Let’s be honest: crunches aren’t the most exciting of exercises. And they’re not always the most effective way to tone your abs anyway. If you’re bored with your core exercise routine, here are some effective moves to tone your midsection.
Maintain your balance
Instead of a chair sit on an exercise ball at your desk. It will help you focus and get through your workload smoothly. Some research has found that when balls replaced chairs in classrooms, students had an easier time paying attention and focusing on their schoolwork. When you sit on or lie across a stability ball, you engage all the muscles in your core to keep yourself steady. It will help you work your way to a toned body with better posture and more defined abs.
Hula-hoop it away
Contrary to popular impression, hula hoops aren’t just for children. Adult-size fitness hoops are weighted so you can do a multitude of moves to increase muscle activation in different areas of your core. And it isn’t that difficult: move only your midsection, keeping upper and lower body stable and rocking hips from side to side or front to back (not in a circle). If a hoop is too much, just doing the movements can help to some extent.
Pretend there’s something on your chair
If you’re driving, just sitting or waiting at the doctor’s clinic, just imagine that there’s dust or wet paint on the back of your chair so you have to hold yourself up instead of leaning back. Keep shoulder blades down and back, abdominals lifted and visualise yourself pushing your rib cage in until it feels very tight.
Pull your tummy in
You can make your abs look flatter instantly by sucking your tummy in, reveals supermodel Irina Shayk. When you’re standing or waiting in a queue, drop your tailbone and pull the hip bones up as if you’re trying to connect your hips to your rib cage. This pulls in and flattens out the belly. Keep your tailbone slightly tucked under to take pressure off your lower back while you walk. This also makes your stomach appear flatter and improves your posture.
V-sit while you sit
You can use the time waiting for your computer to start up to do these quick office chair exercises. The v-sit is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your entire core and you don’t have to lie on the floor to do it. While sitting, push your behind to the front of your chair. Then lean back so that your upper back rests lightly on the seat back. Contract abs and lift your right knee up, then place your foot back down on the floor.
Dance your love handles off
Dance your way to a flat tummy by listening to your favourite music and moving to the beat. Do it with a partner to make it more exciting. You’ll not only have fun but also burn calories and tone your body. Or try belly dancing, which can work your obliques in a great way. Stand feet hip-distance apart and let your hands float slightly to the sides of your body. Cock your hips right, forward, left and back.