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When it comes to working your abs there is such a thing as too many crunches. So if you’re in need of a new go-to move, we’ve got six simple and effective exercises that experts recommend. From quick and cardio-driven moves to slow and Pilates-inspired burners, here those core-sculpting exercises top trainers love.
1. Criss Cross – 20 reps
Try it: When twisting, imagine you’re bringing your opposite shoulder and knee to touch. Do 20 reps, alternating directions with each rep.
2. Jack Tuck — 15 reps
The experts: Bonnie Micheli and Tracy Roemer, cofounders of Shred415
Try it: Start in a high plank with feet together, with a circular resistance band around ankles. Keep abs engaged as you jump feet out to sides (as shown), then back together. Jump feet forward into a tuck, then return to start for 1 rep. Do 15 reps.
3. Sidewinder Burpee — 15 reps
Anais & Dax
The expert: The one, the only…Bob Harper
Try it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Squat, place hands on floor, jump feet straight back and lift left leg and draw left knee across chest to right elbow (as shown). Step foot back, hop feet toward hands and jump up, clapping hands overhead. Immediately squat, jump back and repeat, alternating sides. Do 15 reps.
4. Rotational Plank — 15 reps on each side
The expert: Los Angeles-based celebrity trainer Astrid Swan.
Try it: Start in side plank with left forearm on floor and right arm extended to ceiling. Keeping hips lifted, rotate torso, bringing right arm under body then twist back to neutral. That’s 1 rep. Do 15 reps on each side.
5. Oblique Knee Pull — 15 reps on each side
Courtesy of The Barre Code
The experts: The team of trainers at The Barre Code
Try it: Start standing, feet hip-width apart. Step your left foot back on a diagonal and reach your arms up and to the right. Tighten your core and drive your left knee toward your torso as you pull arms down toward left knee (as shown). Do 15 fast reps, then switch sides.
6. The Classic Plank — hold for one minute
The expert: Celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor Kristin McGee
Try it: Come to the top of a push-up position with your wrists under your shoulders and arms straight. Keep your spine long and core tight. Be careful not to let your hips sag or raise too high—think about forming a straight line with your body from your neck to your heels (as shown). Hold this pose for one minute.
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