10 Minute Abs Anywhere (No Equipment Needed)
We're all busy. I get it. With our schedules they way they are now-a-days it's easy to let the trip to the gym slide off of the workout for more pressing items. However, instead of skipping exercise altogether, take 10 minutes to work on your midsection. Not everyone knows this, but most all movement in the body originates from the core, so having a strong center of the body will help in your everyday movements and keep back pain at bay.
The best part about this workout is that it requires little to no movement of the spine, so even if you haven't done a core routine since your 1st grade class photo you'll be safe, and it requires no equipment! This also makes it perfect when you just need a break at work, are out watching the kids at play or at home waiting on dinner to cook.
It's a simple 1 - 2 - 3 routine. Just do as many circuits as possible with rest totaling up to 10 minutes and you're done!
The move: This one is simple. Face down on the floor with your body propped up on your forearms while contracting your core and glutes. This is one of the best exercises you can do for your core as it works all of the stabilization muscles in the midsection. Depending on your ability, hold the position for 30-60 seconds. The most important thing here is keeping the body in a straight line. Don't arch your back, and if your pelvis is sinking to the floor, you can make the exercise a little easier by doing it from an upright push-up position with your arms fully extended.
30-60 second hold. Rest 30 seconds.
The move: This move should not be what most people think of where you are lifting your entire upper body up to your legs and then lowering back down to the ground. This puts enormous stress on your lower back. To do a proper crunch, lay on your back and pull your feet up as close to your butt as possible. With your hands next to your ears, only lift your SHOULDERS up off of the ground a few inches and contract your abs. Your lower back should stay firmly on the ground. Hold for a second at the top and then lower back and repeat. Slow, controlled movements are key - it's not a race!
10-15 reps. Rest 30 seconds
The move: Again, lie on your back, and this time place your hands flat under your butt for support (or by your head for greater difficulty.) Lift your legs about 6 inches off of the ground. Now in a scissoring motion, move your feet apart, and then as you bring your feet back together sweep one foot over the other. Swing them back apart and this time have the opposite foot be the one crossing on top. This counts as one rep. Your feet should stay between 6-12 inches off of the ground while contracting your abs and try to keep your lower back from arching off the ground. Again, make sure your movements are controlled and your legs aren't flailing out of control.
8-10 reps. Rest 30 seconds
Repeat the circuit until your 10 minutes is up!
This should be an easy, do anywhere routine safe for all fitness levels. Especially if you are just getting back into exercising again, or have back issues that make working out difficult, these are all exercises that have little to no movement in the lower back. They also strengthen the core stabilizers which is important before trying to move on to more demanding abdominal routines, again reducing the risk of injury.
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