Summer is fast approaching and that means SWIMSUITS!!! There is nothing sexier than a sculpted, defined tummy but we often neglect those all important side-waist muscles that give us our shape.
Our core is made up of several layers of muscles that overlap each other and provide essential support. We need to ensure we are working ALL of them (not just our six-pack) to not only provide us with true core strength but to also give us that lovely curvy hourglass shape. MUFFIN-TOPS BE GONE!!!
MUSCLES OF THE CORE
TRANSVERSE ABDOMINIS - Located under the obliques, it is the deepest of the abdominal muscles and wraps around your spine for protection and stability.
INTERNAL OBLIQUES - These are under the external obliques and run in the opposite direction.
EXTERNAL OBLIQUES - Located on the side and front of the abdomen.
RECTUS ABDOMINIS - This is the most well-known abdominal muscle. Running along the front of the abdomen, it is often referred to as the "six-pack".
LEAH'S TOP 4 EXERCISES FOR A SCULPTED, SEXY WAISTLINE!!
1. FRONT PLANK TO SIDE PLANK
1. Start in a front plank position. Hands flat on the floor, wrists underneath your shoulders, back of your neck long. Draw your naval to your spine and tuck your tailbone slightly under so you are not collapsing into your lower back. Push your heels towards the back of the room and draw your kneecaps up your thighs. Hold this position for a count of 10.
2. Bring your right hand into the centre of the floor and pivot your body into a side plank position. Bring your left arm straight up into the air and lift up through your underneath waist. Squeeze your inner thighs together and hold for another count of 10.
3. Come back down into your front plank and hold for another count of 10.
4. Pivot over to the other side and hold that side plank for 10 counts.
Repeat 3 times on each side with a front plank in between.
2. SCOOTER - SINGLE LEG COMBO
1. Start in a plank position, shoulders broad, back of the neck long.
2. Lift your left leg off the ground, point your toes and reach your leg away from you. Squeeze your left knee into your chest keeping your right heel pushing back. Stretch your left leg back behind you lifting your leg slightly keeping it off the ground. Then squeeze the same knee in towards your right elbow. Then send it back. And again, squeeze the same knee in, this time towards your left elbow and send it back. Then bring it forwards again into your chest and send it backwards placing your foot down on the floor.
3. Repeat sequence on the other side.
4. Repeat whole sequence 5 times on each side.
3. SIDE KICK
1. Start kneeling on your right knee with your right hand flat on the ground, wrist directly under your shoulder and your left hand behind your head. Your eye gaze can be wherever it feel comfortable for your neck.
2. Activate your core and lift up through your underneath waist. Stabilise your torso and lift your left leg to hip height, squeezing your bottom.
3. Flex your left foot and swing your left leg forwards keeping it parallel to the floor and trying to keep your torso absolutely still.
4. Swing your left leg back keeping your bottom squeezing, your torso still and your underneath waist lifted.
5. Repeat sequence 10 times then switch to the other side.
4. MERMAID STRETCH
1. Start sitting with your right leg bent in front of you and your left leg bent behind you. Have both arms reaching out to the sides.
2. Place your right forearm down on the floor beside you and reach your left arm up and over your head stretching out the left side of your body.
3. Come back through centre then place your left hand on your left knee and reach your right arm up and over your head stretching the right side of your body.
Repeat 3 times then swap your leg position and repeat sequence.