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Top 3 Daily Exercises to Tone and Define Your Abs in just in Just 8 Minutes

iStock_000015031144XSmallWeek One, we concentrated on your thighs.

Week Two, we targeted your butt.

Both areas must be feeling a little firmer by now, right?

This week we move on to your abmuscles. Your core.

The part of your body that not only affects how good you look in swimwear, but also how your body functions.

And here’s what we mean …

Whilst everyone wants to look good on the beach, and often this is the driving force behind toning up, strengthening and defining your core muscles has the added ‘secondary’ benefits of:

  • Reducing back pain
  • Protecting your inner organs
  • Maintaining good balance and stability
  • Creating and sustaining good posture

And the great news is that in just 8 minutes every day with these three ab exercises, you can tone and define your abdominal muscles, helping you feel good on the outside and the inside.

So here goes …

Time per exercise: 60 seconds

Rest between exercises: 20 seconds

Number of sets: 2, daily

Exercises 1: The Plank

Depending on your level to begin with, there are two options here:

Option 1 – Beginner to Intermediate Level

Start in a push-up position and then lower yourself down on to your forearms. So you’re resting your body weight on your forearms and toes, keeping your spine straight – from your head to your coccyx.

And resist the urge to have your bum sticking up into the air!

Engage all muscles throughout your body – the all-important core muscles, to your back, butt, thighs and arms.

Then simply hold this position for 60 seconds.

Tip: If you’re a complete beginner, you may want to start off by holding for 20 seconds with a 10 second rest, before holding for another 20 seconds with 10 second rest.

For intermediates, try for the full 60 seconds, or two sets of 25 seconds with 10 second rest in the middle.

Option 2 – Intermediate to Expert Level

Start in a push up position. So you’re resting your body weight on your hands and toes only. As before, make sure your spine remains straight – from your head to your coccyx.

Engage all muscles throughout your body – the all-important core muscles, to your back, butt, thighs and arms.

Hold this position for 60 seconds.

Tip: If you’re new to this level, you may want to start by holding for two sets of 25 seconds with a 10 second rest in the middle.

After a 20 second rest, repeat the set.

Side TwistsExercise 2. Side twists

Start by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front, hands by your side.

Slowly lean back and at the same time, bend your knees and raise them off the floor slightly. Engage your core muscles.

In a controlled manner slowly twist at your waist moving your arms and upper body to the right, keeping your hips and legs still, then twist back to centre and over to the left side.

Repeat this exercise for 60 seconds.

After a 20 second rest, repeat the set.

V SitupsExercise 3. V Sits

Start by laying back on the floor with your arms by your side.

Engage your core muscles and gently raise your legs off the floor at the same time as your upper body to form a V shape at the top.

Hold for a second before gently lowering your legs and upper body back to the start position.

Repeat this exercise for 60 seconds.

After a 20 second rest, repeat the set.

And there you have it.

Three targeted exercises to tone and define your abdominal muscles.

Keep these up daily, along with your thigh and butt exercises, and not only will you start noticing some body-shape changes, but your friends will too.

Next week we move on to the back – after all, there’s no point looking great from the front if the back doesn’t match up to par, is there!

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