

If you don’t have a medicine ball you can always use a package of rice or flour. Or even a water bottle. Although I recommend buying a Medicine ball as it can be used for several at home workouts. If you want the easy way, just do a simple russian twist without any equipment. This targets your upper abdominals and your obliques.

 

Sit with knees bent and heels touching the floor, holding the medicine ball to your chest. Lean back slightly, to the point where you can feel it in your core. Twist your torso to the right, keeping the ball at your chest. Return to starting position and twist to the opposite side.

 

  1. Mountain Climbers

This exercise is more of a cardio workout than a strengthening one. It fully engages the entire abdominal area. It is great for fat burning while elevating your heart rate.

Start in a push-up position, maintaining a straight back, with your hands shoulder width apart. Begin by bringing your right knee towards your right hand, until you reach your full extent of motion, and returning your leg back to starting position. Do the same with your left leg. Now do this in a fast pace. Keep going for 40 seconds.

 

  1. Plank

This exercise targets your upper and lower abdominals, and your glutes. It also provides a good workout for your arms and shoulders.

Lie facedown on the floor with your forearms on the ground and your feet together. Tighten your abs and glutes. Lift your entire body off the ground until it forms a straight line from head to toe. Hold this position for 40 seconds.