For mamas looking to get in shape this year, have we got a treat for you! With our new series Workout of the Week, please welcome super-fit mamas Vanessa and Amanda from Momentum Bootcamps to take you through a series of easy exercises you can do anytime, anywhere with nothing more than your own sweat and bodyweight. Let’s get moving!
These exercises are effective because they target your external obliques, rectus and transverse abdominis. The main focus with any core exercise is not to hold your breath. Focus on good breathing to help stabilise your spine and increase oxygen to your muscles. Inhale on the easiest part of the exercise and exhale on the more demanding phase of the exercise. In a crunch, exhale as you contract your core and move up towards the sky, inhale as you return your shoulders to the floor.
Warm up with 3 minutes of light cardio such as high knees, then repeat this circuit 3-4 times for tighter and stronger abs. These exercises will certainly help to strengthen your core but if you’re after washboard abs, you need to focus on clean eating and reducing your sugar, saturated fat and alcohol intake. This will assist in breaking down the visceral fat located around your waist so you can bring out those hidden abs. Cool down afterwards with some stretching.
Squat Cross Body Crunch
1. Begin with your feet a little wider than hips’ width apart and toes pointed slightly out. Place your hands behind your ears, elbows pointing outwards.
2. Keeping your weight on your heels, sit back into a deep squat. Make sure your knees do not go beyond your toes or roll in out of alignment. Keep your abs drawn in as you squat.
3. On the upward phase of the squat lift your left knee and reach your right elbow to deepen the side (oblique) abdominal engagement, then press your heels to return to squatting position.
4. Repeat with right knee lifted and left elbow to complete one rep.
Raised Leg Crunches
1. Lie on your back with your hands behind your ears and your legs at a 90-degree angle off the ground.
2. Pull in your abs and lift your shoulders off the ground (without holding your breath) and crunch up towards your knees.
3. Keeping your core drawn in the entire time, slowly lower your shoulders back to starting position to complete one rep.
Rock and Roll Plank
Reps: 20, alternating sides
1. Start in an elbow plank.
2. Rotate and dip one hip at a time toward the ground, keeping your core tight and drawn in the whole time.
3. Bring your foot back into a plank. Repeat the same movement with your right leg.
4. To modify this exercise, just hold the elbow plank of 30 seconds or place knees on the ground.
1. Begin seated with your hands behind you and your fingers pointed away from you.
2. Press the heels of your feet and hands into the ground as you raise your pelvis off the floor until it is in line with your shoulders and knees.
3. Keep your torso in one solid piece as you lower your pelvis back to the ground to complete one rep.
4. This exercise is great for working the muscles that stabilise the lower back. Having a strong back contributes to a strong core!