To achieve a tighter tummy, or even a six pack, you will need to have a good balance of exercises and consistency with your workouts for your core, abs and posture. The primary purpose of your core is to provide mobility, stability, strength and balance to your mid-section, and, in turn, give you greater strength all over.
Understanding where to start is a question you will need to answer: how strong is your core? How is the mobility through your back and hips? Have you let your core strength go, and do you need to build up from scratch?
Lower back pain can come from a weak mid-section and if you have bad posture position when sitting at work or walking, this may add to the pain. To help to correct this, sit up straight or stand up tall and lift your rib cage with a full breath. Let your breath out slowly to the count of three to five seconds, and be aware of your shoulders – they should not be slumped forward when doing this breathing exercise.
If you add some core exercises into your workout, your posture will thank you, and before you know it you will stronger, more powerful and standing taller within weeks. Remember though, this will take some time so don’t rush the process – train safe and smart.
Tip: Put a note on your computer reminding you to sit up straight and stand up every 15 minutes.
Warm up for five minutes to get your body ready to go. Do each exercise for two minutes (or as long as you can), and repeat three times:
- Plank: keep your elbows under your shoulders. To make it a little easier, plank with your knees on the ground.
- Standing twists: stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees bent slightly, and place a broomstick over your shoulders, hands on the stick. Rotate left to right, through your hips, in a fluid movement.
- Hip circles: standing upright with a straight back, place your hands on your hips. With knees slightly bent, rotate your hips in a clockwise direction, pushing your buttocks out as you rotate.
- Med ball squeeze: lying flat on your back, bring your feet up towards your buttocks, ensuring they are flat on the ground. Place a med ball between your knees and hold it there, squeezing with your knees, with your hands by your hips and your back and feet flat against the floor.
With Lee Campbell, celebrity trainer, health and fitness professional bfirm.com.au.
Editor’s note: Our rotating wellbeing and fitness columns provide advice that is general in nature. Please always refer to your preferred health professional for advice suited to your personal healthcare requirements.