Summer may still be a ways away, but if you’re anything like us, you’re already dreaming about warmer weather — and perhaps, even rocking a two-piece in style.
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So why not get a head start on your bikini bod with these five simple moves to target your core? While we all know you can’t spot-reduce belly fat (abs are made in the kitchen, you guys), you can dynamically work muscle groups in your midsection to achieve that lean, shredded look, just in time for summer.
And remember: You don’t need a particular body type to look great in a bikini — all you need is a fierce attitude. These killer ab moves will have you feeling strong and confident to strut your stuff.
1. Abdominal Hold
The Abdominal Hold is ideal for around the house, because all you need is a chair and a will to whip those abs into shape.
- Sit on the chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
- Brace yourself by putting your arms to your sides and holding the edge of the chair with your palms on the seat and your fingers curled around the front.
- Tighten your abs and lift your butt off the chair and feet off the floor, so that you are left supported by your hands.
- Hold this pose for as long as you can do so – aim for 10 seconds.
- Repeat 10 times.
2. Reverse Crunch
Sitting in front of the TV with a body aching to be active? Take a seat on the floor in front of the tube and knock out a few crunches, rather than practicing your best couch potato impersonation.
- Lie flat on the ground with your arms by your sides and your palms facing the floor.
- Lift up your legs, so that your thighs are perpendicular to your body and your lower legs are parallel. Keep your feet close together.
- Inhale, brace your abs, and pull your legs in towards your core and roll your hips back so that your butt is lifted off the floor.
- Your back should now be perpendicular to the floor and your arms should still be resting on the ground.
- Hold this pose for a second and then roll back down.
- Repeat three sets of 20 reps each.
3. Swiss Ball Pike
- Grab an exercise ball and lie with your stomach facing down, your toes on the ball, and your arms downward stretched, with your palms on the floor.
- You should look like you are about to do a wonky pushup.
- With your feet still on the ball, roll the ball towards you so that your butt is in the air and your torso is in a handstand position.
- Then, keeping your back straight and your abs tensed, roll the ball back out and let your feet roll over it, so that you end up with your shins resting on the ball.
- Your torso should once again be straight and you will resemble Superman flying down for a landing.
- Practice the pike for three sets of 10 each.
4. Lying Leg Raise
Begin lying down on the ground.
- Keeping your knees unbent, lift your legs so that they are perpendicular to your body and your feet are in the air. Reach towards your feet with your arms and tuck your chin.
- Lower yourself back down, but keep your legs a few inches above the ground to build tension in your abs. The closer you can keep your legs to the ground (while continually pressing your lower back into the ground), the more tension you will feel in your lower abs.
- Repeat for three sets of 10 reps each.
5. Side Plank
This exercise is perfect as the first exercise in your warm-up, or last in your cooldown (after walking and lowering your heart rate), as it requires stamina more than movement.
- Lie on your right side, with your right arm bent at the elbow so that your forearm is supporting you.
- Tighten your abs and lift your hips so that your body forms a straight, slightly diagonal, line.
- You should be held up by your right arm and the side of your right foot.
- Hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds before switching sides and repeat each side twice.